A version of this story appeared in the May 21 edition of CNN’s Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on the royal family, what they are up to in public and what’s happening behind palace walls. Sign up here.

London (CNN) – The BBC has been forced to issue a humiliating apology after covering up the “deceitful” methods its former journalist Martin Bashir used to secure one of its biggest-ever scoops 25 years ago. Not only has the corporation’s reputation taken a hit but Diana’s own flesh and blood have vehemently slammed the tactics used to trick her into speaking to them, and linked the interview to her death just two years later.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie said that while the British public broadcaster “cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology.” CNN understands letters were sent to Princes William and Harry Thursday to apologize – but many are saying this comes decades too late.

Bashir, who left his role at the BBC last week citing health reasons, released his own statement, saying it was “saddening” the controversy had “been allowed to overshadow the princess’ brave decision to tell her story,” according to the PA Media news agency.

Lord Dyson, who carried out the independent investigation into the affair, said Diana was “keen on the idea of a television interview” around the time and “she would probably have agreed to be interviewed by any experienced and reputable reporter in whom she had confidence even without the intervention of Mr Bashir.”

From that, we can assume the late Princess of Wales would have done a sit-down as her relationship with Charles deteriorated, but would she have said the same things? The explosive interview back in 1995 was groundbreaking for how brutally honest she was. The princess spoke of her struggles with bulimia and self-harm, and her own infidelity and that of her husband. Nothing was held back, but it’s Prince William’s belief that the methods used to land the interview swayed how far she went. He said: “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.”

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program "Panorama" in 1995.