Home / World News / Twenty years on, Diana remains the royal rebel. Let her speak | Suzanne Moore

Twenty years on, Diana remains the royal rebel. Let her speak | Suzanne Moore

Her openness always exposed royal protocols to be alarming and cruel. For this reason alone, this week’s Channel 4 documentary must run

• Suzanne Moore is a Guardian columnist

Twenty years after her death, visions of Diana are reappearing. These are not glimpses of a beatific saint. They are neither neat nor comfortable. Rather, they are full of indications that Diana was a difficult woman. One of the most difficult things about her was that she voiced her unhappiness sometimes in public. There was the famous Panorama interview, but there were also private tapes made with her voice coach, Peter Settelen, which are the basis of a Channel 4 documentary Diana: In Her Own Words.

Does it matter what she said all those years ago? Apparently it does, because there are those who feel these tapes were a form of therapy and should not be in the public domain. Diana’s friend Rosa Monckton expressed this view. Her brother, Earl Spencer, demanded that the programme be dropped as it would upset the princes. The princes themselves have said nothing, but have spoken movingly of what a great mother she was in the ITV documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. She was a naughty parent full of fun who wanted them to know life beyond the palace walls. Her ability to open up about private distress and relate to “civilians” is carried on through them. Harry’s recent frank discussion of mental health has been admirable. So, her good works continue.

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