Special Sub-Topic: The Beginning of the End
|Diana appeared to have the perfect wedding on July 29, 1981. But with hindsight, we can look back and wonder if her life was on an inevitable path to destruction, when she and Charles posed for the world's press on the day they officially announced their engagement. An interviewer asked if they were in love. Diana replied "Of course". How did Charles reply?|
"Whatever 'in love' means". Charles and Diana had become engaged three weeks before it was officially announced. She had gone on a three week trip to Australia just after Charles had asked her to marry him. Diana later said that Charles hadn't called her in the whole time she was away, saying "I pined for him, but he never rang me up". She confessed later that she told her sisters of her doubts about the marriage shortly before the wedding took place. She said that they were "wonderful" and said to her, "Well, it's too late now, Duch" ('Duch' was Diana's childhood nickname), "your face is on the towels now. You've just got to get on with it."
In videotapes filmed by her voice coach in late 1992, Diana said that she and Charles had only met thirteen times before they were married. She said that there were times when Charles would phone her every single day; and then others when it would be three weeks before she would hear from him again. His response - "Whatever 'in love' means" - upset Diana. She said she thought "What a strange answer. It absolutely traumatized me".
|Prince Charles had dated Camilla Parker Bowles before he dated Diana. Before her wedding, Diana had worries about whether their affair had begun again. It was on her honeymoon that she was distressed to find evidence that her new husband still had Camilla firmly in his mind. What was one of the pieces of evidence she found?|
Cufflinks Camilla had had made for Charles, engraved with their initials. There were around 2,500 guests at Charles and Diana's wedding, but there was one guest in particular that Diana was looking out for when she walked down the aisle. Diana said "As I walked up the aisle I was looking for her. And I saw Camilla. And I thought, 'well, that's it. Let's hope that's all over with'".
Despite Diana's concerns that her fiancÚ still harbored feelings for Camilla before they married, she confessed in later interviews for the book "Diana - Her True Story", that she had hopes that he would forget Camilla once they were married. On their honeymoon, she found a pair of cufflinks that Camilla had made especially for Charles, with their initials "CC" engraved on them. She also discovered some photographs of Camilla, when opening Charles' diary, while they were discussing various upcoming events. Diana said that her bulimia was appalling on their honeymoon, and she was making herself sick four times a day.
|Diana had said that she had "tremendous hopes" of things going well once they were married. But she said that on Day Two of her honeymoon, her hopes were slightly dashed by what discovery?|
Charles had bought eight volumes of 'Laurens van der Post' novels to read on their honeymoon. Sir Laurens van der Post was a South African philosopher, journalist and author, who died in 1996. He was also a friend of Prince Charles, and godfather to Prince William. Diana said of her honeymoon that "every lunchtime or dinnertime when we were allowed to be on our own, we were supposed to read them. I remember crying my heart out on our honeymoon. I was so tired ... for all the wrong reasons."
|Diana had said that she succumbed to the disease 'Bulimia' one week after her engagement. Crying out for attention, it emerged out in later years that she had tried to commit suicide several times in the course of her marriage. She once threw herself down the stairs while pregnant. Which of her sons was she expecting when she did this?|
William & Prince William. Diana said that she felt suicidal throughout her pregnancy, and one day was crying uncontrollably in front of Charles. She said that he thought she was 'crying wolf', and said that he was going to go out riding. Diana threw herself down the stairs, despite carrying her first child. She said that the Queen heard the commotion, and came out to see what was happening, and was "absolutely horrified, shaking she was so frightened". Charles went out riding.
This was only one of several suicide attempts Diana said she made throughout her marriage. She also slit her wrists, and once threw herself into a glass cabinet at Kensington Palace.
Diana said that her bulimia was rife during her pregnancy with William, and she was also suffering from morning sickness on top of that. In the secret tapes that Diana recorded for the book "Diana - Her True Story", written by Andrew Morton in 1992, Diana said that Charles had put his arm around her waist after they had just got engaged, and said "Ooh, a bit chubby here, aren't we?" Diana said that that triggered something off in her, and she started to make herself sick after eating. She said she felt "thrilled" when she did it, because it released a lot of tension.
|Diana once commented that between sixty and ninety photographers would follow her every move. While she largely learnt to deal with this, and sometimes to her own advantage, it often had a very negative effect on her. While Diana was expecting William, photos appeared of her in a bikini. Diana was distraught. Who called this "the blackest day in the history of British journalism"?|
The Queen. Charles and Diana had gone on a holiday to a private island in the Bahamas, while Diana was expecting her first child. Ken Lennox was one photographer that followed Diana everywhere she went, and was the one who took this photo of Diana in her bikini. In an interview with him after her death, he admitted that he had gone too far: "I had totally overstepped the line" said Lennox, and he regretted it. This kind of photo is sadly not such a big deal today, but twenty-five or so years ago in the early eighties, especially when a member of royalty had a photo stolen of them in a bikini (and pregnant), it was thought of as far more intrusive.
