Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Princess Diana’s heartbreaking vow to William and Harry for childhood futures exposed

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The Princess of Wales’ iconic BBC Panorama interview was back firmly in the public spotlight after Channel 4 released a documentary around it to mark its 25th anniversary. It revisited some of the most infamous moments from Diana’s discussion with the BBC’s Martin Bashir, including when she opened up about Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Released two years before her death, Diana would famously recall there were “three people” in her marriage to Charles, which she said made the union a “bit crowded”.

She also talked about other issues she had faced as a member of the Royal Family, including her personal battle with bulimia, and her relationship with the media.

Yet, when reflecting on Diana’s life, author Andrew Morton would claim that the woman dubbed the People’s Princess was most concerned about her two young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Writing in the 1992 book ‘Diana: Her True Story’, Mr Morton explored how the Princess wanted to make sure her children did not have to endure a similar childhood to her own.

He wrote: “Over-protective in the way that single parent families are, she lavishes William and Harry with love, cuddles and affection.

“They are a point of stability and sanity in her topsy-turvy world. She loves them unconditionally and absolutely, working with singleness of purpose to ensure that they do not suffer the same kind of childhood she did.”

Mr Morton noted that it was Diana who took on the responsibility of “choosing their schools, their clothes” as well as “planning their outings”.

He added: “So while Charles will send a servant to Ludgrove school to give William a tray of plums from the Highgrove estate, Diana will make time to cheer him from the touchline when he plays left back for his school soccer team.”

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Diana once confronted Charles over this, Mr Morton claimed, and as a result, the Prince of Wales made the effort to send his son hand-written faxes about what he had been up to while away from the boys.

Diana tragically died in a Paris car crash in 1997, and many have since reflected on the nature of the BBC interview and how it shaped the rest of her life.

At the time, royal insiders were said to be horrified by the outcome of the interview, which reportedly infuriated the likes of Diana’s son, Prince William.

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Among others to comment on it were Diana’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson, who claimed in the documentary that Diana “deeply regretted” carrying out the interview.

Charles would later go on to marry Camilla in a 2005 ceremony, after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, made a u-turn and gave her blessing for the union.

‘Diana: Her True Story’ was published by Pocket Books and is available here.

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