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Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words PDF, ePub eBook

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Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words PDF, ePub eBook In a shocking, headline-making story (coming as an NBC TV movie), Andrew Morton goes beyond speculation to present the facts about Princess Diana and her royal marriage--written with the full cooperation and support of Diana's family and friends, who speak freely in a sizzling, insider's tell-all. "Startlingly candid".--People. Includes never-before-seen photographs.

30 review for Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    My heart, it bleeds... This is easily the best biography I've ever read. And it's been a long time coming. Ever since I heard of this I've wanted to read it. It just so happens that I was recently in St John's and stopped to browse a local used bookshop, inside which I found a pristine copy of the book. It is also fitting that I read it during the summer that is the 20th anniversary of her death. There is so much about this woman that I did not know. Or, if I knew it, I did My heart, it bleeds... This is easily the best biography I've ever read. And it's been a long time coming. Ever since I heard of this I've wanted to read it. It just so happens that I was recently in St John's and stopped to browse a local used bookshop, inside which I found a pristine copy of the book. It is also fitting that I read it during the summer that is the 20th anniversary of her death. There is so much about this woman that I did not know. Or, if I knew it, I didn't know the extent to which it affected her life. Her relationship with Charles. I learned so much about how it began, how it evolved, and how it ended. I was horrified to hear just how involved Camilla Parker-Bowles was from the very beginning. I always thought Parker-Bowles was introduced into the love triangle much later. I was mistaken. I felt the sadness, frustration, anger, resentment, and all other feelings that Diana felt as she watched her husband carry on an affair with Parker-Bowles during their marriage. There were dozens of meetings behind closed doors, romantic letters exchanged, phone calls had, all to knowledge of the tortured Lady Diana who had no other option but to sit idly by and allow this to go on. I, myself, am clinically diagnosed with anxiety. So, when I read about her eating disorder, I couldn't help but empathise with her, because I know what it's like to be at the complete mercy of your own brain. But, the book is written well enough that you don't need to personally have been affected by a mental disorder to understand that it is painful and tortuous. And it certainly doesn't help when you're being dragged through a troubled marriage in front of billions of watchful eyes. We all have our down days. Now, amplify it to the size of the entire planet; Diana's survival shows the triumph of an incredible woman and human. I think it's the love she shared, and received, from complete strangers that saved her. And a little love here and there might just be what saves us all. Andrew Morton brilliantly captured the mood of Diana's tenure as Princess of Wales. I understood just how lonely and isolating it was for Diana, and I found myself just wanting to jump into the pages, back in time, to grab her hand and take her with me somewhere safe. Imagine having your every move followed, literally photographed, every second of every day of your life. I am not sure there is a person alive today who understands what she went through (perhaps Monica Lewinsky). Her rise to infamy played out during a time when technology was just beginning to flourish into a mass media-instant communication frenzy. In this story I felt the real Diana, the woman who just wanted to be loved, and yet had so much love to give. She famously said, "Someone's got to go out there and love those people and show it." For me this captures the essence of this incredible figure in our history. And isn't it true, that often the people who are most loving and happy on the outside, are often the most unhappy inside. It's the mark of a true heroine to have been able to get on with each day spreading the love she felt the world deserved, regardless of her own internal conflicts. It takes courage to put on a smile when every muscle in your body is telling you to frown. Diana brought world attention to major causes, namely HIV/Aids awareness and abolishing landmines globally. She had an uncanny gift with comforting the ill and dying. Yet, as it so often happens today with successful women, Diana's accomplishments were often overshadowed by trivial and meaningless things such as what she was wearing, or something Charles did or said, no matter how minor. Her work was important. Her simply being present with a person with Aids, or a with a person who lost their limbs to a landmine, woke up the masses to very real and serious issues. It's why I believe famous figures should more often yield their power for good. Whether we like it or not, people revere the famous, and they stand up and pay attention when a famous person draws eyes to an issue. What I found peculiar and awesome was that Diana seemed sometimes to have premonitions of events which would then take place. In a few instances, people even thought she was psychic. Perhaps the most significant and heartbreaking premonition is when she felt quite strongly that the Establishment was trying to kill her (more specifically, by means of causing a vehicle accident, which gives me shivers). Not that I'm on one side or the other on the conspiracy of her death (I remain agnostic on this matter still), but coming from a woman who accurately predicted other things in her life - well, it makes you wonder... I've shelved this on my memoir shelf, because most of the material comes from Diana's very lips, and it's the closest thing we will ever have to a memoir for her. In this commemorative edition, Morton has included the real transcripts from some of the interview tapes on which she answered his questions during the writing of the biography. I was glued to the pages. And now for my chief complaint, which is minor, but something that irritated me to no end. The dreaded MISSING oxford comma! Grrrrr! It should be illegal to publish a book without first making sure all oxford commas are in place. I wrap up this review with a direct quote from the book. Andrew Morton wrote: As historians reflect on her renown and her legacy, they will come to judge Diana, Princess of Wales as one of the most influential figures of this, or any other, age. For as long as there are poets, playwrights and men with hearts to break, tales will be told of the princess who died across the water and returned home to be crowned a queen, the queen of all our hearts. Diana, Princess of Wales. She wrote poetry in our souls. And made us wonder.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ammar

