**This article contains discussion of self-harm that some readers may find upsetting.**

Advertisement

The Crown season 5, which landed on Netflix earlier in November with a bang, has brought some of the biggest storylines in the British monarchy’s modern history to our screens.

Among these is the dramatisation of the infamous Panorama interview by Martin Bashir with Diana, Princess of Wales.

Elizabeth Debicki portrays the late Princess of Wales in scenes showing what led up to the interview, which saw Diana reveal the extent of her issues with her husband and the royal family, and its aftermath.

The Crown depicts Bashir as a liar and manipulator, and includes a scene of him asking a graphic designer to forge bank documents to suggest Diana’s own staff are leaking information to Charles and the royal family.

With the show blurring the boundaries between history and make-believe, you may be wondering what was actually said in the interview. Read on for everything you need to know, including whether you can watch the interview online.

Princess Diana’s panorama interview: What was said?

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama
Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace. BBC

Speaking about her metamorphosis from Lady Diana Spencer into the universally recognised Princess of Wales, Diana explained how she struggled to understand why so many people across the world were interested her, simply putting it down to Charles's work - before she clocked that people were "making money out of [her]".

She also spoke about the pressure she felt to provide male heirs and also what came after she gave birth to her eldest son, Prince William. Diana initially felt peace after a "difficult pregnancy". However, that solace didn't last long as she suffered from post-natal depression and said she felt very "low".

Diana then spoke about the lack of support she felt from the royal family over her depression.

Diana, Princess of Wales with Martin Bashir on a special Panorama edition.
Diana, Princess of Wales with Martin Bashir on a special Panorama edition BBC

She claimed: "Well, it gave everybody a wonderful new label: Diana's unstable and Diana's mentally unbalanced. And unfortunately that seems to have stuck on and off over the years."

The Princess also spoke candidly about how she had begun to self-harm by cutting herself, explaining that she'd seen women doing "similar things" and then started to understand why they hurt themselves.

Diana added that she felt "compelled to perform" and not show her true feelings to the outside world, and all noted how she privately suffered from "bulimia for a number of years".

The Princess gave an insight into her marriage with the then-Prince of Wales, who she claimed had different interests from her and resented the press attention she received.

When the subject of Charles’s affair with the married Camilla Parker Bowles was raised, Diana revealed that she had long been aware of the affair and that it had triggered episodes of her bulimia.

Diana and Camilla in 1980
Diana and Camilla in 1980, Getty Images

The Princess claimed that she was made to feel isolated and be portrayed as "unstable, sick" and "an embarrassment".

In a famous quote, Diana said: "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

In the interview, Diana also confirmed that while she had not met with the biographer Andrew Morton, she did allow him access to her close friends to help provide him with an insight into her life. In reality, Morton was provided with audio tapes of Diana’s own words for the book.

More like this

After the release of Morton’s book and Jonathan Dimbleby’s biography of Charles, it was agreed that a separation should be brought about - but it had to be discussed with the Prime Minister, Her Majesty and others.

Diana recalled hearing the news of her separation in 1992 on the radio, and felt like "the fairy tale had come to an end".

British royals Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), wearing a red coat with a black hat, Zara Phillips, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Peter Phillips and Prince Charles attend the Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, 25th December 1993.
Diana, Princess of Wales with Prince Charles and family on Christmas Day, 1993. Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Diana claimed that following the legal separation, she was seen as more of a “problem” and a "liability" by the royal family.

The Princess of Wales also claimed that there were moves to discredit her with recorded phone calls being leaked and also claims that she had harassed a man named Oliver Hoare with numerous phone calls in a short space of time.

On the notion that the royals were trying to remove her as a problem, Diana boldly stated: "She won't go quietly, that's the problem. I'll fight to the end... because I believe that I have a role to fulfil and I've got two children to bring up."

After Charles went public about his relationship with Camilla in his biography, Diana revealed that she went to William’s school in Eton to speak with him about what had happened. She explained that she answered any questions he had, including why his parents split; Diana claimed it was media pressure and Camilla that made their relationship "very difficult".

Prince William with Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry on the day he joined Eton in September 1995.
Prince William with Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry in 1995. Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Diana described the young William as "a deep thinker" but "we don't know for a few years how it's gone in".

The Princess said that she claimed "some responsibility" for the breakdown of her marriage.

After James Hewitt went public about his romantic relationship with Diana in 1989, the Princess revealed in the interview that she felt hurt by his actions.

