The two-part documentary, Princess Diana: The Secret Tapes focuses on the early 1990s when the royal marriage was known to be in trouble.
It features footage of the princess at home with Princes William and Harry.
It was taken between September 1992 and December 1993 by a friend of Diana's, former voice coach Peter Settelen.
A spokesman for NBC described the footage, which was taken with the princess's permission, as showing a "relaxed, candid Diana at times laughing
and interacting with her young sons, illustrating the lighter side of a woman who maintained a very reserved public persona".
about her childhood
"There just nobody to ... to physically scream at, or someone to put
their arms around me and just listen."
"My parents never said they loved me." "So,' asks Settelen, 'you
never knew that anyway?" "No, no. No idea,' she replies, touching
her cheek as she adds: 'There was no idea - there was always a kiss
there, there was no hugs or anything like that."
were upstairs in the spare bedroom. They were arguing with the doors
open and I looked around and I saw that," Diana said.
remember seeing my father slap my mother across the face. I was
hiding behind the door and she was crying. I remember Mummy crying
an awful lot."
I tap on my sister for knowledge, my elder sister, because she had a
grisly time she was 16, she was saying she always had to turn up the
record player so she couldn't hear the arguing."
The day her mother left her father for another man, when
Diana was only six. It was the beginning of a bitter divorce and
custody battle between her parents.
Peter Settelen: “And you really didn't see your mother again until
she came back married?” Princess Diana: “Well, she-- no, she had to
go away. The court said, if I remember right, she had to go away.”
Settelen: ”She's gone. Father didn't say where?” Princess Diana:
Settelen: “She's just gone.”
"My father told me about five years ago. He said, 'You sat on the
doorstep. You didn't eat, you didn't bathe, you didn't sleep. You
just sat there. You just, you know, never spoke'."
Her father hired a series of nannies to attend to Diana and her
younger brother Charles. Diana wanted nothing to do with them.
Settelen: “Did you just tantrum with them?”Princess Diana: “I made
life very difficult for them.” Settelen: “In what way? Give me a
situation.” Princess Diana: “I suspect-- well, I suspect when I was
jealous of the fact that they were going to be busy with my, making
eyes at my father actually we wanted his attention, I think. Looking
back that was what I was after. We used to put pins underneath her
cushion on the chair so when she sat down she sat on a pincushion.
We hid her clothes. One of them got engaged to someone and I chucked
her ring down the drain. I mean, it was really nasty, spiteful stuff.”
Her pain only deepened when her
father placed her in a boarding school when she was nine. Princess
Diana: “And when he left, he kissed me goodbye. That day I said to
him, if you leave me now you don't love me. Which is a crippler,
isn't it? But I meant it.”
Princess Diana: “I was always told by
my family that I was the thick one. That I was stupid and my brother
was the clever one. And I was always so conscious of that. I used to
go to the headmistress crying saying I wish I wasn't so stupid and
thick, and wished my family felt a bit more of me. I remember doing
that a lot. “That sense of inferiority was reflected in the results
of her national high school exams. Settelen: “What did you take?”
Princess Diana: “They were English language, English literature,
geography, arts, history, uh what's the other one? No, I think that
was it. Oh, biology.”
Settelen: “So you took five, and got five.” Princess Diana: “Well, I
got D's. Yes.”
"All my friends had boyfriends but not me because I knew
somehow I had to keep myself very tidy for whatever was coming my
"I knew that something profound
was coming my way and I was, just, um, treading water, waiting for
it. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know where it was. I didn't
know if it was coming next year or next month. But I knew I was
different from my friends in where I was going."
Diana about her stepmother
"I kept saying to Charles, "When we are 16, when we are 18, we'll be
able to have our own lives, our own choices." She's a bully and she
didn't know how to treat individuals."
her brother's wedding to Victoria Lockwood in 1989, things reached
boiling point. Diana says: "My father and stepmother refused to even
say hello to my mother. And it got me so angry, the behaviour of
these grown-ups, that I ploughed in and screamed at my stepmother
and my father. I said it was very bad manners. "They were just
indulging themselves and this was Charles's day and Victoria's. Do
we have to live in the past every time mummy walks in the house?"
Diana became so enraged at the treatment her mother received that
she pushed Raine down a flight of stairs. "My stepmother and I ended
up having this row. And I pushed her down the stairs. Which gave me
enormous satisfaction. My father didn't speak to me for six months.
I had to go back and say, you know... I love you daddy, etc, etc. I
was so angry. I wanted to throttle that stepmother of mine because
she brought such grief.
kept saying to me, 'Oh, but Diana. you're so unhappy in your own
marriage. You're just jealous of daddy's and my relationship.' And
jealousy was not high on the agenda. It was behaviour I was after.
She said, 'You don't know how much we've suffered because of
Frances.' I said, 'Suffering, Raine? You don't know the word. I see
suffering of such magnitude in my role that you would never even
really spat it out at her. I said, 'We've always hated you. You've
ruined our family life. You've done a great job there, Raine. Great
job. Made us really unhappy. I hope you're pleased about that.'"
about her sister
Diana says Charles was 'supposed'
to have been her sister Sarah's boyfriend (before Charles started
dating Diana). Asked why she says 'supposed', Diana replies: "They
never slept together. That is what she found so odd. That is my
sister saying that." (laughs)
about her first
First impact was:
"God, what a sad man." He came in with his Labrador. My sister (then Charles's girlfriend) was all over him
like it was a bad rash and I thought he must really hate that. I
kept out the way."
remember being a fat, podgy, no make-up, unsmart lady but I made a
lot of noise and he liked that.
"I said, `It's pathetic watching you
walking up the aisle at St. Paul's (cathedral) with (Charles' uncle)
Lord Mountbatten's coffin in front.' "I said, you know, `It's
ghastly. You need someone beside you.' Ugh!! Wrong word. Whereupon
he leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything. And I
thought, `Waaah!' "You know, this isn't what people do. And he was
all over me for the rest of the evening. Followed me around,
everything. A puppy. And um, yeah I was flattered, but I was very
was the fact that an older man in a prominent position, liked me and
wanted to have me around," Diana said.
"Move to London people did not understand. They had binoculars on me the
whole time. They hired the opposite flat, looked into my bedroom. I
cried like a baby in the four walls. I just could not cope with it.
"Balmoral trips was s****ing bricks. I was terrified. I had
never stayed in Balmoral before. I wanted to get it right."
The princess says they met just 13 times before they were married.
She says: "He'd ring me up every day for a week and then he wouldn't
speak to me for three weeks. Very odd. I thought 'Fine. Well, he
knows where I am if he wants me'. And the thrill when he used to
ring up was so immense and intense. Drive the other three girls in
my flat crazy. But-- no, it was all-- it was odd."
was like being sucked in, people pushing and pulling, but not in the
same direction," Diana said. "My family thought it was great and so
did my friends and so did Charles' friends."
liked me, they were very kind to me when I was a guest. It changed
when I was a daughter in law, positions changed."
about her engagement
said: 'Will you marry me?' I laughed. I remember thinking: 'You
know, this is a joke' So I said: 'Yeah, OK' and laughed. And he was
deadly serious. He said: 'Do you realize that one day you will be
Queen?' A voice said to me
inside: 'You won't be Queen but you will have a tough role.' So I
thought to myself: 'OK' so I said yes."
left my flat for the last time and suddenly I had a policeman and my
policeman the night before the engagement had said to me: 'I
just want you to know this is your last night of freedom ever in the
rest of your life, so make the most of it.' It was like a sword
went in my heart."
Moving on to her relationship with
Charles, Diana recalls the now infamous moment during an interview
to mark her engagement in which her husband-to-be was questioned
about their romance. Diana says: "I was brought up in the sense that,
you know, when you got engaged to someone, you love them. "And the
most extraordinary thing is, we had this ghastly interview the day
we announced our engagement. And this ridiculous ITN man said, 'Are
you in love?' Oh, what a thick question! 'So I said, "Yes, of course
we are" in this sort of fat Sloane Ranger that I was. And Charles
turned round and said, 'Whatever 'in love' means'. That threw me
completely. I thought, what a strange question." Settelen remarks:
"And what a strange reply!" to which Diana replies: "Oh God.
