tv Diana CNN November 7, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
there are already too many eugene williams, and to shaq, we give the last word. >> shout-out to my city. we got to do better. we won't survive if we don't. i want to see your child grow. i want to see you do better. you can do better. ♪ marriage offers stability. >> diana is in a loveless marriage and really is living a lie. >> for many of these marriages, reality fails to live up to expectations. >> here you have her husband,
the future king of england, in love with someone else. amongst the aristocracy, that was the norm. >> but whose norm is it? >> some women put up with a sham of a marriage. but not diana. >> she wanted to blow the lid off everything. >> isn't it normal to feel angry and want to change the situation that is hurting? >> this was her going totally rogue, she was risking it all, not knowing where it would lead. >> diana's taking on one of the oldest and most powerful institutions in the world. >> she wanted her truth to be told, and she was determined that she was going to control her narrative. ♪ ♪
♪ it was the summer of 1990, and charles was playing polo, and he fell badly off his horse and broke his arm. and he was rushed to the local hospital. >> it was a major fall, a major break. and it takes time for the swelling to go down. >> diana was 100 miles away in london when she heard about the accident, and she jumped into the car with her bodyguard and drove to the hospital. >> it was a very big story. lots of reporters, photographers, film crews outside of the hospital he was being treated. >> inside royal palace staff were stunned to discover charles' very first visitor wasn't diana, it was camilla parker bowles. she had sidled through the
backdoor so the media hadn't caught sight of her. >> prince charles' bodyguard from buckingham palace were trying to work out what time diana would appear. >> fortunately camilla was able to slip out the back door before diana arrived. >> according to the diana version, charles made it clear that he didn't really want his wife there, he wanted his mistress there. he wanted camilla to be at his side. >> that for diana was really the point where she decided she was no longer interested in attempting any further reconciliation for the sake of the marriage. >> so many dreams as a young girl. hopes my husband would support me, encourage me. i didn't get any of that. >> what you have is the entire firm engaged top to bottom in maintaining a massive lie. >> the fact that prince charles had a mistress in mrs. parker bowles had to be kept secret and to dismiss and even rubbish suggestions that the marriage might be in trouble. there was no precedent for a
separated, let alone divorced, prince and princess of wales. it was unthinkable. >> they were effectively leading separate lives. >> prince charles was based in highgrove in gloucestershire. diana was left on her own at kensington palace a hundred miles away. >> they only came together at the weekend when diana would drive down with william and harry and spend the weekend at highgrove. the way the staff told it was that no sooner had the princess' car receded out of view than they could hear the gravel crunching of another car, and that would be camilla arriving. >> camilla was effectively the mistress of the house and would organize dipper parties and other events for a close circle of friends. >> diana was constantly fobbed off. she would raise it with courtiers and they'd just say, it's not true, you're imagining things.
>> it was corroding the whole organization. adultery isn't exactly a novelty for the british crown. but in diana spencer, they had a wife who was not going to take it quietly. and they had a husband in prince charles who failed to follow the time-honored rules for somebody in his situation. rule one being, you respect the mother of your children, especially in public. you look after her. you treat herbert because of what you're doing, not worse. >> my husband made me feel so inadequate in every possible way, that each time i came up for air, he pushed me down again. >> i remember on a joint golf tour the prince publicly humiliating his wife. belittling her. the host was outlining the program, most of which discussion was directed at the prince. and then the host turned to the
princess and asked her what she was going to be doing. it was a serious program. before she could answer, the prince interrupted and said, "shopping, isn't it, darling?" the princess blushed. she couldn't speak. she was publicly humiliated. >> that was just a great example of how he tried to paint her as shallow, as frivolous. >> it opened my eyes to what diana was dealing with every day. >> charles tries to grapple with the attention that diana receives and that he resents it. and finally he tries to put her in her place, but that was simply not possible, she was a global superstar. >> the prince and princess were originally invited by the old communist government. but there's been a revolution since then, and the man who met them off the plane was the country's new president, arpad goncz, who spent six years in
