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12 books about Princess Diana that go beyond 'The Crown'

Including the tell-all biography that Diana contributed to herself.
Princess Diana
Diana, Princess of Wales sitting on a step at her home, Highgrove House, in Doughton, Gloucestershire, July 18, 1986.Tim Graham / Getty Images

Before her tragic death at the age of 36, Princess Diana captivated people around the world with her charm, grace and humility. She remains a source of fascination, explored in movies, documentaries, musicals, and beyond.

But if you want to sit with the Diana for a while, it's worth checking out the best books about the late royal. Many words have been written about Diana Spencer, and before and after she died in 1997. The tenor of the books change depending on when they came out.

For example, Andrew Morton's "Diana: Her True Story," published in 1992, had ramifications for Diana's life as a royal — the tell-all spilled details about her marriage to Prince Charles. After her death, Morton confirmed that Diana was a source for the book. But Tina Brown's "Diana Chronicles," published ten years after the fatal accident, was a look back at Diana's personality and legacy, with her death providing context.

The lasting impression she left on the world has only deepened over time, and we’re now preparing to mark the 25th anniversary of her death on August 31.

Whether you’re an expert on the People's Princess or would simply like to learn more about her, there are plenty of books chronicling her incredible life. These 12 are a great place to start.

Biographies about Princess Diana

'Diana: Her True Story—in Her Own Words' by Andrew Morton (1992)

Initially published in 1992, this biography gave intimate details about the Princess Diana's life, touching upon topics ranging from her troubled marriage to Prince Charles to her relationship with the queen. Morton and Diana denied that she was a source for the book, but after her death, Morton revealed otherwise, per Frontline. In 1997, Morton republished a revised version of the biography that included a 18,000 word transcript of tape recordings that Diana made during the making of the book.

'The Diana Chronicles' by Tina Brown (2007)

This New York Times bestseller is the brainchild of Tina Brown, the former editor-in-chief of the British gossip magazine Tatler, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk. Written with effervescent and witty language and informed by close access to the people who knew Diana best, the biography chronicles the relationships that played a major role in Diana's life, including her interactions with her mother, grandmother, stepmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Sarah, Duchess of York.

'Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs' (2017)

Featuring over 100 images of Princess Diana's fascinating life, this photography book is perfect for anyone who wants a light read (or a fixture for the coffee table). Tina Brown penned a forward for the book, which follows Diana from her early days to her relationship with Prince Charles to her motherhood journey and her philanthropic work.

'Diana, William, and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother' by James Patterson' (2022)

This new release comes from bestselling novelist James Patterson, with contributions from Chris Mooney. The biography takes a close look at the private life of the Princess of Wales and her relationship with her beloved sons, William and Harry. Written by one of the world's most renowned authors, the family saga reads like a novel.

Books from people who knew Princess Diana

'The Diana I Knew' by Mary Robertson (1998)

Mary Robertson knew Princess Diana long before she became the "people's princess." The friends met in the early 1980s, when Diana watched over Robertson's son a few days a week. In this book, Robertson recalls the early days of their friendship and shares details about Diana's personality, lineage and life as a member of the royal family.

'The Day Diana Died' by Christopher Andersen (1998)

If you're curious about the lead-up to, and the aftermath of, the fatal accident in the Pont d'Alma Tunnel that killed Diana and two others, this is the exhaustive account to check out. Andersen, who went on to write other accounts of Diana's life including one about her relationship with her sons, zeroed in on the circumstances surrounding the late royal's death, featuring interviews from people adjacent to the accident.

'A Royal Duty' by Paul Burrell (2004)

You get to know a person pretty well when you work in their home, and Paul Burrell formed a close bond with Diana during his time as her butler. The author, who also worked for the queen and Prince Charles, shares intimate details about the Diana he knew behind-the-scenes of palace life in this book.

'Diana: A Closely Guarded Secret' by Ken Wharfe (2002)

Ken Wharfe learned a lot about the inner workings of Diana's life as a royal when he was her bodyguard, and he witnessed many difficult times in the young princess’ life. Following her death, he penned this New York Times bestseller to share his firsthand account of their time together.

Fiction about Princess Diana

'Untold Story: A Novel' by Monica Ali (2011)

Monica Ali's novel based on the Princess of Wales stands apart from the biography crowd and poses the following question: What if Princess Diana hadn't died? In the novel, Ali explores the life she could have in her 40s and beyond through a fictional heroine who shares some of the struggles Diana once navigated, including disordered eating and a troubled marriage.

Books about Princess Diana's style

'Diana: Style Icon: A Celebration of the fashion of Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales' by Dan Jones (2020)

Can't get enough of the Princess of Wales' iconic style? This book takes a unique approach to chronicling some of her best sartorial moments with beautiful illustrations. It follows her fashion evolution with 50 looks — including a chapter entirely dedicated to "revenge looks." Yes, the "revenge dress" makes an appearance.

'HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style' by Elizabeth Holmes

Princess Diana wasn't the only royal whose style left a lasting impression on society. In this glossy read, style journalist Elizabeth Holmes explores the influence that four members of the royal family had on the fashion world. In addition to Princess Diana, her sons' wives — Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex — are also included, as is Queen Elizabeth II.

'The Lady Di Look Book: What Diana Was Trying to Tell Us Through Her Clothes' by Eloise Moran (2022)

Princess Diana was a true style icon, and we're still talking about some of her most memorable fashion moments today. In this photograph-rich read, British fashion journalist Eloise Moran interprets some of her most stunning outfits and speaks with several people who once dressed the princess for insight. “What Lady Di couldn’t express verbally, she expressed through her clothes,” the book description reads.