Princess Diana news – Martin Bashir used FAKE documents to trick family before BBC interview, inquiry expected to find

PRINCE Diana would still be alive today if she had not been “conned” into speaking to Martin Bashir, her pal has sensationally claimed.

Simone Simmons says the 1995 BBC Panorama interview, with its “three of us in the marriage” comment, led to Diana’s divorce from Charles before her tragic car crash.

She claims Bashir poisoned the princess with lies — insisting her phones were bugged and staff were selling stories — to win her trust.

At 2pm today retired Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson, 77, will publish the findings of an independent inquiry into how Bashir, 58, obtained his scoop.

Spiritual healer Simone, 61, has given evidence to the inquiry which also looked at whether the journalist used forged bank statements to convince Diana’s brother Earl Spencer to persuade her to appear.

Read our Royal Family live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Debbie White

    LORD HALL: INTERVIEW WITH PRINCESS DIANA 'FELL SHORT'

    Lord Hall's statement said: "I have read Lord Dyson's report, and I accept that our investigation 25 years ago into how Panorama secured the interview with Princess Diana fell well short of what was required.

    "In hindsight, there were further steps we could and should have taken following complaints about Martin Bashir's conduct.

    He added: "I was wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt, basing that judgement as I did on what appeared to be deep remorse on his part.

    "Throughout my 35-year career at the BBC, I have always acted in ways I believe were fair, impartial and with the public interest front and centre.

    "While Lord Dyson does not criticise my integrity, I am sorry that our investigation failed to meet the standards that were required."

  • Debbie White

    BBC 'WRONG TO GIVE BASHIR BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT'

    Former director-general Lord Tony Hall has said he accepts the 1996 BBC inquiry into how Panorama secured its interview with Diana, Princess of Wales "fell well short of what was required".

    He also admitted to being "wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt".

  • Debbie White

    PANORAMA CONTROVERSY LATEST

    An investigation into how the BBC and Martin Bashir landed the Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales will be published today.

    It has reportedly concluded that the journalist used deceitful methods.

    The findings should be published shortly.

  • Debbie White

    CLOSE BOND BETWEEN DIANA AND HER BOYS

    A sweet, unearthed letter from Princess Diana reveals the special bond between her two sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

    The late Princess wrote the note in March 1985, just six months after her youngest son was born.

    A section of the handwritten letter reads: "William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near!"

    The relationship only deepened over the years, dealing with their mother’s tragic death in 1997, and growing up in the public eye.

    However, Prince William and Prince Harry are said to no longer be as close as their childhood days, and have been arguing for the past 18 months, journalist Tom Bradby has claimed.

  • Debbie White

    MORE ON HARRY AND MEGHAN'S PLAN

    The centre will be based in Mumbai which is also home to Myna Mahila, an Indian organisation focused on women’s health and employment opportunities that Meghan has previously supported.

    The posting also mentioned the other relief centres built by the organization.

    "Construction has already been completed on a relief center in the Commonwealth of Dominica; development of a relief center in Puerto Rico is underway," it read.

    The announcement promised that the centre would "provide relief and resilience as well as healing and strength" for those who needed it.

    The centre could be used as a response kitchen or a vaccination site if needed or in "calmer times they can serve food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or community gathering spaces for families."

  • Debbie White

    ARCHEWELL TO BUILD COMMUNITY RELIEF CENTRE IN INDIA

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Archewell Foundation is to build a community relief centre in India.

    The project, announced on Harry and Meghan's third wedding anniversary, is part of their non-profit organisation's partnership with World Central Kitchen.

    A statement on the Archewell website said: "As part of our ongoing philanthropic partnership, Archewell Foundation and World Central Kitchen are announcing plans today to build our next community relief centre in India, which is facing a devastating second wave of Covid-19."

    The centre will be built in Mumbai.

  • Debbie White

    ROYALS DIDN'T SEND HARRY & MEGHAN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY WISHES

    Members of the Royal Family didn't send public messages to Harry and Meghan on their wedding anniversary yesterday, as the royal rift continues.

    Kate and William, Prince Charles, and the Queen all failed to pen an anniversary wish on social media to mark the Sussexes' two year anniversary.

