William Refused to Take Diana's Calls Convincing Her 'He'd Never Forgive Her' after BBC Interview, Book Says
Decades after Diana's death, Prince William still remembers his love and admiration for his mother. However, he was once mad at her following a BBC interview.
King Charles, and Princess Diana's first son, William, have never strayed from the ways of his predecessors. He is among the most dedicated royals who carry out his duties responsibly.
Now, the Duke of Cambridge, who is first in line to the throne by birth, is gearing toward becoming a more significant member of the Firm.
Lady Diana, King Charles, and Princes William & Harry at the Vj Day 50th anniversary celebrations In London. | Source: Getty Images
As a child, William was well acquainted with the challenges tagged with being a royal— their life would continue to be under scrutiny by the eagle-eyed public, and they needed to act accordingly.
As a teenager, he witnessed his mother, Princess Diana, the People's Princess, share personal details of her marriage to King Charles in the famous Martin Bashir interview. Diana mentioned her dissatisfaction with her marriage and Charles's affair with Camilla, now Queen Consort.
According to the royal author, Tina Brown, this tell-all interview put a strain on the relationship between the Princess and her young son. Here are untold truths about William's reaction after his mother spoke to the disgraced journalist, Martin Bashir.
Prince William's Reaction to Diana's BBC Interview
Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama. | Source:Getty Images
Apart from poking accusing fingers at Charles, the People's Princess spoke generously about her love affair with the handsome Captain James Hewitt in the interview. He was her kids' riding instructor.
As expected, the interview set a lot of negative things in motion. It not only ended the marriage she had grown tired of, but it also stripped her of royal benefits like royal protection.
The most heartbreaking of it all, and what must have troubled the Princess, was its impact on her son, William. While the interview was being edited, Dr. Andrew Gailey, her eldest son's housemate at Eton, phoned.
Prince William at confirmation with King Charles and Princess Diana at Windsor Castle, Windsor, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images
Andrew wanted Diana to explain things to the 13-year-old before the interview premiered. After a failed persuasion, the housemaster ordered her to visit the school. During her brief appearance, the Princess told her son:
"I've done an interview for TV, It's going to air tomorrow night and I didn't want it to catch you by surprise."
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park on May 7, 1995 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Sadly, this did not salvage the situation. William already knew that his mother was a non-conforming royal. So while he watched the interview, he was full of fear for what she may utter. According to Brown:
"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."
Prince Harry and Prince William watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018, in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Even though he was aware of the interview, William never envisaged its intricacies. His first reaction was emotional. The author explained that:
"By the time the housemaster, Andrew Gailey, returned to his study to collect William, he found him slumped on the sofa, his eyes red with tears."
Prince William and Prince Harry arrive at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on April 9, 2017 in Vimy, France | Source: Getty Images
Simone Simmons, who worked as Diana's faith healer, once shared her version of the event. She claimed that William felt infuriated and acted out. In her words:
"He hated the idea of everything being on television, and he knew his friends would poke fun at him, which they did. He felt she made a fool of herself — and of him."
Diana, Princess of Wales at St Columb Major in Cornwall in 1983 | Source: Getty Images
Eventually, William wiped his tears and reorganized himself to return to the room. An hour later, his mother called, but the angry teenager refused to answer the phone.
Diana was convinced that she had lost her friendship with her son after his reaction. She worried that he might never forgive her, and in remorse, she cried to Simmons with the words:
"What have I done to my children?"
William's Reunion with His Mom
Princess Diana sits outside her home, Highgrove House, in Doughton, Gloucestershire, on 18 July 1986. | Source: Getty Images
William has always been the responsible royal and firstborn from time immemorial, even though he exhibited a notorious temper towards his mother. William, who came home a week after the interview, maintained his resentment.
He expressed his frustration at her words in the interview, which insulted Charles. In her book, Brown explained that Simmons and Diana talked about the incident involving her and William. She wrote:
"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."
Princess Diana greets her sons Princes William and Harry on the deck of the yacht Britannia while they were on an official visit in Canada on 23 October 1991. | Source: Getty Images
Through it all, Diana maintained her calm, but when she saw her friend later, she looked devastated, and Simmons concluded that:
"When I saw her later, there was a look of hopelessness on her face [...] she was still somehow convinced that he would hate her for the rest of his life."
The following day, William apologized to his mother with a flower bouquet, but Diana felt that an "irretrievable damage had been done." Undoubtedly, William was frustrated by his mother's actions, but he extended the anger to his dad.
