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Diana Chasing A Fairytale. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 03, 2021 - 21:00   ET




CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The most famous and photographed woman in the world, a princess with style and substance, a loving mother.

MARY ROBERTSON, PRINCESS DIANA'S FRIEND AND EMPLOYER: Diana was absolutely born to be a mother.

WARD (voice-over): A passionate advocate.

DIANA SPENCER, PRINCESS OF WALES: I'm trying to highlight a problem that's going on all around the world.

WARD (voice-over): Through it all, her every move scrutinized and scandalized.

DR. JAMES COLTHURST, PRINCESS DIANA'S CHILDHOOD FRIEND: She is followed everywhere. I think she found that time very difficult.

WARD (voice-over): Behind the flash bulbs, a life marred by loneliness.

PAUL BURRELL, PRINCESS DIANA'S BUTLER: She wanted her freedom. She wanted a life.

WARD (voice-over): The tragedy that took her life --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Princess Diana at the age of 36 has died.

WARD (voice-over): -- left the world devastated and in disbelief.

All these years later, what do we know?

CHRISTOPHER ANDERSEN, AUTHOR, THE DAY DIANA DIED: She went to her lawyer and said, they're going to kill me and here is how.


WARD (voice-over): Friends, family, those who were there speak out about Diana, a woman who transcended celebrity and transformed a monarchy. "Diana: Chasing a Fairytale". Fall 1980, a nondescript apartment in the fashionable section of London called Kensington, crowds of photographers, cameras ready, anticipation great.

DICKIE ARBITER, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Media were pursuing her like nobody's business.

PAUL BENNETT, PHOTO EDITOR: Rumors had begun to get around that she was the new girl on the block.

WARD (voice-over): She is 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer, the new girlfriend of the most eligible man in the country. The chase begins.

JEPHSON: Diana was the story.

COLTHURST: She was followed everywhere. I think she found that time very difficult.

ARTHUR EDWARDS, ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER: And she was completely alone.

WARD (voice-over): No police, no security, no bodyguards. Lady Diana Spencer may be dating the next King of England, but she is not yet an official member of the Royal Family, so she is not entitled to any protection.

ARBITER: The attention that Charles and Diana were getting was unprecedented.

WARD (voice-over): In 1980, Dickie Arbiter was a royal correspondent and later became the palace's press secretary.

ARBITER: The palace wasn't making any attempt to control the media or interests because they weren't aware or didn't believe at the time that they would be such media interest.

WARD (voice-over): But there is almost an insatiable interest, perhaps in part, because Diana is a bit of a mystery, not a familiar fixture on the trendy London social scene. Everyone wants to know who she is, where she comes from and if she has what it takes to be the next Queen of England.

(on camera): Diana grew up in the countryside. She was a country girl.

COLTHURST: Absolutely, loved it. They're very familiar with it.

WARD (voice-over): Dr. James Colthurst was a childhood friend of Diana's. The Spencer's leased a house on the queen country of state at Sandringham, now Leonard Cheshire's Park House Hotel for Disabled People, then it was where Diana grew up and where young Princes Andrew and Edward often came over to swim.

COLTHURST: She had a childhood that was in a fairly aristocratic circle. So she was very used to that lifestyle.

WARD (voice-over): She is the third child of Viscount John and Lady Frances Spencer, part of the wealthy upper class. Her parents were married at Westminster Abbey in 1954.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was, indeed, a brilliant occasion and likely to be remembered as the wedding of the year.

WARD (voice-over): Attended by the Royal Family.

ANDERSEN: You'd think the world was her oyster. But in fact, she had a desperately unhappy childhood.

WARD (voice-over): According to Diana biographer, Christopher Andersen, before she was born, the Spencer's had been hoping for a boy, a son to follow two older daughters.


ANDERSEN: She once said, when I was born, I was unwanted. When I married Charles, I was unwanted. When I joined the Royal Family, I was unwanted. I want to be wanted.

ARBITER: Every child wants to be noticed. Every child of a certain age, look at me, look at me, daddy. Look at me, mommy. Aren't I clever? And I suppose it affected Diana more.

WARD (voice-over): More Arbiter says because of what happened in 1967. Diana's parents divorced. The fight was ugly, as was the public custody battle over the children.

