This year marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing, and the media world is gearing up for a major remembrance. Remembering Diana (a picture book by Tina Brown), Imagining Diana (Diane Clehane’s speculative novel that starts with the supposition that Diana never died), and documentaries by both ABC and HBO are all slated to release in 2017.
None, though, stand to make as big of a splash as Andrew Morton’s Diana: The People’s Princess. In 1992, Morton published Diana: Her True Story, an expose that revealed shocking details about the princess’ life. At the time, no one suspected that her marriage was on the rocks.
Morton’s book revealed that Diana struggled with eating disorders and alluded to the fact that Prince Charles was conducting a long-running affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Due to Britian’s libel laws, though, Morton could only hint that they had a “secret friendship.”
The public reaction was swift and fierce. The Archbishop of Canterbury publicly decried the book, and one Member of Parliament suggested imprisoning Morton in The tower of London.
Everyone also wondered who had served as his source. Imagine the surprise, then, when it came out that it was Diana herself.
She recorded her side of things on tape in Buckingham Palace. Now Morton is releasing the transcripts as part of an updated edition of his original book.
In it, readers learn that Prince Charles’ infidelity started prior to and continued through his wedding to Diana. The Princess recalled railing at him after she found a bracelet meant for another woman, “‘Why can’t you be honest with me?’
“But, no, Charles cut me absolutely dead. It’s as if he had made his decision; and if it wasn’t going to work, it wasn’t going to work.”
And then she uttered the four words that should have raised alarms. “‘I can’t marry him,’” she said.
Diana continued confessed her predicament to her sisters, saying, “‘I can’t do this. This is absolutely unbelievable.’”
They responded with tongue-in-cheek horror: “‘Well, bad luck, Duch [Diana’s long-running nickname]. Your face is on the tea-towels, so you’re too late to chicken out.’”
Indeed, everyone knows that Diana went through with a wedding that became a major media event. Few, though, were aware that her bulimia began the week Charles proposed.
According to the transcripts, he “put his hand on my waistline and said: ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’” That started a decade of disordered eating.
“I remember the first time I made myself sick,” Diana said. “I was so thrilled because I thought this was the release of tension.”
Not everything in the tapes was dire, though. The Princess also recalled the joys of motherhood.
“A godsend, William was conceived in October,” she recounted. “In those days, my greatest pleasure was that I was lucky enough to have a baby on the way.”
The book will be available at the end of this month. It’s sure to snag the attention of readers far and wide with its gripping inside look at the princess’ life.