Absolutely traumatised me." Settelen: "And did you ask him about it?"
Diana: "No, I didn't dare." Settelen: "Were you frightened?" Diana:
"Must have been, yeah... we met 13 times before we got married."
about her wedding
"I can't marry him. I can't do this. This is absolutely
unbelievable. My sisters were wonderful and said: 'But
look, Duch, your face is on the tea towel so you can't chicken
the day of the wedding I was very, very deathly calm, totally,
totally calm. I felt as though I was a lamb to the slaughter and I
knew it but I could not do anything about it. I thought the whole
thing was hysterical, getting married, in the sense that it was so
grown-up and here was Diana, a kindergarten teacher. The whole thing
I was walking up the aisle I was looking for Camilla. I spotted her,
pale grey, pillbox hat, saw it all, to this day, you know, vivid
memory. I thought: 'Well, there we are, that's it, let's hope
that's all over with'."
just could not take my eyes off him. I thought I was the luckiest
girl in the world and he was going to look after me. Was I wrong on
"The wedding night was strange, very strange."
"I just had tremendous hope, which was slashed by Day Two. My
husband took eight Laurens van der Post novels... Every lunchtime or
dinner time, when we were allowed to be on our own, we were supposed
to read them."
"We were never on our own and I remember crying my heart out. I
was so tired but for all the wrong reasons, totally."
"My husband made me feel so young, inadequate in every possible
way, that each time I came up for air he pushed me down again."
Talking of her sex life, the princess says: "There was never a
requirement for it from him. Once every three weeks about, and I
kept thinking it followed a pattern."
She adds: "He used to see his lady once every three weeks before we
got married." 'It was odd. Very odd. But there was - it was
there and then it fizzled out about seven years ago. Six years ago?
Well, seven was Harry, it's eight.'
"Canada trip we had been walking around for four hours, we had
not had anything to eat and presumably I had not eaten for days.
When I say that I mean food staying down. I
remember walking around feeling really ghastly and I did not dare
tell anyone. I put my arm on my husband's shoulder and I said, 'Um,
darling, I think I'm about to disappear,' and slid down the side of
him. My husband told me off. He
said I could have passed out quietly somewhere else behind a door.
It was all very embarrassing. ... And inside me I knew there was
something wrong with me, but I was too immature to voice it."
about Charles and Camilla
Diana said Prince Phillip had actually told Charles he could keep
his options open. "And my father-in-law said to my husband, 'If your
marriage doesn't work out, you can always go back to her after five
"One day we were opening our diaries to discuss various things
and out comes two pictures of Camilla. And on our honeymoon we have
our white tie dinner for President Sadat - cufflinks arrive on
Charles's wrists, two Cs entwined like the Chanel C." So
I said: 'Camilla gave you those, didn't she?' He said: 'Yes, so
what's wrong? They are a present from a friend.' And boy, did we
have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy."
remember saying to my husband, you know, 'Why, why is this lady
around?' 'And he said, 'Well, I refuse to be the only Prince of
Wales who never had a mistress."
said to the two men, 'OK, boys, I'm just going to have a quick word
with Camilla and I'll be up in a minute'. "And they shot
upstairs like chickens with no heads and I could feel, upstairs, all
hell breaking loose - 'What is she going to do'?" "I was terrified of her. I said, 'I know what's going on
between you and Charles and I just want you to know that'. According to Diana, Camilla told her: "You've got everything
you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world fall in love
with you and you've got two beautiful children, what more do you
want?" Diana claimed she replied: "I want my
husband," before adding, "I'm sorry I'm in the way... and
it must be hell for both of you. "But I do know what's going
on. Don't treat me like an idiot'."
"I once heard Charles on the telephone in the bath, on his
handheld, and he said: "Whatever happens, I will always love
you." I told him I listened at the door and we had a filthy
about her pain, despair and suicide
"I hated myself so much. I did not think I was good enough. I
thought I was not good enough for Charles. Ugh, doubts as long as
"Little did they realize the individual who's crucifying
herself inside because she did not think she was good enough."
"I was trying to cut my wrists
with razor blades... we were trying to hide that from everybody... I
was just so desperate."
"Charles said I was crying wolf and I said I felt so desperate
and I was crying my eyes out. He said: 'I'm not going to listen. You
are always doing this to me. I'm going riding now.' So I threw
myself down the stairs - bearing in mind I was carrying a child.
Queen comes out, absolutely horrified, shaking she's so frightened.
I knew I was not going to lose the baby, quite bruised round the
stomach and Charles went out riding. When
he came back it was just dismissal, total dismissal."
was just no one to physically scream at, or for someone to put their
arms around me and just listen," Diana said. "When I cry I can't
stand it when people say 'it can't be as hard as that' or 'we
understand'. Nobody understands unless you're the individual
"After five years of being married my sister Jane came up to
see me... She said: 'What's that mark on your chest?' I said: 'Oh,
it's nothing' and she said: 'What is it?' The
night before I wanted to talk to Charles about something and he
would not listen to me, said I was crying wolf, so I picked up his
penknife off his dressing table and scratched myself heavily down my
chest and both thighs. There was a lot of blood and it hadn't made
any reaction whatsoever. I was
just so desperate. I knew what was wrong with me but nobody else
around me understood me. I needed rest and to be looked after and
for people to understand the torment and anguish going on in my
head. It was a desperate cry for help."
about her Bulimia
"Bulimia started the week after we got engaged. My husband put
his hand on my waistline and said: "Oh, a bit chubby here,
aren't we?" That triggered off something in me."
She said she had been thrilled when she made herself vomit for the
first time as "it relieved me of tension".
"It was four times a day on the yacht. Anything I could find I
would gobble up and be sick two minutes later. One minute one would
be happy and next minute one would be blubbing one's eyes out."
"I remember the first time I made myself sick, I was so
thrilled because I thought right, this was the release of tension."
Camilla thing, you see, I was desperate, desperate. I ate everything
I could possibly find and I was sick as a parrot that night. It was
such an indication of what was going on."
"The odd thing was when I was bulimic I wasn't angry because The
anger, I thought, was coming out that way. And it always felt better
after I’d been sick to get rid of the anger. And I'd be very passive
afterwards. Very quiet."
"I Was sick the whole time, bulimia and morning sickness.
People tried to put me on pills to stop me from being sick but I
refused to take the responsibility that if the child appeared
handicapped, I was not going to take responsibility. I told
everybody I was tired the whole time but it was the bulimia that had
totally taken grip of me."
all blamed the failure of the marriage on the bulimia and it's taken
some time to get them to the think about that differently. I said I
was rejected, I didn't think I was good enough for this family so I
took it out on myself," Diana
said."I said I could
have gone to alcohol, which would have been obvious. I could have
been anorexic, which should be even more obvious. I decided to do
the more discreet thing, which ultimately wasn't discreet. But I
chose to hurt myself instead of hurting all of you. It certainly was
not discreet, when in 1986 Diana fainted at a function in Canada."
about her children
birth of William:
"We had to find a date in
the diary that suited Charles and his polo. William had to be
induced because I could not handle the press pressure any longer. It
was becoming unbearable. Anyway the boy arrived, great excitement,
thrills, everyone was absolutely as high as a kite. We found a day
Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth. So that
was very nice, felt very grateful about that."
"Then the post natal depression hit me hard. It wasn't so much
a baby that has produced it, it was a baby that triggered off all
else that was going on in my mind. Boy, was I troubled."
birth of Harry:
"I knew he had gone back to his lady but somehow we managed to
have Harry. We were very, very close six weeks before Harry was
born, the closest we have ever been and ever will have been."
"Suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went down, our marriage.
The whole thing went down the drain. Charles, all he wanted was a
girl. First comment was: 'Oh God, it's a boy.' Second comment was: 'Oh,
and he's even got red hair' (from her Spencer family). Something
inside me closed off."
Diana about 'The Queen'
The princess recalls how she found in 1986 that Charles was seeing
Camilla again, and asked for a word with the Queen. "I went to the
Top Lady, and I'm sobbing. And I said, 'What do I do? I'm coming to
you. What do I do?' And she said, 'I don't know what you should do.
Charles is hopeless.' And that was it. That was help! "So I didn't
go back to her again for help because... I don't go back again if I
don't get it the first time around."