ANDERSEN: Her mother left the family, abandoned her. And from that point on, Diana was kind of caught in the crossfire of her parents' really very, very bitter divorce. And I think that affected her tremendously.

MARY CLARKE, DIANA'S NANNY: She has those downcast eyes which she became very famous. And she was very shy.

WARD (voice-over): Mary Clarke was Diana's nanny at the time.

CLARKE: Her parents' divorced. They had quite a profound affect on her. She said, I will never, ever marry unless I'm really in love because if you're not in love, you're going to get divorced. And I never intend to be divorced.

WARD (on camera): Johnnie Spencer was given full custody of the children. They tried to settle back into their quiet life here at Park House in the English countryside. But more big changes were yet to come.

(voice-over): By the time Diana was 15, her father was remarried, her grandfather had passed and Johnnie Spencer had inherited a huge estate called Althorp.

CHARLES SPENCER, PRINCESS DIANA'S BROTHER: The main hall is called Wooten Hall, and that's got this wonderful marble floor. And I remember one of her great fads for a couple years was tap dancing. And it was perfect for that.

WARD (voice-over): Living at Althorp was quite an adjustment from the country home where Diana and her brother Charles grew up.

SPENCER: The inside of the house, very formal. There wasn't even like a family kitchen. It wasn't fun growing up in this house.

PENNY WALKER, FORMER MUSIC TEACHER OF PRINCESS DIANA: I think there was an awful lot of unrest in her home life.

WARD (voice-over): But teacher Penny Walker says life at the West Heath School 100 miles from home was full of fun and friends.

WALKER: She was part of a really lively group. They were fun and they were not naughty and they giggled a lot.

WARD (voice-over): And, of course, they talked a lot about boys.

WALKER: She was always known to adore Prince Charles. And her little bedroom cubicle had pictures of him all over it. It was common knowledge.

WARD (voice-over): Then one weekend, Diana returned to school with a story to tell.

WALKER: She came back alive with it and said, I've met him, I've met him.

CHARLES PHILIP ARTHUR GEORGE, PRINCE OF WALES: And I remember thinking what a bit of jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was. And I mean great fun, and dancey, and full of life and everything.

WARD (voice-over): But not a love interest yet. It took a few more years for that jolly teenager to blossom into a beautiful, charismatic young woman.

(on camera): She didn't take a bad photo.

COLTHURST: Not a bad photo. And even then, even looking bored at the end of a day, you know, it was good.

WARD (voice-over): Winter 1979 in the French Alps, Diana was almost 18 on a ski trip with friends.

COLTHURST: She was great looking, of course. But the striking thing, I think, was the humor and the engagement. She was just fun to have in the group.

ROBERTSON: She was an absolute vision.

WARD: American Mary Robertson noticed how special Diana was soon after that ski trip. She interviewed her for a job when Diana first settled in London.

(on camera): Did you know that she was from an aristocratic family?

ROBERTSON: I should have known with that wonderful accent, the flawless manners, the poise.

ROBERTO DEVORIK, FASHION DESIGNER AND CLOSE FRIEND OF DIANA'S: She was in a way a sophisticated country girl.

WARD (voice-over): Close friend and fashion designer Roberto Devorik.

DEVORIK: She had no sense of fashion whatsoever. She didn't care even. And I think she never thought the magnitude of what her life was going to be.

WARD (voice-over): While she doesn't yet know how big her life will become, Diana does feel it will be distinct. Once saying, I knew that something profound was coming my way and I was just treading water waiting for it.


Soon, treading water in a sea of sharks. The lonely journey to the palace when we come back.


BURRELL: It was 1980. The Queen said to me, we have a guest come to stay for the weekend and would you meet her at the front door of Balmoral Castle?

WARD (voice-over): It's early September in Scotland. Paul Burrell, Queen Elizabeth's personal footman welcomes 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer.

BURRELL: I met this shy, young girl with one suitcase and I took her to her room. And she said, I am completely out of my depth. I don't know anything about this place. Charles has invited me to stay the weekend, and what do I do?

WARD (voice-over): Despite being from an aristocratic, well-connected family, Diana is not prepared for a weekend with the royals, especially the Queen. She has, after all, only been dating the Prince for a month. She has no clue what to expect, what to do, and what to wear.


