Royal Nanny Receives 'Substantial' Sum from BBC Over False Allegations to Secure Princess Diana Interview

Tiggy Legge-Bourke was given an apology at the High Court over unfounded claims she had an affair with Prince Charles that resulted in an abortion

Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Tiggy Legge-Bourke Prince Harry and Prince Charles. Photo: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty

The BBC will pay a former royal nanny over journalist Martin Bashir's "totally unfounded allegations" about her, which were used to secure a 1995 interview with Princess Diana.

Tiggy Legge-Bourke (now known as Alexandra Pettifer), who was employed as a nanny to Prince William and Prince Harry in the '90s, received an apology and a "substantial" sum from the network on Thursday, the BBC reported. An official BBC inquiry found that in an effort to land his interview with Princess Diana, Bashir manipulated the late royal into believing that Tiggy had become pregnant by Prince Charles and produced fake bank statements as proof.

In a statement read in court, Tiggy's solicitor Louise Prince said the claims had included "the very serious and totally unfounded allegations that the claimant was having an affair with HRH Prince of Wales, resulting in a pregnancy which was aborted. These allegations were fabricated."

Prince said the former nanny was "relieved that the BBC accepts that the allegations are completely untrue and without any foundation whatsoever."

Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Tiggy Legge-Bourke. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

Although the BBC reports that the sum paid to Tiggy was undisclosed, The Times estimates the damages at £200,000 ($239,200).

BBC director-general Tim Davie said the organization apologized to Tiggy, Prince Charles Prince William and Prince Harry "for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives."

"Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters," he added.

Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Prince Harry, Tiggy Legge-Bourke and Prince William. Mathieu Polak/Sygma/Sygma via Getty

The news comes after Metropolitan Police announced Bashir had "not identified evidence of activity that constituted a criminal offense," according to the BBC.

In November 2020, the BBC announced that they hired former British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson to lead an independent investigation surrounding Diana's appearance on Panorama. The investigation found that Bashir used "deceitful methods" and breached the BBC's editorial guidelines by creating false bank statements to manipulate Diana into giving the bombshell interview.

Following his investigation, Lord Dyson said he was "satisfied" that Bashir commissioned fake bank statements and showed them to Diana's brother Charles Spencer. He did this to "deceive and induce" Spencer to gain his trust and arrange a meeting with the Princess," he continued. "In doing so, he was able to convince Diana to do the notorious interview."

Bashir quit his post at the BBC ahead of the network's release of the inquiry report.

Diana, Princess of Wales, during her interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC
Princess Diana during her Panorama interview. PA Images

In May 2021, Bashir gave his first interview since the results of the inquiry were released, where he said he was "deeply sorry."

"I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don't believe we did," the journalist said in an interview with The Sunday Times. "Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents."

"I can't imagine what their family must feel each day," he continued in reference to Diana's sons.

Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Tiggy Legge-Bourke and Prince Charles. Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty

Tiggy was hired by Prince Charles as a nanny for William and Harry in 1993, shortly after Charles and Diana separated. She joined the princes on vacations and maintained a close relationship with them, and both attended her wedding in 1999.

Tiggy was a guest at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2018 wedding — and was named a godmother for their first child, Archie, after he was born in May 2019 (daughter Lilibet Diana was born on June 4, 2021).

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