Diana about the press
Her early married life was marred
by "a very bad time with the press. They literally haunted and
hunted me," she said.
She acknowledged that the public
saw her as "a fairytale princess".
about the crown
"That first week was such a traumatic week. I learned to be a
royal in one week. I was thrown into the deep end nobody ever helped
me at all. They would be there to criticism but never be there to
say well done."
"Being a Royal People say to me: 'Thank you for bringing
happiness into my life, thank you for coming, thank you for making
the effort, thank you for being you' and all those things I never
used to believe."
"The whole world were focusing on me. Every day I was in the
front of the papers. I thought this was just so appalling. I had not
actually done anything specific like climb Everest or something
wonderful like that."
"One minute I was nobody and the next minute I was Princess of
Wales, mother, media toy, member of this family, you name it. It was
just too much for one person."
"I did not want to do anything on my own. I was too frightened.
I mean, the thought of me doing anything on my own sent tremors so I
stuck with whatever Charles did but the pace was phenomenal."
"It didn't get easier. I just got used to what people required
from the Princess. What Diana thought wasn't going to come into it."
"I always used to think that people were just looking at me for
my clothes and I was desperate for the other side to come out or be
dealt with but didn't know how to do it."
"Suddenly in the middle of dinner I would go out to be sick,
come back again and they would say: 'Why don't you go off to bed?'
But I felt it was my duty to stay at the table. I mean 'duty'."
"The public side was very different from the private side. The
public side, they wanted a fairy princess to come, touch them and
everything would turn to gold and all their worries would be
Asked to describe why her
charity work is so important to her, a giggling Diana says: "I've
got nothing else to do." William, then 11, can be heard laughing off
camera. "She's awful!" he says.
Diana about Barry Mannakee
Barry Mannakee allegedly had an affair with the princess in 1985 and
was subsequently moved from duties at Kensington Palace. In 1987, he
was killed in a motorcycle accident as he rode pillion with a fellow
I was 24, 25, I fell deeply in love with somebody who worked in this
environment ... I was quite happy to give all this up ... just to go
off and live with him."
But she added: "Well not all this, at
this moment, at the time, it was quite something to have all this."
She continued: "Just to go off and live with him. Can you believe it?
"And he kept saying he thought it was a good idea."
Asked whether there was an 'intimacy' between them, Diana replies: 'Yeah'.
But she admits seeing him being as much a father-figure as a lover,
saying: "Yeah, I suppose you could say I did, yes. I'm sure I did. I
was like a little girl in front of him the whole time. Desperate for
praise. Desperate." I was always wandering around trying to see him.
I just wore my heart on my sleeve and was only happy when he was
But the relationship was soon discovered after gossip spread through
the royal household. "It got so difficult, and people got so jealous,
bitchy, in this house," Diana said. "And eventually he had to go. It
was all found out and he was chucked out."
informed her of Mannakee's death while they were both in a limousine
heading to a glitzy function in Cannes, she said.
was the biggest blow of my life ... Charles thought he knew, but he
never had any proof. And he just jumped it on me like that. I sat
there all day going through this huge high-profile visit to Cannes
-- thousands of press. Just devastated."
used to have really disturbing dreams about him. And he was very
unhappy wherever he's gone to. I went and found out where he was
buried. I went to put some flowers on his grave." She said she was
upset to find that there was no grave but that his ashes had been
scattered. "He was just chucked over the ground," she said. "That
absolutely appalled me, but there we are, I wasn't in a position to
do anything about it." She laid the flowers in the cemetery itself,
she said, adding: "And the day I did that, the day the dreams
stopped. It's strange, wasn't it? It's like a sort of recognition."
should never have played with fire and I did and I got very burnt."
Appearing to question whether his death was an
accident, the princess says: "It was all found out and he was
chucked out. And then he was killed. "And I think he was bumped off.
But, um, there we are. I don't... we'll never know... he was
greatest fella I've ever had."
OF MARRIAGE SHOP closed up very quickly after (1987 trip to)
Portugal and that was it. Whether that meant Camilla had come back
in a big vengeance I have no idea. I have no proof."