"Yes, I adored him," said Diana. "Yes, I was in love with him, but I was very let down."

She also described how William had comforted her with a box of chocolates after the affair was exposed.

Despite how isolated she felt at Kensington Palace and the pressures of the media attention, Diana revealed her hopes for her future role in public life, using her privileged position and ability to communicate in order to do good.

Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) arriving at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in a gown by Christina Stambolian, June 1994.
Princess Diana arriving at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1994. Jayne Fincher/Getty Images

The Princess denied that she was also setting out to damage the monarchy, which she sees as her children’s future.

"I will fight for my children on any level in order for them to be happy and have peace of mind and carry out their duties," she defiantly said.

Diana advocated for the monarchy and the public "walking hand in hand" and being less distant from one another.

The Princess also revealed how she had exposed her sons William and Harry to humanitarian causes to give them the knowledge on how to make a difference as "knowledge is power", hoping that they could understand others less fortunate than themselves.

On the subject of Diana and Charles potentially divorcing, the Princess revealed that she was not advocating divorce and at the time was awaiting her ex-husband's decision.

Prince Charles and his wife Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) attend the Atlantic memorial service at Liverpool Cathedral, May 1993.
Prince Charles and his wife Princess Diana in May 1993. Jayne Fincher/Getty Images

She revealed that she had concerns for her children if the pair did divorce, but doubted that she would ever become Queen.

Diana then memorably said: "I’d like to be a queen of people's hearts, in people's hearts, but I don't see myself being Queen of this country. I don't think many people will want me to be Queen."

She stated that she felt the establishment would block her from having such a role due to her approach to her work and her strong will.

Finally, the subject of Charles’s future and suitability to be King was brought up. Diana noted that Charles could find being King "suffocating", adding that she didn't know how he would cope with that.

Britain's national newspapers headline the report that Queen Elizabeth has sent a letter to both Prince Charles and the Princess Diana spelling out her "desire for an early divorce", 21 December 1995
1995. OHNNY EGGITT/AFP via Getty Images

The Princess refused to answer whether it would be better for the monarchy to skip Charles and pass straight to William.

The interview ended with Diana being asked about her reasons for giving the interview, with the Princess claiming that she wanted to "reassure" her supporters that she had not let them down and that her priorities were her children and "the man on the street".

When she was lastly questioned on whether the interview was her opportunity for revenge on Charles, Diana denied this, saying she doesn't have "resentment", only "sadness".

"I sit here with hope because there's a future ahead, a future for my husband, a future for myself and a future for the monarchy."

Can you watch Princess Diana’s full panorama interview online?

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama
Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace. Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

The 1995 episode of Panorama titled An Interview with HRH The Princess of Wales is not currently officially available to watch.

An inquiry by Lord Dyson ruled in 2021 that Martin Bashir had conducted "deceitful behaviour" by commissioning fake statements and documents which were shown to Diana's brother Charles, Earl Spencer, in an effort to obtain an interview with Diana.

In a "serious breach" of BBC guidelines, it was ruled the BBC "fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency".

In a statement apologising for the "stupid" use of faked statements following the inquiry, Bashir said: "The bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.

"Evidence handed to the inquiry in her own handwriting unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented to Lord Dyson reinforces it."

As seen in the inquiry, a handwritten note by Diana in December 1995 - written following the interview - reads: "Martin Bashir did not show me any documents, nor give me any information that I was not previously aware of."

The Princess added that she had "no regrets" about doing the interview.

In response, to this BBC director-general Tim Davie said: "Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the process for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson has identified clear failings."

The BBC has apologised to Earl Spencer and written to Diana's sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

As a result, BBC’s director-general Tim Davie ruled in 2022 that the interview would never be broadcast by the corporation again.

Davie said: "Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.

"It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes, but these will be few and far between and will need to be agreed at executive committee level and set in the full context of what we now know about the way the interview was obtained.

"I would urge others to exercise similar restraint."

In the same statement, Davie commented: "Following publication of the Dyson Report last year we have been working with those who suffered as a result of the deceitful tactics used by the BBC in pursuit of its interview with Diana, Princess of Wales for the Panorama programme in 1995, including the matters that were mentioned in court today in respect of Miss Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now Mrs Alexandra Pettifer."

Numerous copies of the interview exist, however, and circulate on the internet and social media.

**If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, you can find help and support at MIND or by calling MIND's confidential Infoline on 0300 123 3393.**

The Crown seasons 1 to 5 are available now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide.

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement