At the end of this month, the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana‘s untimely passing will come around. Just last week, we saw Prince William and Prince Harry bravely open up about their late mother in the documentary, Diana Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. Now, audiences across the globe are being shocked to their core with a new film about the People’s Princess titled Diana: In Her Own Words.
The 90-minute documentary — which has already aired in the UK — features a series of tapes and audio recordings in which Diana discusses a series of low points in her life including the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles, confronting his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, and her relationship with her two young sons.
The footage was what journalist Andrew Morton used to pen his 1992 biography, Diana: Her True Story, which ultimately showed the world her crumbling marriage to the future King of England. The tapes were recorded by Diana’s close friend Dr. James Colthurst and her speech coach, Peter Settelen. While knowledge of the tapes has always been around, to hear and see Diana speak so candidly about some of the most heartwrenching experiences in her life is harrowing to the say the least.
While there has been no official word from the British royal family about the recordings, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter has said Diana had no idea the tapes would ever be made public. “Whether these tapes are revealing or not, they were recorded in private on the understanding they would remain private,” he recently said. Scroll down to see the biggest revelations from Diana: In Her Own Words.
Diana worried about Camilla even before her marriage to Charles
The battle between Diana and Camilla began even before the then-Lady Spencer was betrothed to Charles. “She knew so much about what he was doing privately. Eventually, I worked it all out,” Diana confessed. “I once heard him on the telephone saying, ‘Whatever happens I’ll always love you.’ And I told him I’d listened at the door. We had a filthy row.” In fact, Camilla became a constant cause of pain for the couple.
Before their 1981 wedding, Diana found a bracelet Charles had made for his mistress. “I was devastated. So rage, rage, rage. Why can’t you be honest with me? But no, he absolutely cut me dead. It was as if he’d made his decision and if it wasn’t going to work it wasn’t going to work. He’d found the virgin, the sacrificial lamb and in a way, he was obsessed with me but it was hot and cold, hot and cold,” Diana said.
Charles and Diana (left) and Charles and Camilla (right). (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“[I said to my sister], ‘I can’t marry him. I can’t do this. This is absolutely unbelievable,'” she recalled. Sadly, her sister simply told her, “Bad luck, Dutch. Your face is on tea towels, so you’re too late to chicken out.”
William and Harry’s births were very different
Diana was overjoyed when she first became pregnant with Prince William, but she admitted to having had crippling morning sickness. During this time, her marriage was also suffering. “I threw myself down the stairs. Charles said I was crying wolf, and I just felt so desperate and I was crying my eyes out and he said, ‘I’m not going to listen, you are always doing this to me… I’m going riding now.’ So I threw myself down the stairs,” Diana recalled.
“[The Queen] comes out, horrified, shaking, so frightened. And Charles went out riding. And when he came back it was just dismissal,” she continued. “William had to be induced because I couldn’t handle the press any longer. It was becoming unbearable.” Diana also revealed she suffered postpartum depression. “Between William and Harry being born, it’s total darkness. I can’t remember. I’ve blotted it out. It was such pain,” she said.
Diana with William and Harry. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The experience with her second child was vastly different. “Harry appeared by a miracle. Charles and I were very, very close to each other the six weeks before Harry was born. The closest we’ve ever, ever been and ever will have been,” she said. “And suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went ‘bang.’ Our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain.”
Diana was “unimpressed” with Charles at first
When she first met Prince Charles, Diana admitted she was “unimpressed.” But the second time was different. “I am quite impressed this time around. He chatted me up, you know, he was like a bad rash, he was all over me, and I thought, you know, urgh,” she said. “He started kissing me and everything, and I thought, ‘Urgh this is not what people do.’ And he was all over me for the rest of the evening, followed me around, everything, like a puppy. I was flattered but I was very puzzled.”
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This post was written by Chloe Lal. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.