Prince William was today said to be frustrated that the BBC has been helping Netflix ‘commercialise’ his late mother Princess Diana’s Panorama interview for The Crown.
The Duke of Cambridge is understood to be disappointed that broadcasters are still making money from her bombshell chat with Martin Bashir on the BBC in 1995.
Producers were spotted outside the BBC’s offices at New Broadcasting House in London filming a scene portraying events that followed the interview.
Actor Richard Cordery, 71 – playing Marmaduke Hussey, then chairman of the BBC’s board of governors – was seen getting out of a car and walking into the building.
The scene is said to have recreated when Lord Hussey arrived amid the fall-out from the programme in which Diana said: ‘There were three of us in this marriage.’
MailOnline understands the filming consisted of a single shot of him walking into the building and then back out again – but nothing further inside.
The filming took place six months after a report by Lord Dyson concluded the BBC covered up ‘deceitful behaviour’ used by Mr Bashir to secure the interview.
The BBC and Mr Bashir both apologised, and the BBC wrote to Princes William and Harry. The report led to a call from William for the interview never to be aired again.
Kensington Palace declined to comment but William is believed to be standing by his previous statement following the Dyson report, when he said: ‘It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.
Prince William talks with refugees evacuated from Afghanistan at a hotel in Leeds yesterday
A photo ahead of the upcoming season of The Crown shows actor Richard Cordery (left), 71, dressed as Marmaduke Husssey (right), the former chairman of the BBC’s board of governors
MailOnline understands the filming consisted of a single shot of him walking into the building and then back out again – but nothing further inside. Cordery is seen getting in a car
Princess Diana is seen during her interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC’s Panorama in 1995
‘It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others. This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.’
The Daily Telegraph reported today that William was ‘understood to remain deeply frustrated that broadcasters continue to make money from the interview’.
ITV confirms it will screen royal carol concert in snub to BBC
ITV has confirmed it will host a special Christmas carol service led by the Duchess of Cambridge in a snub to the BBC.
The Westminster Abbey event was reportedly due to be hosted by the BBC but the show was switched to ITV after a row over a documentary programme examining the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex’s relationship with the media.
BBC Two’s The Princes And The Press, presented by Amol Rajan, was criticised by the royal households for giving credibility to ‘overblown and unfounded claims’.
ITV said the carol service, hosted by Kate and supported by the Royal Foundation, would recognise and celebrate the work of ‘individuals and organisations across the nation who have stepped up to support their communities through the pandemic’.
The event, which will be broadcast on December 8, was developed in partnership with Westminster Abbey and BBC Studios Events Productions.
Guests will range from those involved in grassroots community projects, charity workers and volunteers, to teachers, emergency responders and armed forces personnel, ITV said.
The audience will also feature people who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to care for and protect others during the last 18 months, including those working in roles relating to mental health, families and early development.
The Westminster Abbey choir will deliver carols alongside readings and musical performances by a variety of guests.
A statement from William and Kate on the social media accounts of Kensington Palace confirmed the news. It said: ‘This Christmas we are celebrating the incredible work of individuals and organisations across the nation who go above and beyond to support their communities.
‘Next week, the duchess will host a Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey, supported by The Royal Foundation, bringing many of those inspirational people together.
‘The service, which will be broadcast in December, will look back on the last 18 months, to think not only of the unprecedented challenges that we have all faced as we continue to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to remember the positives: people and organisations pulling together in their communities, the small acts of kindness across different demographics and generations, and the unsung heroes who stepped up to help others.’
Two-part BBC documentary The Princes And The Press included suggestions that negative stories about the Duchess of Sussex were leaked by courtiers and there was a competitiveness between households.
Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace took the rare step of issuing a joint statement to the broadcaster which was included at the end of the BBC Two documentary.
The statement from the palaces said: ‘A free, responsible and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy.
‘However, too often it is overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources that are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.’
A TV source told The Sun earlier this week: ‘It’s unbelievable that in the middle of a major fight with William and the Royal Family over its documentary, the BBC would allow Netflix to film on their property.
‘The BBC and Netflix are joining forces to do the one thing William doesn’t want — dramatising the Panorama interview which is a part of his life he has said he does not wish to revisit.’
In May, Lord Dyson’s report into Diana’s Panorama interview concluded Bashir was in ‘serious breach’ of the BBC’s producer guidelines when he faked bank statements and showed them to Earl Spencer to gain access to the princess for the interview.
Last month, Earl Spencer said he rejected The Crown’s request to film at his family home of Althorp.
