The BBC offered Tiggy Legge-Bourke a settlement for the Martin Bashir issue


In late May, the investigation into Martin Bashir was concluded, and the findings were made public. The investigation found that Bashir had lied to Princess Diana and forged documents to win her over and secure her exclusive interview. I had a lot of thoughts about it – Bashir was always slimy and deceitful and I have no doubt that he crossed every line of professional standards to secure Diana’s famous Panorama interview. What makes me mad is that so much of this conversation is revisionist history, and so much of this negates Diana’s own hard-earned agency.

Take, for example, the Tiggy Legge-Bourke part of the equation. Diana loathed Tiggy from Day 1, when Charles hired Tiggy to be nanny and companion to William and Harry. Diana and Camilla BOTH believed that Charles and Tiggy were having an affair, and they both believed there was a palace plot afoot to get Diana and Charles divorced and install Tiggy as the new Princess of Wales. Diana believed all of that before Martin Bashir ever tried to persuade her to speak to him. Now, did Bashir feed into Diana’s (well-earned) paranoia about Tiggy? Yes. Absolutely. But to lay the entire Diana-Tiggy beef at Bashir’s feet is – again – denying Diana her own agency, even in death. Well, the BBC didn’t feel like fighting about this anymore. So they ended up offering Tiggy a settlement over this whole debacle.

The BBC has offered six-figure damages to the former nanny of Prince William and Prince Harry over false claims made by Martin Bashir to obtain his interview with Princess Diana, according to reports. Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now known as Tiggy Pettifer, was offered the payout after the former BBC journalist, 58, told Princess Diana that her husband was ‘in love’ with their children’s nanny in order to secure his 1995 Panorama interview.

Mr Bashir is also said to have suggested that Prince Charles and Ms Pettifer, 56, had flown off on a secret two-week holiday together. The journalist went on to claim that the royal nanny had gone on to have an abortion and showed the Princess of Wales a fake receipt for the procedure, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The BBC has now offered the former nanny ‘significant’ damages for the distressing smears. It is reported that a speedy settlement is likely to be agreed by the end of this month with the broadcaster thought to have offered more than £100,000.

Mrs Pettifer, 56, who was the nanny to the two princes between 1993 and 1999, is now in charge of a bed and breakfast business in Wales.

A source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Tiggy Legge-Bourke was right at the centre of Bashir’s manipulation and it is right that the damage caused to her is recognised by the BBC.’

[From The Daily Mail]

While I would love to have a surprise windfall of £100,000, let’s not pretend that amount is actually a significant admission. Now, I’m sure if Tiggy wanted to press the issue and really duke this out in court, the BBC would cough up more money. But Tiggy doesn’t want to do that. Because that means opening up some 25-year-old gossip. Gossip about whether she really was having an affair with Charles. Gossip about whether she really was being groomed as Charles’ second wife. Gossip about a secret pregnancy. The “secret pregnancy/abortion” story was the one which really sent everyone over the edge, and fair enough, it does seem like Bashir falsified documents about that. But everything else? Diana believed all of that before Bashir said one word.

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Lady Diana

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20 Responses to “The BBC offered Tiggy Legge-Bourke a settlement for the Martin Bashir issue”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    I’m not at all for denying Diana’s agency. She certainly believed a lot of things before Bashir got to her and definitely wanted to do the interview.

    But I’m also of the mindset that Diana’s agency was not always free. She was gaslighted and isolated and paranoid. Her choices were her own, but shaped by a lot of manipulation and mental torture.

    Bashir deserves what he gets for contributing to this, with his false abortion records and other manipulations.

    • Lizzie says:

      I’m not sure Diana was paranoid, after all Charles had affairs while they were married and didn’t deny it. Seems reasonable to suspect another affair.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Lizzie- I was thinking more like her being paranoid about who to trust, not about Charles’ philandering. I simply think when you feel surrounded by snakes, it might sway you to give an interview against them to save yourself.

        I just think Diana’s choice to an interview was the result of her treatment by the BRF/Charles and while I don’t deny her agency, she didn’t make the choice to do Bashir’s interview without having a lot of people who weren’t Bashir playing with her head.

