13 Books to Read in Memory of Princess Diana

Posted on August 29, 2017 by

August 31 marks the anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who lost her life in a car crash 20 years ago. Princess Diana’s tragic death caused an unprecedented outpouring of grief — not just in Great Britain, but around the world. In memory of the “people’s princess,” we’ve compiled a list of books about Princess Diana, complete with publishers’ descriptions.

 

Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton

When Diana: Her True Story was first published in 1992, it forever changed the way the public viewed the British monarchy. Greeted initially with disbelief and ridicule, the #1 New York Times bestselling biography has become a unique literary classic, not just because of its explosive contents but also because of Diana’s intimate involvement in the publication. Never before had a senior royal spoken in such a raw, unfiltered way about her unhappy marriage, her relationship with the Queen, her extraordinary life inside the House of Windsor, her hopes, her fears, and her dreams. Now, 25 years on, biographer Andrew Morton has revisited the secret tapes he and the late princess made to reveal startling new insights into her life and mind. In this fully revised edition of his groundbreaking biography, Morton considers Diana’s legacy and her relevance to the modern royal family.

An icon in life and a legend in death, Diana continues to fascinate. Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words is the closest we will ever come to her autobiography.

 

Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs by National Geographic with foreword by Tina Brown

For the millions who adored the People’s Princess, this lavish book celebrates Diana Spencer’s life in pictures. Page after page of inside photos from the legendary National Geographic archives document the royal’s most memorable moments in the spotlight. A luminous, personal remembrance by Diana friend and biographer Tina Brown adds context and nuance to a poignant life twenty years after her tragic death. Float down memory lane through more than 100 remarkable images of Diana, from her days as a schoolgirl to her engagement to Prince Charles, the birth of Princes William and Harry, and her life in the media as an outspoken advocate for the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden. This elegant book features reflections from those who knew her best, recollections from dignitaries and celebrities like Nelson Mandela and Elton John, and personal insight through the princess’s own words. This richly illustrated book is a beautiful ode to one of the world’s most beloved women.

 

Diana: A Closely Guarded Secret by Ken Wharfe and Robert Jobson

Inspector Ken Wharfe, the first royalty protection officer to publish a memoir, was a crucial figure in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, for nearly seven years from 1987. In that time, he became a close friend and trusted confidant who shared her most private moments. His first-hand account takes issue with many of the so-called ‘facts’ about the Princess and provides an affectionate, if not always uncritical, insight into this complex, troubled, but ultimately fascinating woman. Perhaps not surprisingly, the book caused a sensation on its first publication, and became both a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Here is the authentic voice of a man who played an important role during Diana’s most difficult times, and in her beloved sons’ formative years, and who shows himself to be an exceptionally perceptive observer of the events that unfolded around the Princess. After Inspector Wharfe resigned his position in 1993 (making headline news), Diana announced her withdrawal from public life and axed her Scotland Yard protection — a decision her former ‘top cop’ believes led ultimately to her death.

 

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Shadows of a Princess by Patrick Jephson

In 1981 Lady Diana Spencer was seen by many as a lifeline for the outdated Windsor line. But Diana didn’t follow the script. Instead she brought a revolution.

Patrick Jephson was Diana’s closest aide and adviser during her years of greatest public fame and deepest personal crisis. He witnessed the disintegration of her marriage to Prince Charles and the negotiation of the royal divorce.

Rooted in unique first-hand experience, Shadows of a Princess is an authoritative, balanced account of one of the world’s most famous and tragic women.

 

The Housekeeper’s Diary by Wendy Berry

The housekeeper of Prince Charles and Diana for seven years chronicles the slow disintegration of their fairy tale marriage, which included illicit visitors, Diana’s bulimia, and Charles’s nocturnal excursions and obsession with his house.

 

The Day Diana Died by Christopher Andersen

“When I was born, I was unwanted. When I married Charles, I was unwanted. When I joined the Royal Family, I was unwanted. I want to be wanted.” — Diana, Princess of Wales.

Where were you the day Diana died? Like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the tragic death of the Princess of Wales on August 31, 1997 is one of the defining benchmarks in history — an event that touched each of us so profoundly we will never forget the moment we heard the news.

Twenty years after the Paris car crash that ended Diana’s life at age thirty-six, the story of her remarkable life and tragic death still have the power to mesmerize. Following her storybook wedding to Prince Charles, she had evolved from “Shy Di” into the planet’s most photographed, written-about, and talked-about woman — indeed, the most famous person in the world.

For all Diana’s global fame, much of the human drama that swirled around her death remained veiled in mystery and intrigue. Here, in the manner of his other 17 New York Times bestsellers, Christopher Andersen draws upon important sources — many of whom are agreeing to speak for the first time — to re-create in vivid and often startling detail the events leading up to that fateful night in Paris.