BURRELL: I brought my dress. I said, what? One dress? You're here for three nights. I'm going to have to find you other dresses.

WARD (on camera): Did you recognize something special in her even then?

BURRELL: She was innocent, she was naive, but she was special.

WARD (voice-over): Royal photographer Arthur Edwards sees it too.

EDWARDS: I'm driving along the river bank, the River Dee up in Balmoral and I see Prince Charles fishing, and with him is Lady Diana Spencer.

WARD: It's not the first time he stumbles upon the couple. Weeks earlier, he spotted Diana at one of Prince Charles' polo matches. (on camera): She's got sort of natural photo --

EDWARDS: Yes. She's really -- I mean she just did it just as a matter of course.

WARD (voice-over): Then Edwards filed the picture away, thinking 19- year-old Diana was too young to be dating 31-year-old Prince Charles. Now seeing the couple together again, alarm bells go off.

EDWARDS: I take some pictures of them fishing. He gets very angry with me. The Prince storms off. I thought he stormed off. He runs through the woods. All the girlfriends before have always been by his side. This one, he's, you know, he's hiding, he's protecting.

WARD (voice-over): But Prince Charles cannot hide or protect Diana anymore. The picture of them makes the front page. When she arrives at work Monday morning, she finds her world turned upside down.

ROBERTSON: She said, Mrs. Robertson, I have something to tell you.

WARD (voice-over): Diana works part-time as a nanny for American Mary Robertson.

ROBERTSON: She looks down, blushes. She said, when you leave for work this morning, you'll notice that there are some reporters and photographers. They're actually here for me. I said, what have you done? And she said, well, I spent last weekend up at Balmoral Castle. And I guessed and I said, was it Prince Andrew? And she said, no, actually it was with Prince Charles.

WARD (voice-over): Prince Charles, the country's most eligible bachelor. Diana once anonymous is now famous.

ROBERTSON: I think it was overwhelming. But she was still trying to come to work because she couldn't spend her life cooped up in her apartment.

EDWARDS: She was good humor. Sometimes she stopped for a chat.

WARD (on camera): But she never stops for an interview or poses for a photograph. That is until late September 1980 at this London kindergarten where Diana works part time.

EDWARDS: She came out with two of the children from the nursery. And halfway through taking the picture, the sun came out. And we saw that beautiful lace. The headline was Charlie's Girl. And she was, I think, a little disturbed about it because I think she said to someone, I'll be the only girlfriend for him that never had a petticoat.

WARD (voice-over): Diana knows one media misstep could impact her relationship with Charles.


WARD (voice-over): She had seen it happen to her older sister, Sarah, several years earlier. EDWARDS: Sarah talked to us about that brief romance with the Prince of Wales. They went skiing together. She said, I don't care if it's a dustman or king of England, I would have to be in love to marry that person.

WARD (voice-over): Soon after came the end of Sarah's royal romance. And Diana has not forgotten.

ROBERTSON: I remember Diana saying that when the phone rang at her flat, she didn't want to pick it up for fear it would be Sarah prying into what was going on with Diana. And she just didn't want to talk to anybody about it, not even her own sister.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you coping with all the press attention?

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, as you can see, you can tell.

COLTHURST: I think she was very protective of him.

WARD (voice-over): But every once in a while in private, a very giddy, very love- struck 19-year-old confides in those close to her.

ROBERTSON: She would gush about him, how intelligent he was, how perfect he was.

WARD (voice-over): Her perfect prince and most agree she could be the perfect princess.

BURRELL: She had never had a boyfriend. She was completely pure, untouched, the most eligible woman in the land to marry the heir to the throne.

WARD (on camera): So was she a perfect mate for Charles?

BURRELL: On paper, yes, she was.

WARD (voice-over): And by winter of 1980, he's running out of time. Prince Charles is 32 years old. The future king needs to settle down to marry and to produce an heir to the throne.


ROBERTSON: You just knew from the buzz in the air, there was a lot of pressure on Charles to pick a suitable mate.

WARD (on camera): Was it an arranged marriage?

BURRELL: Diana's grandmother, Lady Ruth Fermoy was lady in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother doted on Charles and whispered in his ear about this beautiful young girl. It was a setup.

ANDERSEN: I think the phrase was that she would be the perfect broodmare.

WARD: Broodmare? ANDERSEN: Yes, that's how they viewed Diana.

WARD: For rearing children basically.

ANDERSEN: Right, right.

BURRELL: Charles would have to decide whether he wants to marry her. But who couldn't want to marry that beautiful young thing? And he thought that she would toe the party line.

WARD (voice-over): Toe the party line, behave like a royal and always put the monarchy first, no matter what the circumstances.

In February 1981, barely six months after they started dating, it becomes official. Charles and Diana are engaged.

PRINCESS DIANA: Wonderful sapphire and diamonds.

WARD (voice-over): It is Diana's first official press appearance.

BURRELL: I watched this young girl appear on the terrace for the world media, a lamb to the slaughter, really.

WARD (on camera): A lamb to the slaughter.

BURRELL: An innocent brought into this dynastic family. She was entering into something which she had no comprehension of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has it been a strain trying to carry out a courtship without anyone knowing?

PRINCESS DIANA: Yes, it has. But I think anyone was assuming might be would feel pressure I think.

WARD (voice-over): An intense pressure, Diana seems willing to endure.

COLTHURST: I think she was absolutely determined to have it work out.

ROBERTSON: I knew how badly she wanted this. And I was just so happy that she was going to get her dream.

WARD (voice-over): But there are already signs of trouble ahead with the world watching. The reporter asks Charles and Diana if they are in love.


PRINCE CHARLES: Whatever in love means, so.

ROBERTSON: That should have been our tip-off right there. It never occurred to me that if he didn't really love her at the start that he would learn to love her. And I believed in the fairytale completely.

WARD (voice-over): Everyone does, including Diana. But her prince charming, many insiders now say, is following his duty and not his heart. Charles' true love, Diana will soon find out, is for someone else.

When we come back, Diana crumbles with the world watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bride-to-be burst into tears in a polo match.



WARD (voice-over): Goldsmith's Hall in London, Diana's first public appearance since her engagement to Prince Charles. As the royal car pulls up, Diana mischievously peers out. Prince Charles knows why.

EDWARDS: When he got out of the car, he said, you want to see what's coming next.

WARD (voice-over): A new Lady Diana Spencer emerges.

BENNETT: So start in the firing gown hall of the light in blazes of camera lights and attention.

WARD (voice-over): Photo editor Paul Bennett.

BENNETT: When she got out of the car and that shoulder dropped, I thought, so you know what you're doing, girl.

EDWARDS: She wore this fantastic dress. I'll never forget, but very low cut and showed everything that she had.

WARD (voice-over): Diana picked it herself, says designer Elizabeth Emanuel.

ELIZABETH EMANUEL, DESIGNER: For the first time, she looked like a princess, very glamorous. And I think that was quite a transforming dress for her.

WARD (voice-over): It's all anyone can talk about.

EMANUEL: The very next day, the budget was going to be announced. All of that went to the back pages and all there was on the front pages was Diana wearing the low-cut dress, getting out of the car.

WARD (voice-over): Despite the public attention, Diana is increasingly isolated and lonely.

(on camera): Right after the engagement, Diana moves out of her flat away from friends and family. She now lives at this royal residence, Clarence House.

ROBERTSON: I think it was a very atypical run up to the wedding. You know, when you're stuck inside those walls, it's not a totally joyous, free, fun experience.

WARD: Do you think she felt lonely?

ROBERTSON: I'm quite sure she felt lonely. WARD (voice-over): Diana writes letters to stay connected.

ROBERTSON: I am continually surrounded by grownups and sometimes search for my own age group.

BURRELL: I think she was desperately lonely. And she sought friendship downstairs. It was odd with Diana. She spent more time downstairs with the staff than she did upstairs with the guests.

WARD (voice-over): Making matters worse, Charles is often absent.

ROBERTSON: She definitely expected to get a whole lot more support and reassurance and guidance from him. And that didn't materialize.

WARD (voice-over): One month after their engagement, Charles departs for a five-week worldwide royal tour.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His fiance, Lady Diana Spencer, saw the Prince off at London's Heathrow Airport. She kissed him twice then walked away with tears in her eyes.


DR. JAMES COLTHURST, PRINCESS DIANA'S CHILDHOOD FRIEND: It was a time when most girls might expect to be very happy. And I think she retreated a bit. And she wasn't very happy. She didn't like being seen when she was unhappy.

