Last night’s Channel 4 documentary Diana In Her Own Words had us glued to our TV sets – and one revelation in particular was a real eye-opener.
In the footage, filmed by her speech consultant Peter Settelen between 1992 and 1993 and never seen before in the UK, the then-Princess of Wales spoke candidly about her relationship with Prince Charles.
She confessed that her sex life with the future king had “fizzled out” and described her battle with the eating disorder bulimia.
But it was when she started talking about another man, who she described as her “greatest love”, that we found ourselves turning up the volume on the TV.
“When I was 24 or 25, I was deeply in love with someone who worked in this environment,” she confessed.
“But then he was chucked out and he was killed.”
Though Diana didn’t name the man, and denied anything sexual between them, it’s believed that she was referring to Barry Mannakee, who served as her bodyguard for a year in the mid-80s, before being transferred to the Diplomatic Protection Group.
In the documentary, Diana revealed that she was “quite happy to give it all up… just to go off and live with him. Can you believe it? And he kept saying he thought it was a good idea, too.”
But shortly after, 39-year-old Mannakee was tragically killed when a motorbike he was travelling on collided with a car.
“Eventually he had to go,” she said. “And then three weeks after he left he was killed in a motorbike accident.
“He was the greatest friend I’ve ever had, and that was a real killer.”
Diana and Charles got divorced in 1996 – just five years after tying the knot – following revelations that he’d been having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Mannakee isn’t the only man Diana had romantic ties with. It’s been claimed that she was keen to marry Pakistani heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan, with whom she had a relationship in 1996 and 1997.
And in the weeks leading up to her death, she spent a lot of time with Dodi Fayed, the son of Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, who died with her when their car crashed in a Paris tunnel on August 31 in 1997.