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued their normal social media content, including showing Kate's visit to the V&A as restrictions in England ease.

    And Prince Charles and Camilla chronicled their visit to Northern Ireland – without a word of praise for Harry and Meghan's milestone.

    The official Royal Family twitter account only made one tweet – announcing that Princess Beatrice is expecting a baby in the autumn.

    Read the full story here.

  • Debbie White

    QUEEN TO GREET 12th GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER IN AUTUMN

    News of Princess Beatrice's pregnancy has made 2021 a bumper year for royal babies, with the youngster set to become the Queen's 12th great-grandchild.

    He or she will be the fourth royal newborn to arrive this year, following Princess Eugenie's son August in February, Zara Tindall's son Lucas in March, and the Sussexes's daughter who is due in the summer.

    Beatrice's pregnancy has been announced six weeks after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, the baby's great-grandfather.

    The Queen's great-grandchildren currently are: Savannah and Isla Phillips; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge; Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall; Archie Mountbatten-Windsor; and August Brooksbank.

    The Cambridge children call their great-grandmother Gan-Gan, and the Queen always leaves a small gift in her great-grandchildren's rooms whenever they come to stay.

  • Debbie White

    QUEEN MAXIMA LATEST

    Queen Maxima has visited the A.S.Talma school in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    Today she was pictured unveiling an interactive musical play set in the nearby music playground.

    Credit: Rex
    Credit: The Mega Agency

     

  • Debbie White

    RARE £5 NOTE WHICH BELONGED TO HAROLD MACMILLAN TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER

    A £5 banknote which was originally presented to former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1957 is expected to sell for up to £22,000 at auction next week.

    The note, in a blue leather presentation wallet, has the serial number A01 000003 and has an estimate of £18,000 to £22,000. It is being put up for sale at Dix Noonan Webb's auction of British, Irish and world banknotes on Thursday, May 27 in Mayfair, London.

    Thomasina Smith, head of numismatics (associate director) at Dix Noonan Webb said: "This important note is the lowest serial number note available to commerce and arguably the finest post-war Bank of England note in the public domain.

    "Serial numbers one and two are held in the Royal Collection, having been presented to the Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh."

    She added: "This spectacular and timeless design, known by many collectors as either the the lion and key fiver or the Britannia fiver, was the first significant change of design for the £5 note since the introduction of the denomination in the late 1700s."

    Credit: PA

     

  • Debbie White

    WHEN DID DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES DIE?

    Princess Diana – Diana Frances Spencer – died on August 31, 1997, after suffering fatal injuries in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris.

    The tunnel is located in the heart of the French capital next to the River Seine.

    Her companion Dodi Fayed and driver and security guard Henri Paul were also killed in the crash. Diana's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived with horrific injuries.

    In the days after her death, a sea of flowers and tributes were left outside the gates of Kensington Palace in an enormous outpouring of public grief.

    Diana's funeral was held on September 6, 1997, at Westminster Abbey and was shown on British television, attracting an audience of 32.1million viewers.

  • Debbie White

    'BONDS GO BACK A VERY LONG WAY' – EARL SPENCER

    Earl Spencer has today shared an image of himself and his sister Diana, Princess of Wales, as children.

    The poignant pic was posted hours ahead of today's 2pm publication of Lord Dyson's report into Martin Bashir's Panorama interview.

    He posted the black and white archive image on Twitter, alongside the words: "Some bonds go back a very long way."

    The photo shows the siblings sitting side-by-side in the summer sun.

    Princes William and Harry's mum died in a horrific car crash in 1997.

  • Debbie White

    DIANA WAS TOLD HOME HAD BEEN BUGGED AND PHONES TAPPED

    Princess Diana's pal Simone Simmons told The Sun about the Bashir Panorama interview: “Diana was conned into doing the programme, and it wasn’t just forged bank documents.

    “I was there the first time Martin Bashir was at Kensington Palace.

    “She had a lot of information on the table about her charities because she was led to believe Martin Bashir was doing an interview about them.

    “She came in very excited and said ‘Simone, he is going to do a programme about my charities, isn’t that wonderful’. I thought it was brilliant.

    “But as time went on nothing transpired and we all know what happened. He lied to her. He said her home was bugged and phones were tapped."

