Princess Diana discusses feeling ‘ashamed’ in 1995 interview
Reports regarding the Princess of Wales’ life have resurfaced following her son Prince Harry’s landmark Oprah interview. Harry’s decision to chat to Oprah has drawn comparisons with other royals who have spoken out on television, including his mother Diana. Diana famously talked to Martin Bashir on BBC Panorama 26 years ago, and similarities between the two interviews have been noted.
In both interviews, the two royals opened up on their life within the Royal Family, and also on other issues that affected their lives including mental health.
Harry, who joined his wife Meghan Markle on the landmark broadcast, also spoke of how his brother Prince William, and father Prince Charles, had both been “trapped” within their roles at the centre of the Royal Family.
In her interview, Diana spoke candidly of how her relationship with Prince Charles broke down, particularly amid claims he was having an affair with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
This fear of Charles’ infidelity plagued her marriage with the Prince of Wales, which would eventually end in divorce in 1996.
Diana ‘considered calling off’ Charles wedding but was warned ‘too late to chicken out’
Prince Charles and Princess Diana married in 1981
Andrew Morton, author of 1992’s Diana – Her True Story, noted that she even considered calling off her 1981 wedding to Charles.
He detailed how in the build-up to the wedding, Diana discussed her concerns with her sisters, who would go on to convince the Princess of Wales to go ahead with the union.
He wrote: “At the time he was seeing Camilla, Diana had lunch with her sisters at Buckingham Palace and discussed her predicament with them.
“She was confused, upset and bewildered by the train of events.
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Diana was ‘convinced’ to go ahead with the wedding by her sisters
“At that moment, as she seriously considered calling off the wedding, they made light of her fears and premonitions of the disaster that lay ahead.
“‘Bad luck Duch,’ they said, using their nickname for their younger sister.
“‘Your face is on the tea-towels so you’re too late to chicken out now.'”
Although there was concern, the pair would eventually marry in a glamorous union witnessed by millions of people from across the globe.
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Princess Diana’s wedding was witnessed by millions
Charles and Diana would go on to have two children together – Prince William and Harry – before separating.
During the tough times after their separation in 1992, William became a rock for Diana, even though he was still a young boy at the time.
On ‘Prince William at Thirty’, uploaded to YouTube in June 2012, Jennie Bond, an ex-BBC royal correspondent, reflected on an episode where William would act motherly towards a saddened Diana.
She said that William would say: “It’ll be alright Mummy, it’ll be alright, I’ll look after you.”
She added: “It was all the wrong way round for William.
“He was having to comfort his mother when she should have been looking after him, he was just a little boy.”
Some, however, felt that despite the breakdown in their marriage, the couple could have worked through their relationship issues had they spent longer getting to know one another.
Charles and Diana a year after their wedding
There was a big age gap between the couple, and Simone Simmons, a healer who worked with the Princess of Wales, told the Daily Mail in 2019 why it could have survived.
She said: “After the divorce Charles got a very good friend in Diana because she understood him.
“Nobody is happy if their other half has affairs, but she loved him with all her heart.
“If they had left it 10 years and then got married, I believe they would be together today.
“They would have had their differences, but I think they may have got back together.”
Royal Family tree
During the Oprah interview, Harry also discussed his mother and what she would have felt about his and Meghan’s decision to quit senior royal life.
The couple had cited wanting to lead a “financially independent” life as one of their main reasons for wanting to leave last year.
They have since gone on to secure lucrative deals with the likes of Spotify and Netflix.
And reflecting on what his mother would have thought of the move, Harry said Diana was with him during the negotiations of their exit.
He said: “I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process.
“I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad. But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”