Prince William arrives with his mother Princess Diana and Prince Harry for his first day at Eton College in Windsor, England in 1995. | Source: Getty Images
A year before the panorama interview, Charles had confessed on TV about his affair with his mistress, Camilla. This led the young Duke to ask his mother:
"Is it true, that Daddy never loved you?"
This atmosphere of rivalry between the parents made William alienate himself from them. During his first "Fourth of June" celebrations, equivalent to Eton's Parents' Day, the teenager invited his close friend and nanny instead of his parents.
William and Harry Had Different Experiences with Diana's Panorama Interview
Prince William, Duchess Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis clap for NHS carers as part of the BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief 'Big Night In' in London in 2020. | Source: Getty Images
Following his parents' individual interviews, Williams realized the possibility of a broken family, so he became detached from the world. As a result, he was consumed with loneliness, hurt, and anger.
So his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth, and her husband, the late Prince Philip, started to invite him for weekends. He enjoyed delicious meals and hearty discussions, which unburdened his mind, and cemented his relationship with Queen Elizabeth.
Prince William and Kate Middleton on their graduation day from St. Andrew's University on June 23, 2005 in Scotland. | Source: Getty Images
This closeness made the Duke of Cambridge attached to the defense of the monarchy. He painstakingly carved his existence around the royal life and has continued to walk in the ways of his successors.
William also acts as a check and balance. He has been seen rebuking his father for going astray; sources also claimed he molded his wife to fit the royal role.
King Charles and Princess Diana, of Wales, Princes William and Prince Harry at The Vj Day 50Th Anniversary Celebrations, London. | Source: Getty Images
Many wondered how Diana's second son, Harry, handled the situation for a long time. However, when the interview aired, he was 11 years old, and his immediate reaction remains obscure.
However, when he discovered the interview, Harry was angry with Bashir for his invasive questions, not with his mother's decision to answer them.
King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry look at tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales outside Kensington Palace on September 5, 1997, London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Following Diana's death, an investigation into BBC's Bashir's interview showed that the Princess was manipulated. In response to the allegations, Bashir's words were:
"I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact I asked for bank statements to be mocked up."
Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the piano in Kensington Palace | Source: Getty Images
William's reaction reeked of disappointment and regrets. He 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."
Before any clarifications about the interview, the Duke of Sussex displayed great pride in upholding his mother's legacy, showing that he did not care about it.
In 2019, he walked in the same Angolan minefield as his mother. The following year, he stripped himself of most of the royal benefits.
Prince William and Prince Harry's Reaction to Their Mom's Death
Princess Diana With Her Sons Prince William And Prince Harry Standing On The Steps Of Wetherby School On Prince Harry's first day of school in September 1989 | Source: Getty Images
Unfortunately, two years after the interview, the People's Princess died in a fatal accident. Following her death, the boys refused to talk about the tragedy.
They remained mute until recent years. Now older adults, Harry and William, have shared their take on how they felt losing their mom.
Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry at "Thorpe Park" amusement park on April 13, 1993 | Source: Getty Images
Sadly, Diana's bond with the boys had diminished to conversations before her demise. In "Diana, Our Mother," Harry shared his regrets.
He said: "I can't really, necessarily, remember what I said. But all I do remember is probably, you know, regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was. And if I'd known that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother—the things I would have said to her."
Princess Diana on June 2, 1997 | Source: Getty Images
His brother, who was three years older, also felt turmoil after his mother's death. According to William:
"There's nothing like it in the world. There really isn't. It's like an earthquake has just run through the house and through your life and everything. Your mind is completely split."
Prince William and Prince Harry at St James' Palace on October 10, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Despite their state of mind, the boys fulfilled the ritual of walking behind their mother's cortège. Years later, Harry confirmed it was sheer brutality to make them do such a thing. In his words:
"My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances."
As devastating as it was, Harry's emotions were put on hold after seeing how strangers mourned the famous royal. He never knew that Diana was loved by people who barely met her.
Princess of Wales, Diana, arriving at the Serpentine Gallery on June 1994, in a gown by Christina Stambolian in London | Source: Getty Images
"And I was thinking to myself, how is it that so many people that never even met this woman, my mother, can be crying and showing more emotion than I actually am feeling?"
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive during a visit to the newly established Royal Foundation Support4Grenfell community hub on September 5, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Over the years, Diana's memories have been cherished by fans and friends who speak and write about her compassionate nature. Similarly, her sons are in awe of her, despite the resentment or nonchalance exhibited in the past.