WARD (voice-over): Behind closed doors, Diana is developing a serious eating disorder. Something she'll struggle with for many years to come.

PAUL BURRELL, PRINCESS DIANA'S BUTLER: She's a young girl. She has bulimia. She didn't know how to cope with it.

ELIZABETH EMANUEL, PRINCESS DIANA'S WEDDING DRESS CO-DESIGNER: We were surprised at how much weight she lost. She was 19 and I suppose her size is like a 14. But as we continued to make this dress she lost so much weight. And she was transforming into a size 8, a model size.

WARD (voice-over): At Diana's request Elizabeth Emanuel and then husband David are now designing the world's most anticipated wedding dress.

EMANUEL: We had packed the press outside our door. We had people across the road renting space so that they could just look through our windows.

WARD (voice-over): The dress is kept in a secret vault with security guards protecting it around the clock.

(On camera) She came to a lot of her fittings alone? EMANUEL: Yes. I think a couple times she brought her mother and then she was there with the bridesmaids. But yes, she was on her own with a detective who waited outside.

BURRELL: She didn't really know what she was stepping into. And I do think she had second thoughts on whether she would get married to the heir to the throne of England. I had second thoughts about whether she wants to be queen one day.

WARD (voice-over): And second thoughts about the Prince's true feelings.

BURRELL: I think Diana always knew that Charles was in love with someone else.

WARD (voice-over): That someone else, ex-girlfriend Camilla Parker- Bowles. Diana later says in tapes she secretly records, that before the wedding she overhears Charles on the phone with Camilla. He says to her, whatever happens I will always love you. Charles maintains they were just friends at the time.

BURRELL: She thought she could change him. She's a beautiful young thing. She thought she'd turn his head. And he would fall desperately in love with her.

WARD: But things don't change. The pressure on Diana is mounting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bride-to-be burst into tears at a polo match.


WARD (voice-over): Shortly before the wedding somehow it gets worse.

CHRISTOPHER ANDERSEN, AUTHOR, THE DAY DIANA DIED: Diana discovered a bracelet that Charles had made for Camilla. And the bracelet had the interlocking letters F and G which stood for Fred and Gladys. And these were the secret nicknames that Camilla and Charles had for one another. Diana was devastated.

WARD (voice-over): The night before the wedding, guests are arriving at Buckingham Palace for a ball.

MARY ROBERTSON, PRINCESS DIANA'S FRIEND AND EMPLOYER: She said, oh Mrs. Robertson I'm so glad you're here.

WARD (voice-over): But as soon as the long receiving line ends, Diana slips away.

ROBERTSON: We did not see her for the rest of the evening, so this was troublesome. I gather she was upstairs that evening talking to her sister saying maybe this isn't going to go the way I hoped it would.

COLTHURST: One of the sisters said actually tough. It's tomorrow, you're image is on the tea towels and it's on the mugs and all the other merchandising. You're going to have to go ahead with this.

WARD (on camera): No turning back.


WARD (voice-over): The next morning, July 29th, 1981, is the wedding day.

EMANUEL: We were waiting at the top of the stairs at the parent's house for the coach to arrive. And there was silence, complete silence from everybody. I think that was the moment it really sunk in that, how big this occasion was because we could hear the crowds outside yelling and cheering.

WARD (voice-over): The streets of London are packed. An unprecedented 752 million people are watching the pageantry, the majesty, the unbridled excitement as the horse drawn carriage carries Lady Diana Spencer to Saint Paul's Cathedral.

EMANUEL: She looks like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. Completely different world for her. She was going to be a princess.

WARD (voice-over): As she drifts down the aisle, the only word that seems to fit is fairytale. But her friends know better.


ROBERTSON: She looked tentative. She looked pale. She looked tense.

ROBERTO DAVORICK, PRINCESS DIANA'S FRIEND: She's looking to the left. She's looking to the right. She's looking if Camilla's in the church. And Camilla was in the church and that was the beginning of what then became a nightmare.


PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: I, Charles Philip Arthur George, take thee Diana Francis --


BURRELL: Diana was a romantic. She dreamt of falling in love with a prince. She kissed him and she thought that frog would turn into a prince. Years later she said to me, I kissed a frog and found a toad.

