It’s been 22 years since Princess Diana changed royal history forever

Princess Diana interview
Diana changed the way the world viewed the Royals forever! Source:

Do you remember sitting down with your family to watch the interview that changed the British royal family forever?

On November 20, 1995, Princess Diana sat down for a confronting yet brutally honest chat with Martin Bashir. The hour-long interview was first televised in the UK on the BBC’s Panorama and gave viewers an insight to the drama that had been surrounding Diana and her family for years.

At the time, she had been divorced from Prince Charles for three years and described the times that followed as “confusing” and “turbulent”.

Of wanting to do the interview in the first place, Diana said: “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.”

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The public had caught glimpses of the chaos unfolding in tabloid newspapers and in glossy gossip magazines, but this was the first time Diana gave her side of the story.

Paparazzi followed her every move but it was this interview that changed the way the world viewed Diana and the royals.

One of the hot topics she discussed was the toll that marrying into the royal family took on her and her mental health.

“I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses, post-natal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time,” the late princess explained to Bashir. 

The mother-of-two detailed how she felt misunderstood and that there were days where she didn’t want to get out of bed.

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She said the family didn’t know how to deal with it: “Well, maybe I was the first person ever to be in this family who ever had a depression or was ever openly tearful. And obviously that was daunting, because if you’ve never seen it before how do you support it?”

Diana also suggested that Prince Charles used her depression against her as a negative label throughout their rocky relationship. Bashir questioned whether Camilla Parker-Bowles had been a factor in the breakdown of Diana’s marriage to Charles.

“Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” Diana said frankly. 

The line became famous and it’s arguably one of the many reasons why the public has never embraced Camilla or warmed to her like they did Diana.

Diana explained that it became tough to live a lie to please the public and the media. She and Charles would play up to cameras and attend engagements together, but their private life was far from the fairytale people imagined.

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Eventually, in 1992, the pair decided to split. Diana revealed that it was Charles’ decision to end the marriage and that it broke her – given that her own parents had divorced.

The Queen has described that year as one of her worst, while Diana said it took a toll on her own reputation.

“People’s agendas changed overnight. I was now separated wife of the Prince of Wales, I was a problem, I was [seen as] a liability, and how are we going to deal with her? This hasn’t happened before.”

She went on to explain that people in her environment began to view her as an enemy and even suggested her visits abroad were blocked, letters went missing and that it was Prince Charles and his family who were behind it.

“Well, my husband’s side were very busy stopping me,” she confessed. “They see me as a threat of some kind, and I’m here to do good. I’m not a destructive person.”

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While many people remember Diana dishing the dirt on her husband’s infidelity, she also admitted in the Bashir interview to being unfaithful with her riding instructor James Hewitt, who went on to release a book detailing their affair.

She spoke of her love for Hewitt but admit he let her down by selling exaggerated stories of their relationship.

The Princess concluded her interview by stating she didn’t do any of it to seek revenge: “I don’t sit here with resentment. I sit here with sadness because a marriage hasn’t worked.

“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.”

Do you remember watching this on TV? Did it change the way you viewed the royal family?