All The Times Princess Diana Spoke Out About The Royal Institution

The world is still talking about the shocking revelations made by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex discussed ditching their senior roles. And in true Princess Di fashion, the couple fearlessly spoke out about the institution, including Markle’s experience with suicidal thoughts and racism within the Firm. However, the most chilling moment had to be when Prince Harry said he feared history repeating itself.

Related: Harry & Meghan Subtly Honor Princess Diana In Their Pregnancy Announcement

As royal fanatics may know, the Princess of Wales had a complicated relationship with the royal household. Throughout her palace life, she devoted time to her philanthropic and charity works. Regardless, her relationship with fellow royals slowly began to crumble, and her marriage to Prince Charles continued to have problems after 15 years together. After her divorce from the heir apparent, Diana eventually spoke out against the royal lifestyle in an exclusive interview with Martin Bashir.

Here’s everything Princess Diana said about the royal family (below):


Royal Doubts

The union of Diana and Charles in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was considered “the wedding of the century.” However, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, as she told a reporter she experienced a lot of doubt before tying the knot.

“The day I walked down the aisle at St. Paul’s Cathedral, I felt that my personality was taken away from me, and I was taken over by the royal machine.”

Talk about cold feet!

Felt Like A Product

In the 1995 BBC interview with Bashir, the Sandringham native opened up about the fascination surrounding her celebrity and being the most photographed woman in the world. She said:

“It took a long time to understand why people were so interested in me. I assumed it was because my husband had done a lot of wonderful work leading up to our marriage and our relationship.”

Eventually, Diana realized it wasn’t just her husband. The philanthropist saw how she held monetary value to the media as a member of the royal family.

“But then … during the years you see yourself as a good product that sits on a shelf and sells well, and people make a lot of money out of you.”

If she was on the cover, it basically sold out no matter what.

Never Would Become Queen

Even though Diana was a favorite with people worldwide, she still believed she would never become queen. In the interview with Bashir, she said:

“I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts, but I don’t see myself being the queen of this country. I don’t think many people will want me to be queen.”

But there’s more…

“Actually, when I say many people, I mean the establishment that I married into because they have decided that I’m a non-starter.”

Did anyone else notice how she called the royals an establishment and not a family? Talk about laying it all out there! It’s also SO similar to how Meghan and Harry referred to the household as the “Firm” and/or “institution.”

In case you didn’t know, the “Firm” is an impersonal nickname for key members of the royal family who are tasked with making sure the brand continues to thrive. This also means keeping their names untarnished by bad press and maintaining their massive finances. So Diana and Meghan speaking out pretty much potentially hurt their business! Yikes.

Lonely Battles With Depression

In her conversation, Diana also opened up about her depression after giving birth to her first son, Prince William, and seeking help from the institution. The 34-year-old even revealed how she turned to self-harm at one point.

“When no one listens to you, or you feel no one’s listening to you, all sorts of things start to happen. For instance, you have so much pain inside yourself that you try and hurt yourself on the outside because you want help, but it’s the wrong help you’re asking for. People see it as crying wolf or attention-seeking.”

No doubt the Duchess of Sussex can relate to how her mother-in-law must have felt. Speaking with Winfrey, Meghan said royal life brought her to thoughts of suicide, and she also struggled to get aid.

“I said I needed to go somewhere to get help. So that I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

She eventually turned to “one of Diana’s best friends, because it’s like who else could understand what it’s actually like on the inside?” Wow, the similarities are just wild!

 Lack Of Support From The Fam

In 1992, Andrew Morton published his biography on the Princess of Wales, called Diana: Her True Story, which contained personal information from Diana, herself, who recorded and passed along confessional tapes to the author. She told the British journalist when she was newly engaged:

“I cried because I had no support from Charles and no support from the Palace press office. They just said, ‘You’re on your own,’ so I thought, ‘Fine.’”

As far as what was expected of her as the role of the princess, Diana later told Bashir:

“I was not daunted by the responsibilities that that role creates. It was a challenge, it is a challenge…The most daunting aspect was the media attention, because my husband and I, we were told when we got engaged that the media would go quietly, and it didn’t; and then when we were married they said it would go quietly and it didn’t; and then it started to focus very much on me, and I seemed to be on the front of a newspaper every single day, which is an isolating experience, and the higher the media put you, place you, is the bigger the drop.”

Even more so, the momma-of-two felt like she had to maneuver through the spotlight on her own.

“But then here was a situation which hadn’t ever happened before in history, in the sense that the media were everywhere, and here was a fairy story that everybody wanted to work. And so it was, it was isolating, but it was also a situation where you couldn’t indulge in feeling sorry for yourself: you had to either sink or swim. And you had to learn that very fast.”