prison under the communist regime. >> i remember the first high-profile visit to a former communist country and the president's wife was moved to tears by the emotion of the moment. princess diana noticed and spontaneously, instinctively put out her hand, comforted mrs. goncz, held her hand all down the red carpet. that gesture became the symbol of the whole visit. the visit was a success before we'd even left the airport because of diana's spontaneous act of kindness. >> charles was jealous, and diana felt completely underappreciated because of all her efforts on behalf of both of them. >> diana was living with this burning sense of injustice, and she wanted to blow the lid on everything. >> she felt the injustice of her husband being able to carry on his affair pretty much with impunity. >> she wanted her truth to be told. >> there was a boil inside the house of windsor that was about
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>> i heard diana, the most talked about woman on the planet, beloved by millions, talking in a way in which i'd never heard before. >> felt so desperate and i was crying my eyes out. he said, "i'm not going to listen, you're always doing this to me. i'm going riding now." >> i had been writing about the royal family for the best part of ten years. nothing prepared me for the enormity of what diana was saying. >> so i threw myself down the stairs. >> i was stunned. the suicide attempts, bulimia. i didn't even know what it was. i didn't realize that charles had basically another marriage going on. that came as a tremendous shock. >> here you have her husband, the future king of england, in love with someone else. and that put her position at incredible risk. >> diana did feel that prince charles' team were really gunning for her, and she was worried that the boys would be
taken from her. to lose them was her greatest fear. she knew that people feeling confident to spout that she was not stable, that was the weapon they were using, she's crazy. >> diana had considered really giving a whole open story to newspapers. i said, you'll be playing into their hands if you actually show an explosive, apparent lack of control. and that's when the concept of doing it by book came up. >> she was going behind the backs of the royal family, breaking an unwritten rule of silence, that you never talk to the press. >> i first met andrew morton when he first came to st. thomas' where i worked at that time. >> andrew said, let's set up an interview. i said, andrew, you can't drew diana, how can you do that? you can't go near her. and there was james sitting
there, and i said, but you can. so i would take a little cheap tape-recorder, and i was initially going to ask the questions and she just snatched the paper out of my hand with all of andrew morton's questions on. it was like a floodgate opened. everything just came out. >> diana was establishing the fact her marriage was a wreck. that no one in the royal family cared for her. she self-harmed. she would stuff herself with food and then make herself ill. >> she was sharing her innermost personal secrets. she was risking it all, not knowing where it would lead. >> just imagine how tortured diana must have been to get to this place. >> she hadn't considered deniability. so we had the idea of getting
friends to give interviews and use those as cover for diana's story. the title of the book became "diana, her true story," against diana's wishes. diana wanted the book to be called, "the true story." and i said, no, it isn't the true story. it's your true story. we doubted nothing that she said, but it was only her view. and we later found out that it was a hell of a lot excluded. >> diana couldn't exactly call out charles and camilla while she herself was involved in an on-off four-year liaison with the cavalry officer james hewitt. she realized she needed to sort out her own business first. so hewitt got the old heave-ho. >> she said nothing about her relationship with james hewitt. james gilbey, the voice on the squidge tapes, never mentioned him.
also, there was the start of the relationship about oliver hall, the married art dealer. >> diana was getting her retaliation in first. >> this was the biggest fear of her life, the marriage ending, her being blamed for it, divorce. charles gets the children because she's the bad guy. >> she didn't believe that what she was doing was really on the same scale. what charles was doing was really engaging in a very serious and profound love affair. and these side affairs that diana had, they never came close to the deep love affair that charles and camilla were enjoying. >> this is the original manuscript as mocked up by diana. diana describes the time when she threw herself down the staircase, landing in a heap at the bottom. she was pregnant, she was desperately unhappy, and no one seemed to care.
she does admit that it was a cry for help. i think she would have never risked the lives of one of her children. and diana on the tape says the queen was the first to arrive on the scene. but in the manuscript she writes "mum." so it now reads the queen mum was the first to arrive on the scene. now, that's not what diana told us. diana was very wary of saying anything about the queen. so i think she's fibbed there, which i'm sure she did to keep the queen out of the picture. >> diana's harboring a secret. she knows that in a few months' time her tell-all book is about to be published. >> she knew that there would be a portrait of her marriage that was very much at odds with what people believed.
