Childhood And Early Years

"And when he [Her Father] left, he kissed me goodbye [West Heath Boarding School]. That day I said to him: 'If you leave me now, you don't love me,' which is a crippler, isn't it? But I meant it."


"I knew that something profound was coming my way and I was just treading water, waiting for it. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know where it was. I didn't know if it was coming next year or next month. But I knew I was different from my friends in where I was going."


"I remember seeing my father slap my mother across the face. I was hiding behind the door, and she was crying. I remember mummy crying an awful lot."


"I adored animals, guinea pigs and all that. In my bed, I'd have 20 stuffed bed animals and there would be a midget's space for me, and they would have to be in my bed every night. That was my family. I hated the dark and had an obsession about the dark, always had to have a light outside my door until I was at least ten."


"God, what a sad man [Prince Charles]. He came in with his labrador. My sister was all over him like a bad rash and I thought he must really hate that. I kept out the way. I remember being a fat, podgy, no make-up, unsmart lady, but I made a lot of noise and he liked that."


"It was nice being in a flat with the girls. I loved that. It was great. I laughed my head off there. I loved being on my own. I did a cookery course in Wimbledon. I got terribly fat! I loved sauces, my fingers were always in the saucepans, for which I got fined! It wasn't my idea of fun, but my parents wanted me to do it. At the time, it seemed a better alternative than being behind a typewriter and I got a diploma." 


"I was always told by my family that I was the thick one. That I was stupid, and my brother was the clever one. And I was always so conscious of that. I used to go to the headmistress crying saying I wish I wasn't so stupid and thick, and wished my family felt a bit more of me. I remember doing that a lot."


"I took it upon myself to air everyone's grievances in my family. I stuck up for mummy and my mother said that was the first time in 22 years anyone had ever stuck up for her. I said everything I possibly could. I remember really going for her [Her Stepmother] gullet. I was so angry. I said: 'I hate you so much, if only you knew how much we all hated you for what you've done, you've ruined the house, you spend daddy's money, and what for?" 


"I had crushes, serious crushes on all sorts of people, especially my sisters' boyfriends. If they ever got chucked out from that department I used to try my way. I felt so sorry for them because they were so nice. That was purely it. Anyway, that was a dead miss!"


"I'd like to marry soon. What woman doesn't want to marry eventually? Next year? Why not? I don't think nineteen is too young. It depends on the person." 


"I knew very early on in my life that I was born to do something special. And I knew I was destined to marry a great man. Somewhere along the way I began to know that man was Charles."

Marrying The Heir To The Throne

"[On The Attraction Of Becoming A Princess] You see, I had a very good lifestyle myself. I had my own money and lived in a big house. So, it wasn't as though I was going into anything different." 


"I left my flat for the last time and suddenly I had a policeman, and my policeman the night before the engagement had said to me: 'I just want you to know this is your last night of freedom ever in the rest of your life, so make the most of it.' It was like a sword went in my heart."


"At the age of 19, you always think you're prepared for everything, and you think you have the knowledge of what's coming ahead. But, although I was daunted at the prospect at the time, I felt I had the support of my husband-to-be." 


"I remember my first engagement so well. So excited. Black dress from The Emanuels and I thought it was okay because girls my age wore this dress. I hadn't appreciated that I was now seen as a royal lady, although I'd only got a ring on my finger as opposed to two rings. Black to me was the smartest colour you could possibly have at the age of 19. It was a real grown up dress. It was a horrendous occasion. I didn't know whether to go out of the door first. I didn't know whether your handbag should be in your left hand not your right hand. I was terrified really, at the time, everything was all over the place." 


"I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world, and he [Prince Charles] was going to look after me. Was I wrong on that assumption. I had tremendous hopes in my heart."


"On the day of the wedding I was very deathly calm, totally calm. I felt as though I was a lamb to the slaughter and I knew it, but I could not do anything about it. I thought the whole thing was hysterical, getting married, in the sense that it was so grown-up and here was Diana, a kindergarten teacher. The whole thing was ridiculous." 