Diana was quoted as saying "I had a very bad time with the press. They literally haunted me. Or hunted me". It was difficult for Diana to cope from being catapulted from total anonymity to the situation she now found herself in. She said "one minute I was nobody; and the next minute I was Princess of Wales, mother, media-toy, member of this family, you name it. And it was just too much for one person, at that time".
|In secret tapes, recorded in 1991 and 1992 for Andrew Morton's book "Diana - Her True Story", Diana told of when she gave birth to Prince Harry, in 1984. She recounted Charles' reaction to their son when he first saw him. What did she say he had said?|
"Oh God, it's another boy. And it's got red hair". Diana recalled that she and Charles were the closest they'd ever been six weeks prior to Harry's birth. However, she said that Charles was disappointed because he had been hoping for a girl. She said "And then suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went 'bang', our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain." She said that Charles was horrified at Harry's red hair, as it was a distinctive "Spencer" trait. Diana said that finally something inside her "closed off". I think it's fair to point out though, that at the time of Harry's birth, Prince Charles did comment on how delighted he was with Harry, and how happy he was.
|In July 1987, Diana herself turned to another man. He was a British household cavalry officer whom she met at a party in 1986, and she arranged for him to give her riding lessons. What was this man's name?|
James Hewitt. Diana's bodyguard at the time - Ken Wharf - was a confidant of hers. He said that she still wanted Charles back. He said he thought it was a statement from Diana to Charles, a protest, as if to say "If you can do this, so can I". James Hewitt gave Diana her confidence back, and some self-esteem. In later years, Diana gave a television interview to Martin Bashir, and confessed that she had loved James Hewitt. She was also said to be "absolutely devastated" when Hewitt sold his story about her, forcing her to cut him off completely.
Diana was also rumored to have had relationships with car salesman James Gilbey (of 'Squidgy-gate' fame, Rugby player Will Carling; and heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan, among others, both during and after her marriage.
|In 1989, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles had an intimate telephone conversation of theirs 'tapped'. It caused intense embarrassment for the whole Royal Family, prompting Prince Philip to write to Diana saying "I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind, leaving you for Camilla". What were these infamous tapes dubbed?|
Camilla-gate. Charles and Camilla had a private telephone conversation between them secretly recorded. Camilla was heard saying "I can't bear a Sunday night without you. It's like that program "Start the Week". I can't start the week without you". It was shortly after this that the Prime Minister, John Major, made an announcement in the House of Commons, saying "It is with the regret, that the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate".
"Squidgy-gate" was the name given to a later telephone call between Diana and a man named James Gilbey. During this call, he was heard calling Diana 'Squidgy', his nickname for her.
It was Charles who gave the first television confession regarding his infidelity. "Charles - the Private Man, the Public Role", was a two and a half hour documentary presented by Jonathan Dimbleby. He was asked "Did you try to be faithful and honorable to your wife when you took on the vow of marriage?" Charles replied, "Yes. Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried".
|In September 1992, and over the course of the following year, Diana decided to hire a voice coach - Peter Settelen - to help with her public speaking technique. These lessons were video taped. At one point, Settelen asked Diana what she saw her role as in five years' time. Diana answered "I haven't a clue how to answer that question". What was extremely poignant about that answer?|
Diana did not have five years left to live. Even though Diana had originally only intended to have voice lessons to help with her public speaking, she quickly found herself opening up to Settelen. She agreed to have these sessions videotaped, so that she could look back over them afterwards, and see 'herself' - her story - as some form of therapy. Diana had said to Settelen, "There's just nobody to physically scream at. Or someone to put their arms around me and just listen." In one of these sessions, she confessed to Settelen that Prince Charles had once said to her, "I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress".
Settelen had convinced her that taping the sessions would be cathartic for her, and they remained in her possession. For a few years after her death these tapes were lost, and found again in the home of Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, when police raided his house on January 18, 2001. They remained in police hands for a while, and were then fought for by Diana's family, before being returned to Settelen.
|Diana had been quoted as saying that she thought she would never become Queen. In October 1996 Diana wrote a letter claiming that she feared someone was planning to have her killed in a car crash. Who did she write this letter to?|
Her butler, Paul Burrell. In an unnerving letter to her then butler, Paul Burrell, dated October 1996, she wrote "This phase in my life is the most dangerous". "My husband is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury to make the path clear for him to marry."
In the early hours of August 31, 1997, Diana was involved in a car crash in Paris, killing her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and driver Henri Paul, instantly. Diana died in hospital a few hours later.
There are many conspiracy theories surrounding Diana's death, partly because people couldn't believe that such a woman would die such an 'ordinary' death. Shortly before her death, Diana had taken an active and much documented role in campaigning against land mines. It has been suggested that this threatened the UK's single most economically important industry - the international arms trade - and that Diana was becoming too powerful. Another theory is that people believed that the royal family wouldn't have tolerated a marriage between a Muslim (Dodi Fayed), and Diana - the mother of a future king.
Whilst I am sure these conspiracy theories will always abound, one thing cannot be disputed: Diana made a huge and positive impact on the world with the charity work she did. Whatever you believed of her, no one can deny the vast pressure she must have gone through, with her catapult into public life, press intrusion, her bulimia, and the knowledge that the man she loved and married, always loved another. At her funeral, which was watched by two and a half billion people worldwide, her brother, Charles Spencer, said "Of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest was this: a girl given the name of the Ancient Goddess of Hunting, was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age".
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