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1995: 'Queen of hearts' reveals affair
Diana, Princess of Wales' revelations in a BBC Panorama interview about an adulterous affair she had during her marriage to Prince Charles increased pressure for the royal couple to divorce

In a TV programme watched by millions, Princess Diana also spoke of her hurt over the prince's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

She famously said, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded".

But she denied wanting a divorce and said she wanted to be remembered as the "queen of people's hearts".

Your memories:

I remember being absolutely glued to the interview, and turning to my flatmate at regular intervals, gasping in shock.

I also remember picturing the Queen and Charles fuming helplessly at the things that were being broadcast to the whole nation.

It was a real spark into a powder keg moment.
Neil, UK

I think she was right to do the interview as she had been very badly treated by the Royal Family, Charles and the Queen in particular.

Ten years down the line, sadly, the monarchy has shrugged off the whole business and returned to business as usual, apparently having learned nothing.
Will, UK

It was obvious before the interview that Diana was completely unstable and a liability to the monarchy. Her performance proved it.

She was part of the 'firm' and took the wealth and privilege of her position in her stride but did not have the mental capacity to be able to do her duty.

Her story is unfortunate but Prince Charles, and the country, are much better off with Camilla.
Gilly, UK

I was deeply saddened by her exposure of her marriage to Charles with all its problems. I felt if she has not been so full of hate and revenge she would not have considered doing such a stupid thing.

It showed her for what she really is, a hard and vengeful woman. If she were the sweet and lovely girl she purported to be, she would not have reacted in this way to his infidelities, which only took place after she had led him such a dance.

She would have been quiet. She would not have slept with so many men herself if she had loved Charles the way she says she did.
Julia, England

I watched the whole interview and felt completely manipulated by her. She was acting.
C Chapman, UK

I liked Diana, but she knew exactly what she was doing and what reaction she would get from the interview. She strung everyone along.
Alan, UK

The interview was so important and controversial that my mum missed my parents' night at school for it!
Sarah, Scotland

Just remember feeling great sadness for the Princess. Even though Camilla was always in the background, she came across as still being very much in love with Charles. She certainly came across as very sad and lonely.
Diane, UK

I watched the interview ahead of the US, in Asia, where it was broadcast a few days after it had been in the UK.

I remember feeling really sorry for Diana, who appeared incredibly unhappy and as having a broken spirit. She also seemed to have been on some form on anti-depressants.

I'm not sure how appropriate it was for Diana to be so open about her marriage, but I think she was just tired of rumours and falsehoods and wanted to set the record straight.

She deserved to be happy and that her life was cut short at an early age, just as she was getting it together and feeling positive about her work and love life, is too tragic.
Rachel, US

I remember watching the interview, and looking back I can still see the 'cow eyed' Diana, blurting out to the viewing public her story of heartbreak and toil. So the in-laws didn't like her, not exactly an uncommon occurrence is it?

The main thing to come from the 'queen of hearts' broadcast degradation of the monarchy was that it only served to cement the fact she was unfit, unworthy and lacked the conscience of tradition to be a member of the royal family let alone be a future monarch.
B Roper, Shropshire

I remember thinking even then that the "Queen of Hearts" was being as manipulative as the rest of the Royal Family. The doe-eyed look never held water as far as I was concerned.

She was out to settle old scores - there was no moral high ground.

And as far as I am concerned nothing has changed since 1995 - the whole Royal Family are irrelevant to modern Britain.
Kevin, UK

I missed it. From what I read the next day, I'm so glad.

Anyone who can go on national television and say those things, with every chance that her children will hear them, ought to be ashamed.

Her first duty was a mother, and in this particular she didn't do it.
Sue, UK

I watched the programme with great interest and must admit I was surprised with her revelations of an affair and also Charles still seeing Camilla.

This made me very dissapointed in Charles' behaviour, therefore I am not interested in him anymore.

I read one of Diana's books and wrote to her at Kensington Palace as some of her married life seemed to be similar to mine with what she got and didn't get from her husband (not money I may add).

I received a reply which I will treasure till I die as she really did want her marriage to suceed.

Mine ended in divorce in 1995 after 22 years. I just wish she could be left alone now.
Margaret, UK

I remember watching it in fascination! Also, thinking how carefully the whole situation had been set-up and thought through.

There was nothing 'spontaneous' about the interview; it had obviously been carefully contrived to arouse sympathy for Diana.

