My thing with dating is that, like I was like trained too well to associate heterosexual interaction with getting murdered.
Welcome to You're Wrong about the show, where we tell you the real Princess Bride story. Oh, well, that's good. Or in this episode, the real princess divorce.
Yeah, I'm excited for these people to finally get divorced.
I am Michael Hub's. I'm a reporter for the Huffington Post.
I'm Sarah Marshall. I'm working on a book about the satanic panic.
And if you want to hear cute bonus episodes and support the show, you can support us on Patreon at Patrón Dotcom.
Go wrong about or buy a T-shirt or do none of that stuff and just continue listening quietly or just continue listening.
Yeah, but let's talk about Diana for a second before you go.
Yes. If you're headed out. Where are we?
You're supposed to do this part. I was going to ask you, where are we catch us, OK?
Yeah, I can tell you where we are. Princess Diana has decided that she wants out of the royal family. Yes. And so the way that she went about doing this was by publishing some kind of a book she worked on with a sympathetic journalist named Andrew Morton. And so I'm very interested in talking about a world where when you want to get divorced, the first thing you do is keep it a secret and publish a book about it behind everybody's backs.
I know and lie about your participation in the book, too, as we will get to. But I want to pause here and do sort of our last meta comment for the series, because we're going to do one more episode that is talking about the death of Princess Diana and all the conspiracy theories that crop up around her death. But this is the last episode of the series where Princess Diana is really a character. One of the fundamental challenges and tragedies of Diana's life is that really all of the information that we have about her comes from deeply mediocre and biased biographies.
Like that's really the only credible information that we have about her is from anonymous sources, friends of hers, who she ended up not speaking to because they were selling their secrets to the tabloids.
Her therapist was on retainer to a tabloid for a thousand pounds to give away her secrets.
Oh, my God, that's so unethical. It's so bad. And what we're left with at the end of this 36 year old woman's life is a bunch of biographies that really can't be trusted. I mean, one of the things that really stands out about the Andrew Morton biography, which she starts working with him on in the 1990s, is it's way too nice to her. She lies to him about having affairs.
And he's like, OK, it's like and then Ray and legs kind of slipped. Yes. And then we have Tina Brown's biography. That has to mean at every turn she is implying that Diana has the worst possible intentions.
She keeps talking about how Diana, quote unquote, manipulates the press, which, like that's her job, is to manage her relationship with the press. Right. Framing it as manipulation is weird to me.
It's like Kitty Kelley's biography of Oprah, where she basically seizes on like every potentially iffy thing Oprah has ever done in her entire life. And the book is just a felted matter made of that. Yes. And there and there's an accusation or a Kitty Kelley is like Oprah has tried to publicize and maximize the likeable aspects of her character and to minimize the unlikable ones.
And I say the personality. Are you saying that Oprah is alone in this behavior? Like what?
Another thing that I really dislike about Tina Brown's book is that she keeps mentioning that Diana likes sex.
She brings it up at different times and in a way that's supposed to suggest that that's like bad.
But, you know, it's like you were mentioning the other day that Jeffrey Toobin keeps bringing up that Nicole Brown Simpson had plastic surgery in places where it's not relevant and he just keeps saying it. And like most adults, enjoy having sex. That's only a fact that's relevant in like very specific context.
But we have to all pretend we don't. And if a woman is murdered who we know to have enjoyed sexual encounters in her life, then like we can communicate our our feeling that it is less sad potentially for that reason and then and then masturbate during a conference call.
But I just think it's it's an interesting metaphor for the way that any kind of historiography works. Like this is an extreme example of it, because there is so little that we know.
But this is what we all do. And this is what journalism is to some extent. Right. It's it's basically us displaying a part of ourselves while going through this pantomime that we're telling some sort of factual story. Yeah.
And I think the last journalism makes a claim to objectivity the more ethical it can be, because if you're you know, because I think it's most dangerous when journalists are like, I guess. Reporter That's why I don't like. Word reporter, I guess, to report the fact. Oh, my God. Oh, are you a Geiger counter and not a human person? Are you ready to dive into the outfits this week?
I'm so. Oh, my gosh. As usual, I will link to these in the description. OK, first photo. Here we go.
Oh, this is nice, right? Or so it would seem.
You know where this is going.
So this is Charles and Diana and each of them is holding, I imagine, one of their children. Yes.
These are not random children. These are their names.
And they're wearing like country casual kind of lily Pulitzer type clothes. And they're standing, interestingly, in a field of like wildflowers. Then they are almost waist high and they're standing in front of some kind of an estate and they're smiling. And Prince Charles actually looks like he's doing a Smythe's. Yeah, and Diana is smiling, but I would say, in my own opinion, not smiling. Oh, so it's only a mouth smile. Do you see a smile?
Is there? No.
I mean, it's so hard to read her because, you know, they're in this period in their marriage where they're basically not speaking. It's very hard to not see that in the photos. But that also could just be us projecting what we know. On to the photos. Yes. What do you think about the house behind them? It is very cute.
It has lots of vines all over it. I'm a fan of that. Yes. Ask me a question. Got a plant based answer.
This is high because British people name their houses like rich people name their boats.
Oh, I named my house. It's called the Satellite of Love. So it's June of nineteen ninety two. So far, 1992 has been a pretty bad year for the royal family. Prince Andrew's marriage with Fergie is breaking down and so she's essentially beginning the process of being ejected from the royal family. Princess Anne is divorcing her husband and there's rumors that Princess Anne is having sex with Andrew Parker Bowles, who is Camilla's husband.
There's only like eight people in this upper echelon of British royal life and they're all having sex with one another.
So it's just like a minor house back in the day. Exactly.
And also in March of 1992, Diana's father dies. How does she feel about that? She felt extremely sad.
There's a really sad scene where she and her brother, the day that their father dies, they kick rain legs out of the house. They tell her, basically, pack your shit and go. Everything that belonged to my father is no longer yours.
I just can't get over how this is such Maury Povich behavior. I know she tries to pack up all of her clothes in trunks, but then they say that the trunks, because they have an s sort of engraved on them, they actually belong to their father.
And so they make her put all of her stuff in garbage bags and they throw it down the stairs and just go, oh, my God, Dad, seriously, this is like they're on the real world.
I know one thing I know, but so I want you to imagine a scene. OK, OK. Charles and Diana are in their Kubla home, Highgrove. It is a Sunday morning. They get up, they're sort of puttering around as people do.
And so Charles opens the Sunday Times newspaper at the kitchen table and starts reading. And what he sees is a headline that says Diana driven to five suicide bids by uncaring Charles.
What he's looking at is an excerpt of Andrew Morton.
Oh, my God. Oh, Jesus.
So for months, she has been sneaking tapes of herself, talking to Andrew Morton and he has been interviewing her friends. He's been doing all of this sort of extra digging around to write the true story of the marriage. So his book contains three huge bombshells. So first, Diana had a severe eating disorder. Secondly, she has attempted suicide. Third, Prince Charles is sleeping with Camilla and has been for ages.
But like everyone knows that one already. Right? Like everyone basically knows or do they not know?
I mean, the sort of the the the Daily Mail reading public who can kind of read between the lines. Yes, but sort of Normy Sun Times readers.
Not really. OK, but so he starts reading this excerpt and she's there in the kitchen. So she spots him reading this excerpt and it's like, oh, fuck.
So the time in press conferences and various other sort of public appearances, she will deny that she had anything to do with the book. She's like, oh, this was written behind my back, unauthorized biography, blah, blah, blah. Behind the scenes. She's actually working with the Sun-Times Times to confirm the stories because she wants the excerpt to run in the Sunday Times. And not The Daily Mail, because The Times has more credibility, but as Charles is reading these excerpts, there's kind of sort of quotes from her that are not necessarily attributed to her, but the only way to know them would be if you interviewed her.
So basically, Charles is reading these excerpts and going, holy shit, she did the one unforgivable thing in the royal family.
She went to the press. What is amazing about this marriage and what is amazing about these people is this weekend that he's reading the paper, they have house guests. So he's reading this live in their house, can sort of come down. Are there pancakes? They have to make nice with these house guests.
And Prince Charles as he's reading the deepest, darkest secrets from his own fucking marriage, he has to pretend everything is OK.
And then for hours, they're like, oh, let's go for a tour around the gardens and let's go horseback ride.
And so he has to go through the motions all day. And then finally, at the end of the day, he can come back and confront Diana.
Yeah, well, I feel like this is a great example of the punishment fitting the crime. Yeah.