 

The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown

Years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she “the people’s princess,” who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?

Only Tina Brown, former Editor-in-Chief of Tatler, England’s glossiest gossip magazine; Vanity Fair; and The New Yorker could possibly give us the truth. Tina knew Diana personally and has far-reaching insight into the royals and the Queen herself.

In The Diana Chronicles, you will meet a formidable female cast and understand as never before the society that shaped them: Diana’s sexually charged mother, her scheming grandmother, the stepmother she hated but finally came to terms with, and bad-girl Fergie, her sister-in-law, who concealed wounds of her own. Most formidable of them all was her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought till the day she died. Add Camilla Parker-Bowles, the ultimate “other woman” into this combustible mix, and it’s no wonder that Diana broke out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.

 

Princess Diana: Her Life Story by Richard Buskin

Originally published in 1992, this biography has been fully revised with an addition of 32 pages of text covering the beloved Princess’s untimely death and her internationally televised memorial service. Includes 75 photos.

 

Diana: Finally, the Complete Story by Sarah Bradford

An icon remembered in death as vividly as she appeared in life, Diana, Princess of Wales, is one of the most enduring personalities of the 20th century — and one of the most enigmatic. With exclusive access to all those closest to Diana, Sarah Bradford now casts aside the gossip and lies and takes us to the very heart of the royal family to separate the myth from the truth of the Diana years. With the authority missing from previous accounts, as well as remarkable new sources, Diana delivers a complex and explosive look at a woman who continues to fascinate.

 

The Queen & Di: The Untold Story by Ingrid Seward

As the editor of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward has developed professional and personal relationships with the royal family. We discover a surprising portrait of the English monarch and the princess, contradicting what the press has previously reported: a fragile Diana battling an unfeeling mother-in-law. We learn that the Queen tried to welcome Diana into the royal family and that Di failed to grasp the hand of friendship. From the princess herself we hear details of what went on between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. And we glimpse much more about the inner workings of the extended royal family. Entertaining and factual, The Queen & Di stands apart and above the countless, often inaccurate, accounts published to date about Diana. Ingrid Seward reveals for the first time the true relationship between two important women of the 20th century.

 

Prince Charles by Sally Bedell Smith

Sally Bedell Smith returns once again to the British royal family to give us a new look at Prince Charles, the oldest heir to the throne in more than300 years. This vivid, eye-opening biography — the product of four years of research and hundreds of interviews with palace officials, former girlfriends, spiritual gurus, and more, some speaking on the record for the first time — is the first authoritative treatment of Charles’s life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.

Prince Charles brings to life the real man, with all of his ambitions, insecurities, and convictions. It begins with his lonely childhood, in which he struggled to live up to his father’s expectations and sought companionship from the Queen Mother and his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten. It follows him through difficult years at school, his early love affairs, his intellectual quests, his entrepreneurial pursuits, and his intense search for spiritual meaning. It tells of the tragedy of his marriage to Diana; his eventual reunion with his true love, Camilla; and his relationships with William, Kate, Harry, and his grandchildren.

Ranging from his glamorous palaces to his country homes, from his globe-trotting travels to his local initiatives, Smith shows how Prince Charles possesses a fiercely independent spirit and yet has spent more than six decades waiting for his destined role, living a life dictated by protocols he often struggles to obey. With keen insight and the discovery of unexpected new details, Smith lays bare the contradictions of a man who is more complicated, tragic, and compelling than we knew, until now.

 

Imagining Diana by Diane Clehane

In Imagining Diana, the novel by New York Times bestselling author Diane Clehane, Princess Diana survives the 1997 car crash that led to her tragic death.

As the world awaits news of Princess Diana’s fate following the paparazzi-fueled crash, Diana awakens from a coma to discover that she has survived the wreckage, but with her famous face — the most photographed in the world — forever changed. Based on actual events, what ensues is an elegant and riveting account of Diana’s storied past and imagined future as an icon, lover, and mother of a future king.

 

A Dress for Diana by David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Kate Middleton’s royal wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011 will be the fashion event of the century. And with the whole world watching, Kate’s royal wedding dress will redefine elegance and grace for the next generation of royalty — just as Princess Diana’s legendary wedding gown did a generation ago. When British designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel designed Diana’s dress, they helped her become the most beloved princess in the world. Like Ann Lowe’s wedding gown for Jacqueline Kennedy or Vera Wang’s many celebrity wedding dress designs, the gown that the Emanuels created for Princess Di changed the future of wedding fashion. Now, you can revisit the beauty and innovation that went into Diana’s wedding dress in this lavish, full-color book, written by the dressmakers themselves — the perfect way to make the magic of Princess Kate’s wedding story come to life.

Which of these books are you interested in reading? Tell us about them in the comments!

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