Prince William ‘once refused’ to take Diana’s calls: ‘Convinced he’d never forgive her’

Prince William ‘once refused’ to take Diana’s calls: ‘Convinced he’d never forgive her’

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Princess Diana was ‘thinking about her marriage’ says reporter

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Prince William is assuming more responsibilities in his career as a working royal, as he prepares to take on a more involved role within the Firm. The Duke of Cambridge is second-in-line to the throne, a position he secured on the day of his birth. William has been preparing for his role in the monarchy since he was a child; he has followed in his predecessors’ footsteps and dedicated his life to service. 

As a teenager, the Duke became acutely aware of the challenges that come with being in the full glare of the public eye. 

Diana, Princess of Wales was a press favourite, and one particular broadcast created tensions within her relationship with her eldest son.  

In a now infamous interview with the BBC’s Martin Bashir, Diana opened up on her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles

She told the disgraced journalist that there were “three of us in this marriage”, in reference to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

READ MORE: Prince William sought ‘wise counsel’ from Prince Philip over Prince Harry split

Princess Diana / Prince William

Diana was ‘convinced’ that William would never forgive her. (Image: Getty Images)

Prince William and Princess Diana

William ‘refused’ to take his mother’s calls. (Image: Getty Images)

Royal author Tina Brown has claimed that the interview put a strain on Diana’s relationship with her teenage son, William. 

In an excerpt from her upcoming book ‘The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor-The Truth and Turmoil’, published this week in Vanity Fair, Ms Brown wrote about the devastation William experienced when the Panorama interview was released. 

She wrote: “William, who had watched the interview in his Eton housemaster’s study, told a classmate that as soon as he saw his mother’s face appear on the screen for the interview, he was overcome with a feeling of dread.”

“By the time the housemaster, Andrew Gailey, returned to his study to collect William, he found him, Robert Lacey records, “slumped on the sofa, his eyes red with tears.” 

Diana sat down for an interview with Martin Bashir in 1995.

Diana sat down for an interview with Martin Bashir in 1995. (Image: © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

“He pulled himself together to rush back to his room. 

“But when, an hour later, Diana telephoned on the house phone, William refused to take the call. 

“Diana was convinced he would never forgive her. 

“She kept asking Simone Simmons, “What have I done to my children?””

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Diana and Charles face away from each other

Diana and Charles had a troubled marriage. (Image: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The interview aired on a Monday night, and by the time William returned to Kensington Palace to see his mother at the end of the week, he was incensed.

In 2020, Mr Lacey wrote about the incident in the Daily Mail, he quoted Ms Simmons: “’All hell broke loose.’”

“’He was furious . . . that she had spoken badly of his father, furious that she had mentioned Hewitt . . . he started shouting and crying and when she tried to put her arms around him, he shoved her away.’”

The Duke of Cambridge apologised to his mother the day after with a bunch of flowers, but Diana had a feeling that some “irretrievable damage had been done”. 

Diana, Harry and William

William was at Eton at the time of the broadcast. (Image: Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Prince Harry, who was still at Ludgrove School, chose not to watch the broadcast but was later “angry with Bashir for his invasive questions, not with his mother’s decision to answer them.”

Last year, following an investigation conducted by former supreme court judge John Dyson, it was confirmed that Mr Bashir had engaged in “deceitful behaviour” by commissioning fake documents to tap into Diana’s paranoia and land the interview. 

Mr Bashir used fake bank documents to persuade Earl Spencer, Diana’s older brother, that the media were paying associates of the Royal Family for information.

The 1995 interview made Bashir a star after an audience of almost 23 million tuned in to hear Diana reveal intimate details of her life. 

In a statement, Mr Bashir said: “I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact I asked for bank statements to be mocked up.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles pose with their sons Princes Harry and William on board royal yacht Britannia

Diana did not realise the effect the interview would have on her sons until afterwards. (Image: Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

“It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret.”

Speaking on the matter, William said: “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother 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.” 

The Palace Papers is written by Tina Brown and will be published by Century on April 26.

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