An upcoming documentary special about the late Princess Diana will include some candid, revealing conversations that have never before been seen on British television — and Diana’s brother has reportedly “pleaded” with broadcaster Channel 4 not to air the tapes.
The taped conversations — which have previously been aired on American television back in 2004 — have never been broadcast in the U.K., and feature Diana discussing painful, intimate moments from her failed marriage to Prince Charles as she opens up to Peter Settelen, her public speaking coach.
For example, Sky News reports that one tape features Diana revealing that when she confronted Charles about his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, he told her: “I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress.”
Diana also claimed Prince Philip told Charles that if his marriage to Diana didn’t work out, he could go back to Camilla “after five years.”
Distraught and with nowhere to turn, Diana said that she sought help from the Queen. “So I went to the top lady, sobbing. And I said ‘What do I do? I’m coming to you, what do I do?’ And she said ‘I don’t know what you should do,'” Diana said. “And that was it. And that was help.”
The tapes also reveal that Charles didn’t exactly sweep his future bride off her feet when they first met.
“He chatted me up,” Diana said. “He was like a bad rash. He was all over me and I thought, you know, ‘Urgh’. Whereupon, he leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything, and I thought, ‘Waaah! This is not what people do.'”
She also revealed that she and Charles only met 13 times before their wedding. “He wasn’t consistent with his courting abilities,” she said. “He’d ring me every day for a week, then wouldn’t speak to me for three weeks. Very odd.” She also confided that sex with Charles took place “once every three weeks” and apparently stopped completely about six or seven years before the conversations took place.
Diana also opened up to Settleton about her bulimia, revealing that it was common knowledge among the royal family. “Everybody knew about the bulimia in the family. And they all blamed the failure of the marriage on the bulimia and it’s taken them time to think differently,” she said.
“I said I was rejected, I didn’t think I was good enough for this family, so I took it out on myself. I could have gone to alcohol… I could have been anorexic… I chose to hurt myself instead of hurting all of you.”
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has reportedly reached out to Channel 4 and asked them not to air the recordings due to the pain it will cause Princes William and Harry. Meanwhile, Rosa Monckton, a close friend of the late princess, told the Daily Mail, “How intrusive is this? It doesn’t matter that it was 20-odd years ago. The tapes should have been sent to the boys. I just think it is absolutely disgusting.”
Former Royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter told Sky News: “I don’t believe there’s anything that we’re going to learn from the tapes. I think it’s absolutely shameful that these tapes have been made available.”
However, a spokesperson for Channel 4 insists that the recordings are a valuable historical document that shed light on one of the world’s most famous people 20 years after her death.
“The excerpts from the tapes recorded with Peter Settelen have never been shown before on British television and are an important historical source,” said the spokesperson.
“We carefully considered all the material used in the documentary and, though the recordings were made in private, the subjects covered are a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story, which culminated in her later interview for Panorama,” the statement continued.
“This unique portrait of Diana gives her a voice and places it front and centre at a time when the nation will be reflecting on her life and death.”