    If I read this book when it came out it would have been a solid 5 stars. It would be that for being the first in its kind; the way it was done by sneaking the questions and answers out of Kensington Palace via a recorder and some cassette tapes and a sheet of questions. This book by Andrew Morton did pave the way to other books that came after it. It gave a voice to those who couldn't because of tradition or rules. This book read 20 years after the death of Diana, while the content of this book If I read this book when it came out it would have been a solid 5 stars. It would be that for being the first in its kind; the way it was done by sneaking the questions and answers out of Kensington Palace via a recorder and some cassette tapes and a sheet of questions. This book by Andrew Morton did pave the way to other books that came after it. It gave a voice to those who couldn't because of tradition or rules. This book read 20 years after the death of Diana, while the content of this book was told in many documentaries that have been produced over the last 25 years. The book tells the story of Diana from her youth till her almost the early 1990s. From her mum leaving the family, the arrival of the stepmother, Diana meeting Charles, Diana living in London. Diana being hounded by the press. Diana knowing about Camilla. The marriage. The cracks. The suicide attempts. The bulimia. The pregnancies.... etc

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I've always been interested in Princess Diana but at the height of her publicity, I was still too young to have any other impression of her than those of fairy tales, a handsome prince and his princess. Then she died and the hype and mystery surrounding her death also kept me captivated for a while. I didn't think to read anything about her until a friend mentioned recently that he wanted to (thanks Mostafa). I figured now, as an adult, was a good time to read her story, understand the facts, an I've always been interested in Princess Diana but at the height of her publicity, I was still too young to have any other impression of her than those of fairy tales, a handsome prince and his princess. Then she died and the hype and mystery surrounding her death also kept me captivated for a while. I didn't think to read anything about her until a friend mentioned recently that he wanted to (thanks Mostafa). I figured now, as an adult, was a good time to read her story, understand the facts, and have a grownup perspective of what was really going on in the Princess's life. I guess this review is going to be a mix of what I thought about Diana based on the book more than what I thought of the book itself. And it's going to contain spoilers because I don't know how to stress my emotional outrage while leaving them out. Is there such a thing as spoilers in an auto/biography, anyway? Very interesting in the beginning-- the actual transcript/interviews between Morton and Diana. It might have been the best part of the book because after that, things became redundant. "Dubbed as the longest divorce petition of all time." That gave me a chuckle. Firstly, I feel as if he exaggerated how horrible her childhood was to set the foundation for her immature/confused character later in the book. As if he was blaming her upbringing for her erratic actions later in life. Morton stated that Diana's fear was to be blamed for something and that's what I felt Morton was doing throughout the book: deflecting the blame from Diana. I still don't understand what was so bad about her childhood? That her parents divorced? That she was supposed to be born a boy? She was raised as an aristocrat and lived a privileged life. She had ponies and skiing holidays abroad. Her family mingled with royalty. Even her brother remembered her as a happy go lucky child at her funeral. Why the emphasis on what a sad childhood she had? Second, WHY did she go through with the wedding when she knew that jerk was still in love with Camilla? She caught him several times during their engagement and even intercepted his (intimate) gift to Camilla the night before her wedding. Again, Morton deflects the blame saying Diana was young and immature. I didn't realize you had to be mature or experienced to know that if a guy is clinging onto his ex or sidepiece all throughout your engagement, that he's not good for you. It baffled me that someone who hated being in the public eye, someone who wanted a husband who loved and paid attention to her-- someone who knew what she wanted-- would choose to marry into the royal family, specifically Charles. From the very beginning of their courtship, Charles, through his actions, made it clear that he never loved her. That she will always be second or third or even last in his life. Well, according to Morton, that is. I guess the magical idea of marrying a prince trumpeted all her worries. I despised the way the royal family alienated her, the way her husband completely ignored her. This book contained a lot of little details about Diana's miserable life inside the palace. The lonliness, especially during her battle with bulimia, the charade of being someone she was not. Morton uses the metaphor, a prisoner in a 'gilded cage', ad nauseum. She hated the protocol, she hated the press, she hated publicity, but I can't help but wonder what she expected when she married the Prince of Wales. Obviously not a life of seclusion. Diana hated everything about royalty except the way it gave her access to make an impact in the world and in people's lives, specifically the sick and the dying... and of course, the wealth her position brought her. I sympathized with her. She was in an impossible situation in her private and public life. Still. There are two sides to every story and this one was clearly one-sided. On the Windsor's defense, Diana was emotionally unstable-- the eating disorder, the loveless marriage, the suicide attempts-- but Morton didn't dwell too long on that, blaming any insecurity or instability on her part on an unhappy childhood and lack of maturity. What really goes without saying is: If you choose to marry into a royal family, there will be a change of lifestyle and you basically need to get with the program. Diana did not want to, or couldn't handle it, or whatever the reason is, and she didn't know how to extricate herself. Regarding the book, there were too many unnecessary details. It was hard to follow what happened in chronological order. Morton was redundant in laying out Diana's problems: the way the Establishment treated her, the unrelenting exposure in the media, and the 'other woman' in her husband's life. He could have saved us some time and made his point in lesser pages. I'd probably want to read another book about her but one that's less one-sided so I can get a more balanced view of events. But according to this one, I'll say that: The world will always love Diana for who she was and what she tried to accomplish in her short, public life. In her private life, she brought color and life and... normalcy to a dull, morose and uptight institution and the Windsors hated her for it. Drama. All drama with a very sad ending.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jared Anderson

    Firstly, I realize that this is a one-sided story. There is going to be a bias. While the author did try to lay blame on Diana when it was due at times, it really was a sharp criticism of the Prince of Wales. I'm a monarchy buff, so I love this stuff. Having read the Queen's biography by Sally Bedell Smith, it was interesting seeing information from both sides. This account sheds light on how the Queen did see Diana as a threat to the royal family, not power-wise but systemically. She broke some Firstly, I realize that this is a one-sided story. There is going to be a bias. While the author did try to lay blame on Diana when it was due at times, it really was a sharp criticism of the Prince of Wales. I'm a monarchy buff, so I love this stuff. Having read the Queen's biography by Sally Bedell Smith, it was interesting seeing information from both sides. This account sheds light on how the Queen did see Diana as a threat to the royal family, not power-wise but systemically. She broke some of the stale traditions. This book helped me see that it was for the better. One point I got from it was that Diana forced the monarchy to adapt to the new millennium, and it's probably the reason the monarchy is held in high regard today, despite a tough economy. I'd say that the traits Diana instilled in Prince William is what makes him so popular and has gotten a new generation on board. I'd also say that this book led to the public disdain of Prince Charles. It's as if many Brits have accepted that Charles is the way he is, but they have never forgiven him for Diana's death, and I'd say the sentiment is at least double that towards Camilla. I did learn a lot about Diana's early life. It actually explains how she ended up with a chauvinist like Charles. But I also feel that her pain and struggles allowed her to reach people on a level no royal had previously been able to reach. She knew their pain. She lived it. Ultimately she survived it because her life ended in a much more positive place personally. All in all, this is a good account of a facade the public created and a defeated woman's desire to overcome. It did make me wish terribly that she was here today to see her sons and their family that they've created. It'll be a good day when we have King William V. Diana's impact will be felt more than ever.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews. I'll admit it: I'm a bit behind the times with this book. I had never heard of it until I was browsing my library's online downloadable audiobook catalogue and saw this as an option. It wasn't until I started listening to it that I found out the story behind this book. Diana, basically, wanted her words to get out and to set down her story before Prince Charles could. So, she worked with Morton and someone else. Morton gave the questions he This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews. I'll admit it: I'm a bit behind the times with this book. I had never heard of it until I was browsing my library's online downloadable audiobook catalogue and saw this as an option. It wasn't until I started listening to it that I found out the story behind this book. Diana, basically, wanted her words to get out and to set down her story before Prince Charles could. So, she worked with Morton and someone else. Morton gave the questions he had to the middle person, then the middle person asked her and they recorded the interview, then it went back to Morton. Pretty impressive since it was never discovered and no one really knew her involvement until after. Even more so is my opinion on Diana. At this point, when this book was written, she was in the attack mode of her life. She wanted to attack Prince Charles and, at times, it shows. She wanted to put herself in the light of the poor, lied to, cheated upon wife. That's a role she did to perfection, honestly. However, I also see Diana for what she was: an unbalanced woman who was fighting against a system and doing it in all the wrong ways. Having been friends with people who practice self-harm, attempted suicide, and had eating disorders among other problems, I know how Prince Charles felt. Trying to kill yourself in front of someone or harm yourself in front of them, and then blame them for your own mental anguish that they're trying to help you with and trying to cope with themselves goes nowhere. The reactions he gave, while they're seen as insensitive (and some really were), are understandable. Sorry people who wholeheartedly love Princess Diana. But I hate the woman that she was in her younger years. Then she grew older. She worked through her issues. Hell, if she and Charles had been able to talk a little bit more, they would have seen how much they had in common with one another. Issues with parents, feeling unloved and unappreciated, being constantly shoved to the side, etc. They have all of that in common and if they had been different people, they really could have done great things together. The woman Diana was at the end of her life, I love. She had found her own and started coming out of her shell. It's incredibly sad when you think of the life that was cut short when she was just starting to feel comfortable in her own skin. While I did really enjoy this book, it's very biased towards Diana. Never completely shuns or attacks the Royal family, but it is pro-Diana. Makes sense because it's supposed to be her own words. This is a good book with great insight, but one has to be really aware of the biases going into this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*

