Determined Prince William won't stop until he uncovers truth of BBC's Bashir interview with Diana

PRINCE WILLIAM speaks for us all when he says he wants to find out exactly what shenanigans went on behind the scenes to ­persuade his poor mum to pour her heart out in that notorious Panorama interview 25 years ago.

It is even more poignant for William and Harry because of the backlash against the Royal Family following the depiction of its treatment of Diana in The Crown. It was hard to watch a fresh-faced, starry-eyed girl shrink and shrivel in the weeks before her wedding — and even after the actual ceremony.

Diana was a lovely English rose who needed sunshine, care and love to bloom and grow.

But instead she found herself ignored, patronised and bullied. Of course, The Crown’s creators are at pains to point out their show is a drama, not a documentary.

But while some of the details might be wrong, it feels like the series has ­captured the essence of the main characters.

Senior royals must be fuming that their treatment of a vulnerable Diana has once again reared its ugly head.

A generation has grown up not realising that back in the early Eighties, Charles was under serious pressure to take a wife — and opted for the shy, virginal Diana though he was deeply in love with Camilla.

Over the past few years, older members of the royals must have thought the world had moved on, that Diana was just a ghostly figure from the past who tragically died too soon.

After all, Charles and Camilla have been married for 15 years now, while William and Harry are grown up and have children of their own.

Until recently, Diana was all but forgotten. But in the space of a few short weeks, she is back dominating the headlines and we are once again reminded of her all-too-brief and rather sad life.

Those of us who watched the Panorama interview as it aired will never forget the shockwaves it sent around the world.

Although Prince Charles had in a previous TV interview already admitted his adultery with Camilla, that news had nothing like the impact of Diana’s revelations.

I remember wondering at the time why she had spoken out so candidly.

She already had the nation’s sympathy for being cheated on in a loveless marriage, as well as a sense of bafflement that Charles preferred Camilla.

She was the most famous woman in the world and greatly admired. Diana would be free to live her life working hard for the causes closest to her heart, while ­hopefully finding real and lasting love with someone else.

Now we are told she was persuaded to talk to journalist Martin Bashir because of allegedly forged documents that appeared to show members of staff were selling ­stories about her to the media — and, even more sinister, that William unwittingly wore a watch that “spied” on his mother.

That last jaw-dropping fake claim, I’m sure, is what prompted William’s unprecedented statement about wanting to get to the truth.

He is a determined man and won’t let this go. And I hope he has Harry’s full support, and that the two of them have been able to have a conversation about it. That would go a long way to healing the rift that has developed since Harry decided to quit the Royal Family and move to the US.

Seeing her sons at loggerheads would have deeply wounded Diana and it somehow seems both utterly right and deeply symbolic if she were able to reunite them, even from beyond the grave.

A REST IS JES THE JOB

JESY NELSON of Little Mix is taking an extended break from the band and I think she is very wise to do so.

People on the outside see only the glitz and glamour of life in a hugely successful pop group. They think it’s all champagne, private jets and designer clothes – and don’t witness the sheer hard graft that goes into staying on top in a brutal and cut-throat industry.

There are the hours of travelling, living out of a suitcase, seeing only auditoriums and hotel rooms and constant promotional work.

Lack of sleep and a schedule demanding the constitution of a pit pony can lead to burnout.

These days you must work doubly hard to stay on top.

That is why so many bands squabble, fall out and ultimately spilt up. Jesy, right, is a lovely young woman who has put up with hideous comments from vile trolls that greatly affected her wellbeing.

She has clearly realised she needs to take some time out to heal and breathe. It’s exactly the right thing to do and Jesy has the full support of her bandmates, who will welcome her back with open arms when she feels strong enough to return.

I wish her all the best for a speedy recovery.

GILL’S A THRILL AS MRS T

I NEVER thought I’d feel sorry for Margaret Thatcher . . . but seeing her subjected to snobbish putdowns from the royals and patronised by posh Cabinet members on TV’s The Crown evoked twinges of sympathy.

If you shut your eyes Gillian Anderson, who plays the Iron Lady in the hit Netflix series, sounds uncannily like the late Prime Minister.

Her performance is a bit too mannered for me, although she has Thatcher’s stooped, rapid scuttle down to a (Mrs) T.

SIMMER DOWN YOU LOT

I’VE never bought into the idea that The Great British Bake Off is a lovely twee show about baking cakes.

It’s stressful, full of high drama and unbearable tension, and at times resembles a battlefield.

It has always been a fair fight though, so I’m disappointed in certain fans of the show giving Laura Adlington such a hard time for getting through to the finals at the expense of Hermine. The ridiculous, hurtful abuse she’s had simply isn’t fair.

It was the judges’ decision to put her into the final three, and she doesn’t deserve such horrible comments.

Let’s leave all of the competitive stuff to the last bakers standing and let their sumptuous creations do the talking in next week’s final.

BUM NOTE MADGE

SO Madonna has had a small operation on her bum and has shown all of the world her scars.

No surprise there. We’ve all seen more of Madonna than her gynaecologist thanks to her explicit coffee- table book of naked photos. What’s more perplexing is that she was showing off her healing techniques, which include surrounding herself with crystals and burning sage while holding a giant feather.

None of which will do you any harm . . . but if I want to get on the road to recovery, I will opt for paracetamol and penicillin, thank you.

A JOLLY FOLLY

HERE’S the thing. You can have a jolly old Christmas with all your friends and family, eat like pigs, kiss under the mistletoe, exchange presents and then squabble over what TV shows to watch.

You can throw caution to the wind and celebrate for days – and to hell with the consequences, because no one is entitled to spoil your festivities. After all, we live in a free country and it’s your choice not to obey the silly rules.

So what if there’s a massive surge in cases of coronavirus and more deaths? NHS workers will be overwhelmed and in despair. We might need to go into an even tougher lockdown in the new year, destroying more businesses, playing havoc with children’s education and disastrously affecting our mental health.

But never mind, eh? Just as long as your kid gets the latest plastic toy and you can pull a cracker with your favourite auntie.

We seriously need to get a grip. I know how important Christmas is to so many families – and how hard it will be not to see them. We don’t have to completely cancel the celebrations, just scale them back a bit.

So I’m making a plea from the heart. How about a smaller celebration with those closest to you, being sensible and thinking about our frontline workers and showing compassion to those less fortunate?

Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

STRICTLY FUN WITH RANVIR

LOOKING forward to seeing my pal Ranvir Singh on Strictly. It’s been a joy to see this funny, bright, beautiful woman grow in confidence every week as she sizzles on the dance floor.

Good Morning Britain host Ranvir is exactly what the show is all about. A non-dancer, who has discovered the wonder of the waltz and the joy of the jive and who keeps improving week after week.

Ranvir genuinely has no idea how sexy, sassy and sensational she is, and I’m glad Strictly had allowed her to discover what the rest of us have known for years.

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