Princess Diana spoke to Martin Bashir for the BBC’s “Panorama” in 1995. (Getty Images)
It is no secret that the royal family has seen many scandals and hardships. From sibling rivalries to divorces, the royals are like any other family when it comes to disruption. When something goes wrong in the Windsor House, the whole world is watching.
On that day in 1995, Princess Diana’s controversial tell-all interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC show “Panorama” sent shock waves through the monarchy.
The 34-year-old Princess of Wales spoke openly about her struggle with postpartum depression, self-harm, her struggle with eating disorders and the shame she felt for “not being up to the pressure” of being a public figure.
According to Diana, her personal battle with bulimia was “a symptom” of the state of her marriage to Charles and the first glimpse into the less than perfect relationship between the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The Princess of Wales speaks in 1995 in an exclusive interview with Panorama presenter Martin Bashir. (Getty)
Princess Diana’s interview with Martin Bashir explored issues in her marriage to Prince Charles (Image via Getty Images)
“I screamed for help,” Diana said of her eating disorder, “but gave the wrong signals.”
Diana told Bashir that the label she was given during her postpartum depression of being “unstable” had accompanied her through her years of bulimia.
The admissions of her poor mental health were attributed to the “isolation” Diana felt in her marriage to Charles. The princess admitted to Bashir that she was well aware of her husband’s revived relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles (now Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall).
Diana says she was branded “unstable” because of her postpartum depression and struggling with self-harm. (Image via Getty Images)
“There were three of us in the marriage so it was a bit crowded,” Diana told Bashir.
Though Diana spoke at length about her grief over the breakup of their marriage, she confirmed rumors of an affair with James Hewitt, a former British Army cavalry officer and former riding instructor for the Princess.
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In 1994 Hewitt worked with the author Anna Pasternak on the book “Princess In Love”, in which his relationship with Diana from 1986 to 1991 is described.
“Yes, I adored him,” Diana said to Bashir after confirming that they were more than “close friends.” “Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very disappointed. “
Diana and Charles both admitted to being unfaithful in television interviews. (Image via Getty Images)
Although many remember Diana’s confession, many forget that it was Charles who first confirmed that he was unfaithful in his marriage.
In 1994, Prince Charles agreed to an interview with Jonathan Dimbleby, who recently authored The Prince of Wales: A Biography. Although the interview included over a year and a half of footage, it was Charles’ admission of infidelity that made the most of the headlines. At the time, Charles and Diana had been legally separated for two years.
When asked by Dimbleby if he had been faithful throughout his marriage, Charles replied “yes” before adding, “Until it broke down, we both tried.”
Diana’s interview reportedly sparked Queen Elizabeth’s turn to Charles and urge her son and heir to the British throne to seek an “early divorce” from his nearly 15-year-old wife.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced their separation in 1992 before they divorced in 1996. (Image via Getty Images)
Although it was a memorable interview, Diana’s meeting with Bahsir was fraught with controversy. In 2021, an independent investigation of the interview by Lord John Dyson, a former judge and attorney, found that the BBC was “fraudulent” in getting the princess to agree to the interview.
Bashir reportedly met with Diana’s brother Charles Spencer with forged documents alleging that people close to the Princess of Wales were being paid to spy on her so Spencer could arrange a meeting between his sister and Bashir.
Prince William made a public statement following Dyson’s report in which he told reporters, “In my view, the fraudulent manner in which the interview was conducted significantly influenced what my mother said. The interview went a long way towards making my parents’ relationship worse and has hurt countless others since then. “