Diana feeling ill-prepared and untrained for the role in which she found herself believed she had been left to sink or swim

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Prince Charles and Princess Diana Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

How Charles failed Diana, by her closest Palace aide: Former private secretary berates Royal Family for failing to treat her with respect

As the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, approaches, her former private secretary Patrick Jephson has decided that the time is right to berate the Royal Family for a failure to treat her with the humanity and respect she deserved.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31: Prince Charles And Princess Diana Photographed At Home In Kensington Palace. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 31: Prince Charles And Princess Diana Photographed At Home In Kensington Palace. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

In a new American edition of his book Shadows Of A Princess, published today, Jephson writes: ‘Remembering Diana… can be summed up in one word — a word traditionally synonymous with the British Crown, exemplified by Elizabeth II’s lifetime of service.

‘The word is decency. Yet in some corners of the royal establishment, two decades of spin doctors and a naive fondness for the slippery arts of news management have put the word and the idea at risk…

‘Diana alive was a decency test for the Windsors, which some of them failed.’

Jephson, a former Royal Navy officer who served as her private secretary for eight years, refrains from naming which Windsors he has in mind.

However, his new introduction to his book turns the spotlight in an unmistakable direction.

SPECIAL PRICE APPLIES. HRH Princess Diana, The Princess of Wales and her son Harry are pictured during an official portrait sitting to mark HRH Prince Harry's christening in 1984. pictured 1984. Job No: 886
SPECIAL PRICE APPLIES. HRH Princess Diana, The Princess of Wales and her son Harry are pictured during an official portrait sitting to mark HRH Prince Harry’s christening in 1984. pictured 1984. Job No: 886

‘With his Coronation plans already the subject of unfriendly speculation, especially on the divisive issue of Queen Camilla,’ writes Jephson, ‘Elizabeth’s successor faces an acceptability hurdle that some courtiers may be slow to recognise. A little perspective from recent history might guide them.’

Jephson, now a naturalised U.S. citizen, rams home the point, arguing that Diana, feeling ‘ill-prepared and untrained for the role in which she found herself’, believed she had been ‘left to sink or swim’.

He continues: ‘Her private life offered no consolation, with a husband who . . . saw her as a rival to be feared rather than a companion to be cherished.’

PRINCE CHARLES ESCORTS ESTRANGED PRINCESS DIANA AWAY FROM MAIN PODIUM DURING HEADS OF STATE CEREMONY IN HYDE PARK. Prince Charles escorts his estranged wife Princess Diana away from the main podium during the Heads of State Ceremony marking the 50th Anniversary of VE Day and London's Hyde Park, May 7, 1995. Heads of State from the nearly 60 countries gathered in the sweltering sun for festivities to remember Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II. SCANNED FROM NEGATIVE REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
PRINCE CHARLES ESCORTS ESTRANGED PRINCESS DIANA AWAY FROM MAIN PODIUM DURING HEADS OF STATE CEREMONY IN HYDE PARK. Prince Charles escorts his estranged wife Princess Diana away from the main podium during the Heads of State Ceremony marking the 50th Anniversary of VE Day and London’s Hyde Park, May 7, 1995. Heads of State from the nearly 60 countries gathered in the sweltering sun for festivities to remember Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II. SCANNED FROM NEGATIVE REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Charles’s ‘energy, time and attention were devoted to the older, more experienced wife of a former courtier who, like many of their secretive social circle, seemed impervious to the vulnerable princess’s anguish.

‘No wonder Diana suffered from chronic self-doubt, poor self-image and a persistent eating disorder.’

Some may wonder whether Jephson himself has failed the decency test. In 2000, he was accused of ‘betrayal’ for publishing his book about his time in Diana’s service.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Prince Charles and Princess Diana Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE

Tags: Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Diana, Charles and Diana, News Update

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