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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

The Royals are talking!? Harry reveals his alcohol and drug use and William on *that* BBC interview


by Sarah Finnan
21st May 2021

@dianaforeverremembered

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It’s not often that the British royal family speak out, but both Prince William and Prince Harry have been very vocal as of late.

Waking up this morning we were met with a flurry of online activity, most of it pertaining to the royals. Yes really, the famously stiff-upper-lip royals who stoically never comment on anything, ever, have suddenly opened the floodgates in the last 24 hours. Starting with that now-infamous interview Princess Diana gave to the BBC back in 1995. The focal point of public attention once again, the video finds itself back in the spotlight as a result of The Dyson Report and its findings.

An independent inquiry into how the interview was obtained, centring on journalist Martin Bashir and the methods he used to secure the exclusive with Princess Diana. Launched after Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s younger brother, alleged that he was shown fake financial documents and fed outlandish stories about the royal family, the findings reveal that the BBC “fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark”.

Prince William

Responding to the report and its findings, both Prince William and Prince Harry made separate comments on the matter, with The Duke of Cambridge giving an impassioned speech to the public in which he condemned the interview for the “woeful incompetence” it displayed. Citing it as one of the contributing factors to the breakdown of his parent’s relationship, Prince William went on to say that the interview was also responsible for worsening his mother’s mental health at the time.

“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contribution to making my parent’s relationship worse and has since hurt countless others. It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her”, he said in a statement.

“She was failed not just by a rogue reporter but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.

“It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative, which for over a quarter of a century has been commercialised by the BBC and others. This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.”

Later adding that “public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important”, Prince William finished by saying that the BBC’s failings not only let his mother and his family down, but they also let the public down too.

Prince Harry

Also addressing the situation in his own statement, Prince Harry essentially said that the interview is to blame for his mother’s death. “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” he said. Giving another exclusive interview to US presenter Oprah Winfrey (part of the duo’s new show for Apple TV), he told her “our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed.”

Later talking about the traumatic effect that his mother’s death had on him, Prince Harry admitted that he even turned to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. “I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling,” he said.

Revealing that he “would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night”, Harry said he wasn’t doing so out of enjoyment but because he was “trying to mask something”.