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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 11:50 GMT
Diana video tape screened in US
Princess Diana
Diana described herself as the 'thick one' during her childhood
A recording of Princess Diana talking frankly about her childhood, marriage and the Royal family has been screened on American television.

The show was compiled from tapes which were recorded in private by her voice coach Peter Settelen in 1992.

They were seized by police during a raid on her butler Paul Burrell's house and returned to Settelen this year.

The Princess talks about her unhappy childhood, meeting Prince Charles and her discussions with the Queen.

Tapes seized

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the Princess had recorded the tapes, after her marriage broke down, in private and would never have thought they would be released.

He said they do not contain any startling new information.

The tapes were seized in 2001 by the Metropolitan Police but were not used in Mr Burrell's trial for theft, which collapsed.

Mr Hunt said Diana's estate did not want to get involved in a lengthy legal tussle for the recordings, so they were returned to Mr Settelen.

'Unhappy childhood'

In one section, the Princess talks about her "unhappy" childhood, detailing how her parents rowed and she was the "thick one".

In another, she tells of a meeting with the Queen in 1986 to discuss her husband's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

She described the Queen as a "top lady" and said she asked her: "What do I do? I'm coming to you, what do I do?"

She said the Queen replied: "I don't know what you can do - Charles is hopeless."

The show was aired on NBC in the US and a second instalment is due to be shown next week.





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