- A new special examining Princess Diana’s life will premiere this Sunday on PBS.
- Viewers can expect to learn more about Diana’s relationship with Prince Charles, her struggles with mental health, and her secret involvement in the creation of her tell-all biography.
- The documentary includes exclusive interviews with those who knew the princess personally, such as biographer Andrew Morton, voice coach Stewart Pearce, and friends including John Travolta and Debbie Frank, as well as several historians.
A new special examining Princess Diana’s life will premiere this Sunday on PBS. Viewers can expect to learn more about Diana’s relationship with Prince Charles, her struggles with mental health, and her secret involvement in the creation of her tell-all biography.
“This unique exploration of Diana’s life looks back through a contemporary lens that credits her choices, her suffering and her triumphs as the ultimate disrupter for a generation of women across the globe,” PBS described the program in a statement. “Through interviews with many who knew her personally, a picture of Diana emerges that reveals what drove her to challenge the restrictions of her personal life—marriage to a man who loved another woman and a royal family that attempted to mold her in its image. When her marriage dissolved, Diana could have stepped off the world stage and created a quiet, private life. Instead, driven by a need to help others, she chose to use her celebrity to change lives.”
The documentary includes exclusive interviews with those who knew the princess personally, such as biographer Andrew Morton, voice coach Stewart Pearce, and friends including John Travolta and Debbie Frank, as well as several historians.
The scandal known as “Camilla-gate” and the collapse of Diana and Charles’s relationship are two of the program’s main focuses. “Abandonment was the theme of her life,” says biographer Andrew Morton in the exclusive clip above. “Diana felt that she’d married this perfect family, the royal family. And what had happened? She’d married a man that was in love with somebody else.”
Debbie Frank, Diana’s astrologer and close friend, adds: “She never gave up on her marriage actually. She wanted to be this great team with Charles. She wanted to have more children with Charles, and he did not want to have more children.”
The feature also explores the genesis of Andrew Morton’s biography about the princess, titled Diana–Her True Story. Upon being published in 1992, it was equally controversial and popular for pulling back the curtain on life within the palace walls. Initially, no one knew Diana had been heavily involved, giving secret interviews, and even pushing to have the book written in the first place. That information was not made public until after her death in 1997.
Dr. James Colthurst, one of Diana’s friends, tells of how he became the intermediary between the princess and Morton, who was secretly writing the book about her life, and how he would sneak a tape recorder into the palace.
“The first time I listened to a tape recording that Diana had made, it was like I’d entered another world–genuinely entered another world,” Morton says. “And I was nursing a secret. And the secret was kind of a dangerous one as well because the establishment didn’t want Diana’s story to come out. They were happy to keep the myth going.”
“Diana wanted to get her story out there,” historian Kate Williams says in the clip. “There was still the romanticizing of her–this romantic, wonderful princess–and she wants to come out there and say, ‘my life has not been like that. It’s been isolation. There’s been exclusion.’ And really, the long-term suffering from being in a marriage when your husband is in love with someone else.”
“I think Diana wanted not only just to confess, but also to talk about her life, about her childhood, about her romance with Prince Charles,” Morton says.
“She felt that the public had a right to know what was going on,” says Debbie Frank. “So, she made it happen.”
Earlier this summer, the In Their Own Words franchise on PBS covered influential figures Pope Francis and Chuck Berry. The Diana, Princess of Wales episode of airs this Sunday, August 8 at 8 p.m. ET. The hour-long special will premiere on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app.
From: Town & Country US
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