Yes. And so this is the bomb that she throws into the marriage. This is what destroys the marriage ultimately.
Yeah, we were talking I don't know if it was in this series or in a different episode about a terrible relationship, but like about that thing that happens where people start saying things to each other that are like so horrible that, you know, the relationship can't come back from this.
Like you say, the most hurtful thing you can think of, not even necessarily because it's true, but because you want to, like, maim the relationship in a way where you can't change your mind about it, literally like Oprah pouring water over bread. Oh, yeah. I feel like that's what this is. This is a center.
Andrew Morton's book and Andrew Morton updated his book after Princess Diana's death. So there is kind of this epilogue where he talks about itself coming out into the world. It's very strange. He's talking about Charles coming back from showing around these house guests and kind of saying goodbye to them. And then he says only then did he mount the stairs to his wife's room with the newspaper in his hand and say something that made Diana dash downstairs with a scarlet face and brimming eyes and flee back to London.
So, I mean, as it would, this completely destroys any chance of them getting back together, any chance of them kind of forming like this businesslike relationship where they just keep everything under wraps and she knows she's betrayed him in a way that would be the most hurtful way that he personally could possibly be betrayed.
And this is what he cut off her sister for doing, remember? Right. And so the next day is when they open negotiations to separate.
Wow. I mean, it's worth talking about what a big deal this book was.
Yeah. Can we like how did the public respond? Because, like, is this at all precedented?
Oh, completely not. I mean, to have this much information public behind the scenes of a royal wedding while it's still going on, like, wow, the people are both still alive.
It's totally unprecedented. And again, like we're so used to these stories, you know, so many of us grew up sort of knowing about the infidelity, knowing about Diana's eating disorder.
I mean, so much this was kind of public when you and I were coming of age.
I grew up knowing of Princess Diana as the beautiful woman and the cocktail dress who like had gotten her groove back and escaped from this terrible, scary mansion that she had been in prison exactly fifteen years.
I mean, for people that really watched the royal family, they knew that this marriage was breaking down. But all of that is kind of rumors, right? I mean, you read things in the tabloids and 30 percent of them are just completely made up. Although what's interesting is because Diana lies about her participation in the book and there's still this debate about whether or not she participated.
It becomes one of Britain's most banned books of the nineteen.
And really so in Britain, you couldn't watch Child's play or read Andrew Martin Diana book.
And like I, I love both those things what have been so tough for me.
But so the establishment reaction to this is kind of like a journalism ethics story. How dare you write this book that she didn't even want published? She had nothing to do with her.
He actually gave her a copy of the text before the book was published and she made edits to the book. The notable things that are not in the book are her own affairs.
Yeah, it's pretty fucked up to write a biography of someone where they are allowed to edit it, but not to disclose that until after their death.
It's not a biography. It's a ghostwritten memoir at that point. And even by the standards of a memoir, it's pretty funny because if she was going to write her own memoir, she would have mentioned that she fucked this whole Stuart guy and it was great.
So the day after this comes out, they go to Kensington Palace to meet with his parents to talk about the future of the marriage. Yeah, because of. That's the first people you would talk to I know, mommy. They're basically in like a quasi arranged marriage. And so what she's trying to do is to unarranged it.
Yeah, they've both been trafficked. So basically both her and Charles want to separate. But the queen is saying that they should have some sort of six month cooling off period.
Like tensions are high, emotions are high. Let's give it six months and then talk about it.
Have another kid, see if things calm down. As these negotiations over the separation are going forward, Prince Philip starts writing her letters, blaming her for destroying the marriage.
He says this is fucked up.
Can you honestly look into your heart and say that Charles, his relationship with Camilla has nothing to do with your behavior towards him in your marriage? Oh, my God. That is the opening line of one of the letters.
They had a relationship before he and Diana met. Yes. Prince Philip. Like, can you not keep track of linear time? Because I can.
And he also says that she didn't appreciate that he had cut ties with Camilla in the early years of their marriage.
Like, you know, you never really thanked him for, like, not cheating on you in the first couple of, you know, marriage.
When your husband deigns to not cheat on you, you have to really, like, reward him with a lot of little perks to encourage that behavior. It's like he's a man. He's not a spaniel puppy.
To her credit, Princess Diana basically writes back and is like, fuck you, fuck this. He's the one that decided to cheat on me. I'm sorry. I'm not going to take blame for that. And so I guess eventually this exchange of letters becomes nicer. And he's like, you're right. You're right. I was kind of a dick last letter. I'm sorry about that.
And it ends in this more conciliatory way, although during this fight, like, wow, it's really bad between Prince Philip and Diana. He threatens her and says, if you keep trying to leave this marriage, we are going to release tapes that we have of you having an affair. Diane is like you fucking what? And he's like, oh, no, never mind, never mind, never mind.
I've said too much. She's already been contacted by the tabloids about this. He makes a little comment and then immediately takes it back. He never releases any tapes, nothing like nothing comes of that at all. But it plants the seed of like these people are fucking spying on me.
Yeah. And these tapes could come out at any time, basically.
Yes. So there's a couple months where they're kind of negotiating the separation and trying to figure out what the future is going to look like behind the scenes. But in front of cameras, they still have to maintain this charade.
So her and him are still going to these like Royal Ascot, coloring the troops, like these ridiculous horse based public events, these excruciating photos of them during this period, clearly faking it.
It's loathing radiating out of their pores.
Also, one of the things that's very interesting, there's a 2006 study that shows diagnosis of bulimia in the UK showed 60000 more cases diagnosed in 1994 than in 1991.
Oh, it did. Because of the beautiful princess of your country who's the only likeable member of this whole stupid royal family. Yes. Has the same problem. You do them like maybe you can accept it. Yes. And try and get help.
People see her as a person first with everyone in the royal family sees her as her role first.
So the royal family is like, we mustn't allow the commoners to realize that we're not the thing that we're pretending they are. And like but everybody else already knows. And like the royals are the last people who are, like, pretending for their own benefit.
Basically, there's a there's there's a scene later where Charles gets the results of an opinion poll and his approval is four percent. He talks about how he's really disappointed because his approval earlier in the nineties had been fifteen percent, not four.
That's so dismal. Oh, baby. Look, Charles.
Fifteen percent is not good.
And Diana's is like seventy eighty percent for like Charles is trying to hold on to fifteen percent, like maybe rethink what you're doing.
Yeah. Right. Because his assumption is like it's not going to get better than fifteen percent for him, like if only he can get back to fifteen percent.
But no I think this is also just a good illustration of the fact that if you're forced to have a job that you're bad at for your whole life. Yes. Isn't good for you. This is the famous abuse thing.
To the extent that I have sympathy for Charles, it's just like no one should be forced to fucking live like this.
Yeah, but so behind the scenes, negotiations are going kind of weirdly, you know, in a normal divorce, like a normal divorce negotiation.
There's a couple that, you know, there's finances, there's custody, et cetera. In the British royal family, there's literally laws that only apply to the royal family.
So at one. Diana is like, well, look, I still have the option, I can just take the kids and fuck off to Australia. Her brother lives in South Africa at this point. So she's like, I can just move to South Africa and, like, take the kids with me.
And they're like, no, no, this is the heir to the throne. It's literally legal for you to have custody. Wow.
These are like kind of political negotiations, like the prime minister is involved in the negotiations over this separation.
So it's like they're not her children first. They're like the crown jewels or the I can't think of another fancy British thing to buy you. Tapestry. Yes. Yeah.
So finally, at the end of 1992, they come to a agreement. So there's going to be a formal separation. She is going to stay in Kensington Palace. Prince Charles is going to move to, like, I don't know, some other fucking palace on the other side of the park.
I don't know the names of these palaces.
This is so weird. This these are just too trashy people.
I need to get a divorce. And like I say, that word out of love because, like, this is just garden variety, trashy behavior, which is what people do when they've been miserable for years and they don't know how to be kind to each other and they throw each other down the stairs. If only they knew that. I know.
But anyway, on December 9th, nineteen ninety two, they announced the separation publicly. A magical day. The Prime Minister announces it in the House of Commons. It's like an act of statecraft. Yeah. And so they are now separated. Wow. Are you ready for our next photograph? Yes.
This one is called Diana Jeans. Dot jpeg. You know what. Oh wow.
I have never seen this like before. This is amazing. Isn't it great. Yes.
She looks like a mom in Kansas City, Mo. Just got off of a shift at the craft store.
She looks like a human woman having a divorce.
