Di­ana: In Her Own Words

as C4 screens a rare in­ter­view with the Princess of Wales, TV Times talks to two of her con­fi­dantes

TV Times - - Contents - Ian Mace­wan

Sun­day / C4

As the 20th an­niver­sary of her death ap­proaches, this new doc­u­men­tary in­cludes pre­vi­ously un­seen tapes made by Di­ana’s speech coach Peter Set­te­len.

Di­ana: In Her Own Words

Sun­day / C4 / 8.00Pm

Di­ana, Princess of Wales, caused a storm when, in her in­fa­mous 1995 Panorama in­ter­view, she dis­cussed her hus­band Prince Charles’s af­fair with Camilla Parker­bowles, her own bu­limia and her in­fat­u­a­tion with James He­witt.

Twenty years af­ter her death in a car crash in Paris, C4’s new doc­u­men­tary, Di­ana: In Her Own Words, has gained ac­cess to an­other filmed in­ter­view, pre­vi­ously un­seen, in which a much more in­for­mal Di­ana shares more thoughts on some of the most pri­vate as­pects of her life.

Recorded dur­ing ses­sions with her speech coach, Peter Set­te­len, in the early 1990s, the video footage sees Di­ana re­flect­ing on sub­jects such as Charles’s fumbling courtship, the royal cou­ple’s sex life, Camilla’s in­flu­ence on their mar­riage, her de­pres­sion and her close re­la­tion­ship with body­guard Barry Man­na­kee.

‘Given that the only filmed in­ter­view we’ve ever seen with Di­ana is Mar­tin Bashir’s Panorama in­ter­view, this is a unique piece of his­tor­i­cal archive,’ ex­plains

C4’s Head of Fac­tual, Ralph Lee. ‘For the first time view­ers will feel that they’re see­ing a nat­u­ral, re­laxed and per­sonal Di­ana.’

The doc­u­men­tary also uses archive footage to tell Di­ana’s story, from her en­gage­ment to Charles and their fairy-tale wed­ding in 1981 to the cou­ple’s di­vorce and Di­ana’s tragic death in 1997.

There’s also tes­ti­mony from two men who worked closely with the Princess – per­sonal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer Ken Wharfe and pri­vate sec­re­tary Pa­trick Jeph­son. TV Times sat down with them to find out more…

‘The tapes show her spon­tane­ity and sense of fun,’ says Pa­trick, who worked for the Princess of Wales from 1988 un­til 1996. ‘Di­ana was a won­der­fully in­spi­ra­tional boss. Even when things were tough she saw a sil­ver lin­ing.’

Pa­trick tells us he was im­pressed by her au­then­tic­ity and her strength: ‘What was underestimated then and now is Di­ana’s strength as a per­son,’ he says. ‘She had a back­bone of steel! If you pushed her into a cor­ner, or made her feel she’d been un­justly treated, there was a de­fi­ance in her. It was some­times reck­less, but it wasn’t man­u­fac­tured, it was real.’

Much of the film fo­cuses on Charles’s re­la­tion­ship with Camilla, which Di­ana fa­mously de­scribed by say­ing, ‘there were three of us in this mar­riage’.

Ken Wharfe re­calls how im­pressed he was that, de­spite all the mar­i­tal prob­lems, Di­ana was de­ter­mined to make a go of things.

‘When I came to work for Di­ana in 1986, I heard about the prob­lems in the mar­riage, and that shocked me,’ he says. ‘Yet she con­tin­ued in the be­lief that things would work out – though of course they didn’t.’

Ken also re­calls be­ing con­cerned when Di­ana told him that her voice coach was film­ing their ses­sions.

‘In 1993 Di­ana told me joy­ously: ‘“I’ve got a voice coach, Ken!” My re­ac­tion was: “You don’t need to one – you’ve a great voice any­way!”

‘She told me he was mak­ing a video of it and alarm bells went off. Who has ac­cess to th­ese tapes and where might they end up?’ Now that the tapes are in the public do­main, Ken and Pa­trick be­lieve they stand as tes­ta­ment to the way in which Princess Di­ana changed the Bri­tish monar­chy.

‘Who would have thought that the Queen would have taken part in a spoof with Daniel Craig for the Lon­don Olympics?’ says Ken. ‘It’s ex­tra­or­di­nary and re­ally bought the Royal Fam­ily for­ward, which is what Di­ana did in the 1980s and 1990s. But she didn’t get much credit for it – in fact, there was a lot of jeal­ousy.’

Pa­trick adds that the pi­o­neer­ing char­ity work Di­ana started is be­ing car­ried on by William and Harry.

‘As an out­sider her­self, she had a nat­u­ral affin­ity with other out­siders,’ he says. ‘The causes that she sup­ported were not tra­di­tional main­stream royal causes – ad­dic­tion, men­tal ill­ness, lep­rosy, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence…

‘I was with her in New York in 1989 when she picked up a lit­tle baby dy­ing of AIDS in hos­pi­tal. That was dar­ing and ground-break­ing. If she were still alive to­day, she’d still be sur­pris­ing peo­ple!’

She had a back­bone of steel

Pri­vate Sec­re­tary Pa­trick Jeph­son

The new tapes shed more light on Di­ana’s pri­vate life

Di­ana gives her in­fa­mous 1995 Panorama in­ter­view

Pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer Ken Wharfe by Di­ana’s side

Princess Di­ana with Pa­trick Jeph­son

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