Upcoming broadcast of Diana documentary a gross invasion of privacy, critics lash out

An undated handout photo by Kensington Palace shows the late Diana, Princess of Wales sitting and playing with Prince Harry on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
An undated handout photo by Kensington Palace shows the late Diana, Princess of Wales sitting and playing with Prince Harry on the Royal Yacht Britannia. PHOTO: EPA

LONDON - Should a documentary called Diana: In Her Own Words be screened in Britain on Sunday?

A decision by Channel 4 to air the tapes, recorded by her speech coach, has drawn a backlash.

The footage, reported British newspapers, was recorded in Kensington Palace by Mr Peter Settelen, who was hired by Diana from 1992 to 1993 to hone her public speaking skills.

Those who object to the screening are upset that her private thoughts - she talks about her unhappy marriage to the Prince of Wales, for example - are about to be revealed to the public.

This is an invasion of privacy and will also hurt the feelings of her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, the critics contend.

Royal biographer Penny Junor was cited in a BBC report as saying: "I think it is quite obscene that they are showing this - and immoral, frankly. Diana, when she made them... the marriage had just come to an end, they had broken up - she was in a very bad way."

 
 

But Mr Settelen's lawyer noted that others, including the police and Diana's family, had had access to the tapes so "what was private to Peter as much as to Diana was actually lost in the process".

Her brother, Earl Spencer, has reportedly asked Channel 4 to axe the broadcast but it countered that the tapes were a vital historical resource.

Diana died in a car crash in Paris on Aug 31 in 1997.