Even 20 years after her untimely death, the world is still learning shocking, and rather dark details, about the People’s Princess’s personal life. As compiled from Reader’s Digest, here are some lesser known facts about Lady Diana that may shock you to the core.
She recorded her thoughts on tape
Much of what we know about Diana’s personal life is thanks to audiotapes she recorded herself. Once she recognised her marriage to Prince Charles was falling apart, she began documenting her side of the story and gave the tapes to her close friend, Dr James Colthurst.
He, in turn, gave them to journalist Andrew Morton so her words could get out to the public. From those tapes, Morton published the biography DIANA: Her True Story—In Her Own Words in 1992. No one knew Diana had a hand in the book’s production until after her death.
Her sister once dated Prince Charles
Before Diana and Charles started going steady, the British royal was dating her sister, Sarah. In fact, Sarah actually introduced the two when Diana was just 16 and even takes credit for having played Cupid between the two and helping them fall in love.
Her grandmother worked for the Queen
Queen Elizabeth may be a prominent public figure but there’s still much we don’t know about her either. One of those more intriguing bits of trivia is that she used to be close friends with Princess Diana’s grandmother, Ruth Fermoy.
Ruth was one of Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting and later held the title Woman of the Bedchamber, which meant that she was the Queen’s right-hand woman and assisted her with important social engagements.
She and Prince Charles were related
The royal family tree can get pretty complicated so we’re not surprised that Princess Di and Prince Charles were distantly related. Specifically, they were 16th cousins once removed, through King Henry VII.
She messed up her wedding wows
In hindsight, Diana messing up her wedding vows could have been a sign that her marriage was bound to fail, but in reality, she probably just caught a case of wedding day jitters. During the vows, she called her husband “Philip Charles” instead of “Charles Philip,” mixing up his first and middle names.
She ate in the kitchen
It was against Royal family etiquettes to eat in the kitchen with staffers and not in the dining room, but Princess Diana often broke protocol. Her personal chef, Darren McGrady, revealed she would just walk into the kitchen and eat at a countertop while he cleared the room up, which was unheard of coming from any royal. Apparently, she would even make coffee for the two of them.
She attempted suicide
One of the most troubling revelations from Princess Diana’s audiotapes was that she struggled with severe depression and even attempted to take her own life. “I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades,” she said in her recordings.
Diana has also talked about developing bulimia after Prince Charles once put his hand on her waist and said, “A bit chubby here, aren’t we?”
She was harassed by paparazzi
With three new documentaries about Princess Diana set to premiere soon, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry are opening up about their memories of her. Some are uplifting, like how she involved them in her charitable work. But their recollections of Diana dealing with the paparazzi are disturbing.
As Prince William says in Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, “If you are the Princess of Wales and you’re a mother, I don’t believe being chased by 30 guys on motorbikes who block your path, who spit at you to get a reaction from you and make a woman cry in public to get a photograph, is appropriate. Harry and I, we had to live through that.”
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