WARD (voice-over): Diana confronts Charles and Camilla when we come back.


WARD (voice-over): From the high seas to the windy shores, August 1981 is the summer of love for the world's most watched newlyweds.


BURRELL: They were having a wonderful honeymoon. She loved being Mrs. Wales.

DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER PALACE PRESS SECRETARY: He couldn't keep his hands off her. They'd be on public engagement and his hand would wander to her bottom and he's squeeze it in public. That was something had never been seen by the royal family and certainly never done.

WARD (voice-over): And no one has ever seen a princess quite like Diana.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you cooked her breakfast yet?

PRINCESS DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: We don't eat breakfast.


WARD (voice-over): At just 20 years old, she is the new star of the Royal family. Something Prince Charles seems at the time to accept, even enjoy.


PRINCE CHARLES: On our recent three day visit to Wales, which was overwhelming is all I can say. And entirely enjoyed (ph) to the effect that my dear wife has had on everybody.


WARD (on camera): Diana wants to be the perfect princess. To bear an heir is her most important duty. And just months after her historic wedding she accomplishes it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In England, glasses are raised in pubs and messages of congratulation come from the House of Commons to news that Princess Diana is expecting a baby.


WARD (voice-over): Anticipation and excitement builds. Crowds fill the streets outside the hospital. Finally, June 21st, 1982 a son is born, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis.


PRINCE CHARLES: He's in very good form. He's marvelous.


WARD (voice-over): From marriage to motherhood in less than a year. And then a little more than two years later Prince Harry arrives.

ROBERTSON: Diana was absolutely born to be a mother. She was just the most devoted committed mother you can imagine. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: Believe it or not, you and I are both in this photograph.



WARD (voice-over): The Princes' recently spoke in depth about their mother for the first time in a documentary on ITV.


PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: She would just engulf you and squeeze you as tight as possible. And being as short as I was then, there was no escape. You were there. And you were there for as long as she wanted to hold you. Even talking about it now I can feel the hugs that she used to give us.


WARD (voice-over): Different, many believe from royals in the past.

ANDERSEN: She was really the first royal to connect with her own children. Charles had been raised by nannies. He did not go to school as a young boy. She made sure that both of her sons went to nursery school. They were around other children.

WARD (voice-over): And like most mothers, Diana drops them off at school. But unlike most mothers the entire world is watching.

KEN WHARFE, PRINCESS DIANA'S BODYGUARD: We got into the car outside Kensington Palace and Diana just turned to him and said, now Sir William when we get to the school you've got to behave yourself because there will be lots of photographers. OK. So no mucking about. Do you understand that? And he sort of hummed and hawed and he sort of looked just below the peak of his cap and he said, I don't like "togrophers".

Given that they were sort of locked in a royal palace for most of their life, she wanted to give them as near a normal lifestyle as possible.

BURRELL: They were exposed to people on the street, homeless, people with HIV and AIDS. They saw life, real life.

WARD (voice-over): A normal life or as normal as Diana can make it.

WHARFE: Diana would take them to, you know, burger bars in Kent High Street or go shopping for fish fingers in a supermarket. You know, go into the cinema. Going go-kart racing. The sort of things that other children did.

WARD (voice-over): But while Diana shines as a mother, she struggles as a wife. ANDERSEN: I think she felt she could bring Charles around but it never happened. He never fell out of love with Camilla.

WARD (voice-over): All these years later, Charles former flame Camilla Parker- Bowles is still in the shadows.

BURRELL: So from the very early days, Camilla was always there. On honeymoon, Diana found the cuff links. Charles' were two intertwined C's.

WARD (on camera): For Charles and Camilla?

BURRELL: Camilla. And Diana said, oh lovely Chanel cuff links. Not Chanel.

COLTHURST: I think she understood at that stage that maybe this was going to become quite a big issue.

BURRELL: Prince Charles had produced his heir and a spare and gave him the opportunity then to return to a former life.


WARD (voice-over): He spends more time away from Diana at his estate Highgrove.

BURRELL: The princess would arrive every weekend with the boys and leave on a Sunday afternoon. And Camilla was the next visitor an hour later. So, one went out of the front door and one came in the back door.

ANDERSEN: At one point Diana actually confronted Camilla.

WARD (voice-over): It is Camilla's sister's birthday party, February 1989.

