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Princess Diana Facts Most People Don’t Know

More than two decades after her untimely death, we’re still learning about the personal life of the People’s Princess.

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Vintage tape recorderPhoto: Shutterstock

Princess Diana recorded her thoughts on tape

Much of what we know about Princess Diana’s personal life is thanks to audiotapes she recorded herself. Once she recognized her marriage to Prince Charles was falling apart, she documented her side of the story on a tape recorder and gave the tapes to her close friend, Dr. James Colthurst. He, in turn, gave them to journalist Andrew Morton so her words could get out to the public. From those tapes, Morton published the biography DIANA: Her True Story—In Her Own Words in 1992. No one knew Diana had a hand in the book’s production until after her death.

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Prince CharlesPhoto: Frederic Legrand - COMEO/Shutterstock

Her sister dated Prince Charles

There are definitely ways to improve your relationship with your adult sibling, but we’re not sure if sharing a boyfriend is one of them. Before Diana and Charles started going steady, he dated her sister, Sarah. She introduced the two when Diana was just 16 and takes credit for their falling in love, calling herself Cupid.

Here’s why British citizens don’t want Prince Charles to become king.

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Queen Elizabeth IIPhoto: Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock

Her grandmother worked for the Queen

As prominent a public figure as Queen Elizabeth is, there’s still a lot that the public doesn’t know about her. One of those more intriguing bits of trivia is that the Queen Mother was close friends with Princess Diana’s grandmother, Ruth Fermoy. She was one of Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting and later held the title Woman of the Bedchamber, which meant that she was the Queen’s right-hand woman and assisted with important social engagements.

Here are 50 more fascinating facts about the British royal family.

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Princess Diana and Prince CharlesPhoto: Reginald Davis/Rex/Shutterstock

She and her husband were related

The royal family tree can get pretty complicated, but don’t worry, there’s nothing incestuous about this marriage. Princess Di and Prince Charles were distantly related. Specifically, they were 16th cousins once removed, through King Henry VII.

Find out the real reason Princess Diana gave that infamous interview to Martin Bashir.

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding dayPhoto: Ted Blackbrow/Daily Mail/Rex/Shutterstock

Her wedding day was “the worst day of her life”

In her tape recordings, Princess Diana discussed her married life in great detail, even calling her wedding day “the worst day of her life.” Specifically, she talked at length about her lack of a sex life, saying that she and her husband had sex but it was “very odd.” By the time she made the recordings, their sex life had been going downhill for seven years. She went on to say, “There was no requirement for (sex) from his case. Sort of once every three weeks…and I kept thinking it followed a pattern. He used to see his lady (Camilla) once every three weeks before we got married.”

Here’s what you didn’t know about Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s honeymoon.

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Wedding of Diana and CharlesPhoto: Rex/Shutterstock

She messed up her wedding vows

In hindsight, Princess Diana messing up her wedding vows may seem like a sign her marriage was bound to fail, but in reality, she just caught a case of wedding day jitters. During the vows, she called her husband “Philip Charles” instead of “Charles Philip,” mixing up his first and middle names.

Read the fascinating story of Princess Diana’s backup wedding dress.

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Chef preparing food in kitchenPhoto: Shutterstock

She ate in the kitchen

It was against royal family etiquette to eat in the kitchen with staffers and not in a dining room, but Princess Diana was no stranger to breaking protocol. Her personal chef, Darren McGrady, said she would just walk into the kitchen and eat at a countertop while he tidied up, which was unheard of coming from any royal. She would even make coffee for the two of them.

Check out more fascinating facts about Princess Diana.

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Princess Diana secretsPhoto: James Gray/Daily Mail/Rex/Shutterstock

She attempted suicide

One of the most troubling revelations from Princess Diana’s audiotapes was that she struggled with depression and even attempted to take her own life. She said in her recordings, “I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades.” She also talked about having bulimia and that the eating disorder started after Prince Charles put his hand on her waist and said, “A bit chubby here, aren’t we?”

Find out how Princess Diana confronted Camilla about the affair.

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Paparazzi outside of car windowPhoto: Shutterstock

She was harassed by the paparazzi

In recent years, Prince William and Prince Harry have opened up about their memories of their mother. Some are uplifting, like how she involved them in her charitable work. But their recollections of Diana dealing with the paparazzi are disturbing. As Prince William says in the ITV and HBO documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy: “If you are the Princess of Wales and you’re a mother, I don’t believe being chased by 30 guys on motorbikes who block your path, who spit at you to get a reaction from you and make a woman cry in public to get a photograph, is appropriate. Harry and I, we had to live through that.”

Check out these rarely-seen photos of Princess Diana and Prince William.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest