Few weeks after her fairytale marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, the late Princess Diana of Wales was terribly depressed and at some point, “tried to slash her wrist with a razor blade”.
The shocking disclosure was contained in recordings obtained by journalist Andrew Morton, author of ‘Diana – Her True Story’.
According to Morton, the recordings were made by Diana in 1991, five years before she and Charles divorced.
Here are some excerpts of the recordings published on Daily Mail.
LOOMING FIGURE OF CAMILLA, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
“We got married on Wednesday. On the Monday (July 27, 1981), we had gone to St Paul’s for our last rehearsal, and that’s when the camera lights were on full and I got a sense of what the day was going to be.
And I sobbed my eyes out. I absolutely collapsed and it was because of all sorts of things. The Camilla thing rearing its head the whole way through our engagement. I was desperately trying to be mature about the situation, but I didn’t have the foundations to do it, and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it.
I remember my husband being very tired — both of us were quite tired. Big day. He sent me a very nice signet ring the night before to Clarence House, with the Prince of Wales feathers on and a very nice card that said: ‘I’m so proud of you and when you come up, I’ll be there at the altar for you tomorrow. Just look ’em in the eye and knock ’em dead’.
As I walked up the aisle, I was looking for her (Camilla). I knew she was in there, of course. I looked for her. I had to get my father basically up the aisle and that’s what I concentrated on. And I remember being terribly worried about curtseying to the Queen.
Anyway, I got up to the top. I thought the whole thing was hysterical, getting married, in the sense that it was just so grown-up, and here was Diana — a kindergarten teacher. The whole thing was ridiculous!
I thought the whole thing was hysterical, getting married, in the sense that it was just so grown-up, and here was Diana – a kindergarten teacher. The whole thing was ridiculous!’ +7
I thought the whole thing was hysterical, getting married, in the sense that it was just so grown-up, and here was Diana – a kindergarten teacher. The whole thing was ridiculous!’
I remember being so in love with my husband that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I just absolutely thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. He was going to look after me. Well, was I wrong on that assumption!
So walking back down the aisle, I spotted Camilla — pale grey, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day, you know — vivid memory.
When we got out, it was a wonderful feeling: everybody hurraying, everybody happy because they thought we were happy. And there was the big question mark in my mind. I realised I had taken on an enormous role, but had no idea what I was going into — but no idea.
Back to Buckingham Palace, did all the photographs. Nothing tactile, nothing.
I was basically wandering around, trying to find where I should be, clutching my long train with my bridesmaids and pages.
We got out on the balcony. It was overwhelming what we saw, so humble-making, all these thousands and thousands of people happy. It was just wonderful. I sat next to Charles at the wedding breakfast, which was a lunch. Neither of us spoke to each other — we were so shattered. I was exhausted at the whole thing.
I never tried to call the wedding off in the sense of really doing that. But the worst moment was when we got to Broadlands (the family seat of Charles’s late great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, where the royal couple spent the first part of their honeymoon). I thought, you know, it was just grim. I just had tremendous hope in me, which was slashed by day two.”
DEPRESSION, SUICIDE ATTEMPT
“Basically, they thought I could adapt to being Princess of Wales overnight. All the guests at Balmoral coming to stay just stared at me the whole time, treated me like glass. As far as I was concerned, I was Diana — the only difference was people called me ‘Ma’am’ now, ‘Your Royal Highness’, and they curtsied. That was the only difference, but I treated everybody else exactly the same.
Charles used to want to go for long walks around Balmoral the whole time. His idea of enjoyment — this will make you laugh —would be to sit on top of the highest hill at Balmoral. It is beautiful up there. I completely understand; he would read Laurens van der Post or (Swiss psychoanalyst) Carl Jung to me. And bear in mind I hadn’t a clue about psychic powers or anything, but I knew there was something in me that hadn’t been awoken yet — and I didn’t think this was going to help!
So anyway, we read those and I did my tapestry and he was blissfully happy, and as far as he was happy, that was fine.
He was in awe of his Mama, intimidated by his father, and I was always the third person in the room. It was never: ‘Darling, would you like a drink?’ It was always: ‘Mummy, would you like a drink?’ ‘Granny, would you like a drink?’ ‘Diana, would you like a drink?’
Fine, no problem. But I had to be told that that was normal because I always thought it was the wife first — stupid thought!
We stayed up there (at Balmoral) from August to October. I got terribly, terribly thin. People started commenting: ‘Your bones are showing.’ By October, I was in a very bad way.
I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades. It rained and rained and rained. I came down early (to London) to seek treatment, not because I hated Balmoral, but because I was in such a bad way.
Anyway, I came down here. All the analysts and psychiatrists you could ever dream of came plodding in trying to sort me out. Put me on high doses of Valium and everything else.
But the Diana that was still very much there had decided just time, patience and adapting were all that were needed. It was me telling them what I needed. They were telling me ‘pills’! That was going to keep them happy — they could go to bed at night and sleep, knowing the Princess of Wales wasn’t going to stab anyone.”
WILLIAM, THE GODSEND
“Anyway, a godsend, William was conceived in October. I was told I was pregnant, fine, great excitement. Marvellous news, occupied my mind. In those days, my greatest pleasure was that I was lucky enough to have a baby on the way.
Then we went to Wales for three days (in October 1981) to do our visit as Princess and Prince of Wales. Boy, oh boy, was that a culture shock in every sense of the word.
Wrong clothes, wrong everything, wrong timing, feeling terribly sick, carrying this child, hadn’t told the world I was pregnant but looking grey and gaunt and still being sick.
I was desperately trying to make Charles proud of me. Made a speech in Welsh. He was more nervous than I was. Never got any praise for it. I began to understand that that was absolutely normal.”