>> the prince and princess of wales will spend today as they've spent much of this royal tour, apart. >> we were told originally they were both destined to go to the taj mahal. >> charles was busy with his schedule, and they weren't able to fulfill the promise that charles had made 12 years earlier that he would visit the taj mahal with the woman that he loved more than anybody else, his wife. >> he will concentrate on issues such as industry, investment. >> charles didn't go because he was doing something else. diana went alone. >> just sitting there. >> suddenly the light switched on for all of us, we realized this was a key moment. it was more powerful than thousands of words, just that
one image. this beautiful, glamorous princess all alone in front of this monument to love itself. >> nothing about that image is incidental. she knew what she was doing, and she knew how the media and the public would read into it. >> she was asked about it by a reporter. and he said, "well, what do you mean?" >> a very healing experience. >> in what way? >> healing. >> she was sending messages in advance of the book. and she played the media game very skillfully. >> there's a real pressure cooker atmosphere as diana is planning for the publication for the book. it's at least a year in the making, and she's doing all this
literally under the noses of royal officials. >> diana was effectively planting a bomb underneath the royal family. >> diana knew the minute buckingham palace found out about this, it would have been stopped. >> at one stage diana felt all her conversations were being listened to. so we decided to get some scramblers. these are the original ones we used, which will be laughable nowadays. but each time we used them, we'd have a conversation for perhaps half a minute, then the line would be cut, completely dead. >> she insisted we have her rooms at kensington palace swept for bugs. diana trusted no one inside the royal system. >> she was well aware that this was a pretty big moment for her. and, you know, she put it in her letters. "dearest james, your support and guidance this year in particular has meant a great deal to me. obviously we're preparing for the volcano to erupt, and i do,"
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that book finally goes on sale today. it's made its author, andrew morton, a millionaire and it's already in its fourth reprint. some say the biggest crisis to affect the royal family since the abdication of edward viii. >> the book was dynamite. it blew open the entire pretense of the marriage. >> it was astonishing. >> the royal family for generations had been seen as the model family. and here was a book with a princess talking about how she binged on food, made herself vomit, attempted suicide, how her husband was in love with another woman. >> there was real shock and disbelief that these kinds of things could happen within the royal family. >> no one had challenged the institution of the monarchy this way before.
>> "diana, her true story" is definitely not what the royal family wants you to hear. >> every single story. bulimia, affairs, the whole lot have been denied morning, noon, and night by the palace. they'd lied through their teeth. after that book, we never bothered to ask the palace anything again. >> her expectations were that she would find love, satisfaction, and happiness with the one man, prince charles, with whom she was besotted with. >> are you saying charles married a disturbed woman? >> no, i'm not. this 19-year-old girl was a very uncomplicated, lively, great sense of fun, great sense of humor. yet within a year of the marriage, she was standing on the steps of sandringham souls 3 months' pregnant with prince williams and threw herself down.
that's the despair she had come to. >> the establishment's response was to deny it all, it couldn't be true. to be told that the fairytale marriage was a complete sham, well, this is the story that no one wanted to hear. >> members of parliament talked about having the book banned. bookstores refused to handle the book. >> mps condemned it as a savage attack on the royal family. >> the people who did get the blame were her friends who had given interviews. carolyn bartholomew who was diana's closest friend rang me up saying, i'm being crucified in the papers here. eventually andrew came up with a plan with diana. >> diana was really incredibly brave. she could have just let all of her friends take the flack. instead, she takes responsibility. >> i turned up to caroline bartholomew's house, and diana did a bit for me. diana kisses caroline, kisses her husband, kisses the baby, i'm click, click, click.
