Extracts from a series of video recordings during which Princess Diana discussed her sex life with Prince Charles are to be broadcast on British television for the first time.
Channel 4 has acquired access to videotapes made at Kensington Palace in 1992 and 1993, in which Diana discussed intimate details of her personal life with her voice coach, the UK-based American actor Peter Settelen.
The contents of the tapes – described as “dynamite” by one TV producer – are so sensitive they have never before been broadcast on British television.
But now Channel 4 is planning to make them the central part of a feature-length documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, to be broadcast in early August.
The channel is so far refusing to say whether or not it will broadcast the parts of the videotaped confessions where Princess Diana discussed her sex life.
But it is known that among the 21 hours of footage recorded during Mr Settelen’s voice coaching sessions were times in which Diana was remarkably open about her sexual relationship with Prince Charles.
“Instinct told me, it was just so odd. There was never a requirement for it from his case. Sort of a once every three weeks … and I kept thinking…and then I followed a pattern. He used to see his lady [Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince Charles’ second wife] once every three weeks before we got married.”
The NBC broadcast caused such controversy that the BBC later shelved plans for a documentary showing British viewers extracts from the tapes in 2007.
Mr Settelen acknowledged that the Diana never meant the videoed conversations to become public, and ahead of the 2004 NBC broadcast, a “royal source” was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “No matter how the publishers and the documentary makers present this, it will obviously be upsetting to the Princess of Wales’ children and Prince Charles.”
But a Channel 4 spokeswoman told The Independent the video tapes were “an important historical archive to which we have been fortunate to gain access”.
Refusing to disclose whether or not British TV viewers would for the first time see the sections where Diana discussed her sex life, she said: “In terms of the specifics of what we are broadcasting, we are just not disclosing that yet. We will do that nearer transmission.”