"I just had tremendous hope, which was slashed by Day Two [On Her Honeymoon]. One day we were opening our diaries to discuss various things and out comes two pictures of Camilla. And on our honeymoon, Charles wore cufflinks with two Cs entwined like the Chanel C. I said: 'Camilla gave you those, didn't she?' He said: 'Yes, so what's wrong? They are a present from a friend.' And boy, did we have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy. I remember saying to my husband: 'Why is this lady around?' And he said: 'Well, I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress.'"


"I wanted to sing and dance and do exciting things [On Their Honeymoon], but all he [Prince Charles] wanted to do was take it easy, read and sunbathe. I was bored, it was like being stuck with an eighty year old man. Fed up and lonely, I started chatting to the crew. When I came back and told him the gossip, he would ask: 'What on earth are you doing? You shouldn't be talking to the staff like that.' I replied: 'If you are not going to talk to me, what do you expect me to do?'"


"I desperately loved my husband, and I wanted to share everything together, and I thought that we were a very good team."


"His grandmother [The Queen Mother] is always looking at me with a strange look in her eyes. It's not hatred, it's sort of interest and pity mixed in one. I am not quite sure. I don't understand it. Everytime I look up, she's looking at me, then looks away and smiles."


"Well, naturally it is quite daunting, but I hope it won't be too difficult, and with Prince Charles beside me, I can't go wrong. I never had any doubts."


"My Husband made me feel so young, inadequate in every possible way, that each time I came up for air, he pushed me down again."


"I always had my doubts about how he really felt [Prince Charles]. There was never anything concrete for me to grab a hold of, but I did have these feelings about things, that things weren't quite right." 


"I feel my role is supporting my husband, and whenever I can always been behind him, encouraging. And also most important thing, being a mother and a wife. And this what I try to achieve, whether I do is another thing. But I do try."


"I just don't think I have as many supporters in that environment as I did. They [Royal Household] see me as a threat of some kind, and I'm here to do good. I'm not a destructive person. I think it's the strength that causes the confusion and the fear. Why is she strong? Where does she get it from? Where is she taking it?"


"I think like any marriage, especially when you've had divorced parents like myself, you'd want to try even harder to make it work and you don't want to fall back into a pattern that you've seen happen in your own family."


"Well, people were, when I say people I mean friends on my husband's side, were indicating that I was again unstable, sick, and should be put in a home of some sort in order to get better. I was almost an embarrassment."


"I had so many dreams as a young girl. I hoped for a husband to look after me, he would be a father figure to me, he would support me, encourage me, say well done, or that wasn't good enough. I didn't get any of that. From now on, I am going to own myself, and be true to myself." 


"I never wanted a divorce and always dreamed of a happy marriage with loving support from Charles. Although that was never meant to be, we do have two wonderful boys who are deeply loved by their parents. A part of me will always love Charles, but how I wish he'd looked after me and been proud of my work. It has been a turbulent 15 years, having to face the envy, jealousy, and hatred from Charles's friends and family. They have so misunderstood me and that has been painful and brought enormous heartache. I want so much to become Charles's best friend as I understand more than anyone what he is about and what makes him tick." 


"So I went to the top lady [The Queen], 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! So I didn't go back to her again for help, because I don't go back again if I don't get it the first time. And so over the years, the top lady would say Diana never talks. I never know what's going on. Silly girl."


"My husband and I had to keep everything together because we didn't want to disappoint the public. And yet, there was a lot of anxiety going on within our four walls."  


"From day one, I always knew I would never be the next queen. No one said that to me. I just knew it. I got an astrologist in six years ago. 'I've got to get out, I can't bear it any longer.' And she said to me: 'One day you will be allowed out, but you will be allowed out as opposed to divorcing or something like that.' It always sat in my mind, she told me that in 1984, so I've known it for some time."

The Heir's Mistress

"Went off to balmoral straight from the yacht [after honeymoon cruise], everone was there to welcome us and then the realization set in. My dreams were appalling. At night, I dreamt of Camilla the whole time. Obsessed by Camilla totally. Didn't trust him. Thought every five minutes he was ringing her up asking how to handle his marriage."


