The death of Diana, the late Princess of Wales, will mark its 20th anniversary this month. Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry participated in a documentary which highlighted the fantastic and beloved woman their mother was during her lifetime. Diana, Our Mother: Her Life And Legacy, indeed accomplishes what the two royals hoped – show how Princess Diana changed the world.
Princess Diana’s life wasn’t without strife or drama. In private recordings made by her voice coach, Peter Settelen, the late princess brought to light intimate details of her loveless and cold childhood. She wasn’t shown an iota of affection or love from her parents. In the tapes, Princess Diana says of her family life: “My parents, they never said they loved me. No no, no idea. There was no hugs or anything like that.”
Filmed at her home in Kensington Palace, Diana said she slapped her father when she learned he wanted to remarry again. These controversial tapes were broadcast in 2004 in the United States; they created little waves stateside. But to the horror and immense disapproval of some, these conversations will be shown to the UK audience this month.
Diana: In Her Own Words, by Channel 4 will certainly stir up some hornets nests in the royal family. Especially with Prince William and Prince Harry who work tirelessly to ensure their mother’s memory remains unsoiled. Prince Charles as well, won’t go unscathed.
Diana revealed she went to the Queen for help with her marriage. The Sovereign had no advice for the sobbing princess.
Some close to the late princess have called the network “shameful” for daring to air the documentary. Another said by playing these tapes, Channel 4 was betraying Diana’s memory and the privacy of her family.
Others defend channel 4. Princess Diana was portrayed by the Palace as mentally unstable and ill; Diana on the other hand was very angry by not receiving the support from the Queen, her mother-in-law with her marriage to a husband who openly loved another woman while still being married to Diana. Diana felt like she didn’t have an ally in sight.
She was kept from seeing Prince William and Prince Harry for weeks at a time. The affection she was denied while growing up left Diana’s life empty and painful. The only light in her world was her sons.
The Queen may also suffer backlash after these tapes air; the Princess clearly discusses the part the Queen played by not doing her bit to help the Princess and her son improve their marriage.
In the past, the monarchy has needed to implement damage control. To the ‘Firm,’ Diana, or memories of the late Princess keep coming back to haunt it. Though it’s been nearly 20 years since Diana’s death, the monarchy must still repair its image after something nasty is discovered about its inner workings.
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