WHARFE: And I don't think the crowd expected Diana to be there either.

WARD (voice-over): She is on a mission to find Camilla. Bodyguard Ken Wharfe is there.

WHARFE: We eventually went to this basement area in this house and there was Camilla and Charles sat towards each other.

WARD (voice-over): Diana confronts her about the alleged affair. Something Camilla has never acknowledged. Diana later tells a reporter, Camilla is not willing to leave Charles. Saying, you've got everything you've ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world to fall in love with you and you've got two beautiful children. What more do you want?

ANDERSEN: And Diana said, yes but this is my husband. The situation was just intangible for someone like Diana. I mean, as Diana herself said, you know, there were three of us in this marriage from the start. So it was a bit crowded.

WHARFE: Diana had realized there was no chance or little chance of a reconciliation.

WARD (on camera): Did she seem depressed or humiliated or upset after the experience?

WHARFE: The thing about that, what I remember the following day was probably the brightest and liveliest that I've actually seen her in some time and thereafter. There was a huge build of confidence.

WARD (voice-over): Confidence, Wharfe says, to go solo and at 27 years old chart her own course. Or as Diana once described it, cut my own path.

ARTHUR EDWARDS, ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER: We went to Nigeria to a leper colony and she was literally holding the lepers hands. We went to Brazil and she held babies born with HIV.

DICKIE ARBITER: When Diana went to a hospice she would sit on the bed and hold the patient's hand. When Charles went to a hospice he'd stand by the patient and he'd be very sympathetic. They had a different approach. Diana was touchy feely.


PRINCESS DIANA: And as a mother --


WARD (voice-over): And it's not just actions but Diana's words that are different.

COLTHURST: So this is how a speech might turn out. She'd send the one from the organization with a little post-it note attached saying, I wonder what your views are. And she wrote a bit.

WARD (voice-over): Old friend James Colthurst helps Diana craft new, more personal speeches. It's April 1991.


PRINCESS DIANA: HIV does not make people dangerous to know. So you can shake their hand and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it.


COLTHURST: This was a game changer for her. Normally her appearance at a charity might get a mention in the inside pages just to say she'd been there. The first speech ended up being reproduced verbatim on the front page of the two broad sheets. It was a big moment.

WARD (voice-over): Princess Diana, the advocate is an instant star.

PATRICK JEPHSON, PRINCESS DIANA'S PRIVATE SECRETARY: Particularly as Diana came more accomplished, more sure of herself, more confident it seemed her husband but also some in his family saw Diana for -- was a bit of a mystery, but ultimately with hostility.

DAVORICK: The people were going crazy about her and he was like a shadow next to her.

ARBITER: Diana goes one side of the road. Charles goes to the other side of the road. The side that got Diana cheered. The side that got Charles jeered. And that's how it was all the time. So it was difficult.

And yes, he probably did get resentful. She was on the front page of newspapers. Lead story on a television. It was always Diana.

WARD (voice-over): Publicly Prince Charles jokes about it.


PRINCE CHARLES: Well I've come to the conclusion that really it would have been far easier to have had two wives to cover both sides of the street. And I could have walked down the middle directing the operation.


WARD (voice-over): But privately by the early '90s Charles and Diana are living separate lives.

ARBITER: They do a state banquet or something involving a state visit together and then Diana would come back here and Charles would go back to Gloucestershire to Highgrove. So Diana came back here alone. She led a lonely existence. She was a prisoner.

WARD (voice-over): And desperate to let the world know. It's February 1992, touring India, Diana goes to the Taj Mahal without Charles.


(On camera) That picture somehow came to be emblematic of the end of a marriage and also of her loneliness.

ARBITER: Yes. Tilting her head to one side. You know, sort of putting her head down. She was very good at that. And there were all sorts of interpretive headlines, wistful, pensive, thoughtful.

WARD (on camera): And you think that was deliberate on her part?

ARBITER: Up to a point yes, it was deliberate.

ANDERSEN: Diana was a master manipulator of the media. She was someone who was very shrewd.

WARD (voice-over): That is until the summer of 1992, when we come back.

ARBITER: And she phoned me at 5:00 and said, what do I do? I said your Royal Highness you've already done it. I suggest you pour a very large scotch.



