The Princess of Wales famously said there were “three people in the marriage” and it was getting a “bit crowded” in the 1995 interview – a reference to her husband’s rumored relationship at the time with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Her ground-shattering comments led to a frank discussion with the Queen, who urged the couple to divorce amicably in a series of letters. They did just that on August 28, 1996.
The iconic interview has been thrust into the spotlight recently after fresh allegations made by Earl Spencer over how Martin Bashir secured the conversation with Di.
And Dickie Arbiter, who served as the Queen’s press spokesman from 1988 until 2000, has now suggested things may have turned out differently had it not been for the interview.
Speaking on talkRADIO on November 19, he said: “Diana didn’t want a divorce – she told me that on several occasions.
“Whether the Prince of Wales wanted one, I really don’t know as I would never have broached the subject with him.
“But the divorce wouldn’t have been as quick.”
Dickie suggested that, had the divorce not occurred, Diana would not have jetted off to the south of France to meet up with then-boyfriend Dodi Fayed. She tragically never returned from her holiday, dying in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
“She would have had a settled life, she would have gone back into her charity field,” Mr Arbiter continued.
“But everything was topsy-turvy once the Panorama interview went out and she knew where she stood within the Royal Family.”
He added: “Diana didn’t need a title – she had a title in Princess.
“She had a personality, she had charisma, she had beauty, she had brains – everything that was necessary to carry on her work.
“Would she have gone off the rails the way she did? Probably not.”