Totally. She is wearing a t shirt with a moon and stars motif, which looks like a normal shirt that you could get at a J.C. Penney. But I'm sure as designer or something, probably. And then she has a quintessential pair of jeans. Yes. Felted saying she's with one of her kids, I assume.
And the shoes are great. The shoes are what? Make it clear that it's very deliberate, that it's an outfit. Yeah, exactly. Like you're like, oh, it's a look, it's not just like her throwing on jeans.
She does have some like Jodie Foster in the second half of the accused energy right now.
So the reason I chose this photo is because Diana is entering what I call her Winmar period.
Oh, she's living in Kensington Palace after he moves out. All three of the books that I read have like very long and very boring descriptions of how she redecorates and he redecorates, which I am not remotely going to recount.
But the detail that made me feel like this is her Wineman period is she starts putting up, you know, those like pillows and stuff that people have in every Airbnb you've ever stayed at with inspiring quotes on them.
Live, laugh, love. Yes, yes.
This is an excerpt from Andrew Morton's book on every chair where silk cushions embroidered with humorous motifs such as Good Girls Go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.
I love it. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.
Oh, and this is the best one. I feel sorry for people who don't drink because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day.
That's so lovely. You know, what I love about this is that Princess Diana can finally be her authentic self and bare her soul. And her authentic self is just like a mom from Duluth, Minnesota.
Yes. Oh, yes. This lady loosing a target.
She also this is fucking savage. She decorates the bathroom with political cartoons, making fun of Prince Charles.
That's so good for her. She's having fun. This is great.
She also starts like tying up loose ends. She makes up with her grandmother. She also importantly, she makes up with brain legs.
Wow. She asks rain legs around and rain legs apparently is so scared of meeting with Diana alone that she brings her new fiance a good idea.
Rain. I know. Like, I don't know how this is going to go. Is she just getting, like, pistol Whitney? Like what?
What does she have in store? But apparently Diana comes to this realization that, like, Rain loved her father, too. Yeah.
So she is having a feelings Kubla like this happens to people where you just like some major structural thing changes and then chaos reigns. And then suddenly, like all these other immoveable things, become movable somehow.
This is also the time. A month after they announced the separation, Charles and Camilla's quote unquote sex tape comes out.
Oh, the tampon, the tampon tape, you know, in the public eye. This is like Lowell. He's talking about tampons, whatever, Charles, like sex.
But do you remember? That I mentioned, you know, the transcript of the tape is really long and most of it is sexual logistics. Oh, we can stay at David's country house. Yeah, Diana reads the rest of the transcript and she sees names of people that she knows they are having sex in the country, homes of her and Charles's mutual friends and her friends. And so to her, the revelation is not the sex talk or whatever.
It's that like, oh, all of our friends have been aiding and abetting Charles's affair with Camilla and everyone's been gaslighting me this entire time. Exactly.
So I think some of this sort of reconnecting with rain and reconnecting with her grandmother is her trying to exit Charles's world just like, yeah, fuck these people.
Well, you can see how she married into the royal family, maybe partly within like a 20 year olds or a 19 year old sense of like, fuck my family. I'm joining a new family. And then having joined that new family is like, huh, that didn't really work either. Yeah.
There's a really interesting passage in Andrew Morton's book where he talks about her daily routine and just sort of like how solitary her life is.
He says it was a quiet, almost monastic life. The princess's daily routine rarely varied. Her day started promptly at seven a.m. after a light breakfast of pink grapefruit, homemade muesli or granary toast. She departed for her daily workout at the exclusive Chelsea Harbor Club around nine a.m., her flamboyant hairdresser, Sam McKnight, put in an appearance. And like, what do you mean by the word flamboyant there, Andrew? Right. Well, he attended to her hair.
The princess was busy on the bedroom phone for friends, knew that the early morning was a good time to catch her. At that time of day, she was usually chatty and lighthearted.
So this is like her going through her text messages and like chatting with PBS.
And then, you know, some days she'll have friends over for lunch or she'll go have lunch with whatever Elton John or whoever she wants to. But most days she just has lunch by herself in the house.
She doesn't have a lot of social engagements.
This is what her old security guard says. People have this image of Kensington Palace that they're flunkeys and court jesters all over the place and it's buzzing all the time. But at five thirty, the butler, the cleaner and the dresser go home.
It's the most lonely place in the world. So most nights she's just like hanging out watching TV.
She's so did she have her old job? Still like she's still going to ribbon cuttings and stuff?
Well, she's still doing that stuff, but it's the schedule is much reduced because she's not sort of like an official member of the royal family anymore.
They might quietly demoted her. Yeah. Basically, under the terms of the separation, she gets the kids every other weekend and on half of the holidays.
Wow. It's like she's Tim Allen and the Santa Claus.
And so for those weekends, she'll go pick them up, she'll hang out with them, they'll go to the zoo or go to a museum or like, do you know, normal parent stuff.
But most of the time, she's by herself. There's a thing on Christmas Day of nineteen ninety three where the kids are at Sandringham, this country estate, whatever that the royal family has. And so she's invited to go up there Christmas Eve, but then she has to leave early before anybody gets up on Christmas Day. And she says she cries the whole way on the way back to London that year.
It's the first Christmas without the kids.
In the midst of this loneliness, she falls in love with another guy. Have you have you heard of this?
Of falling in love with a guy? Yeah.
This thing I'm avoiding saying his name because his name is Oliver and his last name is a r e.
Do you want to try to pronounce that? Well, because it's a British name, I'm sure it's pronounced Harro or something. Looking at the word I want to pronounce it haw. Haw is a kind of frost. I mean I just want to say the words that's a mean word. OK, do you want to say Herro? Yeah, let's say Herot.
So Herot, he's friends with her. He's friends with Charles.
He somehow gets dispatched by the royal family during the separation negotiations as a go between they're not really speaking. So Charles will sort of deputize Oliver to, you know, oh, tell her that this is what I'm thinking about. Then she comes back with a different message.
So over time, her and Oliver end up getting romantically involved with each other.
All of Diana's relationships have this just like fundamentally doomed quality. The issue with Oliver is that he is married with two kids and his wife is extremely wealthy. He's like an art gallery owner guy and basically his art gallery is not remotely sustainable. And so without his wife's support, it would close up.
Yeah, because it's an art gallery. I mean, something like people talk about, like he's not going to leave his wife. Everything about him is wrapped up in his wife's fortune. But as people do, you know, Diana convinces herself that it can work out whatever they get, like what is called a love nest.
But it's just an apartment in Pimlico that they start having sex in this random apartment a couple of times a week.
Well, they're all apartments. I mean, there's no love nest that are like actual nests.
Yeah, I don't know why we need this term anyway. It's an apartment. They. Having sex in this apartment, somehow his wife finds out about this, like, are you having sex with the Princess of Wales? And he's like, yes, a little bit.
And his wife is like, I will take you back. I will forgive this. I will not fuck over your art gallery if you stop seeing her, not as friends, not as business associates, just cut her completely off.
And he's like, you know what, I'm going to rejoin this marriage.
I'm going to try to fix my marriage. I'm not going to see Princess Diana anymore.
So he tells Princess Diana, look, sorry, we're busted. This has to end now.
And then they start getting weird phone calls at night time.
Some accounts say it's 20 times a day. Other accounts say it's 20 times a week. Either way, they're getting just like a shitload of weird calls and his wife will pick up the phone and she'll just hear breathing on the other end or just a click.
So she calls Scotland Yard and ask them, hey, we're getting these like a shitload of these weird nuisance calls. Can you trace them?
And after a couple of weeks, Scotland Yard gives her a report and most of the calls can be traced back to Kensington Palace. And she's like, what the fuck?
That's so embarrassing. It's really embarrassing.
Yeah. Diana apparently she would put on a wig and go call from payphones.
My favorite thing that I have learned from doing this series is that Princess Diana was kind of a hot mess express dude, like I really relate to her and I think I would do that.
Well, she just loves relationships that are never going to go anywhere like this was never going to work out.
Love a good doomed relationship. No, love it.
It's also part of a pattern of her of getting super infatuated with guys, sort of thinking that this one guy is going to solve all of her problems. I mean, this is something that her friends talk about that she'll say like, oh, if only I can get him to leave his wife, then then we'll be able to be together.
And it's like, really? And then she's like, he's never going to leave her and her friends. Like, of course, he's like he's like, you're right. You're right. I know you're right.
So somehow this gets to the papers. One tabloid prints a story saying, like, Diana's making weird nuisance phone calls. This guy like the story breaks. Yeah.
