(Date Posted:15/10/2005 15:55:43)
Diana : The Boss !
Diana was a creature of mood and wasn't and never had been " Shy", this being something the press had
imagined and nobody knew this better than those who worked for her. Even as newly arrived "H.R.H. The
Princess of Wales" she'd made her presence felt and particularly with staff members who had been with her
husband in his bachelor years. Diana resented their controlling him, making decisions for him particularly
personal ones like what he ought to wear daily, which up until her arrival, the duty of his personal valet Stephen
Barry to decide. His days in Charles's employ were numbered as for the sake of a quiet life Charles would not
raise objections when his new wife decided someone had to go which included Mr. Barry. Diana being
responsible for hiring and firing, 41 members of Charles's staff lost their positions of employment within the firm
and even nannies knew the price to pay for becoming too emotionally involved with William or Harry as found
out by Nanny Barnes...dismissal! Diana was their mother and was jealous of any other woman gaining their
affections and attention.
As the problems in her marriage escalated, but still officially with her husband and performing their double-act
publicly, Diana's moods in private increased, she and Charles regularly arguing, even sometimes violently,and
her staff usually getting a verbal smack,of her frustration and seething anger and most usually over small
things that being overtly sensitive to everything, she'd see fit to pick on for no apparent reason.A favourite
victim being her own personal dresser Evelyn,whom Diana humiliated and had in tears frequently. Diana well
known to have a fiery temper and to use a colourful vocabulary in private! Quite different from the image of
herself projected to the world, the public who adored her unaware of her capability of wounding sarcasm and
spitefulness. Diana was inconsistent in her behaviour with her staff, one moment thanking them for something
they'd done for her and the next giving them the silent treatment, not even acknowledging their presence and
consequently it could not be said that it was always a joy or privilege much less an honour to work for her.
Diana's moods could be inspired by her reading a bad press about herself sending her into sulks that could last
for days or just to a temper outburst but Diana needed constant reassurance and support in everything she did
to counteract her very personal sense of insecurity, as though able to be manipulative and calculating, Diana
lacked self-confidence.A staff member remaining loyal to the princess being Paul Burrell, originally one of the
Queen's footmen, he'd left her service to be butler to the Prince and Princess at their country retreat "
Highgrove House " and their London home " Kensington Palace ". Maria his wife also in their employ initially had
enjoyed a friendship with Diana but this was dangerous as getting too close to her, there was the risk that one
day the friendship would terminate which is what happened with Maria who had taken the post as dresser for
Diana for a year between late 1994 and 1995. Diana as an employer demanded loyalty and Maria finding her
hours of work increased decided to resign her position as she was not seeing her sons. Anyone leaving her
employ was viewed by Diana as a personal rejection of her, hyper - sensitive to rejection, rejected by her
mother, her husband and his family and even her own brother, Diana didn't react well to it and was equally
ruthless in her ability to reject people fond of her when it suited her to do so. Paul's loyalty to Diana was really
tested when having received Maria's resignation, Diana had her in tears and didn't speak to her the entire four
weeks Maria worked her notice. Maria herself saying there were three people in her marriage, herself, Paul and
Diana! Accepting her husbands genuine devotion to his boss, Diana and Maria eventually were friends again
themselves though Maria remained out of her employ.
Paul himself fell from favour over a telephone bill, tightening her financial belt after her divorce, the princess
had the bill itemised and each staff member to sign by the calls made by them, Paul had run up £300 which he
wrote her a cheque for and asked who he'd rung that cost so much told her that working sixteen- hour days his
family didn't see him so he kept contact by phone but by Diana this seen to be his moaning at her, Diana gave
him the "No Speaking Spell" as her staff termed it for two weeks, the two of them communicating by memo until
eventually he told her that this was making his job more or less impossible and the ice thawed between them.
Diana trusted him more than even Patrick Jephson her private secretary who later would resign his employment
after insults from her. Paul was shown correspondence hidden from him including her will and divorce papers
and privy to information Diana entrusted to him. He also accompanied her to Angola and Bosnia supporting the
" Land Mines Campaign " in the last year of her life and so personal witness to the public persona of Diana that
she embraced professionally, who was all the things she so clearly illustrated, compassionate, caring, attentive
and devoted to people less fortunate than herself and especially those ostracised by an unfeeling society.
