The Duke of York's aides were "pleased" with his Newsnight interview, until they saw the public's reaction, Emily Maitlis has claimed.
Maitlis, who interviewed the Duke about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, said the Palace was shocked not at the interview itself, but how it played out afterwards.
Saying the BBC team had "plenty of engagement" with aides after the interview was broadcast, she disclosed she would "never forget" the "astonishing" level of detail he went into on camera.
The interview, widely described as both disastrous and a "car crash" afterwards, saw the Duke speak at length about his association with the convicted sex offender.
He declined to say he regretted the friendship, with his memorable answers including details of his visit to Pizza Express, his explanation regarding his temporary medical inability to sweat and his description of a "straightforward shooting party".
Speaking ahead of the Baftas, where the interview is nominated in the news category, Maitlis told Radio Times: "We know that the Palace was happy with the interview. We had plenty of engagement with them after it went out. I think their shock was not at the interview itself, but the reaction it caused in the days and weeks afterwards."
Esme Wren, the producer, added: "There hasn't been any mud-slinging from the Palace. Of course, they feel that the interview didn't go brilliantly, but that wasn't through our wrongdoing. We delivered a quite exceptional piece of journalism."
The interview was arranged through the Duke's own team, including Amanda Thirsk, his former private secretary. Aides had believed the robust format of Newsnight could put the matter of his friendship with Epstein to rest once and for all. Instead, shortly afterwards, he stepped back from royal duties, and has since been at the centre of the renewed US investigation into Epstein's crimes.
Saying she realised it was going to be "explosive" within minutes of sitting down with the Duke at Buckingham Palace, Maitlis said: "First, he was tackling the subject matter head on.
"Secondly, the lack of apology or any real expression of regret told me that the prince still believed that his actions had broadly been the right ones.
"And thirdly, the level of detail was unlike anything I was expecting. It was just astonishing to be in that room listening. I don't think I'll ever forget it."
Of negotiations with the Duke's team over the extent of the interview, she added: "We could have done something shorter, easier and less comprehensive much earlier. But we sat it out until we were given the assurance that it would be the kind of interview we needed to do. I'm glad we waited and were properly prepared for it."
Wren said of the Duke: "We definitely thought he'd be spikier - in fact, Emily said that, in the role-playing, I'd been a lot tougher as Prince Andrew than he turned out to be in person."
The full interview is available in Radio Times now.