The headline is How Embarrassing the headline is Di's Cranky Calls to Married Tycoon. At least in America, we make puns. I know it's not even that good of a tabloid headlines now, but then this is seen as like Diana's manipulation with the press. And this is actually like low-key kind of manipulative. She goes to another journalist because she's very good at building relationships with journalists, like she'll have journals over for, like off the record lunches.
Pretty frequently she finds out that the stories coming out like 48 hours before it happens.
And so she goes to another tabloid and she feeds them. The story that I'm being hounded by the press, look, you know, the press will stop at nothing like look how craven these people are.
They're saying, I'm making nuisance phone calls. Nice.
Her line that she gives as other journalists is she says, I don't even know how to use a parking meter, let alone a phone box.
So she's falling back on the like. I'm a big sicko defense.
I know the idea that she wouldn't know how to use a payphone like pay phones are not difficult to use. Right. And she would have probably used them as a child like she's not her husband. She hasn't been alienated from the real world since birth. Yes.
She also she provides the journalist with her day book, like her diary. And she's like, well, look, I couldn't have been dialing him from Kensington Palace because I was like, whatever whatever event that night.
And the diary is fake.
Like, it's her it's her handwriting.
But she's just like written down stuff that didn't happen. But the journalist doesn't really do due diligence.
I also appreciate the fact that she's like a hot mess in her love life and is actually very good at her job. She's like Holly Hunter in broadcast.
Yes. I also find it interesting that, like, I'm sure that Tina Brown or any number of other people would call this manipulation. And I'm like, is it it feels like it's just she's been in the public eye for her entire adult life. She's been slammed by this her whole adult life. You know, she's like a surfer learning to ride the waves. Right. And it's interesting that we see someone, especially women, you know, doing anything but getting pummeled by the surf over and over again as like intrinsically wicked.
And also, keep in mind, how do we feel about women who refuse to manipulate the media? Right. How do we feel about women who are bad with the media?
She shouldn't have worn that. She shouldn't have invited the attention that she got. Yeah, we blame women for what media does to them, the way we blame people for sexual assault. Yes.
I never heard a male celebrity called manipulative for the way that they use the press. No, humans should not lie. Lying is immoral. Lying is bad, but also a celebrity lying to the media. Is this something we actually hate as a society?
I think she has a right to conceal that.
Honestly, she's concealing something about herself. It's fucking embarrassing. Yes. And that has nothing to do with, like public welfare or. Something like that, it's just like she behaved embarrassingly about a breakup, like during a divorce. Yeah, yeah.
Another interesting aspect of this is that this actually is what stops the nuisance calls, because she asks all of her to go to the tabloids and say, tell them I was never calling you. Tell them this whole thing is made up. There was never any phone calls. It was like a kid at school doing prank calls to you and he refuses.
Wow. So she sees this as a betrayal. And so, you know, snap of the fingers, she's over her infatuation with him.
Yeah. I mean, the best way to like sour romantic feelings is by betraying someone potentially.
So that's her wineman phase. Are you ready for the next photo? I think so, yeah. Sending you another one.
I know. So great.
I love and I know I just know that she has a comically large bottle of Evian just right out of her. Right. OK, this is great.
This is Diana and her like step up box phase. I assuming she's wearing a lovely, like, impressionistic leotard like blotches of pink and yellow and then those little bike shorts that everyone wore in the 90s and then cute little like Reebok's and socks like everyone also saw in the 90s.
And she's on some kind of an exercise machine, like a weight thing at the gym. And she's giving great face. She's totally being a gym rat. Barbie, I love it.
This is a symbol of how her relationship with the press is souring.
Really go on. This comes at a time when, first of all, in 1993, the squidgy gate tapes come out. So those are in the paper and this is fucked up.
The sun sets up a hotline where you can listen to the tape for thirty six pence a minute.
It's also a time when the horse dude publishes his memoir about his affair with Diana.
OK. Oh, so people didn't know that about her. They thought that she had been just like virtuously. Yes.
Wrong being cheated on. They think she's Emma Thompson and love actually really. She's a woman who was not depicted in that movie because none of the women in it had enough agency to cheat on anybody.
I mean, it's such a time capsule because right now we are so used to a world where everybody has a telephone with them at all times and celebrities know that anything they do will be photographed by some random person.
But this is 1994, and there's a guy that goes to her gym who rigs a silent camera with no light click, click shutter thing in the ceiling.
Oh, my God, these aren't POWs. No, that's amazing. I assumed these were POWs because she looks really good.
She looks amazing. Wow. But she's absolutely livid about this.
Of course she is. Because she's being surveilled. Yes. These are published in a nine page spread in, I believe, the Daily Mail.
That's horrible. That's horrible. Do you want to guess the headline now? Here's something to masturbate to.
Yours is better. No, they get published under the name dies by sensation.
No. Here's these photos that we unethically obtained. We're going to put that in the headline. Obviously, it's fair game. She's just like a panda at the zoo. Yeah.
So she actually sues the guy that took the photo and there's like a whole out-of-court settlement, something something. It's not clear what exactly happened. But this is the first time that she's really getting to the point where she's like, fuck the press. This is way too much to handle. Yeah. There's also this is a fucked up scene.
This is a week after her grandmother dies. The grandmother that she had only recently reconciled with. She's taking the kids to Jurassic Park and there's a bunch of paparazzi there. And what's been happening over the last couple of months is the paparazzi are getting more aggressive. This is from Tina Brown's book. She's interviewing a friend of Diana's and he says, I had lunch with her once at San Lorenzo. And I said, how do you put up with it?
This is unbearable. They used to say awful things to get a reaction. Diana, you are a cunt hoping it would make her cry.
Oh, wow. That's intense. This is another excerpt.
If the princess kept her head down coming out, they yell bitch to make her cry and get a newsier shot. When she covered her head getting into a taxi, a Spanish photographer shouted, Why don't you put your head up and start acting like a fucking princess?
This becomes her relationship with the paparazzi. She sometimes does blow up at them. And the problem is that once you blow up at them once, then they want to get the shot of Diana blowing up at the paparazzi.
Yeah, that's worth more. Sort of generic photo of her walking down the street, so it's like Beanie Babies. Yes, this is what happens at the Jurassic Park premiere when she's in an emotional, pretty vulnerable state. They're yelling horrible things at her and she yells back at them, why don't you rape somebody else? Wow.
Which is pretty fucking intense. Oh, yeah. Wow.
One of the paparazzi says her eyes were fixed on us and then she let out a scream like a wild animal. You make my life hell.
Yeah, but then what drives me fucking crazy is that then, of course, this becomes like a big story, like die lashes out at paparazzi at Jurassic Park or whatever.
And The Daily Mirror publishes a political cartoon of Princess Diana as a dinosaur that she's the T-Rex.
And she's bearing down on the photographers.
And the word bubble for one of the photographers is, wow, mom, you're better than the movie, which isn't even good if you like.
Don't assume that it's meant to be cruel, which obviously it is. It's like kind of high praise because it's like, yeah, she's a mother. T-Rex protecting her young from a bunch of idiots.
In the tabloid world view, there is no scenario in which a paparazzi could go too far. It's this completely amoral view of humanity where celebrities have no right to complain about any kind of press attention because they're celebrities and they want the attention. Right. This is a central thing in tabloid ideology. They're like, oh, she doesn't want to be photographed. She shouldn't be the princess.
More similar to the T-Rex. Rex, you wake up, you don't know what sanctuary it is. You see, what you know is from a T-Rex perspective, the equivalent of like a Kong toy with some kibble in it and you try and eat the kettle. Yes, it's accidentally very apropos.
So this is really I mean, this is emblematic of the way that, you know, for the first time, she is having a really antagonistic relationship with the press. I mean, in general, the press has been pretty good to her.
The royal family also starts undermining her philanthropy and her sort of official trips.
Oftentimes, like there's a thing where an IRA bomb goes off and it kills two young boys. And, you know, within hours, Diana calls the parents to talk to them and to console them. And she asks, like, can I go up and visit them? And the royal family forbids her to do it. They're like, no princess on Prince Philip's going, he'll do great.
He's got a very nice bedside manner and exactly they feel better.
So it just like there's a million little events like this, small undermining things.
And they're removing her from the jobs that give her life meaning which her public roles and motherhood.
She also she's at this time doing various sort of awareness, raising things on AIDS and on eating disorders and depression and all kinds of other stuff. She actually gives a very long speech against the use of tranquilizers for women.
She conflates tranquilizers with antidepressants in a way that I don't love, like we're sort of giving women antidepressants to make them forget about what's going on in their lives.
