There is now an air date confirmed for the Princess Diana tapes, and more details about the shock revelations they contain – but supporters of the royal family are calling for people to BOYCOTT the show…
Controversial, taped confessions made by Diana, Princess of Wales with a voice coach are now to be broadcast for the very first time, but without the permission of either Prince William or Prince Harry. The princes are said to be refusing to comment on the very personal intrusion into their perosnal lives and the private life of their mother, Princess Diana.
The shocking tapes, previously deemed too sensitive in subject matter to be made public, will now be broadcast on Channel 4 in August, as it has been argued that William and Harry’s moving documentary about their mother has now set a precedent for similar, very personal insights about Princess Diana to be made public.
The tapes, which show the late Princess of Wales as she has never been seen before, were previously owned by Peter Settelen. Settelen was Diana’s voice coach from 1992 – 1993 and was hired to help improve her public speaking.
The tapes in question were originally made so that Diana could listen to herself speaking back and improve. However, as she grew more comfortable with Settlen, and her marriage fell into crisis, the recordings became a kind of video diary for the troubled Princess.
READ MORE: The story behind the picture: the heartbreaking reality behind Princess Diana’s happy honeymoon photos
As a result, Settlen is now in possession of a series of tapes that feature Diana speaking openly and candidly about her relationship and marriage to Prince Charles, their sex life, and his affair with the then Camilla Parker Bowles.
In particularly difficult clips to watch, Diana describes her infamous wedding to Prince Charles as “the worst day of her life” and speaks of how difficult she found it to live up to her “fairy princess” public image.
Diana reportedly reveals in the tapes that the Duke of Edinburgh encouraged his son to go back to Camilla (now the Duchess of Cornwall) if his marriage to Diana didn’t ‘work out’. Prince Charles also allegedly retorted, “Well, I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress” when challenged by Princess Diana about his affair.
“My father-in-law said to my husband ‘if your marriage doesn’t work out, you can always go back to her after five years'” Diana is allegedly caught on tape revealing.
“Which is exactly – I mean, for real I knew that it had happened after five (years) – I knew something was happening before that but the fifth year I had confirmation.”
Apparently Diana also makes some shocking revelations about the Queen in the controversial tapes. Referring to Her Majesty as the ‘top lady’, Diana allegedly confesses that the Queen did little to help Diana in her time of crisis towards the end of her marriage to Prince Charles.
“I went to the top lady, 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, and that was help.”
Since Princess Diana’s death, her family – the Spencers – have been fighting to keep the footage private. However the tapes were ruled to belong legally to Settelen in 2004.
Following the end of the legal battle, the tapes were sold to US network NBC to be shown as part of a documentary in America. However, the two-part doc caused so much controversy that the show was never aired in the UK. Former Tory MP Teddy Taylor insisted that broadcasters avoid showing any of the footage publicly while Prince William and Prince Harry were still alive out of a “sense of decency.”
Supporters of the royal family and long-standing royal correspondents are now also calling for people to boycott the show – both out of respect to Princess Diana and to send a strong message to Channel 4.
“Shame on Channel 4 for raking over tragic history of Princess Diana and Prince Charles” said Sam Leith for the Evening Standard. Victoria Arbiter resolutely concurred, “Best that can happen now is a public revolt and a ratings flop for Channel 4” she said.
“Just tacky to rehash what would be painful memories for the sake of a 20-year anniversary” agreed another fan of the royal family.
After the moving documentary about Diana commissioned by Prince William and Prince Harry, it is thought that Channel 4 now feel it is acceptable to publish the footage.
“Because the princes are talking about it, it was considered more OK to release it,” a source told The Telegraph.
“Also, there comes a point when something becomes historically interesting so it was decided to let the material speak for itself.”
There are thought to be 20 tapes in total. Initial reaction to the announcement was mixed. However. while some are appalled by the decision to publish the tapes, others believe it is in the public interest for the tapes to be published.
Tell us what you think
So, what do you think? Is it wrong of Channel 4 to publish the tapes? Or is it a matter of public interest and now part of history? Let us know in the comments below. Or, join the discussion on the Woman’s Own Facebook page.
Marcus Rutherford, Mr Settelen’s solicitor, said: “This material is some of the only pieces of candid, visual material that exists of Princess Diana and because of that, interest in it has been immense over the years.
“A lot of people have been keen to get hold of it but until now, we’ve resisted all attempts to hand it over. Peter has now been persuaded to make this material available for use in a Channel 4 documentary which he feels comes at the right time.”
Following Prince William’s confession that press and public intrusion into her life was the thing that made his mother cry the most, it is thought that the publication of the intimate Princess Diana tapes will be incredibly difficult for both of her sons to witness.
The Channel 4 documentary will be titled Diana: In Her Own Words, and is due to be aired on August 6th.