A recap of old and new books about the Princess of Wales.August 31 marked 20 years since that moment past midnight when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, and yet the interest in her life, the questions about her death, and the narratives surrounding her marriage persist. There can be no better evidence of that than the books that continue to be published on some aspect or the other of Diana’s life and death. They most predictably begin in a manner that American journalist Christopher Anderson does in his recent book, The Day Diana Died: “Where were you when Diana died?”This summer has seen at least six new biographies hitting bookstores, including her bodyguard Ken Wharfe’s Guarding Diana: Protecting the Princess Around the World. Her private secretary P.D. Jephson, who published Shadows of a Princess: Diana, Princess of Wales 1987-1996, has been accused of ‘betrayal’ by the royal family. But his book just added to a long list of books that have been written by those who were close to Diana because of their work, including the bodyguard who survived the car crash that killed the Princess of Wales and Dodi al-Fayed in Paris, Trevor Rees-Jones, who recounted the last days in The Bodyguard’s Story: Diana, the Crash and the Sole Survivor. Another Kensington Palace staffer who was accused of betrayal was butler Paul Burrell, who published In the Royal Manner in 1999, A Royal Duty in 2003,and The Way We Were in 2006.However, regardless of the sense that those who were in Diana’s proximity were most guilty of exposing her life, it is the book that Diana herself created, through interviews, and answers conveyed by tape to journalist Andrew Morton, that remains the most revealing, intimate, and read account of her royal life. Diana: Her True Story first hit the stands in 1993 and shattered the notion that the royal marriage that had captured the world just a decade before could be restored. It was followed by another book that removed all doubt that Diana lived in a “crowded marriage”: Jonathan Dimbleby’s biography, Prince of Wales. Both books are seeing a new lease of life this year, as are biographies of Camilla Parker Bowles, including the superb, yet over-sympathetic, The Duchess: The Untold Story by Penny Junor and Queen Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall by Arthur Miller.Clearly, even today, despite the fact that Diana would have been a grandmother twice over, and the newest generation of royals is every bit as glamorous as she was, it is evident that it is the past that still draws the most interest in the lives of the British royalty today.
Tagsnew books Princess of Wales Princess Diana Paris interest narratives surrounding published aspect Diana’s life