A startling documentary about the late Princess Diana revealed she was encouraged to give her controversial Panorama interview about her deteriorating marriage to Prince Charles by this surprising member of the royal family.
In the Amazon Prime documentary Diana: The Woman Inside, Simone Simmons, Princess Diana's friend, claimed that it was Sarah Ferguson that urged Princess Diana to give the interview, alleges International Business Times.
Reportedly, it was Simmons who asked the Princess of Wales who came up with the idea of giving the ill-fated interview, which was supposed to be about her work as a royal but instead exposed the secrets of her marriage to Prince Charles.
In the 1995 interview conducted by Martin Bashir and shared by the BBC, Diana spoke of Prince Charles' longtime affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
The Amazon documentary reveals it was Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, along with entertainer Ruby Wax, who encouraged the princess to speak out.
IBT reported that Sarah Ferguson believed Bashir tricked Princess Diana into revealing details about her private life. The interview was allegedly to be about her work with specific charities and not her marriage.
"He duped her into it because he got her at a weak spot when she was a bit down," Simmons said of Bashir.
The Amazon documentary also revealed that Simmons was one of the people the late princess asked to watch her interview. She then asked her friend to comment on what she saw."I said, you made a real prat out of yourself. She was horrified," Simmons said of her conversation with her friend.
In the interview, Diana was candid about her standing with the royal family. "Do you think you'll ever be queen?" Bashir asks. "No, I don't," Diana replies, before going on to say that she didn't think "the establishment" she'd married into would want that to happen. Why? Because she thought they considered her a "non-starter.""I think every strong woman in history has had to walk down a similar path," she says of her lack of support at Buckingham Palace, "and I think it's the strength that causes the confusion and the fear."
During the interview, Princess Diana also revealed she'd had an affair with riding instructor James Hewitt.Following Princess Diana's Panorama interview, her divorce from Prince Charles was finalized. A month later, Queen Elizabeth urged the couple to divorce.
A year later, the Princess of Wales died following a car crash in Paris alongside her boyfriend of several months, Dodi Al Fayed, who also died in the crash.