A renowned royal biographer has revealed how Princess Diana was happy in her "last" interview but said described her divorce from Prince Charles as "hell".
Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, recalled being invited to Kensington Palace for what the princess described as "a girlie chat"
It happened 24 years ago, in the summer of 1997 when the royal biographer walked through the doors of the palace.
Ms Seward said the first thing Diana wanted to explain to her were the concerns she had once harboured for her safety.
"The divorce was hell, I was in pieces. I didn’t feel safe anywhere," Diana reportedly told her.
The Sun reported how at the time she had been "consumed with paranoia".
"I know it sounds silly now but I really did worry about the brakes on my car," she said, before her voice trailed off into a giggle.
Diana even told Ms Seward she thought Prince Charles "wanted her out of the way" and had penned a note saying as much.
But a year later she knew all her fears sounded silly and she was full of life and vivacious, positive, and at ease. By nature, she was an incredibly insecure person.
She had a reputed £17 million from her divorce and was not lonely anymore.
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The princess had started to enjoy herself and was not "harangued" to the same extent by Buckingham Palace and had stopped worrying about the brakes on her car.
Diana was still jealous of Tiggy Legge-Bourke, nanny to William and Harry, as they sometimes preferred Tiggy’s presence to hers because she attracted less attention.
On Eton Founders Day that year, William had asked Tiggy to join him for the traditional picnic instead of Diana. This upset her, but William could not understand why his mother was crying about it.
"I hardly see the boys, I couldn’t help myself," she explained to Ms Seward.
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Prince William hated the publicity he attracted, but she explained to him he would have to learn to live with it and learn to adjust when he was older.
She had fewer worries about Harry at the time and told Ms Seward: "He takes everything in his stride.
"He is always teasing William – 'If you don’t want to be King, it doesn’t matter, I will be'."
Diana said she would never do anything to hurt the monarchy.
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"I have no wish to upset what is essentially part of William’s inheritance, whether he likes it or not," she confirmed.
Despite their divorce, she talked with affection about the man who had, until the previous summer, been her husband.
She said: "Charles absolutely loved me, it is very hurtful to our children when people say we didn’t love each other."
The royal writer believed her, as she had seen some of the letters they once exchanged
But she knew Diana was telling her something she needed repeating.
Diana said: "It was the people around us.
"They didn’t give us a chance. Charles is surrounded by the wrong people giving the wrong advice and he’s very unfulfilled and he really doesn’t do enough."
She added: "If he becomes King, he will be restricted and will not be able to do all the things he likes. I worry about him."
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Ms Seward left the palace after the interview and made plans to meet again and discuss her work in detail.
She added: "Of course, it never happened as exactly seven weeks later she was tragically killed in a Paris underpass.
"Like everyone else, I was shocked when the phone rang at 2am that morning.
"But I had work to do and that helped. How strange, I thought, I was probably the last journalist to ever 'interview' her. "
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