JUST finished watching Diana: In Her Own Words, an amazing documentary on Channel 4+1.
This isn’t so much a carefully composed article but my from-the-heart thoughts about one of the most sensational programmes I’ve ever seen.
Firstly, little wonder the critics tried to demean the use of previously unseen footage of the late Princess of Wales a couple of weeks ago.
They argued that the documentary makers were morally wrong taking advantage of what was meant to be private conversations.
But the real reason for their damage limitation assault is now very clear for everyone to see.
Diana’s ‘private’ footage fitted perfectly an astonishing unveiling of the story of her marriage to Prince Charles and her place – or lack of it – within the Royal Family in heartbreaking and devastating fashion.
She made clear in her own words that she suspected her husband was having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles as early as a year or so into the marriage.
This is in contrast to Royal biographers who, whilst having reluctantly to concede that the number one in line to the throne cheated on his wife, have always sought to have us believe that this occurred after the breakdown of his relationship with Diana.
Note here the excruciating public denials made by Charles during his TV interview in 1994 when his body language oozed guilt and unease.
How he dared to describe Camilla as ‘one of his many friends’!
Surely the fact he is married to her now confirms that Diana’s account of this squalid tale is fact and his was fiction.
As was more than hinted at during the documentary Camilla was infact never really off the scene.
She was cruelly used by Charles to vet his developing relationship with the future Princess – also as shown in footage in the documentary.
Had this been anyone other than a former (just going with the delusion for a while) girlfriend that would have been more than acceptable.
After all, Diana needed a lot of coaching to make the step even from her own aristocratic Spencer family into the Royal household.
But when viewed from the background that Camilla and Charles were still insufferably close – and very possibly sexually active – during his courtship with Diana a very different motive emerges.
Camilla and Charles were grooming Diana for her minor role in a triangle.
Her role was to provide Charles with children and the respectability of a wife.
Meanwhile, far from public gaze and perception, our King-to-be was knocking off his real girlfriend.
Note the callous words of Camilla when Diana confronted her: “At least you have the boys….”
That was also ALL she ever had!
Never can it have been made clearer that Diana never had the heart of Charles – that always belonged to Camilla, your future Queen ladies and gentlemen.
Anyone with insight into the real and not-so-wonderful world of the Windsors will tell you that public image and what happens behind closed doors aren’t even on the same page.
It meant nothing to them – The Queen, Prince Phillip and The Queen Mother principally – to present a totally false picture to the millions who took the ‘fairytale’ of Charles and Diana to their hearts.
As long as the masses were happy waving their flags and the Royal brand was safe, it was job done. Never mind one beautiful soul was being brutally exploited.
The Monarchy was always thus.
Interesting that Diana herself researched that every Prince of Wales has had a mistress. Public and private highlighted for you in a deceitful nutshell.
One interesting incomplete tale in the documentary was Diana commenting on the death of her former bodyguard – and almost certainly former lover – Barry Mannakee.
He died in a motor bike accident.
In these tapes, Diana didn’t elaborate but elsewhere she made the sensational claim that Mannakee was ‘bumped off’.
Her source was none other than her subsequent lover Captain James Hewitt, also featured in this documentary.
He telephoned her to say he had been officially warned off continuing his relationship with Diana or risk suffering the same fate as Mannakee.
This was the very first time Diana had suspected this was the case.
She had initially been informed of Mannakee’s death by Charles himself as the ‘couple’ went through the doors for a major public engagement.
What kind of man would break such devastating news in that fashion, knowing it would destroy her as she faced the world’s press?
I’ll leave that one to you.
Diana was fantastic and hugely fallible, very strong and incredibly vulernable, all in the same sentence.
That was her beauty, her enigma.
Her mistake was believing she could beat the Royal Family.
But did she really have a choice?
The documentary revealed she was seriously worried that they would separate her from the most precious two people in her life – William and Harry.
So she fought back not only as an aristocrat who had been scorned but also as a mother.
It’s very important to remember that. For Diana, above all, was human and that’s why the Royals could never understand her.
She thought that, if she got her story out properly – and as the programme revealed she went to great lengths to be coached for just that – the general public would believe her.
Millions do. All the more so after last night, I suspect.
But the power that she had in her heart and words plus that incredible bond she shared with all of us who mourned her loss counted for less in this cold bloodied world than the power yielded by The Crown.
There was enough last night to lead you to the inevitable conclusion without actually spelling out the word ‘murder’.
Diana confessed that her time after the public announcement of her separation from Charles was ‘the most dangerous of my life’.
It was made clear that Charles feared he could lose what he treasured most – the throne itself – if he continued to be outshone by his ex in a public popularity contest.
So what do you really think happened that fateful night in Paris now almost 20 years ago?
Ask the friends of Barry Mannakee…..
God bless Diana, a beautiful woman who touched our hearts and will forever be remembered for her humanity.
And God save us from The Crown……