Princess Diana forced into major changes to key speech to maintain royal role after break

1757

PRINCESS DIANA was advised to make major changes to one of her major speeches following her separation from Prince Charles to ensure she could still have a public royal role, her former private secretary Patrick Jephson claimed.

Princess Diana shocked her supporters when she announced plans to reduce “the extent of the public life” she had led as a senior member of the Royal Family months after her separation from Prince Charles. The Princess of Wales stepped away from many public duties but her former private secretary Patrick Jephson claimed Diana had been ready to deliver a more radical speech. Speaking to Channel 5 documentary ‘Diana, In Her Own Words,’ Mr Jephson said: “I knew this two or three months beforehand when she said ‘I want to make this speech, I want to take a step back.’

“I thought, ‘No, you don’t. You love this job. This is how you measure your worth, not as a princess but as a human being. You take that away, what have you got?’

“So I think for her, the priority was not what she said so much as the act of saying it.”

Mr Jephson suggested Diana had planned a more dramatic speech announcing her plans to step back from royal life but said he convinced her to review it to ensure she would be able to get back to work when she decided to.

He continued: “In the several weeks that were to elapse before she was due to give the speech, I was able to persuade her to take out many of its more suicidal elements.

princess diana news princess of wales royal family

Princess Diana had planned a more dramatic speech to announce she would step down (Image: CHANNEL 5)

princess diana news divorce prince charles

Diana announced she would reduce her engagements a year after her separation from Charles (Image: GETTY)

“I knew that once she had made her speech she would, in due course, want to return to some form of structured royal life.

“So my priority was to make sure she didn’t shut any doors on that.”

Diana delivered her infamous speech at a charity dinner for the Headway organisation she was a patron of nearly a year after Buckingham Palace announced the official separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

In the speech, Princess Diana said she had been pushed into her decision to take a step back from her public life by the unexpected public attention she was subjected to.

princess diana news royal life princess of wales

Diana said she had not expected all the public attention she faced (Image: CHANNEL 5)

princess diana news royal family speech

Diana had to be talked down from delivering her original speech, Jephson claimed (Image: CHANNEL 5)

She said: “When I started my public life, twelve years ago, I understood the media might be interested in what I did.

“I realised then their attention would inevitably focus on both our private and public lives.

“But I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become. Nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and my personal life, in a manner, that’s been hard to bear.

“At the end of this year, when I’ve completed my diary of official engagements, I will be reducing the extent of the public life I’ve lead so far.”

princess diana landmine picture angola

Princess Diana became an outspoken activist against landmines (Image: GETTY)

princess diana news patronage charity photo

Diana gave up most of her patronages when she left the Royal Family (Image: GETTY)

Diana continued to attend key events such as the 50th Anniversary of VE day alongside the Royal Family until her divorce was officialised in 1995.

Following the divorce, the Princess of Wales resigned from most of her patronages and military appointments but continued to support charities she had become close to during her royal career.

Diana also became an outspoken advocate against landmines, a commitment she is remembered for thanks to a series of photographs capturing her walk through a landmine field in Huambo, Central Angola, wearing full protective gear.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK