Intimate revelations – direct from the mouth of Diana, Princess of Wales –about her courtship and married life to Prince Charles are to be aired on British television next month after years of dispute about the recordings. Speaking to a video camera four years before her death, Diana will tell of Charles’s early unexpected attempts to woo her as a teenager and of the sorrow that enveloped her soon after her wedding day in July 1981.
In the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, to be shown on Channel 4 in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of her death in a car crash on 31 August, the princess reveals that five years into her marriage she went “sobbing” to the Queen once she believed she had “confirmation” that her marriage was loveless. “So I went to the top lady and said: ‘I don’t know what I should do’. She said: ‘I don’t know what you should do.’ And that was it. That was ‘help’.”
Diana also tells of the impact of an illicit romance with a mystery man. The unconsummated affair dominated her thoughts for a while, she says, until it was suspected by the royal household.
“At 24, I fell deeply in love with someone who was part of all this and that was all found out and he was chucked out and then he was killed. And that was the deepest blow in my life I must say,” she says. Diana is widely thought to have been speaking of her feelings for Barry Mannakee, an officer in the royal protection squad who later died in a motorcycle accident.
In the video tapes, recorded at Kensington Palace in 1993 by her public speaking coach, Peter Settelen, Diana claims that the man would “mentally kick me out and make me go to my engagements because I used to sort of scream in his room”.
She tells Settelen that the royal family knew about her infatuation. “But there was never any proof,” she adds. “I should never have played with fire, but I did and I got very burnt. Three…