QUEEN ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF ENGLAND: 1992 was not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.


WARD (voice-over): A startling and revealing admission from the notoriously private and composed Queen Elizabeth.



QUEEN ELIZABETH: It has turned out to be an annus horribilis.


WARD (voice-over): Declaring 1992 a horrible year.

JEPHSON: She actually found a very neat way of saying, yes it's tough and I don't mind telling you it's tough.

WARD (voice-over): Tough times that start early February in Jaipur, India. Diana is at a polo match with Charles. After his victory, the Prince goes in for the ceremonial, celebratory kiss from his Princess.

EDWARDS: This is the kiss that missed. This is when the Prince was expecting to get a kiss on the lips and the prize.

WARD (on camera): It's an awkward moment.

EDWARDS: He got the booby prize, I'm afraid. Yes, she turned her head.

WHARFE: I think it did signify to the world at that point exactly where the state of the marriage was. And this wasn't unexpected, it was just waiting for a sort of royal admission that things were really wrong here.

WARD (voice-over): But according to palace insiders, Charles is not about to do that. They say the people on his team have other ideas.

JEPHSON: They set out to diminish Diana in the public's eyes. This was an attempt to intimidate us. It was a bullying tactic.

WARD (voice-over): What Diana's private secretary Patrick Jephson calls a smear campaign that he says began in 1991.

JEPHSON: For Diana's 30th birthday, Charles wanted to throw a birthday party for her. And she saw this as a P.R. stunt so that his people could say, look, here he is, the loving, devoted husband putting on a birthday party for her. Her reluctance to have a big birthday party was prominently reported on the front page of the tabloids.

ANDERSEN: And these are the kind of games that they played throughout their marriage, to win over the public through manipulating the press. And no one could do it better than Diana. COLTHURST: She was determined to say something. There was no stopping there. It was inevitable I think as a vent for the anger.

WARD (voice-over): So Diana asks her old friend for help.

COLTHURST: I said a book would be a better format than a mad article or T.V. thing because she could have control of it.

WARD (on camera): A book like no other. Diana's own story personally told to a reporter of her choosing, Royal Watcher Andrew Morton. But Diana can't be seen meeting with Morton here at Kensington Palace so she hatches a secret plan.

It was almost like you were in a sort of James Bond movie kind of.

COLTHURST: It was much simpler in a way than people make.

WARD (voice-over): Starting in the summer of 1991, Colthurst bikes to Kensington Palace as he has for years to visit Diana. But this time he carries a small tape recorder and a long list of questions hidden in his bag.

COLTHURST: Cycled, then had lunch. Made a bit of few questions before lunch and a few after and then off again.

WARD (voice-over): Off to deliver the tapes to Andrew Morton who weaves them into a revealing book, more revealing than anyone expected.

COLTHURST: She was very open indeed about everything. Indeed to a level to where I was almost worrying -- cautioning about what was being said.

WARD (voice-over): From her struggles with bulimia, depression, to her husband's alleged infidelities and her multiple suicide attempts, one of them happening when she was just three months pregnant with Prince William.

ANDERSEN: She threw herself down the staircase and Charles just went out the door and she was very badly bruised. It apparently didn't affect her pregnancy.

COLTHURST: This was a letter --

WARD (voice-over): By the end of 1991, the book is finished and Diana is getting ready.

COLTHURST: Obviously we're preparing for the volcano to erupt and I do feel better equipped to cope with whatever comes our way.

WARD (on camera): Was she excited by that?

COLTHURST: I think relieved.

WARD (voice-over): Book excerpts finally hit the newsstands in June 1992. (on camera): How did you know she was behind it?

ARBITER: There was too much in it not to have her fingerprints all over it.

WARD (voice-over): Diana panics.

ARBITER: She phoned me at 5:00 and said, what do I do? I said, Royal Highness, you've already done it. I suggest you pour a very large scotch.

JEPHSON: She got condemned for speaking, for revealing the truth rather than having the royal establishment respond to the -- to the message, they just shot the messenger.

WARD (voice-over): And while the palace doesn't support her airing of royal dirty laundry, many ordinary people relate to her.

COLTHURST: She had huge letters of support saying that she -- you've done a pretty good job in a public role. So, you know, don't back off.

WARD (on camera): Was she concerned at all about how this might affect the boys?