"I knew he [Prince Charles] had gone back to his lady, but somehow we managed to have Harry. We were very close six weeks before Harry was born, the closest we have ever been, and ever will have been. Suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went down the drain, our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain. Charles, all he wanted was a girl. First comment was: 'Oh God, it's a boy.' Second comment was: 'Oh, and he's even got red hair.' Something inside me closed off."


"I spotted her [Camilla Parker Bowles], plae grey, pillbox hat, saw it all. To this day, you know, vivid memory. I thought: 'Well, there we are, that's it, let's hope that's all over with."


"My wedding day I think that was the worst day of my life. If I could write my own script, I would have my husband go away with his woman and never come back."


"I discovered a curious little parcel tucked among our wedding presents in his office. I opened it to discover a gold bracelet with a lapis pendant engraved with the initials F and G entwined which stand for Fred and Gladys, the pet nicknames Charles and Camilla had for each other. Charles said that he had ordered the bracelet from Asprey's for Camilla as a farewell gift, to signal the end of their relationship. But, I didn't believe him."


"Cuff links arrive on his wrist. Two Cs entwined, the Chanel C, got it in one, knew exactly. So I said: 'Camilla gave you this, didn't she?' He [Prince Charles] said: 'Yes, so what's wrong? They are a present from her'. And boy, did we have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy."


"I was terrified of her [Camilla Parker Bowles]. I said: 'I know what's going on between you and Charles, and I just want you to know that.' Then She told me: 'You've got everything you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world fall in love with you, and you've got two beautiful children, what more do you want?' I said: 'I want my husband. I'm sorry I'm in the way, it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what's going on. Don't treat me like an idiot." 


"In the car on the way back [After Confronting Camilla At Her Sister's Birthday Party], my husband was over me like a bad rash and I cried like I have never cried before. It was anger, it was seven years' pent-up anger coming out, and I said to him at the weekend three days later: 'Darling, I'm sure you'll want to know what I said to Camilla. There's no secret. You may ask her. I just said I loved you. There's nothing wrong in that.' I said: 'That's what I said to her, I've got nothing to hide, I'm your wife and the mother of your children." 


"I once heard Charles on the telephone in the bath, on his handheld, and he said: 'Whatever happens, I will always love you.' I told him I listened at the door, and we had a filthy row." 


"He [Prince Charles] ignores me everywhere. Ignored everywhere, and have been for a long time. But, if people choose to see that now, they are a bit late in the day. He just dismisses me. The worst day of my life was realizing that Charles had gone back to Camilla."


"I only ever asked for help once from The Queen. I asked her to speak to my husband and persuade him to end his affair with Camilla, not just for my sake, but for the family, for all our sakes. But she refused to help me. She said she couldn't intervene. After that, I never asked for anything ever again."


"I knew the bulimia started the week after we got engaged. I was devastated, he [Prince Charles] cut me absolutely dead. He'd found the virgin, the sacrificial lamb, and in a way he was obsessed with me. But it was hot and cold, hot and cold.''


"Pretty devastating. Rampant bulimia, if you can have rampant bulimia, and just a feeling of being no good at anything, and being useless and hopeless, and failed in every direction, and with a husband who loved someone else."


"Bulimia started the week after we got engaged. My husband put his hand on my waistline and said: 'Oh, a bit chubby here, aren't we?' That triggered off something in me. Vomitting relieved me of tension." 


"They [doctors] were telling me: 'Pills' [Anti-depressants And Valium]. That was going to keep them happy. They could go to bed at night knowing that the Princess of Wales wasn't going to stab anyone." 


"The binge-and-purge cycle threw off my hormones completely [After William's Birth]. I was a total wreck. There would be crying, sobbing, wailing for two or three hours. The 'Men in Grey' as I called them described me: 'Crazy as they come. Damaged goods!'. That was me! I was being scrutinized, analyzed, and criticized around the clock. Tears, panic. I was sinking into this black hole." 


