It’s the book that still haunts the royal family to this day, and to mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, Andrew Morton has decided to re-release his groundbreaking body of work, Diana, Her True Story—In Her Own Words.
In a new interview with 60 Minutes, the British journalist has revealed the extreme lengths he and Diana went to in order to create the book, which is billed as the closest thing we’ll ever get to a Princess Diana biography.
In a covert operation, Morton teamed up with Diana’s trusted friend and doctor James Colthurst. Acting as a conduit between Diana and Andrew, James would meet the royal for lunch at Kensington Palace on a regular basis, all the while recording the mother-of-two as she willingly poured her heart out on everything from Charles’ affair with Camilla and her relationship with the Queen to her battle with bulimia.
“The tape visits were lunch. I’d cycle in. The recorder was in the briefcase—nothing surprising there. I’d go in, and we’d normally sit down and have a few questions [from Morton] before lunch. After lunch and during coffee, I’d clip the microphone on again and she’d finish them off,” Colthurst explained during his interview with 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes.
Adding: “She was enormously enthusiastic to have her story out there, she knew exactly what she was doing.”
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The group's mission was no easy feat, and with prying eyes around the palace, Diana and James had to have their wits about them.
“There were always people there curious to know what was going on. [I was asked], 'Is there a particular reason for lunch today?’ and I said ‘Yep, I'm hungry.’”
The pair also used a coded phone scrambler so they could safely record their conversations.
“I had one and Diana had the other one. She'd put it over the phone like this—that's encrypted between the two. It's really primitive technology for nowadays, but at the time, it worked very well," Colthurst said.
When the book was first released in 1992, Morton refused to name his source. But now years later, with the leaked tapes coming to light, we know that Diana was the mastermind behind the whole publication.
Incredibly, Andrew and Diana never met in person, but when the celebrity biographer first listened to her heartfelt confessions, he was blown away by what he was hearing and was on high alert.
“From the very moment that I heard that first tape...I was looking over my shoulder and being very watchful and very careful,” the writer told 60 Minutes. “It was the most incredible outburst of really innermost pain, rage, frustration, and anger. You were swept away with it. It was very compelling.”
This post was written by Bella Brennan. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.