The forthcoming fifth series of the royal Netflix drama stars Elizabeth Debicki as his late sister, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast at his family estate in West Northamptonshire, Earl Spencer said he had declined when producers of The Crown asked to film on the site.
He said: ‘They applied. They wanted to shoot here. But I don’t really do that stuff. Actually, to be honest, I don’t watch The Crown so I just said: ‘Thank you but no thank you.’
In October it was reported Earl Spencer could bring a private prosecution over the Bashir scandal after the Metropolitan Police said it had found no evidence of criminality.
And the revelation over filming at New Broadcasting House comes a fortnight after it emerged The Crown’s producers filmed the controversial Diana revenge dress scene only 800 yards from Prince William’s bedroom at Kensington Palace
The Netflix series recreated the evening Diana stepped out in an off the shoulder, tight black dress in a break with royal protocol after Prince Charles admitted to adultery on TV.
The scene was filmed in the same spot in Kensington Gardens that Diana arrived at a dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in 1994 – a position that can almost be viewed from Prince William’s bedroom.
Also last month, royal expert Penny Junor said the makers of The Crown had stuck up ‘two fingers’ at the Royal Family by casting the stepdaughter of IRA supporter Roy Greenslade in the role of Countess Mountbatten.
Ms Junor said Natascha McElhone, 51, was not responsible for the ‘sins of her stepfather’. But she said another actress should have been considered because of the role’s sensitive nature.
Former Fleet Street editor and Guardian columnist Mr Greenslade, who edited the Daily Mirror and held a top job at The Sun, revealed his support for the IRA earlier this year.
Meanwhile royal experts have also been demanding that Prince Harry tears up his £112million Netflix deal and makes a stand over The Crown’s portrayal of Diana.
Royal biographer Angela Levin criticised the Duke of Sussex for not ‘finding his voice’ over the streaming giant’s controversial portrayal of his mother.
It comes after Diana’s friend Jemima Khan withdrew her support for The Crown over its ‘disrespectful’ script after she broke up with the show’s creator.
Harry and Meghan Markle signed a deal with the streaming service last year for their new production company to make documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming.
The fifth series of The Crown, due to air in November 2022, will see Dominic West star as the Prince of Wales opposite Miss Debicki as Diana.
The Wire star West takes over the role of Charles from Josh O’Connor, while The Night Manager actress Miss Debicki will replace Emma Corrin.
Imelda Staunton will take over the role of the Queen from Olivia Colman, while Jonathan Pryce will replace Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh and Lesley Manville will take on Princess Margaret, following in the footsteps of Helena Bonham Carter.
Photos taken outside the BBC’s London headquarters show the actor in a navy suit and red tie
The filming took place six months after a report said the BBC covered up ‘deceitful behaviour’
Lord Dyson released a report in May into Diana’s BBC interview with Martin Bashir in 1995
It comes as the BBC last night appeared to back down on claims that Buckingham Palace briefed against Harry and Meghan after being accused of peddling ‘overblown and unfounded’ allegations.
A BBC Two documentary examining the relationship between the royal households and the media also stepped back from suggestions that William allowed aides to brief about his brother’s mental health – which was categorically denied by, and deeply offended many in, the royal household.
The two-part documentary series, fronted by BBC journalist Amol Rajan, had already drawn unprecedented censure from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace.
The royal households believe it contains a slew of unsubstantiated and categorically inaccurate accusations about collusion with the media, particularly in connection with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the tumultuous period of their decision to quit royal duties, dubbed ‘Megxit’.
The BBC allowed Netflix to film The Crown outside New Broadcasting House (file picture)
The forthcoming fifth series of the Netflix drama The Crown stars Elizabeth Debicki as Diana
Earl Spencer told BBC Breakfast reporter Sally Nugent last month that he had rejected The Crown’s request to film at his family home of Althorp in Northamptonshire
The households’ lawyers had been preparing to examine the final programme with a fine-tooth comb and had not ruled out a formal complaint.
But last night’s prime-time offering had seemingly been watered-down at the 11th hour, with editing going on up until the last minute.
Plans for an accompanying podcast have also been postponed by the BBC. A royal source said: ‘It is unlikely the matter will be taken further.’
The programme did, however, give significant airtime to Meghan’s personal solicitor, who went on the attack to defend the duchess against accusations of bullying, denying she had ever ‘improperly’ used her ‘power’.
MailOnline has contacted the BBC, Netflix and Kensington Palace for comment over the exterior of New Broadcasting House being used for filming.