But it's mostly focused on tranquilizers and people start accusing her of like being a bad feminist. And one of these right wing columnist accuses her of glamorizing eating disorders by talking about her own eating disorder. OK, whatever.
Yeah, I mean, the thing is, I feel weird about it because Tina Brown talks about how Princess Diana is essentially the first sort of global philanthropy celebrity like now we have, you know, Bono and Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. Brad Pitt, this is now a big part of celebrity is going around and doing these philanthropic events and having, like, issues that you care about. Whatever. Yeah. As a guy who worked in development and like, saw issues get poisoned by celebrities getting involved in them, I sort of agree with the overall critique that, like Bono is full of shit and he should pay his fucking taxes.
And a lot of the people that are accusing her of why is this woman with no actual expertise getting involved in these issues?
Like on some level? I actually agree with those critiques. On the other hand, it does seem like she's picking issues that actually require more awareness, something like AIDS, that really does need to be stigmatized. Like she's being pretty smart in the things that she's dealing with. And she's not like Prince Charles getting into all of this, like overpopulation, like eco fascism, adjacent stuff like she's better at choosing issues where a celebrity can actually sort of help.
So I just feel weird about it. Yeah, but so in response to all of this, on December 3rd of nineteen ninety three, she announces that she is resigning from public life.
Wow. Do you remember this? This is like one of my first Princess Diana memories.
No, I remember there being headlines about like Princess Diana resigns. And as a kid I was like, what does that mean? You can't resign for being a celebrity? Because, I mean, being a celebrity, it's like currency. It's like if everybody else believes it, then it's true. So you can't just say, like, I'm no longer. You're going to be a celebrity anymore, right? I didn't really understand as a child what actually she meant by this and now as an adult, I'm not sure I understand this either.
Well, she is resigning from a public role like Nixon, but she's not really because she continues to do charity stuff and she continues to do like official trips to Bosnia and stuff.
And she gets to is trying to get the press off of her back.
Do you think I mean, I think it's partly just a strategy publicly to try to get them off of her back. The only substantive thing that I could find that she does is she pares back her charity work.
So she used to be working with 100 ish charities and she pairs that back to just five. And she wants to do more behind the scenes things with the charities, less of this shaking hands, ribbon cutting type charity work. She wants to do more behind the scenes stuff, trying to make them more effective. But other than that, I can't find a lot else that this really means. There's a nice moment in the Andrew Morton book with a celebrity cameo.
It says, a few months later at a reception at the Serpentine Gallery, of which she was a patron. As she chatted to the movie star Jeremy Irons, he told her, I've taken a year off acting. Diana smiled and replied, So have I.
Oh, that's nice.
But so the souring relationship with the press leads us to the divorce.
So I'm going to send you one more look, which you have undoubtedly seen 400 times. So there are three things that lead to the divorce of Prince Charles and Diana. And this dress is kind of one of them.
I do know this dress and I know this picture, too. This is a great shot because you see her quads just a little bit underneath the hemline and just fucking rip. Dude, she's super ripped.
I know. So.
OK, so this is like a classic LBB lower bust, little black dress.
Oh, OK. And she's wearing a necklace that once again looks like the heart of the ocean. It's a great shot because she's striding forward dynamically and slicing it whatever is in front of her. Yeah, it's just a wonderful dress.
It's very it's not super skimpy, but like it's got what do you call sleeves that aren't up on the shoulders there on the upper arms slopes.
Yes. And she is like some command of herself. It's a really great photo.
This is known as either the revenge dress or the fuck you dress.
How is it a revenge dress? I will tell you.
OK, so she is wearing this on June 29th, 1994, which is the evening that a documentary about Prince Charles airs on the BBC. So over the last couple of months, as her relationship with the press is getting worse, the royal family's relationship with the press is getting better, basically because they have better management. For 18 months, Prince Charles has been working with the BBC and a biographer to basically get out like a counternarrative. Right, because Diana's biography has come out.
So he's trying to put out like the Charles side of the story. So they air a documentary, which I have seen and is terrible, called Charles the Private Man, The Public Role.
Please tell me all about this documentary. It's so boring.
Oh, my God. It's half like interviews with him. And then the other half is, you know, this journalist kind of like going with him on, you know, hunting excursions. And there's this long scene where he's describing hunting and they're like, how can you tell if there's a deer in the bush?
And he's like, you have to look for them.
And it's just so boring. You know, he's trying he's talking about his interests, like architecture and gardening.
And he's really into, like, homoeopathy and stuff. It's just the like not very insightful thoughts of, like, a rich guy who thinks he's really insightful.
I mean, this is all very Marie Antoinette down to the fact that Louis the 16th was just a boring guy who really wasn't particularly interested in the thing that was alleged to be his job.
Honestly, if he was like your dad, you would really like him, right? Like he's not an evil person, right.
Unless he cheated on your mom buying like her horrifically and etc..
So really, I mean, the only thing that comes out of this interview is he admits finally publicly that he was having an affair with Camilla during the marriage.
So the reason why this is called the revenge dress is that she's wearing this dress to some opening something something at the Serpentine Gallery.
She originally had canceled. Like she got the invitations. She's like and busy that night. He can't make it. Then when she finds out that the documentary is airing that night, she's like, oh, something's opened up in my schedule. I think I will be coming. And so she deliberately chooses this dress to knock Charles off the front pages the next day. Yes, that's so.
This is like Vep, I know, and it fucking works, so he has this big documentary, he's like finally coming out, like they're going to humanize me on the BBC and it's going to be this big deal. I'm going to get all this great coverage. And he opens up the papers the next morning. Do you do you want to guess the fucking headline that runs alongside this photo of Diana wearing the dress? It's so that you can't you cannot come up with something as bad as this.
Can you give me a hint of, like, what the theme is, Muhammad Ali? That's not going to help but Muhammad.
Oh, float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. That's my guess. Is it? Probably not that the headline they use is they they show the photo that I just showed you and it says the Thrilla he left to woo Comilla.
Oh, come on. That's pretty good.
They're all just so that I don't know why we have to talk like this, because life is really hard and we all need to gang up on famous people to get through it.
So it's basically her being like, well, you know, he's talking about Carmilla and he's in this sort of not making him look so great interview. And like, I am thriving now. I am showing up at the Serpentine Gallery. I'm looking amazing.
It's great because this is what you do to show your ex you're doing great, but your ex is like all of Britain.
Yes, exactly. So that's basically the first thing that leads to their divorce.
Basically him admitting that he's been seeing Camilla this whole time and they're and they're slowly sharing the secrets that in a way like they're letting the people in on stuff like they can't know and you can't save a marriage that is like there's this much information about how bad it was.
You know, her suicide attempts him cheating on her, even if they did get back together. They're starting to form this thing of like, do we want these people to get back together like this?
This whole thing just seems like really toxic and gross.
The second thing that happens that leads to the divorce is on November 20th, nineteen ninety five, the BBC airs the infamous Panorama interview with Diana.
I am sure you've seen clips of this. I don't know. She's having she has the eye makeup and she's like answering questions with journalists.
Journalist who also interviewed Michael Jackson in the tree.
This is an hour long interview on the BBC with Princess Diana. And it's her first ever solo interview.
Really? Oh, that's amazing. So she really has been like a hostage this whole time and a lot of ways.
Well, there's something so interesting about the royal family because they're so tetchy about giving the press any access. So, so much of what you hear about them is sort of, you know, anonymous quotes and their friends or stories that are written about them.
It's very rare to see them actually speak. I think before I started working on this series, I don't think I had ever heard Prince Charles's speaking voice, huh?
Yeah, no, I don't think I have they don't really give press conferences the way that politicians do. So it's really amazing. I mean, a lot of people in Britain talk about this as the first time they've heard her voice. Really?
Yeah, that's amazing. That's really amazing because she's been in the public eye now for like fifteen years, right? Yeah.
So the reason why she does the interview is basically all of the her relationship souring with the press stuff we just talked about.
There's a stereotype forming that, you know, she's a T rex and she's doing these like Janki royal visits and she's calling this guy at weird hours and like, it seems like she's a little bit unhinged and she basically sees her own public image getting away from her. And she sees for the first time Prince Charles kind of doing OK press wise.
She wants to strike back because she knows that anything, divorce, anything that happens with this relationship is going to be primarily a PR battle.
There's nothing worse than your ex doing OK, right? Yeah.
So she starts fishing around for journalists. She knows a journalist, Martin Bashir through. I think it's like a friend of a friend or a cousin or something. She sort of vaguely knows him.
