In a new memoir from Princess Diana’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, the 73-year-old promises to show a side of the beloved royal the world never really got to know.
Due out later this year, “Was That Alright?” is “not a kiss-and-tell but an autobiography, Dickie has said.
“This is not just a memoir of an intense dozen years [working for the palace], but…[a look] at those days from the perspective of someone who was not only there but also had the experience of the monarchy.”
Starting his duties in 1988, seven years after Diana married Prince Charles and eight years before they divorced, Dickie had a front-row seat to the crumbling of their once-hopeful marriage.
“She had a relationship with her husband that…went sour,” he admitted.
A royal insider tells Closer that Dickie’s book will reveal how “Diana was madly in love with Prince Charles at the start of their marriage.”
“She believed in love and the full fairy tale,” the insider says. And the feeling was mutual. “It’s a myth that Charles didn’t love Diana. They were very happy in the beginning.”
Dickie in the middle with Princess Diana
Dickie will take readers behind the walls of Buckingham Palace, as the royal family struggled with helping Diana, a former preschool teacher, adapt to her new life in the spotlight. Thrust onto the world stage with little guidance, she floundered.
“There had been nothing like the Diana phenomenon when she came on the scene, so no one had any experience in dealing with all the excitement,” Majesty magazine’s Ingrid Seward has noted.
“She was just a lonely lady,” Dickie revealed. “She…didn’t have many friends. The number of friends, you could probably count on one hand, and not too many fingers for that, either.”
She did find one unexpected ally who always had her back –Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II – and in his memoir, Dickie plans to dispel any rumors of a cold war between the two women.
Diana “had tremendous respect for the queen,” he insisted. And a royal insider says the feeling was mutual.
Queen Elizabeth “was one of Diana’s biggest royal supporters” as the young princess was swept from one appearance to the next, slowly winning the heart of a nation.
Princess Diana with Prince Charles & the Queen
For more on Diana’s divorce, her relationship with her boys and her struggle with the spotlight, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!