The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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More Diana tape mud on monarchy

London, Nov. 27: Unpublished videotapes of Diana, Princess of Wales, talking frankly about her marriage, sex life and the Royals are to be shown on American television over the next 10 days.

The latest incursion into the lives of Diana and the Prince of Wales during the most difficult period of their ill-starred marriage is to be shown in two one-hour documentaries on NBC on Monday and on December 6.

Neither Buckingham Palace nor Clarence House was willing yesterday to comment on the latest round of embarrassing claims about the marriage.

The princess's family gave up a legal battle this year to stop the videos being reclaimed by Peter Settelen. He is the voice coach who made the tapes during the 16 months he worked to help overcome her shyness and improve her public speaking.

Some of Settelen's tapes contain fresh claims, including the princess discussing intimate details of her marriage and suggesting that a royal protection officer, reportedly a former lover, had been 'bumped off' in a road accident.

In the tapes, recorded at Kensington Palace in 1992-93, she says of her sex life with the prince: 'There was never a requirement for it from him. Once every three weeks about and I kept thinking it followed a pattern. He used to see his lady once every three weeks before we got married.'

Diana also says she had little help during a meeting with the Queen in 1986 after discovering that the prince was seeing Camilla Parker Bowles again. 'I went to the Top Lady and I'm sobbing. And I said: 'What do I do' She said: 'I don't know ' Charles is hopeless'.'

The princess says she and the prince met only 13 times before they married. 'He'd ring me up every day for a week and then he wouldn't speak to me for three weeks. Very odd.'

She also speaks of the pain she felt at her engagement when a reporter asked if the royal couple were in love. Diana says she replied: 'Of course we are.' Then, she says, her fiance added: 'Whatever in love means.' On the tape, she says: 'That threw me completely.'

Most intriguing, perhaps, are her remarks about Barry Mannakee, with whom she allegedly had an affair in 1985 and who was subsequently moved from duties as a royal protection officer at Kensington Palace. Two years later, he died in a road accident.

Without mentioning Mannakee by name, the princess says: 'It was all found out and he was chucked out. And then he was killed. And I think he was bumped off.

'But, um, there we are. I don't... we'll never know. He was greatest fella I've ever had.'

The tapes were among items seized four years ago in a police raid on the home of Paul Burrell. Settelen claimed ownership and finally got back six tapes in September. He claims at least another 12 are still missing and have probably been destroyed.

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