(3 Aug 2017) INSIGHTS INTO PRINCESS DIANA'S LIFE BEHIND CLOSED PALACE DOORS FROM HER FORMER BODYGUARD KEN WHARFE
Former royal bodyguard Ken Wharfe says his time working for the late Princess Diana was an enjoyable, if sometimes challenging role.
Wharfe worked for the Princess between 1986 and 1994.
Speaking fondly of the princess, he recalls how she would sometimes slip away from his protection.
"It was a challenge, yeah, we had the slip occasionally, it wasn't deliberate, maybe sometimes it was, maybe in a fit of pique, maybe she did get fed up with me or maybe had a point to make, but that's part and parcel of the job which I enjoyed," he says.
"I was very lucky to travel with her for eight years around the world in some extraordinary places, but that's one thing. What admired me more about Diana wasn't that, was the way that she seriously attracted herself to those that really wanted her to do something and she did come back to the office and did make something work and was genuinely interested, this wasn't a job of work just to tick the box, oh I've been to that charity, she made things work, made people feel special."
Wharfe is a contributor to documentary, "Diana: In Her Own Words," providing commentary on recordings of the late Princess made by voice coach Peter Settelen at Diana's Kensington Palace residence in 1992 and 1993, just after Diana and Charles separated.
The tapes were made to help Diana practice public speaking as she struck out on her own, and feature the late princess candidly discussing her personal life, commenting on their sex life, her fury at her husband's mistress and her love for another man.
Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, in 1981 and the couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, the year before Diana died in a car crash in Paris, aged 36.
Charles married his longtime paramour Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.
In the recordings, Diana also describes confronting her husband and Parker Bowles at a party - a moment Wharfe says marked "the real beginning of the end" of the royal marriage.
"She realized there was no chance of reconciliation," he said. "There was only one direction, and that was divorce."
"This was the occasion of Camilla's sister's birthday and she and the Prince of Wales went to this party, which to me was slightly surprising, because Diana must have known this was going to be a difficult one, knowing that Camilla would be there, but that wasn't for me to say, I did my bit," he recalls.
"We eventually confronted Charles and Camilla, who were sat on a sofa talking somewhere else in the house. Diana, remarkably calm, said to Camilla, 'Look, don't treat me like an idiot, I know what's going on' and at that point, Camilla said something really strange, which I said in the film, never really understood it, she said 'It's ok for you, you've got two wonderful boys'. Now I knew at this particular point, any chance of any reconciliation here was seriously out of the question and as I say in the film, this was then the real beginning of the end."
Wharfe - who has a new book coming out on his time with the princess - says the documentary is a valuable reminder of Diana's role in "the reshaping of the monarchy."
Her death unleashed a public outpouring of grief in Britain and around the world. The royal family, whose stoic reserve suddenly seemed out of touch, has since softened its stiff upper lip.
William and Harry both campaign for more open discussion of mental health, and have spoken of their own struggles after their mother's death.
"They are picking up exactly where their mother left off," Wharfe said
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