He spends months working on her to get a solo interview with her. I mean, millions of journalists have tried this, but it doesn't work until basically she decides to do it and he shows her checks that prove that her staff are in the employment of News of the World.
Yeah, and the Murdoch ones play dirty, right?
Well, this is this is worse. We find out later that Martin Bashir faked the checks, but they don't exist. Oh, my God.
Well, that's really dirty.
So she had let one of her staff members go and Martin Bashir took this person's name, put their name on a check and had the graphic design department at the BBC make fake checks.
The BBC did that. Yeah.
I mean, the BBC did a whole inquest and they say they didn't know about it and it didn't bring to the interview blah, blah, blah. This was like Martin Bashir. Project and he's playing off of her paranoia. Yeah, come with me if you want to live. It's so fucking unethical. Yeah, it really is. And also this is bananas.
Everybody filmed it completely secretly. So her own staff, like her head of press, did not know she was doing this. Oh, wow.
Oh, boy, that's intense. This is really intense. We don't we need like a big soapy TV version of this. I know. Not good TV, soapy TV. It's also wild.
The BBC kept it secret from their own board of directors as well.
That's amazing. So everyone's being real shady about this whole thing.
The one time in his book that he sort of breaks character, Andrew Morton talks about this and he's like, you know, it's pretty fucked up that you need this much subterfuge to record an interview with, like someone who's a public figure and like our tax dollars are going to her salary.
And the idea what everybody's afraid of is that the royal family is going to find out about this in advance and going to kill it.
It's like, oh, you shouldn't have a royal family that, like, makes it illegal to have basic transparency about their operations, like it's actually fucked up. The BBC couldn't tell their boards of directors about this because the boards of directors, new members of the royal family, like they're all connected. They're from the same social class.
Right. So they would have found an excuse to kill this. And it's like that's actually a huge indictment of the fact that we have a royal family and B, that the BBC that is supposed to be this like impartial state broadcaster is so fucking intertwined with the royal family that you can't even do an interview with a member of the royal family.
That's bad. That's not that's not a good thing to have going on.
So I am sending you a clip. We're going to watch a clip of this.
Oh, boy, I'm nervous. I'm nervous for her. I know three to one go.
According to press reports, it was suggested that it was around this time things became so difficult that you actually tried to enjoy yourself. Hmm. Is that true? When no one listens to you or you feel no one's listening to you, all sorts of things start to happen. For instance, you have so much pain inside yourself that you try and put yourself on the outside because you won't help. But it's the wrong help. You are asking for people just crying wolf, attention seeking, and they think because you're in the media all the time, you've got enough attention, inverted commas.
But I was actually crying out. I wanted to get better in order to go forward and continue my duty and my role as wife, mother, Princess of Wales. So yes, I did inflects myself. I didn't like myself. I was ashamed because I couldn't cope with the pressures. What did you actually do? Well, I just got my arms and my legs and I work in environments now where I see women doing similar things and I'm able to understand completely where they're coming from.
What was your husband's reaction to this when you began to enjoy yourself in this way? But I didn't actually do it in front of him. But obviously anyone who loves someone would be very concerned about it. Did he understand what was behind the physical act of hurting yourself, do you think? No, but there are not many people would have taken the time to see that.
Wow. What do you think? Someone's copping some onions in here. I know.
I mean, so so she describing her self harm basically in this clip. And so the first thing that I was struck by is that she was like extremely self aware about anything. It feels like she has come to understand her experience and is able to talk about it, if not without feeling shame, then without projecting a feeling of shame anyway, which to me is is very emotional. Like I think that's why I'm having this cry response to it, because I feel like that's like that's very meaningful to me to see someone who has, like, inflicted all of this pain on themselves and kind of figured out what that's about and now has a response of wanting to destigmatize it for other people and talk to them about it and be like I'm the Princess of Wales.
I'm like normally and I know what that's like, which I just I really appreciate that she's doing that with this weird random power that has been given to her. Do you know why I picked this clip?
Because you wanted to make me cry and she sounds like you. She's talking about the power of the media.
She's talking about when people see you as this public figure, they think you have all this power, but underneath it, you're actually hurting. Like that's something you've said on the show like twenty times.
Oh, thank you. My thank you for comparing me to Princess Diana. Well, it was also that in your genes. Oh, yeah. Now I do look great in those magazines, but. Yeah. Well, and I yes, and I feel like she is undertaking a project that's dear to my heart, partly because, you know, it's important to me, too, which is because, like, allowing people to talk about emotions and emotional trauma in a way that allows us to heal and progress forward rather than like dynamically ignoring things like the royal family does.
And I'm also struck by the fact by two things that she says. And this one is that she feels that it was upsetting to Prince Charles to see her enjoying herself because it would be upsetting to anyone to see someone they loved hurting themselves. So that's implying that she does think that he at least loved her at that time.
She could have twisted the knife there. Right. I mean, she could have said like, oh, he never cared about me. But she says like, no, he loved me and it was really hard for him. Yeah.
She has a very like there's not a lot of there's not a lot of rancor present. And at least in this clip, which is interesting as she's talking about this former marriage. And then also what I find interesting is her saying that, you know, Prince Charles didn't understand what was going on or why she was doing what she was doing, but then, like, not many people would have been able to or would have bothered. And that makes me sad because that's like a very low expectation.
Yeah. Of other people. You know, I guess this idea of like if you happen to end up somehow in a relationship with someone who's able to try and successfully figure out like some of what you're going through emotionally, even if you're able to, like, describe it very clearly for them, that's the rare exception to the rule.
She's aware of the system that she's inhabiting. She's aware of the fact that people could have gotten to know her and chose not to.
And she talks about how the family basically settled on this explanation for their marital problems, that her bulimia caused everything. Wow. You know, her bulimia was the reason why the marriage broke down. It was the reason for her suicide attempt. It was the reason why Charles eventually started sleeping with Camilla.
And what she says over and over again in this interview and in the Morton book is that the bulimia was a symptom of a marriage that wasn't working.
And even if you disagree about the timing and if you like, inexplicably don't trust that and believe it was a pre-existing condition, then you're still citing her bulimia as the single greatest stressor on the marriage, which like, come on, I know.
I think the single greatest stressor on the marriage was three words. The in-laws. Oh, yeah. So there's other things in the interview.
The interviews are an hour long. She also admits to having the affair with the horse dude. She lies about participating in the Morton book, which is interesting.
There's also one of the huge pieces of news that comes out of this interview is she implies that Prince Charles isn't suitable to be king.
She doesn't like say it, say it.
She says, I think the top job would bring enormous limitations to him. And I don't know whether he could adapt to that.
Wow. Nice. By the standards of the royal family, like nothing like this has ever been said before. Right. Like rain basically saying that, like, the king might not be able to handle being king. This is a huge deal.
The sickest imaginable burn. Exactly. There's this fascinating thing, too. So this interview is the largest audience for a TV documentary ever.
Well, like the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, the public loves it. I mean, you can't watch that clip and not feel anything.
There's a poll afterwards that only twenty five percent of the population says that she should play a less active role in public life.
Wow. So they really like her. But what is fascinating to me is that the royal family and sort of this upper echelon of British society basically thinks that she's like posting cringe they hate.
In what way? Why do they hate about it?
Basically, she's talking about serious stuff that, you know, the future queen of the country should not be talking about.
Apparently, Camilla says that Diana had finally proven that she was Luppi half witted and probably ought to be locked up. Oh, wow.
And her own mother is so embarrassed by this interview that she doesn't answer the phone for a couple of days because she knows her daughter's going to be calling.
Yikes. That sucks. It's bad.
The social mores of upper crust aristocratic British people are so different from sort of ordinary Britons at this point that they cannot fathom, you know, what would possess somebody to do this or why they would reveal this much about themselves.
But then really the last straw that leads them to proposing divorce is a woman named Tiggy.
I feel like this is a name. And a dream that I woke up from a nap and I see who is taking Tiggy is the nanny to William and Harry.
Oh, of course, classic go for the nanny. So as soon as she leaves the family, Charles casts around and finds basically like an alternate universe version of Diana. She's, you know, she's upper crust.
Her family's connected to the royal family can like the way that Diana was in her early 20s. It's like. Yeah, like be a nanny for some rich family, whatever, until you get married.
Whatever, Tiggy, who cares what you do? So she starts taking care of William and Harry and sort of being the person at Highgrove that takes care of them when Charles is off, like doing his eco fascism.
