The Royal Forums

The Royal Forums (
-   Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) (
-   -   Questions about sources (

Warren 07-01-2008 09:49 AM

Questions about sources
The moderators have been receiving an increasing number of enquiries asking when certain stories or incidents regarding Diana occurred, if these reports have any credence, and if there is further background detail.

As the information we know about Diana comes from a very large number of published sources, it's likely that no single member has the entire Diana library to be able to check the accuracy of various events or to provide the requested level of detail.

Providing the answers to questions such as "did it really happen that way?", "when did it happen?", "who said so?" and "what was the context?" is a collective effort by all of those who have access to some of the primary sources such as books, magazines, news links and transcripts.

To allow members to freely put these questions without interrupting the flow of a discussion, we are opening this thread. We hope that by using the combined information to which the moderators and members have access, we will be able to create a resource to which members may refer when questions about sources of information on Diana's activities and behaviour are raised.

This thread is not meant for discussions as such but for questions and answers regarding sources. Discussion of the nature of various events or the veracity of the sources should be done in the appropriate threads. The moderators will be proactive in keeping this thread on topic.

The British Forums moderators

Warren 07-01-2008 10:05 AM

To start off, here's a question put to the Mods:


Originally Posted by ghost_night554
...I decided to go through the archives today and I came across this. They were discussing personality disorder with relation to Diana back in 2005 and I was wondering do you know if these 2 exmaples/accusation are true did she really do that? I tried googling it but nothing came up so I'm not sure if it came from an unreliable source/book or what not or maybe it's not traceable like the whole falling down the stairs thing and her friends admitting she lied. I still can't find that apart from in the Sarah Bradford book but that doesn't name the sources.


I think borderline personality disorder is the new way of refering to multiple personality disorder. Not being a phsyciatrist I didn't know that. There are two reasons for me thinking this;

1) Diana once took her private secretary on holiday with her to the Maldives. Diana insisted she have whatever she wanted and lavished all sorts on her. Then, on the last day, they were laying by the pool and Diana said, "I'll get them to give you your half of the bill" and walked off. Diana had made it clear that the holiday was on her. But then she snapped. The secretary phoned Charles in tears - she couldn't pay it. Diana remained firm and said she had to and in the end, Charles stepped in and paid the entire bill.

2) A maid who lived in a small cottage in the grounds of Highgrove (I think but I'll check) was dating a bodyguard and Diana hated it. One minute she told the maid that she was happy for her but that she shouldnt mix work and pleasure and the next she demanded that the bodyguard be sacked. He was. He went to the cottage and Diana saw him. She flew out, in the middle of the night - wearing only her nightie and hammered on the door screaming, "I know you've got him in there. Get him out! You're disgusting!". And the maid was later sacked.

Warren 07-01-2008 10:10 AM

Diana's "erratic behaviour"
Quoting from Penny Junor's "Charles Victim or Villain", page 165 of the 1998 hardcover edition:

"Another victim of Diana's erratic behaviour towards friends and staff was Victoria Mendham. She was the Princess's secretary for seven years, and was totally devoted to her... It was a measure of their friendship that Diana asked Victoria to go on holiday with her four years running. For the first two Diana paid the full cost. When they went to the Caribbean again at Easter 1996, Victoria assumed she was there as a guest once again. It was a great treat and all was going well until half way through the holiday when the Princess suddenly said 'Oh, Victoria, I've written a make sure you get your share of the bill. I think it's about 5,000.'

Victoria telephoned the London office in floods of tears... The Prince [of Wales] paid.

Nine months later it happened again. This time Victoria said she could pay the airfare to the Caribbean but they had stayed at the K Club where beach-side villas cost 1,700 a night, and paying that kind of money was out of the question. When the Princess learnt that her husband had footed the previous bill she 'went through the roof' and Victoria was frozen out as others had been before her."

The second story concerns Steve Davies, chauffeur, and Helen Walsh, one of Diana's dressers, who were having a relationship that Diana disapproved of (according to Junor, Diana thought "they were having fun when they shouldn't be"). The chauffeur was sacked. He didn't go to visit the dresser on that particular occasion, but Diana thought he had. That was when she was banging on the door of the dresser's Kensington Palace apartment after midnight "like a woman possessed, shaking with rage and shouting 'I know he's in there, I want him out now!'".
The ref for this is also Penny Junor's book, page 165 .

Elspeth has contributed these sources:

I've seen the Victoria Mendham story more than once in some of the Diana biographies.

There's a mention of it in Tim Clayton's Story of a Princess

Diana: Story of a Princess - Google Book Search

Simone Simmons, bless her, mentions it as well:

Diana--The Last Word: The Last Word - Google Book Search

Warren 07-01-2008 10:21 AM

Diana's "suicide attempt"
Another question...


Originally Posted by ghost_night554
... do you know when Diana's friends reportedly went on the record and talked about the real story of her so called "suicide attempt". I'm assuming it came up in some sort of interview with them after her death but I can't find anything.

Elspeth's research:

Tina Brown book, p.202:

There was another blowup that same month during a pheasant shoot at Sandringham when Diana tried to stop Charles going out with the guns. Eleven years later, she told Andrew Morton that she threw herself down a staircase afterward in a suicide attempt, but this was just material from her internal postmarital rewrite desk. The last thing she would ever have done was hurt her unborn child. One of Diana's aides at the time told me that she remembers Diana saying, " Very embarrassing. I slipped down the stairs and landed at the Queen Mother's feet. I saw the gynecologist, but he said, "You'll be fine, stop worrying."

This is followed by a comment saying that it's hard to know how much credence to give to her other claims of suicide attempts.

On page 331 Tina Brown says that Diana claimed that she fell at the Queen's feet but asked Morton to insert "Mother" in the story to protect the Queen. Then she goes on to say, "Although the fall downstairs was real enough, the 'suicide attempt' was a fantasy, a fairy tale - in short, a lie."

In Sarah Bradford's biography (page 104), she quotes the relevant passage in the Morton book, and says afterwards, "This was a fabrication, a dramatization of an incident which was purely an accident told to Andrew Morton through a desire to dramatize. Diana may well have had a row with Charles beforehand in an effort to prevent him going out riding but, according to eyewitnesses, she did not throw herself down two flights of stairs but tripped as she went down wide, shallow steps at the bottom, landing in front of a member of staff who was talking to the Queen Mother."

She goes on to give an account of a conversation between Diana and a member of her own staff where Diana described it as an embarrassing accident (footnoted as "private information"). She then says, "This misrepresentation was typical of much of Diana's dramatic view of her past distorted by the reality of her position ten years later."

ghost_night554 07-01-2008 03:03 PM

This also comes from Daily Mail's story "Diana Reassessed" pretty much exactly the same thing but thought I'd post anyways to answer my own question. The information comes off Sarah Bradford's book as well.

The dramatic side of her came out again. Years later, in her campaign against her husband, she told the world how, when pregnant with William, she threw herself down two flights of stairs at Sandringham in her despair at Charles ignoring her. This was another fabrication, a dramatisation of an incident which was purely an accident.
According to eyewitnesses, all that happened was that she tripped and landed at the feet of the Queen Mother. She said as much in a letter to a friend. But the 'attempted suicide' tale was better for getting at her husband.
Ten years later, this misrepresentation was typical of much of her distorted view of her past. By her own account, at one stage she even mutilated herself in an attempt to focus Charles's attention on her.

Mermaid1962 07-03-2008 06:44 PM

I think that "multiple personality disorder" is now called "dissociative disorder."


Originally Posted by Warren (Post 793696)
To start off, here's a question put to the Mods:

ghost_night554 07-05-2008 02:50 AM

May I add this to my question about the suicide story... according to this member these people have gone on the record but I can't find anything about them talking about it does anywhere know where they talk about the incident?

She said it to Rosa Monckton, she said to Lucia Flecha de Lima, she said to Lana Marks...
Some other people, not these particular 3 though talk about it in the documentary : Story of a princess

pinkie40 07-19-2008 01:10 AM

An excellent book that deals a lot regarding Diana's perspective, point of view, psychological development due to childhood events, etc. was written after Diana's death by Sally Bedell Smith. It delves quite a bit into the possibility of a clinical diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and the Princess. I read this every year to see if my perspective of the late Princess' personality changes.

Quite interesting that a book (or even a vaild essay) that chronicals the personal notes, journals (if any exists), correspondence and other writings of Diana both as commoner and princess has not been written. I've learned a lot regarding the other royals throughout history by studying their correspondence.

I would also like to add that some books have been available here in the USA that have been banned in the United Kingdom. For Example, one very telling book that I continue to refer to often is "The Housekeeper's Diary".

TheTruth 07-20-2008 01:53 PM

A question about sources has emerged in the Had Diana lived ... thread.

Question : Where, when and by who the following allegation has been made ?


Originally Posted by maryshawn (Post 91294)
Dodi was not going to be her husband--her friends say she told them he lied to her and she knew about his cocaine use.


Originally Posted by skk (Post 300048)
which of her friends said that and where??? any help on this would be much appreciatied.


Originally Posted by sherylal24 (Post 801123)
I believe it was Rosa Mockton, who was a good friend of Diana's. Diana was the the godmother or her daughter Domenica, who has Downs Syndrome. I have heard her say this in interviews and in some Diana books.

Apparently Rosa Mockton did say something in those lines but there's nothing precise on where and when.

brandon 07-25-2008 12:03 PM

I hardly think either Tina Brown, or Sally Bedell Smith, or Penny Junor are "credible" sources. These people are purely agenda-driven from one "side" of the issue. Tina's husband had the long knives out for Diana for years during her life because she would not give his paper the type of exclusives or have the type of relationship she had with other reporters elsewhere. He called her a "bitter" woman but of course he was the bitter one, and he knew how to watch and wait to put the knife in. That came along when his wife wrote the hatchet job on Diana years later. "Revenge is a dish best served cold" as it says somewhere in Shakespeare. The true colors of Tina Brown's book are however exposed for what they are in Sara Bradford's brilliant critique of this silly book.

