Channel 4 Should Shelve Diana Tapes Documentary

Channel 4 Should Shelve Diana Tapes Documentary

By Lucy Caulkett-

Channel 4 should shelve its plans to release a documentary about Princess Diana, because the tapes were recorded in private.

The documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, to be aired ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death, reveals a personal expression of how she felt about her failed marriage.

Recorded by her speech coach, Peter Settelen, they have never been seen in the Uk before. Close friend of Diana, Rosa Moncton, has said that the recording is a betrayal of Diana’s privacy.The tapes reveal details about Diana’s sex life, her marriage to Prince Charles, and her feelings of betrayal.

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Anger against plans to air the show will inevitably include the fact Diana has two big sons in Prince Harry and Williams, who would also have fallen under the umbrella of the Princess’s privacy rights.Harry and Williams have both spoken emotionally about the impact their mother’s death had on them. However, this latest documentary scheduled to be aired on August 11, goes in on private words spoken as part of a therapy process, Diana’s friends have said.

Channel 4 has defended their position by saying, that it[the documentary] “provides a unique insight” ,but Diana’s close friend Rosa Monckton said they were a betrayal of the late princess’s privacy. Moncton is now demanding of the broadcaster not to air the tapes, because they are not for the public domain.


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Channel 4 will need to prove that it is sufficiently in the public interest to release tapes recorded in private. Evidence to show that the tapes were intended to be made public by Diana may be necessary too.  The contents of the tapes will also  have to be relevant to the public in some unquestionable way, otherwise it would be an unlawful intrusion of privacy. 

Diana has always been a source of fascination with the public, but her memory cannot be exploited beyond controlled boundaries.  Her memory will be served better by by doing justice to her right to privacy when she was alive.

Former royal spokesman, Dickie Arbiter, condemned the plan to release the footage in a documentary. He told Sky News: “It is absolutely shameful that these tapes have been made available. It seems that there is sort of grubby blood money running around.” Strong insinuations of corruption are not helpful because they get the mind rolling fast. 

Whatever is decided, the broadcaster has the huge responsibility of ensuring they don’t take a wrong decision on something as private and important as this.

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