the baby pointing look, look, look! they're all pretending that they don't know i'm there. >> diana's visit to her friend was a critical moment, because it showed that diana herself was supporting the book. >> the royal family was appalled by the book. so they felt justifiably that it was a terrible betrayal. >> in the ensuing storm, although visibly under strain, the princess made no attempt to deny the stories. >> all that you do were effected in various ways, the philosophy of tender loving care. may god bless you, and may you always remain, ma'am, just you. >> because of her glamour, because of her perceived vulnerability, you had something like love, real adoration of
this really special creature. and that is why the book was so shocking to ordinary people. they really cared about her. and they were horrified that her life wasn't the wonderful thing they thought it was. >> diana's experience, despite all of her privilege, is strangely universal. >> how many women know what it's like to be in an unhappy relationship, to feel trapped like that. >> there's an emotional truth to what diana went through, which millions of people worldwide experience themselves. >> there was enormous sympathy. crowds of people turned out as if to say, we're with you. we understand. public support really polarized. you were either for this rather cold and remote royal family, or you were with diana. >> diana's actions also changed what was possible for women at the time.
>> diana grew up in a scene where women had to shut up and have babies. not have opinions. diana did not shut up. she stood up with amazing courage against her husband and all his lackeys and all the institutional detritus. and that was something. that was really something. >> that gave women watching, regardless of class, a lot more courage to do that in their own lives. >> diana was a very clever person. she was decades ahead of her time in manipulating the press and public opinion. so there is the queen's entire comms department putting out one story, all untrue. very quietly, going around the back, got a book away, got it published. complete secrecy. making the palace look complete idiots. and her getting her story out. i don't think it's manipulative,
i think it's an intellect, an instinct for survival. and i tip my hat to her for it. >> diana's won the hearts and minds of the public. but charles' supporters have a counter narrative in mind, and they're going to retaliate in kind. >> the royal biographer says she was approached to tell the other side of the story. >> i spoke quite strongly in defense of the prince of wales, because i felt looking at it he had been badly maligned. and unfairly so. >> the princess is seen by many close to the queen's eldest son as being mentally unbalanced at times from 11 years of suffering from the debilitating disease, bulimia. prince of wales himself feels the illness has caused her to distort the truth. whether i would use those words today, i don't know. but i think her mental health was an issue in the marriage. a big issue in the marriage. i was very fond of the princess of wales, and i admired her enormously. i think that the behavior -- the mood swings, the suspicious
nature, the jealousy, needing attention -- i think all of that is attributable to the state of mind, to the illness. >> they go for the absolute oldest strategy in the book, she's mad. charles' supporters accused diana of being somehow delusional because she had an eating disorder. bulimia and madness are not the same thing. >> to accuse diana in a pretty aggressive fashion that she was mentally unwell, distorting the truth. that's essentially -- that's calling her a liar. >> they were trying to muddy the waters around diana. they were trying to take away her power. >> it does actually shock me that to this day a lot of people, particularly those close to the royal establishment, will still tell you princess diana was not up to the job that she was mentally fragile.
i've got to say, given the circumstances she found herself, the pressures she was under, princess diana is one of the sanest people i've ever met. >> ladies and gentlemen, i have it on very good authority that the quest for perfection our society demands can leave the individual gasping for breath at every turn. >> diana's response to these despicable attempts to paint her as in some way mentally inadequate was that she took that weapon and turned it back on them. >> she was a real radical and a real pioneer. she stood up and said, this is what i know about bulimia, it's unbelievably brave for someone in princess diana's position to speak up about eating disorders, given that these were very stigmatized, taboo topics. >> that empowers other women to seek the help that they would need as well in order to overcome these struggles. >> by focusing their energies on
controlling their bodies, they had found a refuge from having to face the more painful issues at the center of their lives. >> these things all came from the prince's supporters. they said diana's accusations of an affair with camilla parker bowles were unhinged, were deranged. they would call her paranoid, obsessed. >> at this point, the affair between charles and camilla had been going on six years. >> it's chilling to see the degree to which in their determination to try and blacken diana, smear diana, there was really no depth these people wouldn't go to. ♪ and even when things go a bit wrong, we've got your back.
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the prince and princess of wales are to separate. the announcement came after months of speculation about the state of the royal marriage. >> although there was an attempt by the royal family to help charles and diana save their marriage, it became apparent after the revelations from the book that separation was really the only option. >> what did you think of the news today that she will live separately from prince charles? >> that's the first time i've heard. >> as diana goes into the negotiations about separating from charles, she has to hold her nerve at this stage and fight for what she wants. >> this was a pivotal moment for diana. >> everybody, because perhaps the queen most of all, was reluctant to even say the word divorce, even to mention it. it was still unthinkable.