Whilst I think she deserved our sympathy, I think she could have been less manipulative in the way she went about getting it!
David, UK

I remember watching the programme and cringing at what a laughing stock the royal family was making themselves.

Diana's manner, with her head tilted to one side, had all the hallmarks of a carefully staged media event.

I do not think the British public was comfortable with undermining of the monarchy's reputation in such a way.

I am pleased that the Royal family appear to have much better advisers now, more carefully guard their privacy and seem to be much more in step with social mores and public expectations for the modern day.
Alex, UK

I watched the interview and tried to be impartial. My feeling at the end was Diana was just totally vindictive.... the old adage " hell hath no fury...." was very apt.

History since her tragic death has shown that although she did great work for charities, she was in no way an angel as many people would believe.
Nigel, Netherlands

I think Diana was a self-pitying, self-obsessed, freeloading clothes-horse.

She aired her story to get everyone on her side because it suited her at the time, then whined afterward at 'media intrusion' in her life.

They both made a mistake getting married. Why should Charles have to pay for it for the rest of his life?
Tony, UK

The interview was obviously carefully rehearsed and scripted and after the first half I started feeling sorry for anyone who had to put up with such a self oriented, neurotic woman.

Presumably her subsequent inability to form any lasting relationship means I was not alone.

I felt sorry for her because I suspect her childhood was quite difficult however if she had become a fully rounded adult rather than a 'victim' she could have put her past behind her.
Zoe, UK

Reading other people's harsh comments of Diana prompted me to send this email.

Were these the same people who back in 1997 took part in the huge outpouring of grief on her death?

How can anyone say Camilla is better for this country? Deceit is not a good foundation for becoming Queen!
Anon, UK

However sad the spectacle of Diana "opening her heart" to the public, it was far more palatable than having "Queen Camilla" pushed down our throats at every opportunity.

If Charles wants to live with Camilla then so be it but he must give up the throne. We will not have this evil woman pushed upon us in this way.

If the monarchy is to survive then please let William become the next King.
Maureen, England

I remember seeing the interview. I remember how she called herself the 'queen of hearts', she was not the queen of MY heart.

She had numerous flings with men, any other woman would have had a bad reputation - but not her.

She knew what she was getting herself into before she married Charles, she wanted the 'princess' bit, but was prepared to overlook Charles' love of Camilla - a true love- to satisfy her own needs.
Rob, Spain

From my memory of that time - Prince Charles was in a bitter place too.

It is just a shame that two years on - her life was cruelly taken from her.

I for one always felt she was a great ambassador for this country.
Sarah, England

I remember that Diana, seemed to be unable to count during her BBC interview.

She claimed there were three people in her relationship, herself, Charles, Camilla, James Hewitt, James Gilby, Will Carling, etc. Surely that is far more than three?
M Newton, England

I remember the Diana interview, and how everyone mocked her, for wanting to be known as the queen of hearts.

I also remember how staged and pathetic the whole episode was.

It was her untimely death, that showed how fickle and pathetic people are, suddenly prolaiming this adulterer the queen of hearts.
R Harris, UK

Diana's performance made me cringe, it was vengeful, sly, and "acted", but lacking any insight or self-knowledge. A bit like David Brent in "The Office".

I felt sorry for Charles, it must have been very difficult to live with someone so self-obsessed and obtuse.

The way she talked about him, as in "I know the character", sounded heartless to me.

At the same time, I found her a strangely fascinating person, somewhat pathetic and immature. The whole affair was really sad.
Karen, England

My sole recollection of the interview is the chill down my spine when she said, "I'm not going to go away, I shall still be around," or words to that effect.

I wished that she hadn't said that because, like many people at the time, I worried that her life might be in danger.
Gordon, England

I still feel for Diane Princess of Wales. She was very badly treated by Charles.

He should never have married her, he said he didn't know what true love was. I believe Diane loved him with all her heart.

The way she behaved after the breakup showed how hurt and distraught she was.

She was hurting so much that she lashed out in every direction, trying to hurt Charles as much as he had hurt her.

This is a perfectly natural reaction, I would have done the same. I pray she is at peace now.
Eve, UK

Give her a break. Both Charles and Diana were only human and made mistakes like the rest of us.

The only difference is that they did it under the public microscope under which few people look perfect.
RB, UK

She might have been naive but I don't think she realised that she was expected to put up with an unfaithful husband and keep quiet about it.