  • Debbie White

    DI 'WAS CONNED' OVER BASHIR INTERVIEW – PAL

    Princess Diana would still be alive today if she had not been “conned” into speaking to Martin Bashir, her pal has sensationally claimed.

    Simone Simmons says the 1995 BBC Panorama interview, with its “three of us in the marriage” comment, led to Diana’s divorce from Charles before her tragic car crash.

    She claims Bashir poisoned the princess with lies — insisting her phones were bugged and staff were selling stories — to win her trust.

    At 2pm today retired Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson, 77, will publish the findings of an independent inquiry into how Bashir, 58, obtained his scoop.

    Spiritual healer Simone, 61, has given evidence to the inquiry which also looked at whether the journalist used forged bank statements to convince Diana’s brother Earl Spencer to persuade her to appear.

  • Debbie White

    WHAT HAS THE BBC SAID ABOUT TONIGHT'S PANORAMA SHOW ON PRINCESS DIANA?

    "Twenty-five years ago, Panorama reporter Martin Bashir secured his global scoop interview with Princess Diana," writes the BBC ahead of tonight's 7pm airing of its investigation into the royal interview.

    It adds: "Now, a new Panorama team fronted by journalist John Ware has carried out its own four-month investigation, with exclusive interviews and revelations from internal BBC documents.

    "This is the inside story of how Martin Bashir obtained his career-defining interview, and how the BBC responded when it discovered he had faked bank statements and shown them to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer."

    Diana's brother Earl Charles Spencer
  • Debbie White

    BBC TO AIR PANORAMA INVESTIGATION INTO CONTROVERSIAL PRINCESS DIANA INTERVIEW TONIGHT

    The BBC's previously delayed broadcast of a Panorama investigation into the interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, is to air TONIGHT.

    The programme was expected to be shown on BBC One on Monday but it was postponed due to a "significant duty of care issue", according to the broadcaster.

    It will now air at 7pm, May 20, following the publication of Lord Dyson's report.

  • Debbie White

    'VERY UNLIKELY' SUSSEXES WOULD LOSE TITLES – EXPERT

    It's "very unlikely" that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would lose their titles, despite their controversial – and very public – criticism of Prince Harry's family, says an expert.

    Prof Thomas Poole, who specialises in UK constitutional law at the London School of Economics, told i news: "To get political and parliamentary buy-in to take action on Harry and Meghan's titles, the Queen would need something close to unanimity among the politicians and the public."

    He said it was "very unlikely that decision-makers, including the Queen and her advisers, would consider going down this route".

  • Debbie White

    BATTLE ROYAL OVER BRIDGERTON FILMING AT PRINCE ANDREW’S FORMER HOME… MORE

    The Bridgerton production firm, Shondaland, had hoped to use the grounds to build versions of two fictional mansions from the series, Bridgerton House — home to show heroine Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor — and Featherington House.

    They had also wanted to put up a shopping arcade, tea house and back alley.

    Producers had hoped to keep the whole set, which would cover a five-acre site, in place for five years while they filmed society goings-on. But it is now back to the drawing board.

    A TV insider said: “This is a headache for the producers because finding the perfect spot to film isn’t always easy and they had drawn up extensive plans to build on the site.

    “The idea was to create sets for grand houses and halls that feature in Bridgerton, which takes place in early-1800s London… it’s a rejection they could have well done without.”

    The estate was Prince Andrew and Fergie's former marital home
  • Debbie White

    BATTLE ROYAL OVER BRIDGERTON FILMING AT PRINCE ANDREW'S FORMER HOME

    Bridgerton's filming schedule has been thrown into chaos after crew were stopped from filming at Prince Andrew’s former home.

    When Bridgerton’s creators wanted to build a posh set for the toffs drama, they thought land owned by the Crown seemed perfect.

    Producers had their eye on Berkshire’s Sunninghill Park Estate near Ascot, once home to the Duke and Duchess of York, and wanted to replicate parts of Georgian London.

    But locals kicked up a fuss and creators of the Netflix period drama are having to look elsewhere.

    Ironicially, Bridgerton bosses had set their sights on the land after looking at other locations, only to discover they had already been snapped up by another Netflix drama, The Crown.

