Two hundred million people show interest as the princess gives an interview to the BBC reporter Martin Bashir on the 20th November 1995 in Kensington Palace.
"Your Highness, how
preparedwere you when you married the Prince of Wales? At 19 one believes that
one is prepared for everything.
Were you actually completely happy at the start of your marriage?
Absolutely. But the pressure from the media on us both was so heavy. We were on our honeymoon in Australia and then I noticed that the media concerned themselves more with me than with him. I found that unfair, I wanted to share it with him. It upset him. It lead to jealousy from many sides and resulted in complicated situations.
Shortly after the marriage you became pregnant.
What was your reaction as you heard that it would be an heir to the throne?
An incredible relief. I think that the whole country felt the same as me. It was really a huge relief for me.
How did the rest of the royal family react when they found out
that you were expecting a boy?
Have you ever sought help from another member of the Royal Family?
No, no. If one has bulimia then one shames for oneself. One hates oneself. One doesn't mention it to other people. The unhappy fact is that one doesn't lose or put on weight. One can act as though everything were normal.
Did the press attention accelerate your illness?
That made everything very difficult. Here was a married couple in the same job. My husband talked whilst I shook the hands. However when my husband said that we should take on differing duties I was sad, as I was happy to be together with him.
Did the prince respect your interests?
I believe that I was not allowed to have any. I was not permitted any. I was always the 18 year old whom he had got engaged to. But I had to grow up, and I also grew in stature. No-one ever praised me, but if I made a mistake then I received all the criticism. I cried many tears. Bulimia was my way to escape.
In 1986 the relationship between your husband and Camilla Parker-Bowles is supposed to have re-ignited.
Did you know about this?
Yes, it was obvious to me. I knew that. But I simply couldn't do anything about it. I had tips from differing people who cared about our marriage.
The effect on you?
Shattering. I had the feeling that I was not worth anything anymore. Without hope, a failure. With a husband who loved another. The change in his behaviour made me certain. A woman senses these things. My husband's friends said that I was unstable again and should be placed in a clinic. I was, as it were, an embarrassment to him. A perfect tactical way to isolate a person.
Was Mrs. Parker-Bowles guilty for the breakdown of your marriage?
Yes, there were three of us in this marriage. And there was one person too many. The Royal Family were worried. One could see that there would be complications, but one didn't want to interfere.
How did you lead this double life?
When we travelled abroad we had separate apartments and rooms on the same floor. Then this was discovered and there were yet more complications. However Charles and I had our duty to carry out, that was the most important thing. In public we were a very good team.
In 1992 Andrew Morton's book about you appeared in which your unhappiness was portrayed. Did you help him?
I allowed my friends to talk to him. My nerves were at an end, I was desperate. It was enough for me that I would always be portrayed as a bit frail. I have a strong personality. The book was important. Perhaps there are more women who suffer like me and can never speak for themselves as their feeling of self-worth practically doesn't exist anymore.
What effect did Morton's book have on your relationship with the prince?
He was shocked and horrified. What we meant to have kept hidden had been brought out into the open. The question of separation was suddenly there. At some point we then called the lawyers together and talked about separation. Many people joined in: the Prime Minister, Her Majesty ...
In December 1992 the legal separation was finalized. How did you feel at this point?
Deep sadness. We had fought in order to keep everything going. That didn't work any more, we had no more energy left, neither of us. And it was a relief for both. My husband wanted the separation, I supported him.
was then not your idea?
No. I come from a family with divorced parents and I didn't want to have to experience that again.
Did you say anything to your children?
Yes, I travelled to them beforehand and explained to them what had happened. They reacted like all children do, with lots of questions. I hope that I was able to console them.
What did the separation change?
I was a problem to them. I wasn't allowed to carry on with many of my former duties. Everything changed when we separated. Life became very difficult. My husband and his friends were very active in demoting me.
Then your telephone conversation with James Gilbey was made known. He called you his octopus.
I tried to protect James, he has always been a good friend, and I couldn't bear the fact that his life would be so churned up because he had been in contact with me. In any case the telephone conversation actually took place. James is a very loving person, but we didn't have a marriage-breaking relationship.
How did this conversation get to be in the press?
I don't know. But it was there to injure me and to hurt me. It was the first time that I experienced this sort of thing: what it meant to be outside the safety net and not to be a part of the family any more. My husband naturally held all the best cards. That was like in a game of poker, or a game of chess.
And your alleged nuisance calls to the millionaire Oliver Hoare?
That was wrongly reported. I was meant to be discredited yet again. I then found out that a young man made most of the telephone calls, but they were blamed on me. I phoned Whore a couple of times, but absolutely not with such a forceful art and means.
Did you let yourself be sent away?
I fought to the end. Because I believe that I have a role to play, a function, and I have two children who I want to bring up. In 1993 I retreated for a while. With this strategy I confused my enemies who ruined all my duties. It was the fear of a strong woman as my affect in public was greater than that of Charles.
Then in a biography your husband admitted his love for Camilla.
I was desperate and shattered. But I admired the honesty and openness. Then I drove to the school and told my son William: "When one finds someone who one loves then must one hold one to this person", that I still love his father but that we can't live together any more. I take 50 percent of the responsibility for the destruction of the marriage, but no more than this.
In a book your riding teacher James Hewitt admitted to having an affair with you. Is that true?
He was a very good friend at a difficult time. He was always there and helped me. And I was shattered when this book was published. I trusted him and now he's making money from me. There is a lot of invention in this book. He phoned me ten days beforehand and said that the book was harmless.
Did your relationship go
beyond a close friendship?
you think that he will become king?