"We had been walking around for four hours [Canada Tour Expo 1986], we had not had anything to eat, and presumably I had not eaten for days. When I say that I mean food staying down. I remember walking around feeling really ghastly and I did not dare tell anyone. I put my arm on my husband's shoulder and I said: 'Darling, I think I'm about to disappear,' and slid down the side of him. My husband told me off. He said I could have passed out quietly somewhere else behind a door. It was all very embarrassing. And inside me, I knew there was something wrong with me, but I was too immature to voice it."


"Just odd bursts, lots of odd bursts, especially at Balmoral, very bad at Balmoral, and Sandringham and Windsor. Sick the whole time. My skin never suffered from it, nor my teeth. When you think of all the acid! I was amazed at my hair. I hated myself so much I didn't think I was good enough for Charles, I wasn't a good enough mother, I mean doubts as long as one's leg."

Her Boys

"I know we had two boys for a reason. We were the only people in the family to have two boys. The rest of family had a boy and a girl and we were the first to change, and I know fate played a hand there, Harry is the 'backup' in the nicest possible way. William is going to be in his position much earlier than people think now." 


"We had to find a date in the diary that suited Charles and his polo. William had to be induced because I could not handle the press pressure any longer. It was becoming unbearable. Anyway the boy arrived, great excitement, thrills, everyone was absolutely as high as a kite. We found a day Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth. So that was very nice, felt very grateful about that. Then the post natal depression hit me hard. It wasn't so much a baby that has produced it, it was a baby that triggered off all else that was going on in my mind. Boy, was I troubled."


"William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near! I can hardly breathe for the mass of flowers that are arriving here!" 


"He [William] is very polite, extraordinary enough. Where else perhaps Harry is more quite and just watches. Whether he copies William, we will wait and see. But he is certainly a different character all together." 


"William doesn't want to be king, and I worry about that. He doesn't want his every move watched. Harry would see no problem in taking on the job. GKH. That's what we will call him. GKH, for Good King Harry. I like that!"


"I live for my sons. I would be lost without them."


"I'm sure they will deal with the problems. They will have to. William, being the intellectual one, finds it harder, but he is very aware of people and their feelings, which will be to his advantage. Harry is very artistic and sporty. He doesn't mind anything, which will help him too."


"William and Harry are the only men in my life who haven't let me down." 


"I want to bring them up with security. I hug my children to death, and get into bed with them at night. I always feed them love and affection, it's so important."


"I will fight for my children so they can reach their potential as human beings, and in their public duties. I will fight for my children on any level in order for them to be happy, and have peace of mind and carry out their duties."


"All my hopes are on William now. I don't want to push him. It is too late for the rest of the family. But William, I think he has it. I think he understands."


"I want my boys to have an understanding of people's emotions, their insecurities, people's distress, and their hopes and dreams." 


"Height. It's a Spencer gene. The Windsors are PORGs [People Of Restricted Growth] Oh, Harry, you've got the Spencer gene too. You'll be as big as your brother one day." 


"There is no way out. I am William's mother and I have to look after him. I have to go on, no matter how awful my life has become. I have to stick with it for the sake of my boys. Perhaps their lives will be better than mine. That's the only thing that keeps me going." 

Charity Work

"Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can. Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running whereever they are." 


"I pay attention to people, and I remember them. Every meeting, every visit, is special." 


"The people that I care about are the people out there on the street. I can identify with them. I am much closer to people at the bottom than at the top."


"I love meeting people and helping them. I am all about caring. I have always been like that." 


"Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life, a kind of destiny."


"I want to walk into a room, be it a hospital for the dying, or a hospital for the sick children, and feel that I am needed. I want to do, not just to be." 


"It motivates me [On Joining The Medical Team That Performed Cardio-thoracic And Cancer Tumor Removal Surgeries At The Royal Brompton Hospital]. It brings purpose and meaning to my life. I do gather information much more from visual contact, not from reading books. So when I stand up and speak about the various subjects, whatever it is, I find it much more beneficial if I have seen it myself." 


"The divorce [Her Parent's Divorce] helped me to relate to anyone else who is upset in their family life, whether it be stepfather syndrome or mother or whatever. I understand it. Been there, done it."