  • Debbie White

    MORE ON PRINCESS DIANA'S INTERVIEWER, MARTIN BASHIR

    Journalist Martin Bashir shot to fame with his high-profile interviews with some of the world's biggest stars – including the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

    In the '90s he interviewed Diana about her failed marriage to Prince Charles.

    A formal report is now set to reveal how Bashir and BBC bosses "breached" guidelines to bag the interview", in which Princess Diana sensationally declared “there were three of us in this marriage."

    The six-month inquiry conducted by Lord Dyson will reportedly condemn senior BBC executives at the time over allegations of a cover up, according to the Telegraph.

    According to the newspaper, the retired judge has concluded that Bashir mocked up bank statements that were shown to Earl Spencer and allegedly used to win over his trust and gain access to his sister.

  • Debbie White

    'IT WAS VERY CROWDED' WHY WAS MARTIN BASHIR'S INTERVIEW WITH DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, CONTROVERSIAL?

    On November 20, 1995, the BBC managed to pull off a royal coup when veteran Panorama journalist Martin Bashir spoke to Princess Diana in her first solo interview since her marriage to Prince Charles.

    Diana was still part of the monarchy – but only just, as she and Charles had legally separated three years previously.

    She famously said her marriage had "three people" in it, something that has been quoted countless times since.

    Now the interview is shrouded in fresh controversy as an independent investigation has been launched to find out how Bashir got the interview.

    There are claims that he used fake documents and false allegations to win Diana's family's trust.

  • Debbie White

    PRINCESS BEATRICE IS PREGNANT

    Buckingham Palace says Princes Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are due to have their first child in the autumn. It said "both families are delighted with the news."

    Beatrice, the elder daughter of Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, married property developer Mapello Mozzi in July 2020 at a small ceremony constrained by coronavirus restrictions.

    She is ninth-in-line to the British throne.

    Beatrice's younger sister Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank welcomed their first child, a son named August, in February.

    The queen has 10 great-grandchildren, with another — a second child for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex — due in the summer.

  • Debbie White

    MORE ON THE PANORAMA PRINCESS DIANA INTERVIEW SCANDAL

    The investigation into Panorama was launched after Earl Spencer alleged that Martin Bashir showed him fake financial documents relating to his sister's former private secretary Patrick Jephson.

    Lord Dyson has been considering if the steps taken by the BBC and Bashir were appropriate and to what extent those actions influenced Diana's decision to give an interview.

    TV watchdog Ofcom has said previously it will not launch its own investigation into the BBC Panorama controversy, but will follow the independent inquiry "closely".

    The Duke of Cambridge welcomed the launch of the investigation late last year, saying it "should help establish the truth behind the actions" that led to the programme.

    The Duke of Sussex reportedly also supported the inquiry.

  • Debbie White

    REPORT ON DIANA'S PANORAMA INTERVIEW 'TO CONCLUDE BASHIR USED DECEITFUL METHODS'

    An investigation into how the BBC and Martin Bashir landed Panorama's famous interview with Diana, Princess of Wales will reportedly conclude the journalist used deceitful methods.

    Lord Dyson, the former master of the rolls and head of civil justice, was appointed to look into the circumstances surrounding the explosive 1995 interview, which famously featured Diana saying: "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

    According to the Daily Telegraph, the report – being published today – has concluded Bashir deployed deceitful methods in securing the interview, in breach of BBC editorial rules.

    It was previously alleged that Bashir mocked up fake bank statements and showed them to Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to the princess.

    Richard Ayre, the BBC's controller of editorial policy in 1995, told the Telegraph he had told Lord Dyson in evidence that Bashir would have breached guidelines in mocking up the statements and showing them to Earl Spencer.

  • Debbie White

    ROYAL ARMS – PRINCE WILLIAM GETS COVID JAB… MORE

    It is not clear which Covid vaccine William received today, but as he's under 40, he would have been entitled to the Pfizer jab.

    William “struggled to breathe” after being struck down by Covid last April, but he kept his diagnosis a secret because he didn’t want to alarm the nation.

    A source said later: "William was hit pretty hard by the virus – it really knocked him for six.

    "At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked."

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