    Tabloid fodder, that's all this feels like. Thankfully my copy wasn't the overblown 300-400+ pages in the mass market paperback, I don't think I could've gotten through it otherwise. Full of spelling mistakes; it's easy to see how utterly rushed this was. I'm sure it was much more sensational when it was first published, before Diana and Charles divorced. I didn't learn anything new from it and I honestly feel guilty for owning it. A person's life isn't meant to be judged and picked over so inte Tabloid fodder, that's all this feels like. Thankfully my copy wasn't the overblown 300-400+ pages in the mass market paperback, I don't think I could've gotten through it otherwise. Full of spelling mistakes; it's easy to see how utterly rushed this was. I'm sure it was much more sensational when it was first published, before Diana and Charles divorced. I didn't learn anything new from it and I honestly feel guilty for owning it. A person's life isn't meant to be judged and picked over so intensely by so many, regardless of who they are. I had a Princess Diana photo book when I was a kid and I've followed the British royal family ever since then, keeping up with the princes and being enthralled with William and Kate's wedding and the children... It just makes me wish that this book had been done better, because Diana was such a fascinating person. She deserved better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Blah! This book leaves the reader wondering who was more at fault for the Windsor's marriage failure. From what this author writes, it had nothing to do with Diana's immaturity, bulimia, half-hearted suicide attempts, intellectual capacity (or lack thereof), or her extra-marital affairs. The whole fault lay with Charles and his philandering with Camilla. Isn't it always the guy's fault? :) The bottom line is that if a person is not born into the public spotlight, it's a tough lifestyle to adapt Blah! This book leaves the reader wondering who was more at fault for the Windsor's marriage failure. From what this author writes, it had nothing to do with Diana's immaturity, bulimia, half-hearted suicide attempts, intellectual capacity (or lack thereof), or her extra-marital affairs. The whole fault lay with Charles and his philandering with Camilla. Isn't it always the guy's fault? :) The bottom line is that if a person is not born into the public spotlight, it's a tough lifestyle to adapt to. If a person does not wish to live in a fishbowl, he or she should not enter it in the first place.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Attwood

    A harrowing read, which opened my eyes to the suffering Diana went through, including Charles cheating on her with Camilla even before he married Diana. Really exposes the sinister behaviour of the Royal Family.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    I read the original however long ago it was. This was broken up into the original 'in her own words', an editorial of the original timeline and a post publication and her death. It was horribly exploitative. I was a lot younger when I read this the first time. Now I just feel sorry for Diana. Yikes

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    What a sad book. I grew up with Diana as the "People's Princess." I remember my mom waking my sister and I up so early those many years ago to watch the royal wedding. Like so many in the world, I watched Diana through the years with fascination and admiration. I wept when her life was cut tragically short just as it seemed she had found happiness in so many areas of her life. This is the updated edition that came out after her death. Morton adds context to how he gathered the informa What a sad book. I grew up with Diana as the "People's Princess." I remember my mom waking my sister and I up so early those many years ago to watch the royal wedding. Like so many in the world, I watched Diana through the years with fascination and admiration. I wept when her life was cut tragically short just as it seemed she had found happiness in so many areas of her life. This is the updated edition that came out after her death. Morton adds context to how he gathered the information for her story, with the princess as a willing collaborator. There's a section with notes in Diana's own words. To read those notes, then read the full text of the book made it evident that she fully participated in telling her story. There are also added chapters detailing the years between when the book was originally published and Diana's death. I ended the book feeling so sad for Diana. I think what struck me the most was that once she and Charles began their divorce negotiations... Diana had nowhere to go. She was stuck in Kensington Palace, which was not her own. She tried to move back to her ancestral home at Althorp, but her brother then decided it was not a good idea for his family for security reasons. She had nowhere to go. But like so many times in her life, she found a way to accept her lot in life, move forward, and eventually make the best of it. This book also makes me want to re-watch the movie "The Queen." I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about Diana's life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Interesting in the beginning, but it dragged on too long, and was ridiculously repetitive. (Some events, names, and titles were mentioned numerous times. "I know," I'd think, "you already said that. SIX TIMES!") Hard to follow chronologically because the chapters seemed to incorporate events that followed the current theme the author was addressing. I wasn't always sure where I was chronologically when I was reading. All of this made for a very slow progression which became tedious towards the e Interesting in the beginning, but it dragged on too long, and was ridiculously repetitive. (Some events, names, and titles were mentioned numerous times. "I know," I'd think, "you already said that. SIX TIMES!") Hard to follow chronologically because the chapters seemed to incorporate events that followed the current theme the author was addressing. I wasn't always sure where I was chronologically when I was reading. All of this made for a very slow progression which became tedious towards the end. This book is an okay read, but if you are expecting a balanced representation of her experience with the Windsor family, you won't find it here. Diana had plenty of her own "issues" which obviously colored the way she told the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy Westgarth

