Princess Diana's Key Causes Receive $1.6 Million Payout from the BBC in Wake of 'Panorama' Scandal

·4 min read
Diana Princess of Wales arrives at the naval base on April 20, 1985 in La Spezia, Italy
Diana Princess of Wales arrives at the naval base on April 20, 1985 in La Spezia, Italy

David Levenson/Getty Images

The causes closest to Princess Diana are receiving a donation from the BBC.

The BBC has made a payout of $1.6 million following the indictment of the network and journalist Martin Bashir amid an investigation by former British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson that found "deceitful methods" were used to secure Diana's 1995 interview with Panorama.

The money amounts to the proceeds that the broadcaster has amassed by selling the interview around the world. The $1.6 million (£1.42 million) was divided equally between Centrepoint, English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, The Leprosy Mission, National Aids Trust, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Diana Award, the BBC said.

"The BBC had indicated its intention to donate to charity the sales proceeds derived from the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. The BBC has now done so. Given the findings of Lord Dyson, we think this is the right and appropriate course of action," the BBC said.

RELATED: Princess Diana Was the 'First Person to Rattle the Cage of the Monarchy,' Says Queen's Biographer

Diana in the Panorama interview
Diana in the Panorama interview

Getty Images Princess Diana during her Panorama interview

Reacting to the news, Leprosy Mission's Chief Executive Peter Waddup said the payout of around $250,00 will continue Princess Diana's legacy of bringing the world's most marginalized people out of the shadows.

"Princess Diana is someone held in the highest regard by people affected by leprosy today. She was the world's most photographed woman and made headlines by holding the hands of leprosy patients," he said. "This had an unquantifiable impact in quashing some of the terrible and unfounded stigma surrounding leprosy."

Diana Princess Of Wales Crouching Down To Embrace One Of The Many Pupils At The Swaminarayan School Whom She Met During Her Visit To The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir In Neasden,london
Diana Princess Of Wales Crouching Down To Embrace One Of The Many Pupils At The Swaminarayan School Whom She Met During Her Visit To The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir In Neasden,london

Tim Graham Photo Library

The Diana Award, the only charity set up in the late royal's name and supported by her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, said the funds will go directly towards their work in improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people, creating access to opportunities and building the capacity of young people to have agency over the decisions that affect their lives.

Wayne Bulpitt CBE, Chair of Trustees at The Diana Award, said, "As a charity, we depend on public funds to help us achieve our mission and we are grateful to the BBC for this donation which will go a long way to helping further our work."

princess-diana-people-cover-090522
princess-diana-people-cover-090522

The news came just two days after Diana's friends, family and many well-wishers around the world marked the 25th anniversary of her death, resulting from a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

In May last year, following an inquiry conducted by Lord Dyson into whether BBC reporter Bashir had deceived Diana's brother Charles Spencer into introducing him to the princess, BBC Director-General Tim Davie issued an apology.

"It is clear that the process for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. We are very sorry for this," Davie said. "While today's BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured in this way."

"While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology," he continued. "The BBC offers that today."

Prince William reacted strongly to the findings, condemning the broadcaster. He said that "the BBC's failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her."

Diana, Princess Of Wales, In Egypt Wearing A Headscarf
Diana, Princess Of Wales, In Egypt Wearing A Headscarf

Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In the interview for Panorama in November 1995, Diana famously said there were "three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." She divorced Prince Charles the following year.

RELATED: Prince Harry Breaks Silence on Inquiry of Princess Diana's BBC Interview: She 'Lost Her Life Because of This'

The payout is the latest in a long line of settlements. In July, William and Harry's former nanny Tiggy Pettifer received a "substantial" sum. The official BBC inquiry found that to land his interview with Princess Diana, Bashir manipulated her into believing that Tiggy had become pregnant by Prince Charles and produced fake bank statements as proof.

Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Tiggy Legge-Bourke

Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Tiggy Legge-Bourke Prince Harry and Prince Charles

In a statement read in court, Tiggy's solicitor Louise Prince said the claims had included "the very serious and totally unfounded allegations that the claimant was having an affair with HRH Prince of Wales, resulting in a pregnancy which was aborted. These allegations were fabricated."

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Diana's former private secretary Patrick Jephson received an "unreserved" apology for the "serious harm" caused by journalist Bashir in his actions leading up to securing the interview. Jephson donated the damages to charity.