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Secret Diana tapes being aired
Updated: 2004-03-05 08:42

Tapes secretly recorded by Princess Diana detailing the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles are being aired on television for the first time.

In the tapes, Diana speaks of her struggle with bulimia, suicide attempts, her relationships with other members of Britain's royal family and Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, NBC told the UK Press Association.

The U.S. network said it had bought the rights to the audio and video tapes, which show her "laughing and interacting" with Princes William and Harry.

The hour of video and about seven hours of audio tapes were the main source for Andrew Morton's 1992 best-selling book, "Diana: Her True Story."

The audio tapes were understood to have been secretly recorded at Kensington Palace in response to Morton's written questions.

NBC is refusing to reveal the contents of the tapes, which are being shown in a two-part special.

But the Press Association said that according to reports, Diana will be heard saying: "My wedding day, I think that was the worst day of my life.

"If I could write my own script I would have my husband go away with his woman and never come back."

She said her public persona was often very different to her real personality.

"The public side, they wanted a fairy princess to come and touch them and everything will turn into gold and all their worries would be forgotten.

"Little did they realize that the individual was crucifying herself inside because she didn't think she was good enough."

She said one of Charles' staff members once told her the prince had secretly given Parker Bowles a bracelet.

"It's a gold chain bracelet with a blue enamel disc -- it's got a G and an F entwined in it. Gladys and Fred, they were their nicknames. And I was devastated," she said.

NBC said the video footage was taken between September 1992 and December 1993, at a time when Diana's marriage was in turmoil.

The network said: "Within the two-hour program, Diana will tell her story beginning with her life before becoming a princess, through her battle with bulimia and her suicide attempts, to intimate details of Prince Charles' long-time affair with Camilla Parker Bowles that haunted their marriage.

"The exclusive footage reveals a relaxed, candid Diana at times laughing and interacting with her young sons, illustrating the lighter side of a woman who maintained a very reserved public persona."

The marriage between Diana and Charles came to an end in July 1996.

She denied speaking to Morton when he was working on the book. But after her death in a Paris car crash in 1997, he said Diana had collaborated with him.

NBC did not disclose exactly how it acquired rights to the tapes. Morton appears on the program among friends of Diana.

The two-part special air in the United States at 10 p.m. ET Thursday and March 11.

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