Diana turned to Queen over Charles's affair with Camilla, controversial tapes reveal

Princess Diana

Paul Burrell has blasted Channel 4's decision to broadcast Princess Diana's private recordings, calling it "wrong" and like "raiding her diary".

Channel 4 said on Monday (Tuesday NZ Time) the video tapes, made in the early 1990s, are an "important historical source".

Extracts from the recordings, during which Diana opens her heart about her failed marriage to Charles, his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and her love for her bodyguard, were broadcast in America in 2004.

Friends of the Royal family are said to be aghast that the tapes will be aired, barely a week after Princes William and Harry paid public tribute to their mother with a film of their own.

It is almost 20 years since Diana, princess of Wales, died in a vehicle crash in Paris but her hold over popular imagination is as fresh as ever: a documentary to be shown on August 6 with previously unseen footage of her has sparked a row over privacy.

The spokeswoman added, "This unique portrait of Diana gives her a voice and places it front and centre at a time when the nation will be reflecting on her life and death".

In a documentary to be screened in the United Kingdom for the first time Princess Diana describes how Prince Charles was all over her "like a bad rash" at the start of their courtship.

On her attempt to confide in the Queen: "I went to the top lady and said: "I don't know what I should do".

"To expose a child, still raw with the most profound of all imaginable losses, to that form of pubic glare, simply to protect his deadbeat dad, you might say, from a deserved public disapproval speaks to me of something I can't quite articulate".

Furthermore, the tapes also contains details of how she really felt towards Prince Charles, from being unimpressed by him at first, and how they only met 13 times before they got married.

Settelen's lawyer Marcus Rutherford said his client had been reluctant to show the tapes.

"This is just another way of exploiting Diana", she has said.

Both former royal employees credit Diana with "changing the face of the British monarchy", breaking its "theatre" to engage with hard-hitting issues of public life and, most importantly, passing that legacy onto her sons.

Diana said that Charles used to call her every day for a week and then not used to talk to her for three weeks.

Charles and Diana tied the knot in 1981, separated in 1992 and announced their divorce in 1996.

"Everybody knew about the bulimia in the family".

Diana's close friend, Rosa Monckton has also written to Channel 4 bosses also asking them not to drop the doco. "It doesn't matter that it was 20-odd years ago", she told the Mail on Sunday.

Princess Diana struggled for years against bulimia and was "fading physically" after learning her husband, the future king of England, was cheating, long-time pals of the late royal said.

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