Parts of the press are using an investigation into Princess Diana’s Panorama interview in an effort to “drive a wedge” between her sons, a source close to Prince Harry has told Sky News.
They have also hit back at claims the Duke of Sussex is failing to protect his mother’s legacy.
It follows an unexpected statement from Prince William earlier this week, tentatively welcoming the BBC’s decision to launch an independent investigation into how it secured the interview with his late mother in 1995.
The Duke of Cambridge said it was a “step in the right direction” and something that “should help establish the truth” about the “actions that led to the interview”, and decisions taken by the BBC at the time.
Subsequent newspaper articles, however, have questioned why Prince Harry did not issue a joint statement with his brother. It is understood he has decided not to follow William by releasing comments of his own.
Some stories on Friday accused him of failing to support his brother and failing to protect his mother’s legacy, suggestions that were described as horrid and offensive.
Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to step away from royal duties and move to America, there has been a huge amount of speculation about the relationship between Harry and William, and whether they have fallen out.
But a source close to him told Sky News: “Harry is getting regular updates and is aware of everything that is happening.”
They added: “You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately. People know how much his mother means to him.
“He has spoken out bravely in the past about loss and grief, and the immense impact it has had on him.
“Sadly, some people are not just seeing this as a drive for truth, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between the brothers.”
In another development, Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has criticised the remit set out for the investigation into how the BBC and interviewer Martin Bashir secured the interview with his sister.
In a tweet, the Earl said: “As I’ve told the BBC this evening, I’m not at all satisfied with the parameters they’ve set around their enquiry into the Panorama interview with Diana of 25 years ago. Lord Dyson must be free to examine every aspect of this matter, from 1995 to today, as he sees fit.”
In recent weeks Earl Spencer has led calls for a new inquiry into how fake documents were used by programme-makers to potentially trick his sister into doing the interview, because of fears they were being spied on and could not trust those around them.
As I’ve told the BBC this evening, I’m not at all satisfied with the parameters they’ve set around their enquiry into the @BBCPanorama interview with Diana of 25 years ago tonight. Lord Dyson must be free to examine every aspect of this matter, from 1995 to today, as he sees fit.
— Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508) November 20, 2020
Earl Spencer has released documents that he says were forged and used to encourage him, and in turn his sister, to talk to Bashir.
He has described the corporation’s investigation in 1996, into whether fake bank statements were used to help land the historic Panorama interview, as a “whitewash”.
The BBC recently said it had recovered a note written by Diana confirming false bank statements had no role in her decision to participate.