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June 05, 2007 09:00 AM

Princes William and Harry have made a last-ditch, public appeal to a British broadcaster not to air pictures of the car crash that killed their mother Princess Diana a decade ago.

In their message, published Tuesday on the royal family’s Web site, their private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton writes, “If it were your or my mother dying in that tunnel, would we want the scene broadcast to the nation? Indeed, would the nation so want it?”

In a statement, William, 24, and Harry, 22, said Tuesday that they “reluctantly feel that they have been left no choice but to make it clear publicly that they believe the broadcast of these photographs to be wholly inappropriate, deeply distressing to them and to the relatives of the others who died that night, and a gross disrespect to their mother’s memory.”

Diana was 36 when she died in the crash on Aug. 31, 1997, alongside her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, 42, and driver Henri Paul.

The show in question, to be called Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel, is slated to air in the UK on Wednesday.

Its broadcaster, Channel Four, says it will move ahead with what it terms is a “responsible documentary” and that the finished product does not show images that “depict the occupants of the car after the crash.”

Acknowledging the princes’ comments, the head of Channel Four, Julian Bellamy, said, “We have weighed the princes’ concerns against the legitimate public interest we believe there is in the subject of this documentary and in the still photography it includes.”

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