Prince Harry Source Blasts Backlash to William's Statement as Trying to 'Drive Wedge' Between Them

"You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately," a source says of the Duke of Sussex

Prince Harry is fighting back over criticism that he hasn’t publicly commented on the controversial Panorama interview that his late mother Princess Diana gave 25 years ago.

He has been slammed by some British media for not adding his voice to that of his brother Prince William over the issue of a new inquiry into the circumstances that led to Diana talking to BBC journalist Martin Bashir.

"Sadly, some people are not just seeing this as a drive for truth, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between the brothers,” a source close to Harry tells PEOPLE.

The prince has talked about how the loss of his mother when he was just 12 years old deeply affected him. The source adds, “You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately, people know how much his mother means to him.”

“He has bravely spoken out in the past about loss and grief, and the immense impact it has had on him," the source continues.

Diana in the Panorama interview
Princess Diana during her Panorama interview. Getty Images

On November 18, the BBC announced that they hired former British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson, Lord Dyson to lead an independent investigation after the outlet was accused of using unethical tactics to secure Diana's TV appearance on Panorama. In the famous interview in November 1995, Diana famously said there were “three of us in this marriage” and spoke about her own relationship with army officer James Hewitt.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince Harry and Prince William. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Following the announcement, William, 38, “tentatively” welcomed the inquiry, the palace said.

"The independent investigation is a step in the right direction,” William said in a rare statement on Nov. 18. “It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”

Neither William nor Harry's spokespeople will comment on whether they spoke before the older prince released his statement.

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry. Shutterstock

Harry, 36, has been receiving regular updates on the controversy since the Sunday Times reported last month that Panorama host Martin Bashir created fake bank statements before the November 1995 interview in an attempt to convince Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, to help negotiate an interview with the princess.

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In the days that followed, Spencer said in a statement to PEOPLE on November 3, “[The BBC] have yet to apologize for what truly matters here: the incredibly serious falsification of bank statements suggesting that Diana’s closest confidants were spying on her for her enemies."

"This was what led me to talk to Diana about such things. This in turn led to the meeting where I introduced Diana to Bashir, on 19 September 1995. This then led to the interview," he said. "The BBC have so far refused to acknowledge the above. They claim Diana wasn’t misled. They have ignored my inquiry as to whether the apology over their false bank statements extends to the ones that actually persuaded Diana to meet Bashir."

Royals VE Day
Prince William, Princess Diana and Prine Harry. Rota/Pool/Getty

Last week, the BBC said apologies had been made to Spencer and it would hold a "robust and independent investigation."

On Nov. 11, BBC Director-General Tim Davie said in a statement that the outlet "is determined to get to the truth about these events and that is why we have commissioned an independent investigation."

"Formerly Master of the Rolls and a Justice of the Supreme Court, Lord Dyson is an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process," Davie added. Lord Dyson said in a statement, "This is an important investigation which I will start straight away. I will ensure it is both thorough and fair."

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