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British TV channel defies royals over "Diana" film

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British TV channel defies royals over "Diana" film


The row over a British television channel’s decision to broadcast images of the dying moments of Princess Diana, against the wishes of her two sons, is still raging.

The documentary, depicting a doctor giving oxygen to the Princess of Wales, has divided a nation.

It shows the scene immediately after the car crash in the Pont D’Alma tunnel in Paris, in 1997, which killed her companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and the driver of the armoured Mercedes.

Princes William and Harry, the now grown-up sons of Princess Diana, asked the broadcaster not to show the pictures. William and Harry said it showed a huge lack of respect for their late mother.

Hundreds of members of the public also called the TV channel to protest.

“For them to keep having this brought back to their attention is awful. For any child to have a mother die is very sad. I know these things are supposed to be in the public interest but I am not interested in hearing anymore about it,” said one British woman visiting the Princess Diana memorial in Paris.

The documentary centres on the role of the paparazzi in Diana’s death. Last year an Italian magazine showed pictures of Diana, dying, in the car.

The Director of Channel Four programming, Julian Bellamy, defended his decision to ignore the Princes’ wishes: “The film does tackle important matters of public interest. It is vital to understand that there are no images of the victims of the car crash in this film. There are no images of Diana in the aftermath in this film, and we do not go beyond what has already been published by the British media over the last 10 years.”

Channel Four is a public broadcaster which regularly courts controversy and is renowned for airing “avant-garde”, even shocking, programming.

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