And so they're starting to be photos in the paper of, you know, here's William and Harry riding horses and there's Tiggy on a horse next to them. She just starts kind of showing up visually around these kids. And Diana fucking hates her.
Oh, yeah. Stutman type situation. Yes. And so he becomes convinced and there's no evidence of this that her and Charles are having an affair or Tiggy.
She asks her private secretary to write a letter like a formal request to Prince Charles's kind of team, saying that she wants clarity on what exactly Twiggy's rules are and she wants to have approval over anything that Tiggy is doing with the kids. It's like a weird move.
And then in late nineteen ninety five, rumors start going around that Tiggy had gotten pregnant with Charles's baby and had an abortion. There's a Christmas party that Diana is invited to where Tiggy is also attending, and she walks up to Tiggy and she says, Tiggy, good to see you. So sorry to hear about the baby.
Oh, boy, that is a spit covered curveball, if ever I heard one ad right below the belt.
So Tiggy burst into tears immediately jumping out of the party and like nobody has talked to her about it, she's vaguely aware of these rumors. They're not fucking true as well.
Oh, wow. OK, well, that's good. So if it were true, it would have been worse because that would have been really hurtful as opposed to just really rude and silly.
You know, everybody else, of course, loses at the party. Rumors go around these upper crust Maury Povich societies and people are just like, why would Diana do this? Like, that's this is like pretty unhinged behavior because she has issues, you guys.
So Tiggy, because her family sort of intertwined, she goes to the queen. They talk about like maybe filing a libel suit, whatever.
They find out later that Diana is the one who started the rumor.
Oh, nice. Wow. That is some real mean girls material right there.
Yeah, it's some, like, hot mess shit. Yeah, it is. Yeah. She's a hot mess express.
And so between Charles admitting that he's had the affair with Camilla and the quote unquote unhinged Panorama interview and the pretty legit unhinged stuff with Tiggy, the queen is basically just like, fuck this, let's get this woman out of our lives. That's it. This is sort of nuts.
Again, like this is weird inlaw behavior. So on December 20th, nineteen ninety five, Princess Diana gets an official letter from the queen saying, we think you should divorce our son.
Wow, great. Yeah. So it's like she finally got everyone on board by just being a nightmare. Yes, exactly. Sometimes that works. Sometimes that's when is fastest.
And so thus commences this sort of six, seven, eight month long negotiation about what the divorce is going to actually entail.
No, the main things that they're arguing over in the divorce is, of course, how much money, how big is the settlement going to be that Diana gets from the royal family sort of living arrangements, like, can she continue to live at Kensington Palace?
Can she not, et cetera, what custody is going to be?
And then the thorniest, weirdest issue, can she continue to use the title Her Royal Highness?
This is something that is like a huge piece of the negotiations.
Wow. Does she care if she invested in it?
Well, this is what's amazing is that the things that people care about are completely mismatched, which is actually great. So the queen is basically just like, yeah, give her whatever money she needs.
Obviously, they're going to have joint custody, like we're not going take the kids away. That would be bananas. And, you know, like, yeah, she can stay in Kensington Palace. Like, I never go to Kensington Palace. A bunch of fucking weirdos live there anyway. I like I don't care. Let like, give her all the things. But she must not retain the title of Her Royal Highness.
And then Princess Diana is like, look, I want the money. I want to stay in the house. I want the kids. And like, if I have to give up the title, then whatever. I don't give a shit about this fucking title.
Right. I know.
She does also insists that she retains the privileges to use the Buckingham Palace gym, which I think it's a really weird flex, but find that she get to keep using it.
No, that's actually one of the things she loses in the divorce. Oh, well, yeah. Yeah.
So at the end of this divorce, there's like months of negotiations and like, she puts out press releases and they put out press releases and it's like kind of weird and ugly.
She gets seventy million pound payout and four hundred thousand pounds a year for like her office. So they're going to continue to pay her staff and like the rent in the building, whatever, whatever call she gets to stay in Kensington Palace.
But then they insist that she can no longer be her royal highness. She is now Diana, comma Princess of Wales, the same thing.
I know this is basically what Diana says, like, yeah, this is all fake, right?
Like, tell me about the real money that you're putting in my bank account. Say more about that part. Who fucking cares? It's nice she doesn't care very much or at all.
So on July 15th, nineteen ninety six, the papers are filed and they divorce. It is almost exactly a year and six weeks until she dies.
Wow. So she got a year. Yeah.
So we're really, we're really in like the countdown phase now so. All right. Last photo.
OK, emailing it to me. Yes.
OK, so this is an image of Princess Diana that connects with really my only memories of her from the mid nineties. Yeah. And I remember her doing a lot of land mine charity stuff. And this appears to be her doing. Yeah. That because there's signs all over with a skull and crossbones saying dangerous minds. Yes. And she's wearing a some kind of protective vest. This is the Halo Trust on it, you know, with this kind of like mid career Rachel Vyse, kind of an expression on her face.
This is actually part of the sort of her being manipulative thing, because this event this is her she's been doing landmines, anti landmines, charity work for a while. And she goes down to Angola to. Do this sort of walk through a heavily mined area and something went wrong with the photographer's camera, like lenses, heat, humidity, something, something, and so because he didn't get the shots, she has to do it again. And so, of course, this is seen as like, oh, it's fake.
It's just a photo op. And she's manipulating the media.
And it's like, yes, but she's not actually clear the land of minds. Yeah.
And it's based on the idea that, like, people don't understand that there are different kinds of charitable work, which I think people basically do.
It seems she got interested in land mines activism after seeing a documentary.
She's such a millennial. I mean, this is like the last phase of her life, the sort of post divorce Princess Diana, which is really the only glimpse that we have of what her life would have been like if she lived or when she was starting to grow toward.
Yeah, she forms an alliance with Tony Blair, who is now the prime minister, and he's really the only person to see the potential of this person, like bringing attention to issues.
And she's very good at that aspect of the job. And so he makes her a humanitarian ambassador. Even John Major was like, why would I want her going on like official trips?
I don't see why we would have her meeting with whatever the prime minister of Kazakhstan was. Tony Blair understands, like, no, it's all fake. Like, diplomacy is all a facade, right? It's like, how good do people get along with each other?
Right. So all these other male politicians are like, how could we have this woman who only knows hollow pageantry and decisive role in our hollow pageantry? And it's like, I got news because it's all bullshit, right?
So like, you should have this bullshit ass woman on your team. Yeah. She starts doing all this landmine stuff.
She goes to Bosnia, she goes to Angola. This becomes like one of her main issues.
And why do they have landmines to begin with? Like give us a little land mine crash course.
It's basically like civil wars. They'll put a shitload of landmines down. And then even after the war ends, those landmines just stay there. And so oftentimes, you know, children walking to school will lose an arm or will be right there will be horribly maimed. Like it's an issue that is good for celebrities because it primarily affects like women and children, like people who are doing right walking in the countryside.
And unlike some trendy issues today, for celebrities, it is something that demonstrably exists. And it's very easy to grasp the concept that like this is bad. This is a bad scene.
And also all accounts are that this is very effective. So the international campaign to ban landmines wins the Nobel Prize and they thank Diana in their acceptance speech. And you don't want to give Diana too much credit because obviously, like the sort of the low level grunt, very difficult work of campaigning and research, like years of work go into things before celebrities find out about them, before they're sort of ready for the celebrity inputs. But also once she gets involved and once this is seen as sort of like an international issue of importance, Britain bans the export of landmines and all these other countries signed treaties against landmines.
So that's basically one aspect of her post divorce life. Another aspect.
This is like hard to talk about this, like really, really, really stuck out to me as kind of like a hot mess express aspect of Diana's life. So what happens at this time is she also becomes increasingly isolated at the time of her death.
All of her friends are people who she's only known for a few years, one by one, all of her friends from childhood, she cuts out.
So this woman, Carolyn Bartholomew, who was the one who sort of gave her the ultimatum, like, you have to do something about your eating disorder or else I'm going to go to the press like they stop talking because she's mad at Carolyn for talking to Andrew Morton for his book.
She also has a falling out with Fergie because Fergie publishes a memoir about her experience with the royal family. And in it, she mentions that Diana had once offered to loan her a pair of shoes. And she says in the book, Oh, I didn't want to wear Diana's shoes because she has foot warts and I didn't want to get foot high.
I don't know how much to believe this particular theory, like it might have been something else in the book. But we do know that they were not speaking at the time of Diana's death and hadn't spoken in years.
