Netflix’s The Crown is a highly-fictionalized version of the British royal family, much the same way true crime shows feature cheesy dramatizations of ax murderers. But while Cold Case Files doesn’t aspire to be more than what it is, The Crown is a lauded, award-winning show that fancies itself to be the height of prestige TV — at least, in the eyes of popular culture. Prince William, on the other hand, seems to regard the show as a nuisance, now that it will reportedly include a version of Martin Bashir’s scandalous interview with Princess Diana.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the Duke of Cambridge is “frustrated” about The Crown’s plan to dramatize the interview. William has openly decried the interview, as he believes it holds “no legitimacy” due to allegations of journalistic malpractice on the part of Bashir. In May 2021, an investigation into the interview revealed that Bashir may have created false payments in order to pressure Diana’s brother, Charles, the Earl Spencer, into obtaining her consent for the interview.
Subsequently, William condemned the investigation’s findings. “It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again,” he said in a statement at the time. “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.” Ahead of the report’s 2021 release, Bashir resigned from his position at the BBC, and both Bashir at the network formally apologized to the family.
The Panorama interview was first aired in 1995. Bashir asked Diana if Camilla Parker Bowles — the now-Duchess of Wales — was “a factor in the breakdown” of her marriage to Prince Charles. “Well, there were three of us in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she famously replied.