    I can't remember being aware of Diana before her death in 1997. As a 9-year-old I woke up bright and early on that Saturday ready to watch the morning cartoons as usual. Instead what I found was rolling news footage of some woman who had died in a car crash. Flicking through the channels and realising the cartoons weren't coming, I headed upstairs to my parents' bedroom in a huff. Waking them up I announced, "There's nothing on, it's all 'oh nooo Princess Diana's dead'". The reaction from my parents wa I can't remember being aware of Diana before her death in 1997. As a 9-year-old I woke up bright and early on that Saturday ready to watch the morning cartoons as usual. Instead what I found was rolling news footage of some woman who had died in a car crash. Flicking through the channels and realising the cartoons weren't coming, I headed upstairs to my parents' bedroom in a huff. Waking them up I announced, "There's nothing on, it's all 'oh nooo Princess Diana's dead'". The reaction from my parents was a sleepy yet stern "no she isn't", as if I was making it up. It was that much of a shock to them. I meanwhile didn't even know who she was at that point, but I was about to – she was everywhere over the next few months, as my parents and I were to witness. Since then I've always been mildly curious about the real story. Although not actively seeking the information, I've found myself watching and reading a few documentaries and news articles about her and her life as the wife of Prince Charles. When this book came up on the Kindle Daily Deal I felt compelled to download it. I'd never have paid full price for it, but there's no arguing with 99p to indulge a curiosity. The first part of the book is direct transcripts of taped conversations with Diana. It's "in her own words", as the title states. Sadly there weren't many revelations there as I found I already knew much of it. That might not be the case for everyone though and I imagine at the time the book had a lot greater impact than it does these days. It's interesting that her words from 1991 now seem prophetic e.g. feeling that she'll never be Queen, a connection to France (where she died), and that she'd one day fall in love with a foreigner. All correct. What follows is basically the same timeline of events that Diana had given, but with slightly more detail and context added by Andrew Morton. Sadly, it felt largely like I was reading the same book twice. Morton did add chapters at the end about Diana's death, but that story is also widely known so there wasn't anything new there. The book of course took a distinctly pro-Diana/anti-Royals stance. Personally I'm inclined to take Diana's side so I didn't mind this, but it could annoy some wanting a more balanced view. The book is in essence about Diana though, so the bias was to be expected. This was just OK for me. The quality of writing wasn't anything special and the information wasn't much of a surprise. It was good to read everything in order though and I don't think there's anything else I need to know about Princess Diana now!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    "Every family has a secret and the secret is it is not like any other family." - Alan Bennett, pg. 146 This book was supremely engaging; I found that I could not, quite literally, put it down. In the two days it took for me to finish it, I read it at the gym (deliberately choosing the stationary bike rather than my usual treadmill), in the bathroom while brushing my teeth, at the breakfast table, and even during a hockey game. I stayed up late both nights just to read another chapter, "Every family has a secret and the secret is it is not like any other family." - Alan Bennett, pg. 146 This book was supremely engaging; I found that I could not, quite literally, put it down. In the two days it took for me to finish it, I read it at the gym (deliberately choosing the stationary bike rather than my usual treadmill), in the bathroom while brushing my teeth, at the breakfast table, and even during a hockey game. I stayed up late both nights just to read another chapter, because I wanted more. I think I admire the author of this book. It must be very difficult to be, according to the London Sunday Times (and his own blurb on the back cover of the book), "the leading royal writer," while at the same time writing a biography about someone so beautiful and shattered and alive as Diana - because it was written in 1992, before she died. Which was probably my favourite part: I was four or five when poor Diana was killed, so I knew nothing of how she was when she was alive. My sparse remembrances of her are coloured, I'm sure, by her sons, by her glowing legacy, and by vague notions that I should not like Prince Charles but with no real reason as to why not. After reading this book, I know exactly why not. I also think the author was setting us up not to like him. And I'm not sure whether the book was biased, or whether it was actually telling the truth about his actions 100% of the time, because no one is that cold-hearted and cruel, is he? It just strikes me, who believes the best in people, as impossible. No matter, because the damage was done - and I fell in disbelief and loathing of Charles as I simultaneously fell in love with Diana. I also did have some issues with the very "90s" writing style of the author. Some of the ways in which he talked about eating disorders and AIDS made me very uncomfortable, purely from a historical standpoint - the literature about these two in particular has evolved much in the twenty years since the book's publication. So, technically, I would have liked to have given the book three-and-a-half stars rather than four, but I rounded up rather than down - mostly because of the pictures included. Ultimately, Andrew Morton paints an achingly breathtaking portrait of an incredibly strong, vulnerable, and extraordinary woman. This book will not be the extent of my literary education about Diana. Rather, the two days I spent with it are merely the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the late Princess.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Someoneyouknow

    I think that a better title for this book would be “The Tribulations of Princess Diana”. It is a bleak and depressing book, yet I couldn’t stop reading it. Also, I should mention that I read a 1993 edition of this book which was published before Diana divorced Charles. It was certainly a bit strange reading about a dead person as if she were alive. Of course, the book was informative and held my interest constantly, there were even funny/feel-good scenes in it, but the main reason why I can I think that a better title for this book would be “The Tribulations of Princess Diana”. It is a bleak and depressing book, yet I couldn’t stop reading it. Also, I should mention that I read a 1993 edition of this book which was published before Diana divorced Charles. It was certainly a bit strange reading about a dead person as if she were alive. Of course, the book was informative and held my interest constantly, there were even funny/feel-good scenes in it, but the main reason why I can’t rate this book 4 or 5 stars was because for most part it felt like endless enumeration of the miseries Diana had endured. It was really painful to read about her sufferings and I couldn’t help but think : “It couldn’t have been that bad!” I had a problem with Prince Charles being portrayed as a one-dimensional selfish, indifferent bastard. Maybe it’s true, perhaps he’s really like that, but I wanted to see at least one ray of hope in this book, something overriding those terrible sufferings Diana had endured, but there was almost nothing cheerful or hopeful in the description of her life as a Princess.A part of me wanted to believe that this biography is exaggerated and hyperbolical and I think this ruined the credibility of this book for me. Perhaps non-fiction is just not my cup of tea. I’d rather read about fictional tragedies than real ones.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pink-clouds

