Prince William begins week-long trip to Scotland hours after criticising BBC over Diana interview

The Duke of Cambridge has begun a week-long visit to Scotland less than a day after heavily criticising the BBC for its failings in the handling of his mother’s Panorama interview.

William was pictured looking relaxed and smiling during a visit to the home of a lower league football club in Edinburgh, where he spoke to players while sat in the stands and showed off his football skills on the pitch.

The future king, who is president of the Football Association, also chatted to footballers from the UK’s four national teams during a video call which featured England star Harry Kane.

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On Thursday night William took the rare decision to make a televised statement lambasting the BBC after an inquiry found the broadcaster covered up “deceitful behaviour” used by journalist Martin Bashir to secure his 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke of Cambridge on the pitch during a visit to Spartans FC's Ainslie Park Stadium in Edinburgh to hear about initiatives in Scottish football that champion mental health ahead of the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday picture: PA

He said: “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”

His brother the Duke of Sussex also issued a scathing statement saying: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”

The duke appeared to put his deep concerns around the BBC’s treatment of his mother to one side as he tested his touch skills during a football drill challenge at Ainslie Park Stadium in Edinburgh, home of The Spartans FC.

William was joined by grassroots players from Scotland’s Mental Health Football and Wellbeing League and former Scotland striker Steven Thompson.

The League was set up to support recovery and tackle stigma associated with mental health.

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