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Princess Diana ‘frightened’ before BBC Panorama interview ‒ but ‘wanted rebirth’ after

Prince William: Panorama interview ‘holds no legitimacy’

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The BBC recently apologised for how Martin Bashir secured his interview with the Princess of Wales more than 20 years ago. Lord Dyson’s investigation found that he had been “deceitful” and used fake documents to persuade Charles Spencer to introduce him to his sister. Prince William gave an emotional speech in which he said BBC leaders failed his mother in that their “woeful incompetence” allowed this deception to fuel her paranoia.

Prince Harry also lashed out, claiming: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”

Mr Bashir has apologised for his actions, but still maintains that it did not harm Diana or affect her decision to give him the interview.

Stewart Pearce, Diana’s confidential voice and presence coach, has recently written a book entitled ‘Diana: The Voice of Change’.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror’s Zoe Forsey for Pod Save the Queen, he explained that Diana hired him after seeing herself in the BBC Panorama video and not liking how she looked and sounded.

He said: “Her voice became very light and it was very delicate and rather beautiful, but it was all very, very light.

“So what she wanted was to acquire a little bit of gravity, a little bit of weight and a little bit of fullness in her voice.”

He added that Diana’s soft voice stemmed from her fear, and how he worked with her to overcome that.

The voice coach recalled how Diana had nerves around public speaking, as most people do.

Recalling her voice before he worked with her, he said: “She was frightened and when we’re frightened, we use very small voices.

“Now, if you’re doing this, there’s a lot of tension being held within your body.

“So it’s less about what we feel about her voice, it was much more how she was feeling about her voice, that she didn’t feel that she was empowered, she didn’t feel like she could speak so much of what she was feeling.”

Mr Pearce said he knew this because, when Diana was in an informal situation, she was very relaxed and playful and laughed a lot.

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He spoke fondly of the princess, describing how she liked to find “the absurdities in life” and have fun exploring their ridiculousness.

By contrast, whenever she walked onto a stage she was “quivering”.

After the Panorama interview, Diana decided she wanted to “rebirth” herself and so Mr Pearce was introduced to help empower her to develop her “presence”.

He said that, while it was partly to do with not liking how she looked and sounded, it was more about her own transformation from Prince Charles’ wife to her own women.

Princess Diana: Ian Blackford slams ‘shameful’ BBC treatment

It was around this time that the wheels started to be put in motion for their divorce, which was finalised the following year.

Mr Pearce said: “It was much more to do with the fact that she was going through a rebirthing of herself, or a transformation into a new way of being, because she was no longer just solidly the Princess of Wales.”

On the other hand, he acknowledged how relatable it is to hear a recording of your own voice or see a video of yourself and not like it at all.

During the coronavirus pandemic, people have been using digital tools to communicate more and more, seeing themselves on camera and many finding it uncomfortable.

Mr Pearce said he “immediately adored” Diana, and recalled her as gorgeous, easy, loving, authentic and “heavenly” with no airs and graces.

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