‘Grief, sadness and anger’: Prince William BBC statement over Diana interview analysed

Prince William: Panorama interview ‘holds no legitimacy’

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Prince William condemned the BBC for its failings with Martin Bashir’s interview with his mother, which he said had fuelled the “fear, paranoia and isolation” his mother suffered in the final years of her life”. What did his body language show?

In a clip released yesterday, the Duke of Cambridge spoke about the nature of the interview.

The comments came after Lord Dyson’s investigation concluded that Mr Bashir committed a “serious breach” of BBC rules by using fake bank statements to help gain the trust of Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer.

Prince William insisted the 1995 Panorama programme “should never be aired again”.

He said: “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.

“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.

“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known she had been deceived.

“She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”

The Duke added: “In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important.

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“These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”

Speaking to Express.co.uk, expert Judi James used her expertise to analyse Prince William’s body language in the piece-to-camera statement.

She said: “William’s body language here shows a man suppressing grief, sadness and anger to deliver a message that is adult, assertive and verbally forensic.

“Words are often more powerful when the emotional content is not acted out and with William we can only see the depth of those emotions via some subtle body language cues.”

Throughout the video, the Duke kept very still, focusing on the words he was expressing.

According to Judi, he also kept his vocal tone low.

She added: “Keeping his vocal tone low and speaking with virtually no gesticulation, William’s suppressed anger and grief are still visible from his subtler rituals.

“As he delivers his speech he rises onto his toes and down again in a steady metronomic gesture to create pace and emphasis. 

“This is a gesture that suggests leadership and quiet authority. 

“His brows are puckered to suggest sadness and when he looks at the camera that sadness is unmistakable in his eye expression, but the tension in the muscles of his lips suggests intense, controlled anger. 

“His upper lip tightens and pulls inward as he talks about his mother.”

When speaking about the final years with his mother, Judi explained that his “facial muscles crumple slightly”.

The expert added that this suggests he is “struggling to suppress his sadness as he speaks of his final years with his mother but then his upper lip wrinkles in a micro-gesture of disgust as he says the documentary should ‘never be aired again’”.

Judi went on: “His final gesture is inclusive and he looks at the camera and pushes the hand holding his notes outward in a non-verbal appeal for unity with the public that he says has been ‘let down too.’”

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