Sunday, 19 May 2024

Who is Dr James Colthurst, Princess Diana’s close friend in The Crown? – The Sun | The Sun

PRINCESS Dianna's relationship with her close friend Dr James Colthurst was explored in Netflix's The Crown.

During her life, the Princess and the doctor developed a close bond, until she sadly died aged just 36.

Who is Dr James Colthurst?

The Irish-born medical professional was a close friend of Princess Diana when she worked as a nanny in London before marrying the then Prince Charles in 1981.

He was the go-between for the Princess of Wales and biographer Andrew Morton for the famous tell-all book, Diana: Her True Story, which was published in 1992.

Dr Colthurst took Morton's questions to the palace and then made secret recordings with Diana.

He told Daily Mail Australia how he remembered listening back to the tapes in a working man's cafe.

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Colthurst said: "All around everyone's eating bacon and eggs chatting away, and I put these headphones on and turn on the tape recorder and listen to Diana talking about bulimia nervosa, which I'd never heard of, talking about her suicide attempts, talking about this woman called Camilla Parker Bowles.

"It was like entering a parallel universe, I walked out of that café thinking, 'wow what on Earth have I heard'."

He added: "It was the most incredible outburst of really innermost pain, rage, frustration, anger – you were swept away with it.

"It was very compelling."

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Born in March 1957, Dr Colthurst married Dominique Coles in 1990.

The couple have two daughters, Cicely and Leah.

He was educated at Eton College in Windsor, before training as a surgeon at St Thomas Hospital in London.

His family in Ireland live in the medieval Blarney Castle near Cork.

How did Dr James Colthurst and Princess Diana become friends?

The two met in Val Claret in France when Diana hurt her ankle on a ski trip and needed a doctor.

On what would have been Diana's 60th birthday, he wrote: "She knew several of the friends I was with [on the trip], and they brought her back to our apartment when she twisted her ankle, telling her I would look at it as I was a medical student at the time.

"Good fun, bright and mischievous, it was hard not to hit it off with Diana straight away, and so began the friendship she and I maintained for the rest of her short, eventful life."

He also added how he supported her when she became a member of the Royal Family.

He added: "Perhaps one of the toughest features of being her friend was trying to encourage her to limit her task list as well as coaxing her over the many bumpy moments which she found almost overwhelming.

"But she was so happy to feel she had something to give that she took on a daunting number of patronages and these all took time and effort.

"She was interested in such a wide range of subjects that it balances what seemed an unhappy life at Kensington Palace with daily encounters with happy, smiling faces."

How did Dr James Colthurst help Princess Diana?

Dr Colthurst was a person that Princess Diana could always speak to about difficult topics, especially when it came to life as a royal.

The doctor claimed that Princess Diana feared that palace officials wanted to undermine her because of her media popularity compared to Charles and separate her from William and Harry.

In a documentary Dr Colthurst said: "There was a great deal of jealousy from the grey men who sat behind Prince Charles, not wanting him to be living in her shadow.

"Her character was being written down – as she saw it, a campaign to sideline her and remove her from the boys.

"That was her worry, that she was going to lose the boys – overriding, above everything else, that was the concern – and that they were using a character run-down as a means of making that happen, an understandable next step."

He also believed that Diana's suffering with bulimia was a "reaction to her circumstances" and that "all staff" knew about Prince Charles' affair with Camilla.

What happened to Dr James Colthurst?

Dr Colthurst now lives with his family Berkshire.

In 2017 he spoke in the Channel 4 documentary – Diana: In Her Own Words.

He also contributed to 2020 documentary The Windsors: A Royal Dynasty.

In 2022, Colthurst was depicted by actor Oliver Chris in season 5 of The Crown.

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