>> the fear was, if charles were to divorce and then remarry to camilla, he then wouldn't be able to take up the throne. because he would also be head of the church of england, which was at the time opposed to remarriage for divorced people. >> diana's number one priority is maintaining custody of her boys. >> diana was very well aware that the two boys were the property of the crown, and if the establishment took its strong line against her, she could cease to have a part to play in their future. >> diana's fears weren't out of left field, either. her own mother had been denied custody of her children, so diana was drawing from her own personal experience about what would play out. >> the separation negotiations were seen by some of prince charles' advisers as an opportunity to diminish her royal role. for example, denying her use of royal aircraft or downgrading the protocol required at diana's visits. but it looked like what it was, vindictive, spiteful and petty.
diana emerged in really pretty good shape. she was now an independent royal operator, and she had a new reputation as a gutsy campaigner for the rights of single working mothers. >> it was only a matter of time before the tabloids printed an alleged conversation between the prince of wales and camilla parker bowles. >> diana had been told that she was paranoid for believing charles was so entwined with camilla, and here was proof for the whole world to see. >> there's no doubt from charles and camilla's tape that they were very much in love and that she props up his ego when it's failing, that she reassures him when he's feeling inadequate. you can tell that they're soul
mates. >> just imagine how betrayed diana must have felt too, because it revealed how many people within their inner circle were helping to facilitate this affair. people that diana surely trusted. >> she was up against a whole network of their joint friends with their houses all over the country, where charles and camilla could basically pretend to be man and wife. who attempt to quite deliberately intimidate her into essentially shutting up and going away. >> she wasn't going to be intimidated. >> if i was going to write my own script, i would say i would hope my husband would go off with his lady and leave me and my children just to carry the wales name through to the time when william ascends to the throne. and i can do this job so much better on my own and i don't feel trapped. >> she was one of the best examples of soft power that britain possessed. and she was outshining whatever
charles was doing and other members of the royal family, too. >> there was one message from the foreign office saying, princess diana is a great asset to british diplomacy. and another voice from sections of the royal establishment who wanted diana's profile on these trips to be downplayed. as one ambassador said to me, princess diana is coming to tokyo to support british interests, she's having tea with the emperor. how am i supposed to downplay that? >> diana was in no doubt that it was prince charles' office officials who were out to downgrade her. she was perceived as a threat to them because her publicity was generally greater and more effective than prince charles', and charles was heir to the throne. >> diana was savvy enough to
realize what was going on. the reason that the house of windsor has survived is they are utterly ruthless. the spotlight must be on the monarch and the heir. if you are too bright a sun and you threaten where the sunlight really should shine, you are put into the shade. ♪ (vo) reflect on the past, celebrate the future. season's greetings from audi.
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diana and charles are now at war. the war of the waleses. every move of it is being played out on a very public stage. >> so it's the evening where all eyes are on this documentary. on charles and his dirty work. >> charles participated in the interview with jonathan nimbleby because public opinion of charles was at an all-time low and it needed a boost. >> this issue of charles and camilla was in the air. and charles, he had a decision to make. should he deal with it? or should he not deal with it? >> did you try to be faithful and honorable to your wife when you took on the vow of marriage?
>> yes. until it became irretrievably broken down. >> there was this bombshell confession that yes, he had been unfaithful with camilla parker bowles. >> it's not something that i went into marriage with the intention of this happening. or in any way in a cynical frame of mind. i mean, i -- >> charles clearly was fighting against it. you could see it with every sort of inflection, every move of his body. because it reflected not just on him and, of course, camilla, but also on diana. >> it must have been so incredibly hard for her to hear those words. but if she refused to simply sit at home when a documentary goes out in which she's represented as the cheated-on wife -- >> diana, she has a public engagement that night. she reached into her closet, she grabbed a tight, black dress. all she had to do is step out of the car. the conversation could have been around, poor diana.
