Palace fury at Diana's TV revelation

Princess will discuss marriage split in Panorama interview
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The Independent Online

The Princess of Wales is to talk about the break-up of her marriage in her first solo television interview, the BBC announced yesterday.

The Panorama interview, to be screened on Monday, appears to signify a renewal of the propaganda war between the Prince and Princess of Wales as she apparently chose not to inform her estranged husband, the Queen, or Buckingham Palace officials until yesterday. Private aides at the Palace have described the Queen, who is normally consulted about Royal interviews, as "furious".

A spokesman for the BBC said: "The Princess asked that we didn't inform anybody at all until she had spoken to the Palace, which she was only able to do this morning."

Her actions are said to have deepened the rift between the Princess and the Palace, and are said to have left Prince Charles "reeling" with shock and anger.

According to the BBC, Princess Diana's conversations with reporter Martin Bashir cover "every stage of her life as the Princess of Wales, including her family, her separation and her future plans".

Mr Bashir had asked for the interview some time ago, because of the constitutional question raised by a separated heir to the throne.

"When she agreed to be interviewed she placed no constraints on the subject matter or the duration of the interview which took place at Kensington Palace earlier this month," said a BBC spokeswoman.

She said that the Princess was not given questions in advance, adding: "The fact that Panorama are doing this shows that it is a very serious current affairs interview, not a trivialised tabloid version."

A Palace spokesman said the project had "obviously been undertaken at the Princess of Wales's own initiative" and the Palace had not been consulted. No preview facilities were to be given to the Palace or the Princess. Panorama is refusing to give any further details about the hour-long programme before transmission.

It is not known whether Princess Diana will comment on allegations of relationships with Major James Hewitt, England rugby captain Will Carling, or art dealer Oliver Hoare, to whose home she was reported to have made "nuisance calls".

News of the interview was yesterday given to Prince Charles, who is on a four-day visit to Germany. The programme comes 18 months after he appeared on ITV and admitted being unfaithful.

In a documentary about his life the Prince told interviewer Jonathan Dimbleby he had no "regrets" about the admission, answered questions about his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and said he believed he would still be crowned king.

The Princess's decisionto go public has sparked speculation that the interview is an attempt to put her side of the story.

Media battlefield, page 2