'Highly vulnerable, desperate' Princess Diana was 'defiant' Panorama

‘Highly vulnerable and desperate’ Princess Diana was ‘defiant’ about Panorama interview and had ‘set out to win back her reputation’ and ‘show people who she really was’, royal expert claims

  • Princess Diana was ‘defiant’ about her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir
  • Royal expert said the late royal was ‘highly vulnerable and desperate’ at the time
  • Ingrid Seward said Princess Diana wanted to ‘show people who she really was’ 
  • Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm 

Princess Diana was ‘defiant’ about her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, a royal expert has claimed.   

The late royal was determined to ‘win back her reputation’ with the explosive TV interview, because ‘she was terrified the Royal family would take her boys away’, according to Ingrid Seward.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the royal biographer said the princess had been ‘highly vulnerable and fairly desperate’ when she granted the interview to Panorama in 1995. 

Yet Ingrid said the mother-of-two later confided in her that she was ‘defiant’ about the bombshell interview, explaining: ‘She did not regret the interview as a whole…She wanted the world to see who she really was: someone who could help others.’

The ‘highly vulnerable and fairly desperate’ Princess Diana was ‘defiant’ about her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, Ingrid Seward has claimed

The royal expert said she was invited by Princess Diana for a ‘girlie chat’ at Kensington Palace 18 months after the interview.

She claimed the late royal told her she ‘regretted talking about James Hewitt’ because she feared it could ‘hurt her sons.’

However Ingrid said Diana was ‘glad’ she had spoken of her bulimia, having received a flood of messages and letters from others who suffered from eating disorders.

Ingrid’s comments come as a new documentary – Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview – is set to air on Channel 4. 

Speaking to The Telegraph, Ingrid said the late royal ‘did not regret the interview’ about her marriage to Prince Charles because she ‘wanted the world to see who she really was’ 

It includes allegations that Bashir secured his infamous talk with the princess after an ‘elaborate plot’ which saw him show ‘faked’ bank statements to her brother. 

Earl Spencer is said to have been so impressed by Bashir that he duly arranged for him to meet Diana. 

The documentary also reveals Princess Diana thought her husband should ‘stand aside’ to let William succeed the Queen because he wasn’t up to the job.

Speaking before her bombshell TV interview with Martin Bashir, Diana also made plain her ‘hatred’ for Prince Charles and described their marriage as ‘hell from day one’.

Details of the extraordinary conversation with former Daily Telegraph editor Max Hastings have only emerged 25 years later as Sir Max declined to publish them in a bid to ‘keep a lid’ on the royal scandal.

The princess went on to lay her frustrations bare on Panorama weeks later.  

The Channel 4 programme reveals how the princess poured her heart out to Sir Max three months before the Panorama interview, after driving to meet him in Berkshire. During their meeting, the princess even asked him if he had heard anything about a ‘conspiracy’ to have her ‘put down’.

Sir Max told Diana he was ‘terribly flattered’ she had ‘come all the way down to the country to talk to me’. In response, she said she was ‘terribly anxious for my side of this to come out’. 

Princess Diana pictured shaking hands with former Daily Telegraph editor Max Hastings 

Sir Max said: ‘I spent the best part of a couple of hours with Diana and she put on a wonderful show. It was absolutely gripping stuff.

‘It became clear first of all how much she hated Charles… yes, she did hate Charles. When I said ‘were there ever happy times?’, she said ‘no, the marriage was hell from day one’.

‘I was amazed by the frankness and the directness with which she said that.

‘She said that all she cared about was William’s succession to the throne and she said to me, quite explicitly, ‘I don’t think Charles can do it’. The outcome she wanted to see was for Charles to stand aside as heir… and for William to occupy the throne. This was pretty dynamic stuff.’

Explaining his decision not to publish details of their conversation, Sir Max said: ‘I felt that my job was to try and help them keep a lid on the worst of this, rather than to lift it off.

‘Diana said a lot of stuff on several occasions which I thought [was] for the fairies. She asked me what I knew about a conspiracy to sort of have her put down. I said… it sounded absolutely crazy to me. But she, I think, did believe this sort of stuff and it was one of many, many things that made one feel so desperately sorry for her… this sense of vulnerability.

‘You may be a very streetwise, brilliant enchantress, but you can also be not very bright. If you’ve got nobody sensible to advise you, or if you have [but] you won’t take their advice, you’re in a pretty bad place.’ 

As well as covering Panorama, the documentary touches upon Charles’s own TV interview with Jonathan Dimbleby in 1994, which is said to have prompted Diana to respond in kind.

Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm 

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