Elspeth 07-25-2008 12:13 PM

The fact that they're biased doesn't necessarily mean they aren't credible. Sally Bedell Smith's book is pretty heavily footnoted and seems to have much of its factual information correct, whether you agree with the borderline personality disorder stuff or not. I would say that Lady Colin Campbell's books have very questionable credibility, but Sally Bedell Smith's book seems to be pretty well researched, and I thought Tina Brown's book was more factual than I was expecting.

brandon 07-25-2008 02:58 PM

Depends what you mean by "credible". The British author Irving who wrote the infamous book about Holocaust denial also has a heavily footnoted book. This makes him "credible"? Not to me it doesn't. Ditto Sally Bedell Smith. We don't know anything about the impetus of this book other than that it is the work of someone who did not know much less ever personally met the subject of her analysis, a basic criterion in any form of professional and ethical psychology in whether a diagnosis can ever be made of someone. The book was simply one in an opening salvo of books which had the CH agenda of Diana ravagement. Tina Brown's book was just another one making a dollar on a dead person on the decade of their death in a way to make it look balanced but you can read between the lnes of where Tina is coming from, given her and her husband's backgrounds and prior interractions with Diana.

Personally, I find a lot more credibility in someone who speaks from reflection, years later, rather than someone who seems to be acting from an agenda or to make a fast profit. With time, people often arrive at a more thoughtful and honest overall observation than in the immediate heat of an event. One example is Patrick Jephson who has had much more interesting and credbile things to say about his former employer more recently, especially in the wake of the memorial service last year.

Elspeth 07-25-2008 04:12 PM


Originally Posted by brandon (Post 803385)
Depends what you mean by "credible". The British author Irving who wrote the infamous book about Holocaust denial also has a heavily footnoted book. This makes him "credible"? Not to me it doesn't. Ditto Sally Bedell Smith.

Let me repeat what I actually said. "Sally Bedell Smith's book is pretty heavily footnoted and seems to have much of its factual information correct."

Please don't imply that I was just referring to footnotes.

scooter 07-25-2008 09:28 PM

Here is my question: There is a certain member that whenever anything the slightest bit unfavorable about her Favorite Royal is discussed, no matter how widely published, the member comes back and says 'Was there a statement from XYZ Palace or from Favorite Royal's office on this sublect? If not, then it's an Urban Legend'. Like Palace XYZ or the Favorite Royal is going to issue a statement saying (for example) 'When I first met Prince Favorite Royal, I made a remark about our ancestors having a sexual relationship and then I took him home and had Prince Favorite Royal for a midnight snack'. At what point is it firmly in the public domain and accepted? Because if we're going to be waiting for Palace XYZ to make statements, its going to be a pretty slow millenium, TRF wise.

Elspeth 07-25-2008 09:46 PM

If something is written in a book or article that's generally considered reliable, especially if it shows up in more than one of them, then we're prepared to accept it as a correct account.

If something like that has been contradicted officially by Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, or any of the other offices of the royals, then it should be presented in the threads as appearing to be verified and correct but officially contradicted.

The purpose of this thread is to help build up a track record of citations from reliable sources for various events and occurrences to help our members when someone challenges them to provide chapter and verse on a topic, since not everyone has all the reference books to hand.

scooter 07-25-2008 09:54 PM

So Elspeth, just so I understand you, if the quote has appeared in lets say 5 reputable sources, it's pretty much accepted?

brandon 07-25-2008 10:36 PM


Originally Posted by scooter (Post 803523)
So Elspeth, just so I understand you, if the quote has appeared in lets say 5 reputable sources, it's pretty much accepted?

It sounds very odd and sinister. Sounds like developing a sort of online bible unique to this website possibly where everyone will be corralled into acknowledging as the Final Word on a subject. So much for discussion and exploration much less having different points of view. You are limited to the King James Version of Royal Lives.:eek:

TheTruth 07-26-2008 06:29 AM

This thread was made to ask questions on where, when or by who some allegations have been made. It's not about validating or invalidating what's been said. If you aren't satisfied of where a quote comes from, free for you to deny it. Now, if there's something you don't like about this thread, please send a PM to a British Mod and we'll consider it.

Back to the purpose of this topic which is : Questions about sources.

Elspeth 07-26-2008 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by scooter (Post 803523)
So Elspeth, just so I understand you, if the quote has appeared in lets say 5 reputable sources, it's pretty much accepted?

If it's appeared in a couple, it should be fine. But if it's been denied by an official connected to the royals, it doesn't hurt to say so.

scooter 08-03-2008 11:28 PM

Well, I have to say I am more than a little confused and frustrated. Recently on three seperate threads, when I backed up my opinion with quotes from three or more different sources, including a transcript of the Royals in question speaking to one another, either the thread was closed, or my posts were deleted. In one case, I had three more sources to quote, but the thread was closed literally before I could type them in. Strangely enough, the posts I was replying to were left out there seemingly unchallenged. If there is a widely documented pool of 'evidence', why are posts quoting them deleted?

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018
Jelsoft Enterprises