PRINCESS DIANA was a manipulative figure, former Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed in his autobiography “A Journey”.
The beloved “People’s Princess” was one of the most famous and photographed women in the world in the Eighties and Nineties. Her fairytale wedding to Prince Charles remains one of the most watched events in history. Even after their separation, Diana’s unprecedented popularity continued both in Britain and abroad.
Her every mode was meticulously documented and scrutinised, especially after she decided to open up to the world and give an insight into her state of mind during her marriage.
Described by many as a “force of good”, there have also been several portraits of a “manipulative” and “infuriating” Princess of Wales.
In his 2010 memoirs “A Journey”, former Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed Diana was down to earth, charming and intelligent, but also stubborn and prone to be over-emotional.
He recalled meeting the Princess at Chequers in July 1997, the month before she died, saying he felt an uneasiness about her relationship with Dodi Fayed but could not put his finger on why.
Royal secrets: Tony Blair’s shock comment about Princess Diana’s personality exposed (Image: GETTY)
Princess Diana (Image: GETTY)
He said she did not appreciate him broaching the subject with her, adding: “We were both, in our own way, manipulators — good at grasping the feelings of others and instinctively playing on them.”
In the book, the former Prime Minister also gave his first account of what happened on the night she died, recalling how he was woken at 2am on August 31, 1997, by a police officer at the end of his bed, who told him that Diana had been badly injured.
He knew from the beginning that her chances of survival were poor, and was told of her death at 4am.
Mr Blair said that, without wishing to sound callous, he wanted to “manage” the situation and shape the public grief that would follow.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair (Image: GETTY)
He prepared his now famous “People’s Princess” speech on the back of an envelope with the help of his spin doctor, Alastair Campbell.
He felt that the Royal Family’s lack of response to the Princess’s death was dangerous for them in the face of a massive outpouring of public grief and felt a duty to protect the monarchy from itself.
He said he did his best, even though some members of the Establishment did not like who he was and what he represented.
Because of Mr Blair’s insistence, Princes William and Harry famously walked behind their mother’s coffin as the procession made its way through.
Queen Elizabeth II delivered a live address to the nation about the death of Diana (Image: YOUTUBE / AP ARCHIVE)
Princess Diana’s funeral (Image: GETTY)
They were accompanied in the procession by their father, Prince Charles, and their grandfather, Prince Philip, in addition to Lord Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother.
In 2017 Channel 5 documentary on Diana’s funeral, “7 Days”, Prince William told viewers that walking behind his mother’s coffin was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done”.
The Duke of Cambridge, who was 15 at the time, recalled using his fringe as a “safety blanket” during the “very long, lonely walk”.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK