Friends and relatives of the late Princess Diana are expressing disgust and concern over a controversial new documentary they're describing as exploitative, but others who worked with the princess say the program simply reflects the truth.
“Diana: In Her Own Words” features private video recordings she made while working with a voice coach. The princess discusses intimate details about her early days with Prince Charles, recalling how they only met 13 times before getting married. In one scene, Diana describes how Charles' awkward approach to their first kiss.
“He leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything,” she said in the British documentary, which premiered over the weekend in the United Kingdom. “This is not what people do, and he was all over me the rest of the evening, followed me around, everything, puppy.”
Diana also described being hurt by the way Charles responded when asked in a news interview whether he was in love.
“Charles turned around and said, ‘Whatever in love means,’ and that threw me completely,” she said. “I thought, ‘What a strange question — uh, answer.’ God, absolutely traumatized me.”
But the part making many royal watchers uncomfortable was what happened when the princess reached out to Queen Elizabeth for help.
“So I went to the top lady, and 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. That was help,” she recalled.
Diana’s loved ones, including her brother Earl Spencer, called the program exploitative and expressed concern over the impact on her sons, Princes William and Harry. But others who knew or worked with her said the footage simply reflects what actually happened.
“What we hear is the truth,” said Ken Wharfe, who worked as Diana’s bodyguard for many years. “What she said on the tapes is exactly what she would say anyway, to anybody.”
Britain’s Channel 4, which aired the documentary, released a statement saying that while the recordings of Diana were made in private, “the subjects covered are a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story.”
The broadcast comes just weeks after the premiere of the ITV documentary, “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy,” which had the cooperation from both William and Harry.
In that program, the two princes open up about their close relationship with their mother, sharing memories that describe her sense of humor, adventure and insistence they experience life beyond the palace walls.
They also describe the deep regret they feel over the last time they spoke with their mother. They had a phone call with her while vacationing in Scotland and she was in Paris.