I sympathised with her entirely.
Pam, Wales

I just remember thinking how ordinary she seemed and how all the royals are no more (or less) moral, intelligent or attractive than anybody else.

However, we (or the vast majority) seem more than willing to be strung along by a complete myth. One day we will grow up as a country.
Peter, UK

I can remember wondering about how the programme had been pieced together.

To what extent were the lines of questions dictated by Diana? She must have laid some ground rules.

To what extent had she rehearsed her lines? - the whole 'queen of hearts' stuff wasn't spontaneous.

And then, how much editing went on during and after the interview? (Compare here the accusations levelled at programme makers after Bashir's engagement with one Michael Jackson....)

I was left with a feeling that Panorama was more interested in the scoop than in a balanced contribution to historical journalism.
Iestyn, UK

I just remember thinking "I've never seen a broadcast quite like this, certainly not a big current affairs talking heads interview".

I think what she was saying grew in stature after the interview, I remember reading as much of the "quality" press as I could and all the mixed reactions.

Nicholas Soames was wheeled out straight away to describe her as unstable. I've never really warmed to him since.

Her worse crime was manipulating the press, I think she saw this as a survival strategy. At best she was a modern woman trying to (shock, horror) enjoy life whilst doing the right thing by her sons.

I'm definitely not a royalist - viva the republic - and I'm not even a big Diana fan.

I was upset but bemused by the UK's reaction when she died.

But I always have a sneaking admiration for those that try to buck the trend, especially the royal trait of say nothing and retain the constitutional mystery of monarchy.

Also I cannot forget the basic gross injustice that was done to her - she was NINETEEN, reputedly a virgin and therefore suitable material for HRH.

But HRH was in love with another woman (you can clearly see that now, good luck to them). I think that scenario would drive most of us potty.
Declan, UK

Why was I in a such a state of grief I asked myself? Genuine grief...I felt so horrible and sad.

Here was a lady that in the past that did nothing more than grace the front covers of magazines and tabloids in the checkout aisle at the grocery stores.

I thought it somewhat annoying that someone would get so much attention in the press.

That was all I knew of her, I did not know her in real life, yet I was feeling genuine grief over the news of her death. Was it mass hypnosis?

I don't know, but the closest thing I can come up with surmise my reaction is that for reasons unknown; through the smiling faces of her photographs, I always genuinely felt sorry for her.

It was empathy and a beautiful face that caused me to grieve. She had a rare photogenicity that energized those who glanced upon her.

She had the beauty and radiance of a princess royal, or at least what we all imagine in a fairy tale world.

We were energized by the sight of her face. At the same time I was empathetic, because deep down I realized, perhaps from the beginning, that through the years of her life on the front covers of all the magazines, that I was witnessing a real-life Shakespearian tragedy unfold.
Charles, USA

Diana knew exactly what she wanted to say that night, she wanted to shock the country and that is what she did.

She also knew what she was getting into by marrying Charles but she loved all the limelight, and everything that went with it.

I still think it was a shame she died so young she didn't deserve it.
Lynda, Isle of Man

I think 'the firm' used Diana and manipulated her to get an heir to the throne.

In turn she manipulated them. It turned into a game and in the end 'the firm' won and the whole thing was a SAD episode in English history, because Diana was very beautiful, fairly intelligent bringing a breath of fresh air to 'the firm'.

She was an asset to the country.
Meena, England

Just for a bit of balance, I had and have no interest in Diana, Charles or the rest of the royal family and didn't watch the programme.

Few of my friends did either.
Andrew, Iceland

I think Diana achieved her goal of being the peoples' queen, not materially but in their heart. Nowadays people always think of Princess Diana as a positive thing for our monarchy.

We all make mistakes and I think it's a shame that Diana and Prince Charles' mistakes were broadcast worldwide due to royalty, but they are allowed mistakes because they are people after all.

Princess Diana was the warmest and kindest princess England could have ever had and she is my heroine and although I may have been small when she died I still don't believe the drink-driving incident.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles getting married created a stir. I didn't agree and still don't to it, but I suppose they deserve to be happy and I will be happy for them as long as she isn't crowned queen.
Kareena, England

We only had to see Princess Diana´s funeral, to know whose side the people were on.

Prince Charles treated her very unfairly. And for what? A mistress that is not worth a thing. Good for her that she gave that interview!
Martha, Wales

Those pictures of Diana, head tilted to one side, peeping out from underneath her big hair.

