Channel 4 refusing to pull controversial Diana documentary

The tapes feature some uncomfortable revelations about the royals

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It is the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on August 31, and the world is already awash with headlines and documentaries about her life.

Next Sunday, Channel 4 is set to air Diana: In Her Own Words.

The 90-minute programme features footage previously unaired in the UK, with Diana speaking extremely candidly about the trials and tribulations of her life after meeting Charles.

Diana suffered terribly from paparazzi intrusion during and after her marriage to Charles (Credit: FameFlynet)

The footage was shot by Diana’s speech coach, Peter Settelen, between 1992 and 1993.

He has chosen not to appear in the documentary, which is already causing controversy before it screens.

Explaining why Settelen has passed on the tapes, his solicitor stated: “For the past 15 years Peter has been reluctant  to show the tapes.

“But now, coming up to the 20th anniversary, with everyone, including her own children, discussing Diana and revisiting her life, he wants Diana to be able to speak for herself. It’s about giving her a voice.”

Read more: Paparazzo who took pictures of Princess Diana as she was dying breaks silence on what he did with them

Diana attends a royal appointment with her then-husband and two sons. But things soon turned sour (Credit: FameFlynet)

The Mail is reporting that Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, contacted Channel 4 to ask them not to air the film, for fear of the distress it could cause her sons.

Diana also spoke candidly about her relationship in an interview with Martin Bashir, which was televised in 1995 (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

It has been publicly condemned by Diana’s close friend Rosa Monckton, who has said: “I think it’s completely inappropriate that they are being shown publicly.

“The tapes should have been sent to the boys. They should definitely have been sent to her sons.

“I just think it is absolutely disgusting.”

Read more: Princes Harry and William reveal big regret about the last time they spoke to their mum

Royal biographer Penny Junor has also slammed it.

“This is just another way of exploiting Diana,” she has said. “It’s not what Charles would want and it’s clearly not what the boys would want. It will be deeply hurtful to them.

“It seems to me a very bad idea to broadcast these tapes, especially at this difficult time for the family.”

At the time of publishing, Channel 4 has not backed down on its plans to broadcast.

A spokesperson said: “The excerpts from the tapes … are an important historical source.

“We carefully considered all the material used in the documentary and, though the recordings were made in private, the subjects covered are a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story, which culminated in her later interview for Panorama.”