Yeah, I should not have been doing this, but I was reading message boards on the royal family because I was trying to unravel what happened between her and Carolyn Bartholomew, and I was never really able to get a good answer. I found these sort of, you know, message boards of people who, like, really gone down rabbit holes on this shit. And what one person said there is just that, like, she didn't really have conflict resolution skills that basically as soon as somebody would bring something up, like one of her friends brought up that, hey, you know, Prince William has mentioned to me that it's a little embarrassing that you drop him off at Eton and like, you're the only mom that drops off their kids and it's embarrassing to him and.
I know it's a hurtful thing for her to hear about her son, it's a hurtful thing for her to hear from her friend, but instead of in any way expressing that, she just stops talking to him and they never speak again. Yeah, I think you see this pattern so often with people, especially people really struggling with severe mental illness. It's like they need people, they need perspective, they need love so bad. But yet they're pushing people away from them like the exact thing that they need.
They're not able to receive.
And I think, unfortunately, like trauma and relationships often teaches us to rely on black and white thinking, which then makes it harder for us to cultivate good relationships.
You know, it's like, you know, what you need, but you're not willing to do the thing that would get it to you or you're not able to because it feels too bad to be held accountable.
Yeah. And you associate that feeling with being attacked or something like there's so many reasons to cut out the relationships that involve someone expecting accountability from you.
One of the reasons why she dives so deeply into these relationships with men is that she has this idea that it's sort of like, you know, once I meet a man, everything will be better. Right?
Instead of trying to form intimate relationships with people that she can really trust that aren't being paid by the tabloids to sell out, she ends up thinking that, like, oh, what I really need is a man.
And so the last thing that happens before we get to our tragic fifth episode is she meets one more guy. She has one more love of her life.
His name is has not gone. Have you ever heard of this guy? No. He is a surgeon in London and she meets him in 1995 when a friend of hers is undergoing surgery and she visits this friend and has not gone to the doctor.
So apparently one of the things that really gets her fixated on him is he like it doesn't give a shit about her at all. They're like, meet the Princess of Wales. He's like, yeah. Anyway, next Tuesday, you take his medication.
He's not impressed by her. So this friend of hers is in the hospital for 18 days. And Diana just starts coming every day and chatting to the doctor.
Of course, they date for two years.
Now, there's just something interesting to me about he's not conscious, like a very important guy in her life, but there's literally no photos of them together.
It's also striking in that it's really the only sense of normalcy that she gets. Like you can see why she likes this guy, that he's he's a junior surgeon. He's pretty close to her age. He's really into his job. He's working like 80, 90 hour weeks.
And, you know, they start doing normal stuff together.
She'll come over to his you know, he lives in like a really modest one bedroom apartment and she'll come over when he's not there and, like, clean and do his dishes.
She says at one point they go to a pub and she's like, let me order. I've never ordered drinks before.
And he's like, has to tell her how to drink. This really is like a Roman holiday. At one point she goes and watches him perform surgery, which is like a cute girlfriend thing to do totally.
She starts where he's from, Pakistan, and she starts wearing like traditional Pakistani clothes when they have.
That's really cool.
Another thing that's really interesting about him, he's never said a word about their relationship to the press to this day.
He's just not interested, like the guy seems very thoroughly not interested in being in the press. Fame on any level.
Do you see why dating Princess Diana for two years would perhaps put you off of that whole concept of shit, but then in the same way that, you know, all of her relationships have this just like fundamentally doomed quality, eventually journalists sniff out that they're dating. And there's a story in the Sunday Mirror about him and about them, and he doesn't speak to her for three weeks.
Oh, shit. Wow. As soon as that story comes out, he starts getting like racist death threats in the mail.
Another thing of like the doomed ness of this is that she is envisioning this life for them where they're sort of both like globetrotters, where she's doing her landmine stuff, and he is going to be sort of a partner with her and he's going to go around and like raise awareness of like medical issues. And when she talks about like this life that she's envisioning for them, he's like, no, I don't want to raise awareness of surgery. I want to do surgery.
And this is also kind of fascinating.
His parents will not allow him to marry a non-Muslim. At one point, his dad gives an interview to the press and he says he's not going to marry her. We're looking for a bride for him. She must belong to a respectable family. She should be rich, belonging to the upper middle class, preferably to our relations or tribe. But if we do not find her in our own tribe, we can try outside it. But preferably she should be at least a Pakistani Muslim girl.
Oh, that sounds familiar. And so in May of nineteen ninety seven, this is three months before she dies. She goes to Pakistan without telling him and goes to try a. Charm offensive on his parents, so she goes and hangs out with them and they're like, no, you don't get it like we like you. It has nothing to do with the fact that we don't like you. But it's just like this is the future that we have envisioned for our son.
And he gets really pissed off at her because, like, are you fucking serious? You're going to go work on my parents.
And so in sort of May, June, the relationship is kind of breaking down, like they just reached the limit of what they can do within the relationship that they have. And in July, she tells him, just so you know, you know, I wanted to do some stuff with my kids this summer.
I was going try to take them to the Hamptons, but like, the security arrangements weren't high enough. So for our summer vacation, we're going to spend a week or two on the yacht of this guy, Mohammed Al Fayed, who owns Harrods, the department store.
So when she's gone, he sees a tabloid with her on the cover, cuddling with this guy, Dodi Al Fayed, the son of the guy who owns Harrods. And so she comes back and he breaks up with her. He's like, you're being kind of chickenshit. You clearly don't want to be in this relationship anymore.
And instead of telling me you're just cheating on me with this other guy, well, I mean, I also like behaving indefensibly is a great way to just for someone to break up with you without having to assertively break up with them yourself.
So so they break up sometime in late July and at the end of August, she dies in the car crash. And so that's we're going to leave it next episode. We're going to meet Dodi and talk about Paris and talk about the conspiracy theories. We can talk about how the royal family reacts to her death.
OK, I'm ready for the final chapter. I don't think this is going to turn out well for anybody.
We have a little ending. I want to do another table read. Oh, OK. You into this? Oh, yeah. I want to end thinking about something other than just being freshly broken up with an about to die.
So, yeah, this is an excerpt from the Martin Bashir interview. So I'm going to play Martin and you're going to play Diana. OK, what role do you see for yourself in the future?
I'd like to be an ambassador for this country. I'd like to represent this country abroad as I have all this media interest. Let's not just sit in this country and be battered by it. Let's take them, these people out to represent this country and the good qualities of it abroad. When I go abroad, we've got 60 to 90 photographers from this country coming with me. So let's use it in a productive way to help this country.
You say you feel your future is as some form of ambassador. At whose behest is that? On what grounds do you feel you have the right to think of yourself as an ambassador?
I've been a privileged position for fifteen years. I've got tremendous knowledge about people and how to communicate. I've learnt that I've got it and I want to use it. And when I look at people in public life, I'm not a political animal. But I think the biggest disease this world suffers from in this day and age is a disease of people feeling unloved. And I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month.
But I can give I'm very happy to do that and I want to do that.
Do you think the British people are happy with you and your role?
I think the British people need someone in public life to give affection, to make them feel important, to support them, to give them light and their dark tunnels. I see it as a possibly unique role. And yes, I've had difficulties, as everybody has witnessed over the years. But let's now use the knowledge I've gathered to help other people in distress. Do you think you can? I know I can. I know I can, yes. And that's that's the Diana I want to leave us with you, too.
You know, she's trying she's a mess, but she's trying. She's a big mess with a good heart. Yeah.
I just love that that people need to feel affection. All I can do is make people feel loved. That's always been heard. Her strongest. She was in a system that refused to acknowledge the truth of that, that everybody needs to feel loved. And people kept telling her that it didn't matter, that she was good at that and it did matter.
And now we know it mattered because she isn't around to do it anymore. And you can tell.
So I think that this is what she would have done if she had lived. I think she would be sort of an international ambassador for making people feel loved and talking about the things that she had been through.
And I think that she would have great Instagram stories today if she were still around.
I know that that might seem frivolous to be like I wish I could see what her Instagram stories would have been like, but like I really do. And I think they would make us feel less alone in this difficult world. And I guess, you know, one of the hang ups people have is accepting that something is prevalences. Instagram stories can do that, but they do. We can't turn our back on an emotional sustenance even if we find it in the place.
That seems to be embarrassing somehow.
And that's also the one thing that I don't know if she ever got in her life is emotional sustenance. Yeah, OK, so I have a I have a moral from this. Oh, if you like one, do it. OK, everybody survive because you have to keep living to eventually have a relationship that's worthy of you.
OK, Sarah, now I'm chopping onions over here. Yeah. OK, so I was worried that didn't make sense. Live.