It's a shame they have to be brought out again. She was deliberately acting like that to get people feeling sorry for her.

It didn't work on me, and I didn't watch the programme either.
Gary, England

I remember watching the interview with my mother.

The princess had once described herself as being 'as thick as two short planks'.

I remember turning to my mother and saying, 'Isn't she clever?'
Miriam, UK

I can remember watching this programme with great interest.

As a British and an Australian citizen I really thought this interview revealed, not for the first time, how totally unsuitable the current Prince of Wales is to be our future King.

Diana was good for the monarchy. Sadly she died too young.

Clearly Prince Charles had and still has no idea of what is necessary to sustain the monarchy in the Queen's realms.

It is very simple to work out: Diana was much loved and he isn't.

He is completely out of touch. Proof of this is his current marriage which while it may be good for him personally has done nothing but undermine the integrity of the monarchy.

No thinking person could ever respect Camilla. She is really not fit to be a member of the royal family.

I hope they will both ride off into the sunset together and be happy but please don't let these two think they can respresent the monarchy in the future. They are a continual source of embarrassment.

Like many I hope and pray that our wonderful Queen lives as long as her dearly missed mother and that her grandson Prince William will be our future king. We don't deserve to lose the monarchy simply because Prince Charles is an unsuitable heir.
David, Australia

As I watch coverage of the British Royals visiting my country, I hear Diana's words echoing from the past, "There are three of us in the marriage..."

It was always the way, just not openly.

How sad that Charles put Diana through this when all the while he loved another. At least Diana is past being hurt.
June, USA

I really love Diana as if she is my daughter or sister and will have that feel no matter what anybody says about her.

I do not agree to her sleeping with other men in her marriage but Charles just went too far.

I don't know if I will do the same thing she did so I will not judge her but to have another woman in your marriage right from the begining is not an easy thing to deal with.

I am just sad that after all that happen Charles went ahead and married Camila. I really fine it very difficult to forgive both of them for doing that.

At least as a sign of respect, they should have ended this kind of deadly relationship.

I am waiting for the day some else will take Charles away from that lady and let me see how she will feel.

Diana the sweetest lady the world has ever known rest in perfect peace, PLEASE LEAVE HER ALONE!
Naa, Ghana

I don't think anyone deserves to die in this horrible way, but she was never an innocent party and did the most dreadful damage to the institution of the monarchy.

Thank goodness the prince has a sensible reliable woman by his side to support him now.
Nicola, England

I was riveted watching the interview. It was the one opportunity she had to put forward her side of the story.

Previously, the press had been "guided" by the palace and she had been made to look like she was a mental case.

It was obvious that Charles had never really loved her yet she had loved him.

I truly believe she did not know Charles and Camilla were still an "item" when she married him and the marriage, as far as he was concerned, was to please us, the public.

She was badly treated by the establishment and sought comfort - who can blame her?

Charles and Camilla have got what they wanted, they feel no remorse. Let them take their comeuppance on judgement day.
Kathy, UK

I remember thinking she had no dignity.

I think she was manipulative, self-obsessed and extremely needy.

I wasn't one of those overcome with grief at her death.

Sure I was sad that a young mother had died in her prime leaving her sons behind but I was primarily furiously angry at the hysteria following her death.
Kate, UK

I was living in England when they got engaged.

The first comment Prince Charles said about love, was "whatever than means".

He used Diana. He never loved her. She was in love with him, and very hurt at his adultery.

She was right to fight back. A pity they killed her!
Conchita, Spain

I saw the interview and I obviously sympathized with Princess Diana.

She was very young, and very much in love with Prince Charles.

If it were not for this horrid woman (Camilla), I am sure her marriage to Prince Charles would have survived.

It was Camilla´s idea to use Princes Diana, so she could continue her vulgar relationship to the Prince.

She thought she could continue their relationship, because she thought Princess Diana would accept it.

Prince Charles and this woman, destroyed Princess Diana.
Carmen, Colombia

I was in a pub with a mate. A German television company bought our table a round of drinks if we agreed to be filmed watching the the interview on telly looking interested.

I remember a newspaper cartoon with Charles and Diana on a corner both trying to hawk papers bawling, 'Read about my lousy marriage!' to passers by who ignored them.

