World: Queen Elizabeth Was ‘Despairing’ and Prince Philip Was ‘Apoplectic’ After Viewing Princess Diana’s BBC Interview, Biographer Says

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According to a royal biographer, a controversial interview Princess Diana did with the BBC in 1995 left Queen Elizabeth II feeling hopeless and Prince Philip furious.

Prince William and Prince Harry were among a group who blasted the BBC for the underhanded methods used to obtain the coveted sit-down. But regardless of how they convinced Diana to open up, what she revealed caught the queen’s attention, instigating an official decision about how her marriage to Charles should move forward.

(L-R) King Charles III, then Prince of Wales, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Queen Elizabeth ll, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images © Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet (L-R) King Charles III, then Prince of Wales, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Queen Elizabeth ll, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Princess Diana and the controversial BBC interview

Diana was forthcoming in her interview with the BBC, confessing to feeling “sadness” that her marriage wasn’t working (PBS). According to her, that was partly because of the pressure on them as a royal couple and partly because of her husband’s affair, which was an open secret.

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Diana disclosed years of suicide attempts and eating disorders due to the stress of being a royal in a loveless marriage. Former journalist Martin Bashir asked her why she consented to speak when she did, and she told him she felt misrepresented as the wife of the future King Charles.

“… We will have been separated three years this December, and the perception that has been given of me for the last three years has been very confusing, turbulent, and in some areas, I’m sure many, many people doubt me,” she explained.

But she also wanted to address the people she said mattered to her. “I want to reassure all those people who have loved me and supported me throughout the last 15 years that I’d never let them down,” she explained. “That is a priority to me, along with my children.”

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After an investigation found Bashir had manipulated Diana, the BBC eventually issued a public apology to the royal family, specifically Charles, William, and Harry, for how “Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives” (Good Morning America).

Royal biographer claims the BBC interview Princess Diana gave was ‘shocking’ to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Royal biographer Andrew Morton revealed in his book, The Queen: Her Life, that Diana’s November 1995 interview with Bashir and the BBC was “shocking” and “unforgivable” to the royal family. “[The queen] was despairing, her husband apoplectic,” he wrote (People). “Something had to be done, for the sake of not just the monarchy but also their grandchildren.”

Morton claimed that although Elizabeth had “held out the olive branch for so long,” she became “determined to cut the marital Gordian knot.”

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  When Did Prince Charles and Princess Diana Meet? Before the fairytale wedding and headline-grabbing divorce, this is how it all started.It was far from love at first sight when Charles met Diana. In fact, when the then-heir to the throne was first introduced to the future Princess of Wales during a grouse hunt at Althorp, the Spencer family home, in November 1977, he was there with her older sister, Sarah. He and Sarah had a short-lived romance, but they obviously weren't compatible—Sarah, who went on to marry Neil McCorquodale, reportedly said she wouldn’t marry Charles “if he were the dustman or the King of England.

Queen Elizabeth wanted Charles to divorce Diana after her interview with the BBC

According to Morton’s book, Diana received a handwritten note from Elizabeth in December 1995. The queen told her, “I have consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the prime minister and, of course, with Charles, and we have decided that the best course for you is divorce.”

Despite the decision, Elizabeth reportedly invited her daughter-in-law to stay with the family for Christmas despite the state of the marriage. Diana made other plans, eerily noting to friends she might “[go] up in [her] BMW car and come out in a coffin” (People).

How to get help: In the U.S., call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.

How to get help: In the U.S. call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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