Paul became a confidante of the princess, she having expressed to him her personal fears for her safety
openly in a letter written by her in which she suggests that she will be the victim of a head injury in a planned
car crash that could prove fatal leaving the path open for her divorced husband to remarry! Diana having
suffered was healing herself in her genuine helping and healing of others, experiencing a sense of being
personally valued which had not been something she'd been made to feel in her years as royal princess of the
realm and something naturally welcomed by her and giving her the confidence she needed to believe in herself
which made her a much easier employer to work for, she ultimately more comfortable with and accepting of
herself and gaining a justified sense of healthy self - esteem.
Paul's loyalty, love and lasting devotion to the princess shown by his flying to Paris immediately following her
death and performing the harrowing task of dressing Diana's body in the hospital in preparation for her final
flight home to the United Kingdom.
Patrick Jephson, Author of " Shadows of a Princess: "Princess Diana was neither a "fairy-tale figure" nor a
"disturbed, damaged, unfortunate, put-upon creature," says Patrick Jephson, the former private secretary to
the Princess of Wales for eight years. That was why he decided to break the confidentiality agreement he
signed near the end of his time with the Princess."She was a real person, and as I saw the two false
impressions being left in her memory, I thought it was imperative that a truthful impression should also be left,"
said Jephson whose book "Shadows of a Princess: an intimate account by her private secretary"provoked
eldest son Prince William to speak out in defence of his Mother and the betrayal he saw by it's having been
written by someone she'd trusted! In his book the former private secretary reveals a woman with an
overpowering need for attention and sympathy, difficulty sustaining romantic relationships, and a sense of
paranoia and vindictiveness that ultimately forced him to resign.
Patrick Jephson, a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, started as Diana's bag carrier and ultimately
became her private secretary which is comparable to being her chief of staff. He arranged all of Princess
Diana's public engagements, travelled with her and was so trusted by the princess that she made him the
executor of her will. However once Diana died, he no longer felt bound by the confidentiality agreement he had
signed. "It was a very, very difficult decision and I agonized over it but eventually it was quite plain to me that it
was more important to write the book and take the risk."While his decision to betray her confidence caused a
furore in London and prompted international headlines, Jephson said "I don't think the truth can ever be
treason."When he began to work for the prince and princess, they each had separate bedrooms, he said,
adding though he was not qualified to talk about why their marriage failed, their "competition for the spotlight"
made things difficult. While the princess was "a tactile, expressive, visibly loving person," the prince "came from
a different tradition where emotions are not so readily expressed,"he said."She was a complex character under
a lot of strain and that sometimes produced need for affection and reassurance and attention that was
all-consuming, and that very few people were able to produce in the quantities required,"
After Charles' 1994 announcement that he had been unfaithful to his wife, her former employee Jephson said
Diana became "almost reckless in her disregard for herself. There was a desire for victimhood sometimes, or at
least a desire for sympathy. For example, she dispensed with her police bodyguards except at public
engagements. Everything that she had built, she seemed intent on dismantling," he said. "Had she kept her
bodyguards, she might not have died three years ago because they would not have let her get in the car with a
driver who had been drinking!"
(Date Posted:17/10/2005 17:46:55)
Diana's Last Call from Paris to Richard Kay : Journalist friend
The last person the late princess spoke to on the telephone from Paris was friend and journalist from the " Daily
Mail", Richard Kay :
"Six hours before the " Princess of Wales " and the man she loved were killed, she telephoned me from Paris.
Diana told me she had decided to radically change her life. She was going to complete her obligations to her
charities and to the anti-personnel land mines cause and then around November, would completely withdraw
from her formal public life. She would then she said be able to live as she'd always wanted to live, not as an
icon - how she hated to be called one - but as a private person.
