In Depth

What's on the Princess Diana tapes?

Channel 4 is under fire for plans to air recordings in which Diana discusses her sex life, marriage breakdown and secret palace romance

Diana Princess of Wales

Channel Four's is to set to broadcast extracts from Princess Diana's private conversations in which she discusses her sex life with Prince Charles, his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and her own secret romance.

Friends of the late former royal have hit out at plans to air the tapes - never before broadcast in the UK - in the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, set to air in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of her death on 31 August.

Dickie Arbiter, a former spokesman for the Queen, has said the passage of time since Diana's death in a Paris car crash in 1997 "doesn't matter" and that "selling tapes like this is grubby blood money and tawdry".

The recordings, in which Diana speaks candidly about her marriage to Prince Charles and its subsequent breakdown, were made by her voice coach Peter Settelen at Kensington Palace in 1992 and 1993.

Snippets from the tapes were shown on US network NBC in 2004, but generated such a firestorm that the BBC pulled the plug on a programme that was to include clips from the recordings.

At the time, the director of the programme, Kevin Sim, described the content of the tapes as "dynamite". 

What's in the Diana tapes?

On the early days of their romance: "He chatted me up. He was all over me like a bad rash."

On falling for the "inconsistent" prince: "Like the fat Sloane Ranger that I was, I was seriously wooed by Charles, but he wasn't consistent... He'd ring me every day for a week, then wouldn't speak to me for three weeks. Very odd."

On their sex life: "There was never a requirement for it from his case. Sort of once every three weeks. I kept thinking it followed a pattern. He used to see his lady once every three weeks before we got married."

On their strained marriage: "If I could write my own script I would have my husband go away with his woman and never come back."

On her attempt to confide in the Queen: "I went to the top lady and said: 'I don't know what I should do'. She said: 'I don't know what you should do.' And that was it. That was 'help'."

On her struggle to fulfil the public's expectations: "They wanted a fairy princess to come and touch them and everything will turn into gold and all their worries would be forgotten. Little did they realise that the individual was crucifying herself inside because she didn't think she was good enough."

On her own forbidden palace romance, believed to be with bodyguard Barry Mannakee: "I should never have played with fire, but I did and I got very burnt. Three weeks after he left, he was killed in a motorbike accident. And he was the greatest fun I have ever had."

On the motorbike accident that claimed his life: "He was killed - I think he was bumped off." 

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