Channel 4 refuses to pull Diana crash pics

Princes battle broadcaster over 'deeply distressing' images

Princes William and Harry have made public a letter to Channel 4 asking the broadcaster not to air pictures taken at the scene of their mother's death "depicting the crashed car while the Princess was still in the wreckage, and an image of a medic administering emergency treatment to Diana".

The photographs are due to hit the screens tomorrow as part of Diana: The Witnesses In The Tunnel, described by Channel 4 as the "most detailed and credible eyewitness account yet delivered" of the 1997 incident. According to The Telegraph, Clarence House senior aide Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton previously sent the request on behalf of the Princes asking for the self-censorship, but had not received a reply by his deadline yesterday morning.

Accordingly, Clarence House has published the letter in full (see next page). It explained: "As of this morning, Clarence House had not received a reply from Channel 4. In publishing the letter, the Princes 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."

Channel 4 supremo Julian Bellamy said it was "not their intention to cause William and Harry distress". He expanded: "Channel 4 acknowledges the concerns expressed by the Princes William and Harry about the documentary. We would like to make clear that it was not our intention in commissioning this programme to cause them distress and we do not believe it is in any way disrespectful to the memory of Princess Diana.

"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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Next page: The Princes' letter