New edition of Diana book causes uproar
Author says she helped with sensational 1992 text
October 3, 1997
Web posted at: 8:18 p.m. EDT (0018 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- Five weeks after Princess Diana's tragic death, Britain is in an uproar over the re-release of the 1992 book that exposed secrets of her troubled royal marriage to Prince Charles.
In the new edition of "Diana, Her True Story," author Andrew Morton reveals what has been widely suspected since the book was first published -- that Diana herself was the direct source for many of the revelations in the book.
And while the re-release, which went on sale Friday, contains few new details about the royal marriage, Morton does include direct quotes from tapes that Diana made to help him with the book. He also sold the transcripts of those tapes to People magazine in the United States for a reported 100,000 pounds ($161,000).
The book is now titled, "Diana: Her True Story -- In Her Own Words."
"Her legacy and testament are the words in her book. I am very proud she chose me to tell her story," Morton said. "There is no point in pretending any more."
Morton being denounced
But Morton, a former tabloid reporter, is being widely denounced, accused of trying to profit from Diana's death and of hurting her children.
"Shameful," thundered the headline in the Mirror. "Diana, The Final Insult," said another tabloid, the Express. Buckingham Palace called it "particularly sad coming as it does soon after the princess's death."
"This man is using the princess's memory as a money-making machine. Has he thought of the effect this would have on her young sons?" asked Parliament member Alice Mahon.
Diana's family reportedly sought legal advice to prevent the book from going on sale but failed to stop it. Though the official publication date is Monday, some bookstores began selling Morton's tome on Friday.
Diana's brother, the Earl Spencer, said in a statement Friday that he was still consulting lawyers.
But Morton said there were no legal grounds to stop publication because he held the copyright to the tapes and because most of the material has already been published. Her accused the tabloids of hypocrisy and called his book "probably the scoop of the century."
"This book was done with her full cooperation. There is nothing underhanded about it," Morton said.
As for her sons, Morton said, "If they were really to want to understand their mother, they would want to read what she had to say."
Morton says Diana provided tapes
Morton did not actually meet and interview the princess during the writing of the book. But she prepared tapes, discussing her troubled life, which were given to him by intermediaries.
When the book was first published -- causing a sensation because of its detailed revelations about a fairy-tale marriage gone seriously awry -- Morton described his sources for inside information as friends of the princess. He did not then reveal that she had directly cooperated with him.
Morton said at the time, Diana "was desperate for the book to come out" because she feared that unless she got her side of the story out to the public, the royal family might try to take away her children on the grounds of mental instability. Morton said she even reviewed and made comments on the manuscript.
Diana had doubts about wedding
In the transcripts, the princess is quoted as saying she had doubts about marrying Prince Charles before their nuptials in 1981 because of his love for Camilla Parker Bowles.
"So I had lunch with my sisters and said, 'I can't marry him, I can't do this, this is absolutely unbelievable.' They were wonderful, and they said, 'Well, bad luck Duch (her childhood nickname), your face is on the tea towels, so you're too late to chicken out.' So we made light of it," Diana is quoted as saying.
She also blamed her husband for triggering her bulimia during their engagement when he put her hand on her waist and said 'Oh, a bit chubby here, aren't we."
"That triggered off something in me," Diana is quoted as saying.
Diana is also quoted as telling Morton that Prince Charles was disappointed because their second son, Prince Harry, wasn't a girl and because he had red hair. She also said that the birth of their first son, Prince William, was planned around Charles' polo schedule.
"When we had William, we had to find a date in the diary that suited Charles and his polo. William had to be induced because I couldn't handle the press pressure any longer," Diana is quoted as saying.
Correspondent Richard Blystone and Reuters contributed to this report.