It was a dream sequence I'd heard from her before but this time I knew she meant it! In my view as someone
close to the princess for almost five years, Dodi was a significant figure in that decision, she was in love with
him and perhaps more important, she believed that he was in love with her and that he believed in her. They
were to use an old cliche, blissfully happy. I cannot say that they would have married but in my view it was likely.
None of this would mean, she explained, an end to the good works that had become so closely identified with
her. Dodi's father Mohammed Al Fayed had agreed to help finance a charity for the victims of mines and with
Dodi's encouragement she also had sketched out a framework of a plan to open hospices for the dying all over
the world. And yet, in the midst of all this excitement, she suddenly said, " But I sometimes wonder what's the
point? Whatever I do, it's never good enough for some people:" There was a sigh and a silence.
At the other end of the line was not so much a princess as a little girl who had unburdened herself and was
waiting for words of comfort and understanding. Diana knew that whatever I said and whatever I might write it
would always be what I thought and sometimes, necessarily it would be critical. So she trusted me and revealed
herself constantly as a person completely unrecognisable to her most vocal critics, many of whom had never
even met her! They saw a scheming manipulator, a plotter shrieking for attention and demanding the world's
approval and understanding. I knew a girl of utter simplicity even naivety, frightened, uncertain and delightful
company when off duty. She asked me why the media was so anti-Dodi. " Is it because he's a millionaire? she
suggested hesitantly. You cannot be a manipulator and ask a serious question like that. Anyway I told her it had
nothing to do with his money and was more involved with his father's controversial image. Diana listened.
" Hmmm". Maybe for once she thought I was being diplomatically evasive. It seemed to me that she actually
believed that in a world filled with the disadvantaged, being rich might be something to be ashamed of....but this
was a princess who understood so little about that aspect of the real world she left behind in 1981 that the first
time she insisted on paying for two coffees in an anonymous cafe where we had met for a chat, away from
prying eyes, she tried to leave a ?.00 tip on top of a ?.00 bill.
Suddenly she brightened and we switched subjects to her boys, " William" and "Harry"...... "I'm coming home
tomorrow and the boys will be back from Scotland in the evening" she said, " I will have a few days with them
before they're back at school."....... It may sound thoroughly irrelevant to reiterate what was obvious to
everyone, her devotion to her sons but the significance lay in their uncomplicated love for her. Diana was a bit
troubled because "William" had called her to say that he was required by Buckingham Palace to perform - they
wanted him to carry out a photo call at Eton where he was due to begin his third year that following week. What
troubled Diana and indeed William was that the spotlight was being shone on William ,15 yrs old and not his
twelve year old brother Harry, she and her eldest son having talked to each other all about her holiday with
Dodi and theirs with their father and how excited Harry and he were to be seeing her again the next day and
Diana excited always missing her boys when parted from them. The princess had told me on a previous
occasion how hard it was for Harry being overshadowed as a second son by William and said she tried to
ensure as far as possible that everything was shared - a point endorsed by Prince Charles.
In her two sons -and latterly Dodi - she saw the only men in her life who had never let her down and never
wanted anything from her except her being herself! It was on a return flight from Nepal early in 1993 that the
princess and I had our first serious and lengthy conversation. We had a number of mutual friends and I had met
her on several previous occasions. We talked about her trip, her children, her family and mine. It was the start
of what became a friendship based on one crucial element -her complete understanding that I as a journalist
would never sacrifice my impartiality, especially where it concerned her acrimonious differences with the Prince
of Wales and certain members of the royal family. Competitors and some royal advisers frequently suggested
that I was in her pocket and there was that picture of me getting out of her car in Beauchamp Place,
Knightsbridge,snapped inevitably by a paparazzo.
Over the years I saw her at her happiest and in her darkest moments. There were moments of confusion and
despair when I believe Diana was driven by the incredible pressures made on her almost to the point of
destruction. I knew from the outset that her mines campaign would cause her as much distress as satisfaction,
as her simple notion of using her fame to save lives was thrown in her face by politicians who accused her of
embarrassing the government by meddling in things she didn't fully understand. ..... " What is there to
understand when people are having their legs blown off?", she asked me on many occasions. Diana talked of
being strengthened by events and anyone could see how the bride of twenty had grown into a mature woman
but I never found her strong, she was as unsure of herself at her death as when I first talked with her on that
aircraft and she wanted reassurance about the role she was creating for herself. In private she was a
completely different person from the manicured clotheshorse that the publics insatiable demand for icons had
Diana was natural and witty and did a wonderful impression of the "Queen." This was the person she would
have been she told me if she hadn't married into the world's most famous family. Just before last Christmas (
1996 ), I lunched with her at a friend's house in Hampstead. We ate vegetable curry with rice and drank still
water. Diana was intoxicating company, she never needed on that day or any carefree day with friends for that
matter, the fortification of alcohol. After lunch she helped clean the table and stacked the dishwasher, soaked
the pans and wiped the table with a damp cloth. The four of us went for a walk on Hampstead Heath, we were
all arm in arm plodding through mud after heavy rain in ordinary shoes, laughing at the state they were in.
People passing us could hardly believe they were seeing the most famous woman in the world entirely without
public make - up, wearing jeans and ankle boots and unstyled hair in it's usual shape .. flat! The simple soul
who was the real Diana was already anticipating Christmas which she hated because her sons inevitably spent
it with their father and the rest of the royal family, she would be alone as usual and told me she was going away
to Barbuda for a few days. It was the solitary glum moment in a sunny afternoon and she soon shrugged it off
and began to have fun.
On Saturday she didn't talk much about Dodi and I understood why, she was afraid that the moment too much
was read into the relationship, it would end, she always feared that the pressures of publicity would alienate any
man in her life. " Who would have me with all the baggage I come with? " she would say to me. Diana had told
me she regretted admitting in her famous " Panorama" interview having an affair with James Hewitt whom she
had also loved. So why had she said it? The answer was simplicity itself, Charles had admitted adultery on
television, so why shouldn't she? Whatever the psychiatrists said about her bulimia and it's roots in her
disrupted childhood, Diana believed its main cause was the poor quality of life with Charles ... "There were
three of us in this marriage so it was a bit crowded " as she told the " Panorama " audience. This made her
gloomy enough and yet it never pushed her to the extremes of misery she felt when commentators and the
public misunderstood what she was doing.
Most of all she hated being called manipulative and privately railed against those who used the word to
describe her. "They don't even know me!" she would say bitterly sitting cross - legged on the floor of her
Kensington Palace home and pouring tea from a china pot. It was this blindness as she saw it to what she really
was that led her to seriously consider living abroad where she hoped she'd be more understood. The idea first
emerged in her mind about three years ago ( 1994 ). Diana considered France because it was near enough to
stay in close touch with William and Harry, she thought of America because she naively ... it must be said - saw
it as a country so brimming with glittery people and celebrities, that she would be able to disappear. Diana also
thought of South Africa where her brother Charles had made his home and even Australia because it was the
furthest place she could think of from the seat of her unhappiness but this would have separated her from her
sons. Everyone said she would go anywhere, do anything to have her picture taken but in my view the truth was
A good day for Diana was one where her picture was not taken and paparazzi photographers did not pursue
her and climb all over her car! " Why are they so obsessed with me ? " she would ask me and Itried to explain
but never felt that she fully understood. Millions of women dreamed of changing places with her but the
princess I knew yearned for the ordinary, humdrum routine of their lives. " They don't know how lucky they are!"
" she would say. On Saturday just before she was joined by Dodi for that last fateful dinner at the "Ritz" in Paris,
She told me how fed-up she was being compared with Camilla," It's all so meaningless ", she said and left it at
that. Diana didn't say and never said whether she thought Charles and Camilla should marry. Then knowing
that as a journalist I often work at weekends, she said to me ...... " Unplug your ' phone and get a good nights
sleep." They were her final words to me, uttered with the same warmth and consideration with which she wrote
to my mother when my father died last December ( 1996 ) and then sent her tickets for the ballet I had told her
my mother loved. On the Saturday evening Diana was as happy as I'd ever known her, for the first time in
years, all was well with her world.
Richard Kay .... " Daily Mail "