"I touch people. I think everyone needs that. Placing a hand on a friend's face means making contact."


"Each person is born with very individual qualities and potential [On Mental Health]. We, as a society, owe it to women to create a truly supportive enviroment in which they too can grow and move forward. But if we are to help the quiet private desperate lives lived behind closed doors by so many women, they need to know for certain they are not alone that real support and understanding is there for them."


"The biggest fear of the mothers I've met with HIV or AIDS is not their disease. They've learnt to live with their disease. What terrifies them most is other people; for despite information about AIDS being available now for nearly ten years, these women still face harassment, job loss, isolation, even physical aggression if their family secret gets out. These mothers don't ask for sympathy. Their need is for understanding. To be allowed to live a full and active life. To be given the support to love and care for their children, for as long as they can, without carrying the added burden of our ignorance and fear."   


"I feel close to people whoever however they are. We are on the same level, on the same wavelength. That's why I annoy certain circles. Because I'm closer to the people downstairs than the people upstairs and they don't forgive me for that. Because I have a really close relationship with the most humble of people. My father always taught me to treat everyone as an equal. I have always done that and I hope that Harry and William have taken it on board."


"I think I'm going to cut a very different path from everyone else. I'm going to break away from this set-up and go and help the man on the street. I hate saying 'man on the street' - it sounds so condescending. I don't know yet but I'm being pushed more and more that way. I don't like the glamorous occasions any more. I feel comfortable with them. I would much rather be doing something with sick people - I'm more comfortable there." 


"Nothing gives me more pleasure now than being able to love and help those in our society who are vulnerable. If I can contribute a little something, then I am more than content."

The Media And Public Interest

"Everyone said I was the Marilyn Monroe of the 1980s and I was adoring every minute of it. Actually, I've never sat down and said: 'Hooray! How wonderful'. Never. The day I do we're in trouble. I am performing a duty as the Princess of Wales as long as my time is allocated. But, I don't see it any longer than fifteen years."


"They [Paparazzi] had binoculars on me the whole time. They hired the opposite flat, looked into my bedroom. I cried like a baby in the four walls. I just could not cope with it." 


"When I first arrived to the scene, I'd always put my head down. Now that I interpret it that it did look sulky. I've never sulked. I've been terrified out of my tiny little mind. I never sulked as child. It's just not in me. I was just so frightened of the attention I was getting, it took me six years to get comfortable in this skin and now I'm ready to go forward."


"There is far too much about me in the newspapers, far too much. It horrifies me, where there is more important things like what goes on in the hospices, or there has been a bomb or something."


"What must it be like for a little boy to read that daddy never loved mummy?"


"It took a long time to understand why people were so interested in me, but I assumed it was because my husband and I done a lot of wonderful work leading up to our marriage and our relationship. But then, during the years, you see yourself as a good product that sits in the shelfs and sells well, and people make a lot of money out of you."


"I was portrayed in the media at that time, if I remember rightly, as someone, because I hadn't passed any O levels and taken any A levels, I was stupid. And I made the grave mistake once of saying to a child I was thick as a plank in order to ease the child's nervousness, which it did. But that headline went all round the world, and I rather regret saying it."


"I cried like a baby to the four walls. I just couldn't cope with it. Charles never offered to help and when I contacted the press office at Buckingham Palace, they told me that I was on my own."


"I just can't win. They [The Press] either accuse me of spending too much on clothes or of wearing the same outfit all the time. I wish everyone would stop talking about my clothes." 


"Someone is always following me. Usually in London it's the paparazzi. They are always on my tail everywhere I go. Its getting to the point where no human being should have to endure what happens to me. I have got to put a stop to it somehow, and I am determined to do it. They are sick, aren't they? It's not me, is it? They are definitely the sick ones."


  • Diana Her True Story By Andrew Morton. Publication Year: 1992

  • Princess Diana Her Life Story By Richard Buskin. Publication Year: 1997

  • Diana The Intimate Portrait By Judy Wade. Publication Year: 2001