Princess Diana's brother says stranger wrote letter to him that vindicates memory of his 'very special' sister

·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 26:  The 9th Earl Spencer Charles Spencer attends the Whole Child International's inaugural gala at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/WireImage)
Earl Spencer (WireImage)

Princess Diana's brother has said he feels she has been vindicated after a second inquiry into the circumstances around her 1995 Panorama interview, thanks to the support of the public.

Charles Spencer pushed for another investigation into the way Martin Bashir was able to secure the interview with Diana, and Lord Dyson found Bashir used devious and dishonest methods, criticising the journalist and the BBC for what happened.

The Earl Spencer told ITV's Lorraine he had received several letters of support from the public since the results of the investigation were made public and explained he felt vindicated.

Recalling one letter he said: "One was from this very interesting man, I'd never met him, he wrote to me and said 'In autumn of 1995 I was a father at a sports match in which Harry was playing, and I met your sister and I just thought 'she is the most special person I ever met'.'

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Princess Diana was interviewed by Martin Bashir in Kensington Palace for the TV programme Panorama in 1995. (Corbis via Getty Images)

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"Then he said 'After that she gave her interview' and he had a very different opinion of her.

"By the way, I think it's fine to give an interview if she wanted to - it's just the way she was tricked into it.

"And he then said in his letter to me, 'I now realise the circumstances behind that and I realise she was that very special woman and not the one I was worried about her being'."

Earl Spencer added: "I thought that vindicated everything, people got the context.

"She was tricked into a particular type of interview and that set the tone for a lot of what she said.

"Of course she had the right to speak, I would have supported that, but not by being tricked."

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Presenter Lorraine Kelly also asked the earl about the latest royal arrival, as his nephew Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed baby Lilibet Diana on 4 June.

Earl Spencer said: "When I look at all these things, the newspapers going berserk again, I've always found it so hard and I think it's because I'm not very imaginative and I always see things in terms of family.

"I remember when I was a boy and Diana became Princess of Wales I just sort of ploughed along on the same path and you separate the media personality from the real person who is a member of her family."

His remarks on his new great-niece came after Prince Edward, the Queen's youngest son, said the situation with Harry and Meghan was "very sad" and "difficult for everyone".

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 21:  Princess Diana Kissing Her Brother, Viscount Althorp (later To Become Earl Spencer) At The Birthright Red Ball In London Raising Funds For The Charity Birthright Of Which She Is Patron  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Princess Diana greets Charles, her brother, then Viscount Althorp at the Birthright Red Ball In London in 1985. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Harry and his brother Prince William were both supportive of the Lord Dyson investigation into the circumstances of the 1995 Panorama interview, and released separate statements after the report was published. 

MPs will be questioning former BBC director-generals Lord Tony Hall and Lord John Birt about the events leading up to the interview at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 15 June.

Current BBC director-general Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharp will also appear to give evidence about the implications of the report. 

The BBC issued several apologies in the wake of the Lord Dyson report, including directly to members of the Royal Family and to Matt Weissler, a graphic designer who was sidelined for raising concerns about the fake documents Bashir asked him to make and their use in getting the interview.

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