(NEW YORK) — Twenty-six years after her death, Princess Diana is speaking out in her own words in a new documentary, in never-before-heard audio recordings.
The documentary, Diana: The Rest of Her Story, features Diana discussing everything from her struggles with mental health to her two sons, Princes William and Harry, and her troubled relationship with her stepmother, Raine Spencer.
“I said everything I possibly could and Raine said, ‘You have no idea how much pain your mother put your father through,"” Diana says in one clip from the documentary. “And I said, “Pain, Raine, it’s one word you don’t even know how to relate to. In my job and in my role, I see people suffer like you’ve never seen, and you call that pain.’ I said, ‘You’ve got a lot to learn."”
She continues, “I remember really going for her gullet.”
In another clip, Diana reflects on her then-husband Prince Charles — now King Charles III — and his troubled relationship with her mother Frances Shand Kydd.
“My husband won’t even talk to Mommy, barely, because at Harry’s christening, Charles went up to [her] and said, ‘You know, we’re so disappointed. We thought it’d be a girl,"” Diana recalls in the clip. “And Mommy snapped his head off and said, ‘You should realize how lucky you are to have a child that’s normal."”
Diana continues, “And ever since that day, a shutter [has] come down, and that’s what he does when he gets somebody answering back at him, so to speak.”
Diana and Charles were married for 11 years before their divorce was finalized in 1996.
Just one year later, on Aug. 31, 1997, Diana died after a car she was a traveling in crashed in Paris. She was just 36 at the time of her death.
The audio recordings of Diana featured in Diana: The Rest of Her Story come from the princess’s conversations with her close friend, James Colthurst.
Their seven hours of conversation that were recorded happened while Diana was still married to Charles and living at Kensington Palace.
The secret recordings were later given, with Diana’s approval, to Andrew Morton, who used them as the basis for his bestselling book, Diana: Her True Story.
Morton, an ABC News royal contributor, told Good Morning America that he believes people hearing Diana’s voice in the newly-released recordings will give them a deeper sense of who she really was.
“It’s one thing to read something on a page, but it’s quite another to hear the person talking about it, and here we have Diana talking about her ambitions for the future,” Morton said. “There’s a real poignancy about some of the aspects of the tape and I think people will get a really vivid sense of her personality and her character.”
Morton was persuaded by the director and executive producer of the new documentary, Tom Jennings, to let him use the recordings of Diana for both this film and his first one, Diana: In Her Own Words, which was released in 2017 by National Geographic.
Jennings told GMA he convinced Morton to grant him access by proposing a new way of telling Diana’s story: by using her words only.
“I said, ‘Andrew, wait. We do this completely different. There’s no narrator. There are no modern-day interviews. We only use media from the time. It would be like Diana is narrating her own film,"” Jennings recalled. “And he said, ‘No one has ever asked me to do it that way before. When can you come to London?"”
Jennings continued, “I was in London the next morning. [Morton] pushed play on these tapes, and for the next seven hours, we sat in a very small room [and] it was as if Diana was sitting there with us, telling us her life story.”
Diana: The Rest of Her Story is expected to be released in 2024.
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