The fifth and final episode of ‘Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution’ airs tonight on BBC Two. Tonight’s episode focuses on Tony Blair winning a third consecutive General Election, and later promising not to serve a full third term as Prime Minister. Gordon Brown succeeded him in Downing Street, and quickly came to the realisation that serving as Prime Minister is worlds apart from leading the Treasury.
The five-part series finishes with a look at Mr Brown’s response to the global financial crisis, how the public turned against his Government, and the subsequent fall of New Labour.
Mr Blair served as Prime Minister from 1997 until 2007, winning the 1997 General Election by the biggest landslide in Labour Party history.
Just a few months into his first term, Princess Diana was killed in a tragic car crash.
The nation fell silent, and ultimately found comfort in Mr Blair’s tribute.
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He coined the phrase ‘People’s Princess’, which struck a chord with the British population.
A year on, he was staying at the Queen’s Balmoral residence in Scotland at the same time as Prince William.
The Mirror reported two years ago that the pair struck up a bond, and Mr Blair claimed William opened up to him in a series of candid conversations around the anniversary of his mother’s death.
He claimed William was “tortured with doubt” over his destiny, serving as Britain’s future King, whenever that may be.
He was just 15 at the time of her death, while Prince Harry was only 12.
Mr Blair wrote: “I had also spoken to William, who was not only still grieving, but angry.
“He knew, rationally, why the week between Diana’s death and the funeral had to be as it had been.
“But he felt acutely the conflict between public position and private emotion.”
William was furious that the conversations had been leaked, according to a 2010 report by the Daily Star.
A palace source said at the time: “William would have thought that any conversation with a Prime Minister would be confidential.”
Neither Mr Blair nor Mr Brown were invited to William’s wedding to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
St James’ Palace said, however, that they were not invited because they are not Knights of the Garter, which William is.
Then-Shadow Justice minister Chris Bryant expressed his unhappiness at the decision at the time: “I just think they’ve been let down by their advisors, or by Number 10, because I’m sure this list will have been passed through Number 10.
“I think the same proprieties should have been followed as for Charles and Diana’s wedding and that was that all former Prime Ministers should be invited.”
The Daily Mail reported at the time that William and Kate’s wedding was not a full state occasion, therefore they were not obliged to invite all former British leaders.
Mr Blair and his wife were reportedly “completely mystified” by the decision, according to the Independent on Sunday.
‘Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution’ airs tonight on BBC Two. Tonight’s episode, as well as all previous episodes, can be found on BBC iPlayer.