Led From The Heart Instead

Diana knew that being outspoken would cause some issues with everyone, but she truly desired to bring joy to others through her charitable work. She told Bashir:

“I do things differently because I don’t go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head. Albeit that’s got me into trouble in my work, I understand that. But someone’s got to go out there and love people and show it.”

Wanted To Help Others

 Throughout her life, Diana had contributed to several charities like the National AIDS Trust and Leprosy Mission in the hopes to help those less fortunate.

“Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a good and essential part of my life, a kind of destiny.”

Her work eventually led to the creation of the Diana Award in 1999, honoring young people who aim to improve the lives of other people. Ultimately, the patroness found more fulfillment in her philanthropic duties than in her marriage to Charles. Not a good sign…

“You know, people think that at the end of the day a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me.”

You could say that again!

Unfortunately, Diana did announce in 1993 that she needed to move away from the public eye and duties following her separation from her estranged hubby. Granted, this was only relatively speaking as the press couldn’t stay away from her.

“The pressure was intolerable then, and my job, my work was being affected. I wanted to give 110 percent to my work, and I could only give 50. I was constantly tired, exhausted because the pressure was just, it was so cruel.”

Struggled With Bulimia

There long had been speculations in the press that Diana had an eating disorder. In Morton’s biography, it contained details about the star’s rumored battle with bulimia from Diana. She explained:

“The bulimia started the week after we got engaged and would take nearly a decade to overcome. My husband put his hand on my waistline and said: ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ and that triggered off something in me — and the Camilla thing.”

Eventually, she disclosed her struggle with the condition in her tell-all interview, confessing:

“I had bulimia for a number of years. And that’s like a secret disease. You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don’t think you’re worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day — some do it more — and it gives you a feeling of comfort. Then you’re disgusted at the bloatedness of your stomach, and then you bring it all up again. And it’s a repetitive pattern which is very destructive to yourself.”

The beloved royal further revealed that her eating disorder was a “symptom of what was going on in marriage.” And when asked if she sought help from other family members, Diana replied:

“No. You have to know that, when you have bulimia, you’re very ashamed of yourself and you hate yourself, so — and people think you’re wasting food — so you don’t discuss it with people.”

However, the Brit said everyone in the palace had been aware of her bulimia while the public had been kept in the dark for a long time.

“Everyone in the family knew about the bulimia, and everyone blamed the bulimia for the failure of the marriage.”

Felt Pressure To Always Be On

Even more so,  she still felt pressure from the family to engage in public outings while dealing with the disorder. She told Bashir:

“I felt compelled to perform. Well, when I say perform, I was compelled to go out and do my engagements and not let people down and support them and love them. And, in a way, by being out in public they supported me, although they weren’t aware just how much healing they were giving me, and it carried me through.”


Knew About Charles’ Affair

When Bashir asked about why her marriage to Charles fell apart, Diana made it clear that she knew of other parties in their relationship (AKA Camilla Parker Bowles).

“Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

Yeesh! In case you didn’t know, Diana and Charles separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. He and Camilla later got hitched in a civil ceremony on April 9, 20o5 at Windsor Castle — which happens to also be the date of Prince Philip‘s passing.

Never Badmouthed The Queen


Despite the family issues, Diana never had something bad to say about her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. Morton wrote in the foreword of his book’s 25th-anniversary edition:

“She made a number of alterations, of fact and emphasis, but only one of any significance a change which gives an insight into her respect for the Queen.”

Meghan, herself, detailed to Oprah how the queen had welcomed her into the family with open arms. She even made an effort to refute claims that it was the matriarch who had a problematic conversation with Harry about Archie’s skin tone.

Not To Blame For Monarchy’s “End”

At one point in the 1995 interview, Bashir asked Diana:

“Do you feel that you’re at all to blame for the fact that survival of the monarchy is now a question that people are asking?”

To which, she replied:

“No, I don’t feel blame. I mean, once or twice I’ve heard people say to me that, you know, ‘Diana’s out to destroy the monarchy,’ which has bewildered me, because why would I want to destroy something that is my children’s future? I will fight for my children on any level in order for them to be happy and have peace of mind and carry out their duties.”

Obviously, the monarchy did not end after Diana’s revealing conversation. Their reputation, though, may have taken a slight hit.

Wanted To Live For Herself

And when speaking to Morton on life after her failed marriage, Diana stated:

“From now on, I am going to own myself and be true to myself. I no longer want to love someone else’s idea of what and who I should be. I am going to be me.”

To that we say, right on! Sadly though, we all know what happened in the end…

What shocked you the most about what Diana has said, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments (below)!

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