    I started this book with a hope and finished it with a smile on me face. The last chapter, 'I did my best', perfectly closes the biography and gave me the kind of inspiration I was looking for. I read non fiction after a long time and I don't know whether my review can compare it with other biographies of Princess Diana... but I took in every word of this book (which is the reason it took me 30 days to read 158 pages :p ) and saw astounding parallels with the life an ordinary Pakistani woman. I I started this book with a hope and finished it with a smile on me face. The last chapter, 'I did my best', perfectly closes the biography and gave me the kind of inspiration I was looking for. I read non fiction after a long time and I don't know whether my review can compare it with other biographies of Princess Diana... but I took in every word of this book (which is the reason it took me 30 days to read 158 pages :p ) and saw astounding parallels with the life an ordinary Pakistani woman. I wish we all find that equilibrium that Diana did. The author magnified the emotionally significant parts of her life very well!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    I'm not usually one for celebrity biographies or memoirs, but when I read that this biography of Diana was based upon her own words, my curiosity got the best of me. I'm old enough to remember Diana as the mistreated royal and to have been affected by her death. I found this book fascinating not only as a way to find out the facts about her marriage and life as a royal, but as I learned more about Diana's childhood and personality, I couldn't help but try and understand her motives and psyche.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I'm one of those people that was, and continues to be, fascinated by Diana. This book was an interesting one bc it was written before her death and even before her divorce was finalized! I enjoyed getting to (supposedly) get a look into her everyday life from childhood to acting as Princess. We will never know everything about this enchanting woman, but it won't stop us from trying. I would really like to find another biography about Diana that is up-to-date and regarded as at least somewhat rel I'm one of those people that was, and continues to be, fascinated by Diana. This book was an interesting one bc it was written before her death and even before her divorce was finalized! I enjoyed getting to (supposedly) get a look into her everyday life from childhood to acting as Princess. We will never know everything about this enchanting woman, but it won't stop us from trying. I would really like to find another biography about Diana that is up-to-date and regarded as at least somewhat reliable and not just tabloid fodder. This was an interesting book, but I definitely want more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Hayes

    Watching The Crown inspired me to read this! Read this if you would like to know a lot of the personal details of Diana s life. Quite interesting for the fact that she authorized it and worked with the author, Andrew Morton. Ultimately very sad to learn how trapped she was by the royal way of life and a man who didn t love her.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Lief

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Books that are very powerful can make the reader connect the story back to their life. Diana: Her True Story: In Her Own Words, by Andrew Morton, is an example of this. After reading this book, I wish that the royal family had been nicer to Princess Diana. Ever since she married Prince Charles, they did not care about how she felt. Many times, throughout Princess Diana’s marriage to him, Prince Charles emotionally hurt her. He made many comments to her, either that were offensive, or Books that are very powerful can make the reader connect the story back to their life. Diana: Her True Story: In Her Own Words, by Andrew Morton, is an example of this. After reading this book, I wish that the royal family had been nicer to Princess Diana. Ever since she married Prince Charles, they did not care about how she felt. Many times, throughout Princess Diana’s marriage to him, Prince Charles emotionally hurt her. He made many comments to her, either that were offensive, or showed a careless attitude. No one understood how she felt, being trapped in the royal family, because for someone who had lived their whole life in freedom, living as a royal feels enclosing, and may provide a sense of claustrophobia. The royal family did not pay attention to how you felt, at that time, leaving you alone, to bottle up those emotions you were feeling, and have them build up inside of you. From this book, I realized that many lives of famous people are different on the inside, then the outside. People who seem nice to ordinary people, can be mean in reality. For example, at the beginning of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, he seemed to be very nice to her, especially from what people saw in their public lives. But, in reality, he was very hurtful, and dishonest to her, throughout their marriage. I had always thought that Princess Diana’s marriage just simply did not work out, like marriages often do. That was, until I read this book. This downpour of cruelty on Princess Diana, caused her to feel bad about herself. As she stated, “The public side was very different than the private side. They wanted a fairy princess to touch everything, and turn it to gold, so all their worries would be forgotten. Little did they realize, the individual was crucifying herself inside, because she didn’t think she was good enough.” This quote really showed how Princess Diana’s life was completely misunderstood by the public, since they thought it was perfect, and the life everyone would want to live. But, of course they were wrong, because truly, many parts of her life were a nightmare, for Princess Diana to bare. Since reading this book, I wonder if there are any other famous people who are like Princess Diana. There are many people who have her qualities, but someone with her personality, who is famous is rare. She was very adored by the public, because she was truly special to everyone. For example, after she died, that whole week, there were mounds of flowers, all over the royal palace, and the royal family had a special funeral for her, because of the large amount of people who were mourning her loss. No matter what, she will never be forgotten, because of what she has done, to modernize the monarchy, and for other people. Just a smile from her could brighten up anyone’s day. Princess Diana was just what the United Kingdom needed, at a time when people needed sympathy, and empathy. She was very real, and was never afraid to show her true feelings, and taught her children to do the same, and not follow the insensitive monarchy. Because this book, now I see, that the royal family’s beliefs can often be outdated. This was one of the aspects of the royal family that Princess Diana never liked. On one occasion, at an entire royal family dinner, Princess Diana brought something up about politics in Europe. The royal family acted as if this was an absurd topic to talk about, by staring at her, motionless. Another example is the fact that Princess Diana had bulimia. Many royals viewed this as the cause of Princess Diana, and Princes Charles’ marriage going down, instead of what it really was: a symptom of their marriage collapsing. After all, the bulimia was because of Prince Charles, after he told Princess Diana she was chubby. The way Princess Diana was treated at times, by the royal family, demonstrated how far they have to go, to become in sync with time. I believe that Princess Diana is one of the most significant royals in history, due to the powerful information written in this book. With her modern ideas, she has created a lot of reform. For example, in the 1980s, there was a large HIV/AIDS epidemic. Princess Diana’s kind attitude to people suffering is something that I greatly admire. She was not afraid to shake hands with people with HIV/AIDS, contradicting other people’s fear of doing so. No matter how frail the patient looked, she would always give them a big hug. Contrary to the other royals, Princess Diana focused on topics for her royal engagements, that were not very popular at that time. She had the ability to spot who was feeling sad, and miserable, and would do what she could to help them. This was a quality which no royal had possessed during that time. This quality is also greatly seen in one of the newer royals, Duchess Meghan. She has a similar attitude to those who are suffering, because she is very comforting to them. This book made me feel that you should always help the people in need. Princess Diana did whatever she could to help people in need. She tried to show her sons what she does, and they seemed to develop an interest in that too. Though Princess Diana is no longer alive, her children, Princes William and Harry, have done a lot of humanitarian work, following their mother’s footsteps. I would like to do more volunteer jobs, especially at places, with people who are suffering, so I can help them. Princess Diana is a very inspiring person, in my opinion, because she has always done the best for other people, even though others were not always treating her kindly. She managed to focus on what is important to her, and never lose sight of that, in all the events of her life. This book made me hope that further change will be made, in the royal family. I hope they will become more open-minded, to different modern topics, and ideas, that are not necessarily conventional. Princess Diana has set examples for newer royals, such as being the first royal to not vow to obey her spouse, at her wedding. Also, I would like for the royal family, as a whole, to be more human, and emotional, by accepting the emotions of others. They should be more aware about how the daily stresses of royal life can take a toll on mental health. This is something that I hope they realize, so they can think of ways, to help out newer royals get adjusted to this lifestyle, that they are most likely not used to.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laney

    Pretty fascinating and made for a great book club discussion. The writing of the book felt weird. First you listen to a transcript of Diana, in her exact words, taken from tape recordings. Its very choppy and all over the place, but obviously couldn't be helped since they were her exact words. Then in part two, you hear about the exact same events that Diana already told you about, but this time fleshed out with more background detail and quotes from family and friends. So it felt rather repetit Pretty fascinating and made for a great book club discussion. The writing of the book felt weird. First you listen to a transcript of Diana, in her exact words, taken from tape recordings. Its very choppy and all over the place, but obviously couldn't be helped since they were her exact words. Then in part two, you hear about the exact same events that Diana already told you about, but this time fleshed out with more background detail and quotes from family and friends. So it felt rather repetitive and frustrating to me. Then part 3, after the divorce and everything that came after, was really interesting. Also, the book over all is just a sad tale of a girl that had an unhappy childhood, an unhappy adulthood, and an early death. Not exactly an uplifting tale! Those negatives stated, it was still a really interesting book. I didn't know any of the details of Diana's life and had no idea Charles was already having an affair with Camilla before he and Diana even got married - and she knew about it! So many crazy details.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book made me sad and it was so detailed that I couldn't really finish. The marriage seemed doomed to failure and made me terribly biased against Camilla/Charles. My mom would have loved this book. I wonder if she read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christie Maliyackel

    Unsurprisingly, I found this biography just FASCINATING. The stories behind the scenes of “The Firm” are unbelievable at points. So mafia-like. I loved every bit of this, aside from how sad and tortured of a life Princess Di led (obviously).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jim Cooper

    This was a little bit of a frustrating read, as this really isn't one book but three - the original book that came out in the early 90's while Charles and Diana were still married, the several chapters that were added immediately after her death, plus a reproduction of the original interviews with Diana that were used to write the original book. All of that is fine, but it would have been a lot easier if you could tell which parts were original and which weren't. I came away disliking This was a little bit of a frustrating read, as this really isn't one book but three - the original book that came out in the early 90's while Charles and Diana were still married, the several chapters that were added immediately after her death, plus a reproduction of the original interviews with Diana that were used to write the original book. All of that is fine, but it would have been a lot easier if you could tell which parts were original and which weren't. I came away disliking pretty much everybody involved in the story, but it was an interesting (and apparently accurate) look behind the scenes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    I have to say, I was surprised by how engrossed I became in this book. I picked it up not expecting to learn much about her that I hadn't already seen in a million TV specials, but through Diana's cooperation Morton was able to create a very complete picture of her life. Her journey from rebellious girl to carefree young woman to frightened & lonely royal wife to the strong, independent woman she became in the 90s was inspiring. Being married and thrust into her princess role at such a young I have to say, I was surprised by how engrossed I became in this book. I picked it up not expecting to learn much about her that I hadn't already seen in a million TV specials, but through Diana's cooperation Morton was able to create a very complete picture of her life. Her journey from rebellious girl to carefree young woman to frightened & lonely royal wife to the strong, independent woman she became in the 90s was inspiring. Being married and thrust into her princess role at such a young and emotionally immature point in her life really left her stunted for years. In spite of how bleak her chances seemed of being able to make change in her life, she worked hard to overcome her eating disorder and find ways to make a difference in the world, to be a good mother to her sons, and find some happiness for herself. I've always been fascinated by Diana, probably due to being 7 years old when she and Charles got married (at such a young age it made me think that fairy tales are actually true!), but after reading this book I gained a whole new respect for her. Make sure you read the edition that was updated after her death. Diana cooperated with Morton on the book, so it is an authorized biography, although she couldn't admit to that at the time the book was first released (in 1992, I think). The updated edition has a preface that explains how Morton and Diana collaborated by smuggling questions and tapes of her answers in and out of Kensington Palace. It also includes 25 or so pages of transcripts from the tapes so you get to hear Diana tell her story in her own voice. This edition also has the advantage of telling the rest of Diana's story -- from the time the book was originally published (and the Palace's reaction to the revelations it contained) all the way through her death.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    It was a very good book. The outcome after the book is horrible so throughout the book that's all I could think of.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Bryan

