The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex have condemned the BBC after a report into how they secured an interview with Princess Diana was released.

Prince William welcomed the report, saying the 1995 Panorama interview was obtained using “deceitful” methods”.

The royal said it “contributed significantly” to Princess Diana’s “fear, paranoia and isolation” in her final years.

He also went on to say the interview was a “major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse”.

Prince Harry released his own statement, saying “our mother lost her life because of this and nothing has changed”.

Princess Diana referred to her ex-husband’s affair during the interview where she famously said: “there were three of us in this marriage…it was a bit crowded”.

Lord Dyson’s report has concluded that Bashir used “deceitful behaviour” in a “serious breach” of BBC guidelines to obtain his interview with Princess Diana.

The 127-page report found that Bashir “deceived and induced” Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer into introducing him to his sister.

The BBC has offered a “full and unconditional apology” and admitted to “clear failings”.

Prince William issued a statement via Kensington Palace hours after the report’s release.

“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” he said.

“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ 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.

“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived.”

Two years later, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.

“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,” William’s statement said.

Prince Harry released his own statement, saying: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.

“To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it.

“This is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse – are still widespread today.

“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed.

“By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life.

Lord Dyson, who is a former Master of the Rolls, was hired by the BBC’s director-general Tim Davie, to look into an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the interview.

It is alleged that Bashir had ordered falsified bank statements to win the trust of Earl Spencer.

Earl Spencer then introduced Bashir to Princess Diana at a friend’s home in Knightsbridge, in central London, on September 19,1995.

The world exclusive interview would take place two months later.

Bashir was seen as a relatively unknown journalist at the time, but somehow managed to secure the scoop of the century.

He mocked-up bank statements that showed payments totalling nearly $20,000 going into an account owned by Earl Spencer’s former head of security.

The cash sums were intended to show that Earl Spencer’s security head was in the pay of a tabloid newspaper and also the British security services.

Earl Spencer had provided a dossier of evidence to Lord Dyson, including notes from that first meeting between Princess Diana and Bashir.

Prince William went on to say, “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.

“In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”

In a statement Bashir has apologised “over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up”.

However he maintains they had “no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview”.

Bashir has resigned from the BBC as its religion editor, on the grounds of ill health following heart surgery back in 2020.

Images: Getty