People forget what a sorry display was made at the time by these privileged buffoons who define 'dignity' and 'responsibility' solely in terms of what they want at any given moment.
Chris, UK

It was a moving interview at the time, but can we please leave the whole Diana thing now and accept that she's gone and whatever we do will not bring her back?You cannot change the past.
Matt, England

My feelings were summed up by a comment from a comedian, possibly Ian Hislop, who asked on TV the following day if anyone could give him advice on how to remove mascara from the inside of his television screen.
M Harrison, UK

Princess Diana was terribly treated by Prince Charles. Now he is protecting his former mistress from the press, as if anybody was interested in her. That woman has no morals, nor ethics. She destroyed TWO marriages and Princess Diana in the process...
Francoise, England

I wasn't shocked by her revelations so much as shocked by her ability to be manipulative!

She was playing the perfect 'victim' and was urging everyone to come onto her side. I felt that it was all very calculated to 'pull on the heartstrings' of the public - and it worked!

She went the whole hog with it too, the doe eyes, the make-up calculated to enhance that, her sitting position... a very clever lady.

Sadly, she was a victim in many ways... but the way in which she capitalised on her situation back-fired spectactularly with me.

Sorry if I seem dismissive... but she participated in the interview with a clear agenda... and was able to work through it point by point.

She used her attractiveness to further enhance her appeal to those who were unaware of the agenda she was working through.
Gill, UK What an actress. She showed in the interview she would have been better suited to selling cosmetics in Peter Jones than being a member of the Royal Family.
Huw, UK I watched a little of the programme but turned off because I got the impression that she was putting on an act calculated to win the public's sympathy in her personal disagreements with the Royal Family.
Martin, UK

I can remember thinking what a passive-aggressive manipulator she was. The doe eyes and the submissive body-language trying to blame everyone in the world but herself. It's sickening just remembering it.
Stuart, Shetland

Diana was no fool. She knew how to manipulate the media but went overboard big time in this interview.....look at the makeup on the eyes for pete's sake.

By replacing Diana with Camilla we're only replacing one parasite with another but at least Camilla ain't going to be plastered all over the media so at least we'll get some peace.

Diana was a sad, troubled and somewhat pathetic soul who was way out of her depth.

And as for Charles, Camilla and the throne....who cares?
Dave, UK If people were really in mourning for her they should have done something constructive with all that money they wasted on flowers.

They should have followed her example and given their money to the charities she cared about.

She was manipulative and played on being the wronged wife.

Do me a favour! Ok Charles had an affair with Camilla but it was only with Camilla. Look how many blokes Diana got through!
Nicki, England

I have lost all the respect I had for the lady I used to watch and see as the queen. The adultery is taboo to all.
Firozali A Mulla, Tanzania

I have just been reading some of the barbed comments about Diana: "unstable; liability; mental capacity" some would say she should have fitted in with the Windsors very well! I think they lost their best asset when she died.

Let's not forget whose infidelity started before they were even married.
Julia Griffiths, Wales

I've always loved and respected Princess Diana and feel saddened that she suffered horribly during the marriage. I've always and still do blame Prince Charles for the failure of the marriage.

I feel like Di was always separated and not included on many things and just thrust into a life of royalty and pomp. I feel like if Charles would have loved her deeply and with all his heart he would have not kept Camilia Parker-Bowles in the picture from the very beginning.

I believe that she was a mistress in his life prior to Princess Di and they always had an understanding that whomever he married she would still be in his life.

I believe that Diana found out about Camilia and that is when the marriage went downhill because Charles couldn't hide it anymore like he always had.

Charles knew what he was doing, he couldn't marry Camilia because she was married so he had an affair with her. I blame Camilia and Charles for the divorce and really dislike Charles and Camilla for this very much.

Diana wouldn't have had to run in the arms of another man if he hadn't of done what he did.
Pamela Batten, UK

I remember watching the ceremony through local TV. They seemed to be so happy and we shared that moment.

Little did we know then, how "crowded" that marriage was going to be. Time has passed by. Many things have occurred since then.

But we still care and remember with great warmth that young and beautiful princess that captured our eyes, our ears and, most definitely, our hearts.
Carlos Rodriguez, Dominican Republic

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Diana being interviewed by Martin Bashir
Diana tells Martin Bashir she wants to be known as "queen of hearts"


Diana and  Charles on balcony at Buckingham Palace
Princess Diana and Prince Charles pictured on their wedding day in 1981

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