Diana on her marriage, the royal family and media pressure
LONDON – Memories of Princess Diana remain strong two decades after her sudden death in a Paris car crash. Here, in her own words, her thoughts on a range of topics:
— On her parents’ failing marriage: “It was a very unhappy childhood. Parents were busy sorting themselves out. Always seeing my mother crying. Daddy never spoke to us about it.” As told to Andrew Morton for “Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words,” 1991-2.
— On school: “At the age of 14, I just remember thinking that I wasn’t very good at anything, that I was hopeless.” As told to Andrew Morton, 1991-2.
— On Prince Charles proposing: “He said ‘Will you marry me?’ and I laughed. I remember thinking, ‘This is a joke,’ and I said: ‘Yeah, OK,’ and laughed. He was deadly serious. He said: ‘You do realize that one day you will be queen.’ And a voice said to me inside: ‘You won’t be queen but you’ll have a tough role.’ So I thought ‘OK,’ so I said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘I love you so much, I love you so much.’ He said: ‘Whatever love means.'” As told to Andrew Morton, 1991-2.
— On her wedding: “The night before the wedding I was very, very calm, deathly calm. I felt I was a lamb to the slaughter. I knew it and couldn’t do anything about it.” Quoted in Andrew Morton, Diana Her True Story — In Her Own Words.
— On Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Interview on BBC Panorama, November 1995.
— On cancer: “As many of you are aware, I have a particular interest in this cruel disease. I know that some of us sitting here have lost loved ones to this illness and this adds poignancy to such an occasion as it highlights that cancer is capable of striking anyone at any time.” Speech in Hong Kong, April 23, 1995.
— On leprosy: “Leprosy carries with it an additional problem. The problem of stigma. Individuals can end up losing their families, their homes and their jobs, purely because of a condition that is not their fault. Leprosy as I say affects far more than just the surface of the skin.” Speech to the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations, December 9, 1996.
— On media pressure: “When I started my public life, twelve years ago, I understood the media might be interested in what I did. I realized then their attention would inevitably focus on both our private and public lives. But I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become. Nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and my personal life, in a manner that’s been hard to bear.” Speech to the Headway lunch, December 3, 1993.
— On being queen: “I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts, but I don’t see myself being queen of this country. I don’t think many people will want me to be queen.” Interview on BBC Panorama, November 1995.
— On her vision for the monarchy: “I would like a monarchy that has more contact with its people — and I don’t mean by riding round bicycles and things like that, but just having a more in-depth understanding.” Interview on BBC Panorama, November 1995.
— On post-natal depression: “I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses, post-natal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time. You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself.” Interview on BBC Panorama, November 1995.