      • Tessa says:

        It was like the movie Gaslight. Charles friends like NIcholas Soames would talk about Diana like she “made it up.” He accused her of being paranoic to the media. Diana was right about the Camilla situation. And yes, if it had not been BASHIR it would have been someone else that she went to.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      If you look back at the different stories, the wording is Bashir allegedly showed Diana said abortion receipt, which came from her brother. Who IMO, has very questionable integrity.
      Bashir & the graphic artist admitted the fake bank statements-which were shown to Charles Spencer. May have missed it somewhere, but I’m not familiar/have seen the alleged abortion document. It seems it’s based on what Charles Spencer said. Have any of Diana’s real friends discussed her talking about? Looking at the Bashir interview again-the whole subject wasn’t mentioned from what I read. The gaslighting of Diana is real to this day and the courtiers, Charle’s & co and BM (and others) were all a part of it. The Bashir interview was Nov. 1995 and December 1995 she wrote a note absolving Bashir. It really does look like whoever the they are wanted to take away her agency. Someone/s isn’t/are not truthing and I don’t think it’s Diana.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    This all comes down to the Royal Rota being upset that this Brown man who outside the system got the most wanted interview in Royal history instead of them. I’m not saying that Bashir was innocent in his dealing with Diana but the real reason for the press’ determination to see that Bashir is punished for not knowing his place and for participating in the damaging of the Royal Institution. Diana wanted to talk and if it weren’t Bashir, it would have been somebody else outside of the Royal rota.

    • Lorelei says:

      After what we’ve just seen over the past five years, I’m actually shocked that this hadn’t occurred to me earlier. I’d never even thought about Bashir himself, and yup, that tracks.

  3. Carrie says:

    I just came here to say that to me, Tiggy Legge-Bourke is the quintessential British upper crust name! Pure perfection.

    • Lorelei says:

      I don’t care enough to actually Google this, but I wonder if Tiggy is her actual name or a nickname. (And if it’s a nickname, why would a grown woman want to be called Tiggy.)

      • twoz says:

        It’s a nickname, from Beatrix Potter’s Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. She also ran a nursery school under the same name.

  4. BayTampaBay says:

    I think Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now known as Tiggy Pettifer was nothing more than the child minder-babysitter. I do not believe she Charles had an affair. Tiggy does not seem his type to me nor Charles seem to be her type.

    • Tessa says:

      I think Charles though behaved inappropriately showing much PDA when she was with them. It seemed odd to me.

      • SMS says:

        Tiggy’s family are close to the royals and her mother was Anne’s Lady in Waiting. Apparently she has a sister named Zara and Zara Phillips was one of Zara Legge-Bourke’s bridesmaids.

  5. Courtney B says:

    It’s not denying Diana’s agency to think/say she could be wrong. People are human. Just because she believed it doesn’t make it true. Same with Camilla.

    • North of Boston says:

      That’s not the part that’s denying her agency,

      It’s denying her agency to insist that Diana was a silly stupid person who was manipulated into giving the interview and claim that she never would have had those suspicions or wanted to give an interview about her experiences if it hadn’t been for the sly, bad man who misled her.

  6. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Tiggy has a food sense of what her role was and played into it towards Diana. She was in no way innocent and in some levels as bad as Camilla. Imo.

    • Tessa says:

      The worst thing Tiggy did was spitefully put down Diana to the media. To quote Tiggy: “I give them what they need at this stage, fresh air, a rifle and a horse. She gives them a tennis racket and a bucket of popcorn at the movies”. To quote an article in Wikipedia: ” It was also considered to be a gaffe when Legge-Bourke referred to William and Harry as “my babies”. Apparently Charles did nothing to discourage her from doing this. Sad situation that he set up.

      • Iris says:

        @tessa – I forgot this quote! Also, I would argue it’s better to give children a bucket of popcorn than a RIFLE, ffs

  7. Tessa says:

    Well before the Bashir interview, the media published pictures of Charles with Tiggy and the boys. And he was going in for much PDA with Tiggy. I don’t think Camilla cared much for Tiggy and was said to call her the “hired help.” Tiggy pointedly did not invite Camilla to her wedding, she just invited Charles and the boys. Charles did not go since Camilla was not invited. No love lost between Tiggy and Camilla. Tiggy also admitted on a “crush” on Charles.