    I never really liked non-fiction books but this book was a game changer for me. I liked it so much because the author told Princess Diana's story to let people know what was really wrong with her. I think the author wanted people to know why she was the way she was. The book taught me that I should never look at someone a certain way without walking in their shoes or considering what life is like for them. The author wrote the book in third person and I wished it could have been from Princess Di I never really liked non-fiction books but this book was a game changer for me. I liked it so much because the author told Princess Diana's story to let people know what was really wrong with her. I think the author wanted people to know why she was the way she was. The book taught me that I should never look at someone a certain way without walking in their shoes or considering what life is like for them. The author wrote the book in third person and I wished it could have been from Princess Diana's point of view just to give a more effective result of how she really was but I know that would be hard considering Andrew Morton (the author) is not Princess Diana. I think the book told Diana's story very well. I found myself feeling sorry for her and relating to her at some points. It was nice that the author actually interviewed her family and friends to get an even better look at her life. I now think that Princess Diana is good role model for just how strong she was in bad parts of her life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cyna Bosworth

    I mostly read it because of my fascination with how the Queen and her family/"the Firm" is presented in the media today, what with the adulation of William and Kate and Charles and Camilla looking cosy together, it's almost as if none of this ever happened. I was curious to hear "her story" and not just what I remembered from media coverage back in the day. The transcripted portion in the beginning was interesting but as some of it was worked into the narrative later in the book, it f I mostly read it because of my fascination with how the Queen and her family/"the Firm" is presented in the media today, what with the adulation of William and Kate and Charles and Camilla looking cosy together, it's almost as if none of this ever happened. I was curious to hear "her story" and not just what I remembered from media coverage back in the day. The transcripted portion in the beginning was interesting but as some of it was worked into the narrative later in the book, it felt a little repetitive at times. I don't doubt she had tough times in her life, nevertheless found myself thinking numerous times that this is only one side of the story--the author did say that this was her vehicle to get her side of the story heard. Silly, but I was surprised to see quotes of her swearing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hauer

    Like most people who were around at the time, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the heartbreaking news of her death overtook every screen and page. I am never able to stop myself from crying when revisiting her story. Diana, Her True Story In Her Own Words allows us even further into the background of the love triangle that was never a secret and the hard-earned maturation of a woman who truly did leave an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew her and on the world a Like most people who were around at the time, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the heartbreaking news of her death overtook every screen and page. I am never able to stop myself from crying when revisiting her story. Diana, Her True Story In Her Own Words allows us even further into the background of the love triangle that was never a secret and the hard-earned maturation of a woman who truly did leave an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew her and on the world at large. I do believe this world is a better place for Diana having been in it and I appreciate the intimate window that this biography affords us. I am particularly fond of the pages spent showing us Diana rising from the ashes in the aftermath of her marriage & divorce. Well-researched and well-written. I enjoyed it as much as anyone can enjoy such tragic beauty.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I'm not sure what it is about the House of Windsor but those royals make me cry every time. Perhaps it is the drama that hooks me; Diana's self-description on her wedding day as "a lamb to the slaughter". Poor Di. All I know is that the Princess was a born tragedy, her life over and out of her hands before she could say tea and crumpets. She is, and will forever be the most famous, widely recognized person in the world. That says a little about her life and even more about her death. I too miss I'm not sure what it is about the House of Windsor but those royals make me cry every time. Perhaps it is the drama that hooks me; Diana's self-description on her wedding day as "a lamb to the slaughter". Poor Di. All I know is that the Princess was a born tragedy, her life over and out of her hands before she could say tea and crumpets. She is, and will forever be the most famous, widely recognized person in the world. That says a little about her life and even more about her death. I too miss Mummie. ps. Has anyone noticed how hot Prince Harry is these days?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deb Stratas

    The closest thing to an autobiography of Princess Diana we'll ever have, this is the most famous bestseller, ghostwritten by Diana herself. An instant worldwide sensation, this bio rocked and shocked the world with the revelations of affairs, suicide attempts, bulimia and a marriage in a state of misery. At times melodramatic, and probably not always accurate - it's nonetheless a fascinating read. Updated after the twentieth anniversary of Diana's death, Morton keeps her memory alive with this e The closest thing to an autobiography of Princess Diana we'll ever have, this is the most famous bestseller, ghostwritten by Diana herself. An instant worldwide sensation, this bio rocked and shocked the world with the revelations of affairs, suicide attempts, bulimia and a marriage in a state of misery. At times melodramatic, and probably not always accurate - it's nonetheless a fascinating read. Updated after the twentieth anniversary of Diana's death, Morton keeps her memory alive with this engaging tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage in a gilded cage.

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