but here she was, looking like a million bucks. she reclaimed her power with that dress, with that moment. i think of how many women have channelled that in their own lives, and what a splash it made. >> charles' admission confirms diana's truth and the royal family can no longer deny it. >> the royal family itself found it deeply offensive and hated the fact that here was another member of the family airing dirty linen in public. charles and diana were caught in a cycle of tit for tat. >> when diana separated from charles, she was still only in her early 30s and she was stunningly beautiful. there was so much interest in her every move. if she showed interest in anyone, they would immediately become a news story.
so even though diana was free by this point, she was still just as lonely. >> she was finding it extremely difficult to form relationships outside the glare of the publicity that surrounded her. one of the most damaging episodes in diana's life came when a newspaper discovered she had been making a series of almost obsessive phone calls to an oliver hall, a friend of hers and prince charles to whom she had been conducting an affair. she spoke to me that night about it, and she realized she'd made a big mistake. she was very in love with him but he was married. he wasn't going to leave his wife. >> she was trying to find love and affection but looking in all the wrong places. will colin was a former england
rugby star, and diana met him at the gym they attended. >> the close friendship with the princess of wales that upset his wife has not commented on the breakup. >> although diana denied they had a relationship, their friendship was blamed for the break down of his marriage. >> his wife julia came out fighting and in the process, trashed the princess. >> diana was called a home wrecker. these stories gave rise to the question why she couldn't find someone unattached and why she kept going after married men. >> her choices and behavior were the subject of intense public scrutiny. >> it's an absolute double standard. i mean, charles didn't have the same scrutiny that diana was enduring. >> diana knew her leverage, her source of power was her popularity with the public. she feared she was in danger of losing it for the first time. having someone else do your books for you. i'm linda, your quickbooks live bookkeeper.
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it's the first time she's feeling like she's losing the support of the public. as well as being sidelined and undermined by charles' supporters. >> diana continues i've been battered bruised and abused by a system for 15 years now. i'm weary of the battles, but i will never surrender. >> she felt she needed to put her case directly to the public. >> everyone wanted to get into a sitdown with princess diana. >> this was the biggest tv interview you could get. this was the ultimate get. >> some of the top names in america and britain were angling for diana to sit on a couch, notely oprah winfrey, david frost. really big hitters. what's remarkable she ended one
martin bashir. martin bashir got to diana by approaching lord spencer and made allegations how she was being spied on. he claimed her car had been fitted with a tracking device and her telephone lines were bugged. >> martin came to her apartment with what he called his anti bugging team and went right over to a radio and produced what he said was an electronic bug, a listening device. >> martin even convinced her that the boys' nanny was having an affair with prince charles. he convinced diana her private secretary was in cahoots with prince charles' private secretary. >> diana had good reason to believe, charles' camp had been trying to undermine her for years and she had been spied on
>> the abhorrent ways in which bashir deceived her played right into her biggest fears. her conversations were recorded and leaked to the press. >> we would have a joke about it as if there was a click on the line. she said what is that? i said don't worry, they're just changing the tapes. >> she's now at a place that she feels she cannot trust anyone. >> martin bashir knew to get to her he had to get past me. he told her i was spying on her for the british security services and being paid to betray her and she will have died thinking that i had betrayed her and that's more upsetting than i can possibly say. >> everyone on the planet wanted to interview princess diana.
it was martin bashir's deceptions that got diana into the chair opposite him however, once the cameras are rolling, i think she said exactly what she wanted to say. >> she was a woman with agency. she knew the message that she wanted to share. >> the impact was frankly devastating. it was a total bombshell. >> it was the interview that shocked the world. >> she won't go quietly. that's the problem. i'll fight until the end. diana took on the royal family. >> the fairytale marriage, so-called, has ended very sadly. >> diana is willing to take risks. >> you can't divorce yourself
from the media. >> princess diana frolicking with doti al fayed. >> the clock was ticking and she was about to run out of time. she had really had it with the royal family. >> excuse me. >> she was going to draw a line and move on. >> as a parent, could i ask you to respect my children's space? >> but she was a ball of fire that attracted publicity like nothing else.