PRINCESS DIANA painted her first few months within Buckingham Palace as deeply unpleasant when recalling them in later life, but royal insiders revealed their alternative perspective into her first taste of the monarchy in an unearthed biography.
Diana famously divulged the reality of her life behind Palace walls to both Andrew Morton, for his 1992 book ‘Diana: Her True Story’ and again to the BBC’s Martin Bashir for Panorama in 1995. On both occasions, she depicted the monarchy as an unloving family and claimed she had felt deeply unsettled from the very first moment of her royal life. The interviews frustrated Buckingham Palace — the outrageous 1992 biography led to her separation from Prince Charles, and her 1995 interview pushed the Queen to finally call for a divorce between the couple.
Yet, in his 2007 biography, ‘Charles: The Man who will be King’, author Howard Hodgson explained how Diana’s account of life when she first arrived at the sovereign’s headquarters, Buckingham Palace, contrasts to other recollections from insiders.
Mr Hodgson explained that “Diana was, quite willingly, taken into royal custody” two days after the official engagement announcement.
He said that “as we know” she was soon overwhelmed by the royal lifestyle with “over 200 people who lived a lifestyle little changed from the reign of Queen Victoria”.
While the author conceded that it “must have been daunting to a rather spoiled 19-year-old” he added that “things were never as bad as Diana was to later tell Morton”.
Princess Diana moved into Buckingham Palace two days after her official engagement announcement (Image: Getty)
Diana and Charles outside Buckingham Palace for their engagement announcements (Image: Getty)
He explained: “Not only did Sarah Ferguson et al keep her company, but there were many in the Queen’s household who had known her since she was a child and did their very best to make her feel welcome.
“For example, Lady Susan Hussey spent hours with her.”
He added that Diana’s sister Jane was also at court and that her mother Frances regularly visited the future Princess of Wales at the time.
Mr Hodgson continued: “Far from being locked away in a dungeon, she continued to meet friends or even lunch happily with the Palace ‘old brigade’.”
Diana and Charles pictured before their wedding in 1981 (Image: Getty)
Yet in her 1991 tapes for Mr Morton, Diana claimed she felt lonely as soon as she left her own flat and moved into Buckingham Palace in February 1981.
Mr Hodgson explained that while friends confirmed her initial sadness, they went on to claim “she was on other occasions most excited and appeared to be blissfully happy”.
Additionally, most insiders told Mr Hodgson they could not remember her complaining about the household staff only that she regretted that Charles’ duties meant he was often away from her.
He added: “Some can remember her actually speaking affectionately about the Prince’s staff.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK