(*edited, content added - updated with a P.S. on 5/24/2021)
Today, Oprah's "The Me You Can't See" premieres on AppleTV, which takes a candid look at the mental health struggles of people in the fishbowl, famous people/celebrities. Included among the celebrities is Prince Harry, and promises a scathing look at the toxic press in general.
Just ahead of it, Prince William speaks on a similar issue, only limits his comments just to the BBC's poor handling of the infamous 1995 Diana interview with Martin Bashir, after Lord Dyson's investigation findings into what prompted Diana to do the interview in the first place.
Considering the BBC, Charles Spencer, and Martin Bashir himself have admitted these actions (detailed below), note there will be no "allegedly" or "IMO" to what I'm saying below, I will state them as fact and truth because they've been confirmed by the people involved.
The findings were that Martin Bashir, an up-and-coming reporter at the time, showed Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, bank documents, leading him to believe the royal family was monitoring Diana. Charles Spencer told Diana and showed her the documents, and she agreed to the interview.
Unfortunately, the documents were fake.
Though the BBC received tips the documents were fake, they failed to investigate; thus, Diana died - trying to evade press, mind you - never knowing she'd been deceived into that interview :(
In response to William's speech, and to their credit, BBC has written an apology to the royal family and has published the video speech and every word, on the front page of the BBC, as well as conducted their own interview with Charles Spencer and others, confirming Lord Dyson's findings to be true.
Now - regarding what William said.
He clearly chose his words very carefully, and IMO, was limiting them just to this incident and the effects this deception had on his mother - and that he wasn't going to allow it to be blamed on just one "rogue" reporter, because the BBC did receive reports the documents Bashir used were fake, and failed to investigate.
It was NOT, however, as many are twisting, an attack on the credibility of the BBC overall - as he makes clear that public television (BBC news is public television) and free press are more important than ever, in an era of fake news.
I'm sure those so inclined will also twist that into him saying the BBC is "fake news," but again - that is NOT what William said nor likely meant!
Because consider the alternative - he could've sued the BBC - but he didn't.Therefore, I'm assuming he must have at least some faith in the BBC, or he would've sued rather than "welcome" their attempts to take responsibility for and rectify the situation, asking them to do better - that indicates at least a certain amount of good faith/level of trust, then, doesn't it? ;)
Regardless, I applaud William and support him whole-heartedly - with just a few small items on my wish list?
1. William says the incident "contributed to her paranoia" - poor word choice, and likely not his own ;)
Use of the word "paranoia" makes her fears sound completely unfounded, as if Diana existed in a vacuum, had no reason to be paranoid, and her fears were simply the result of some personal flaw of mental illness.
Erm - even if she had an underlying mental illness, it doesn't mean there weren't very real triggers in her environment, even if she sometimes misinterpreted them.
I think she did misinterpret some things, but other times, we also know she was gaslighted - i.e. everyone telling her Charles' affair with Camilla was "all in her head."
However, anyone who's ever been in a gaslighting environment can tell you that gaslighting breeds misinterpretations often, because the victim never knows what's true and not, and the gaslighter wants you to become paranoid about what's true and what's not, so you look crazier, in order to discredit you :/
Either way, having a mental illness would then merely provide extra fuel to a very normal reaction to something in the environment that is toxic - either to just her or for everybody, depending on the environment.
Regardless, though we know that Diana overreacted often, we also know that she did not exist in a vacuum - not everything was all in her head, and we know this because:
A: The affair between Charles and Camilla (since day one) is now very public.
B: We know now for a fact that at least one person around her truly did literally fabricate documents in order to manipulate her into an interview, just to further his own career (and I'm quite sure he wasn't the only hanger-on to use her).
C: Those documents easily convinced Diana's brother first, before Diana. Neither of them must've considered them that far-fetched outside of the depths the business running the royal family were capable of stooping - and I'm wondering if there's a reason for that?
I mean, it's not like she ran around doing these open-book interviews all the time.
I'm hoping this is something the Oprah special will reveal, the sort of people who are in a celebrity environment, the hangers on and so forth, the distrustful environment that fame breeds, making it difficult to know who to trust - the people around the famous are often so much crazier and attention-seeking than the celebrity ever thought of being, but they're just able to fake it better lol.
2. William said the interview contributed to their divorce - total record scratch on that one.
In fact, this is the part of his message that I most take issue with, because it goes too far in blaming the BBC for their divorce.
It's also revealing of a dysfunctional-family and/or system mindset, in that this wording seems overly protective of his father and leaves his father totally responsibility-less.
(Again, dysfunctional families like to scapegoat and blame just one person or entity as "the troublemaker," particularly an outsider or the newest person, rather than everyone taking responsibility for their active part or even passive participation in an dysfunctional group dynamic.)
Come on - we know that marriage had issues long before this interview, which both parties made worse, and Charles had Camilla as a side piece from day one - long before that interview - and Diana wanted out for a very long time before that interview, so it's unfair and untrue to blame the BBC for their actual divorce.
3. Remember that there is a difference between the royal family and the business that runs the royal family (and I'm quite sure William's speech was heavily edited by the business lol) - and can I just say it irritates me that the business side blames the press with one hand, but keeps unrestricted press contracts even with tabloids on the other, so they can use them when it suits them (which Diana learned to do, too)?!?
Harry himself has repeatedly expressed frustration with these unrestricted contracts with press, including tabloids, recognizing that you can't both chide and use the press at the same time.
Now - do I believe that the royal family killed her?
NO - I absolutely do NOT.
Do I believe the business that runs the royal family killed her?
NO - I absolutely do NOT.
Do I believe the interview would've not been done, or gone differently, had those fake documents not been presented to her?
Yes, I absolutely do.
Now - what I do also believe is that the business that runs the royal family did monitor her in other ways, as they do all of the royal family - or the fake bank documents wouldn't have so easily convinced Diana's brother first, then Diana, to do the interview.
HOWEVER, I believe Diana's actual death was an accident - the result of a combination of a nearly-drunk limo driver and stalking paparazzi press who literally chased her into a tunnel.
Though an accident, I do partially blame especially tabloid press for her death - not as intentional murder, but manslaughter - because had they not been chasing her (and legally allowed to chase her), it wouldn't have happened at all.
Also - and let me be clear - I indirectly blame the business of the royal family - not the royal family itself - for her death - not out of intent, but out of negligence.
Because, as I said, the business that runs the royal family continues to keep contracts with these publications - including tabloids - that give them unrestricted access, even using press to their benefit when it suits them - despite what happened to Diana - without restrictions out of concern for safety.
The business that runs the royal family has said and done absolutely nothing since, about limiting or restricting access to the royal family, if nothing else, for safety reasons, after what happened to Diana - not just the safety of the royal family, but members of the press - as unrestricted access puts both in danger.