As the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death nears, the late royal’s personal thoughts will be heard in National Geographic's new documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, airing Monday, August 14. The audio recordings, many of which have never before been broadcast, feature the People’s Princess admitting to changing the monarchy for her firstborn son Prince William and her close relationship with her children, in addition to dealing with the global spotlight.
“I am altering [the monarchy] for him [William], but in a subtle way,” the mom-of-two confessed in the tapes recorded in 1991 for a book about her life. “People aren’t aware of it, but I am. Through William learning what I do and his father to a certain extent. He has got an insight of what’s coming his way. He’s not hidden upstairs with the governess.”
The beloved royal also opened up about showering her sons, William and Harry, with affection. She shared, “I hug my children to death. I get in bed with them at night and hug them. I always say ‘Who loves you most in the whole wide world?’ and they always say ‘Mommy.’ It’s always that. I always feed them. It’s so important.”
Though Diana was a doting mother, she revealed in the audio recordings that she took on too many roles at once. The Princess confessed, “One minute I was nobody and the next minute I was Princess of Wales, mother, media toy, member of this family, you name it. It was just too much for one person at that time.”
While Diana struggled with fame, she gave herself a pep talk to embrace her public role. "You've got to understand that you can't do what other 26 and 27-year-olds are doing. You've been chosen to this position so you must adapt to it and stop fighting it. And I knew I could do it, if I chose a different angle," she recalled. “Because I had a smile on my face everybody thought I was having a wonderful time. That’s what they chose to think and they were happier thinking that. It didn’t get easier. I just got used to what people required from [the] Princess of Wales.”
"I am performing a duty as the Princess of Wales as my time is allocated," Diana — who called her wedding day to Prince Charles the “worst day of [her] life" — noted in the documentary. "If life changes, it changes. ...I know when I turn my light off at night, I did my best. I always knew I'd never be the next Queen, put it that way."
Diana: In Her Own Words airs Monday, August 14 at 9 p.m. on National Geographic