12 Things To Watch, Read & Listen To On Princess Diana’s 60th Birthday

Today, 1st July 2021, marks what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday – 24 years after her tragic death at the age of just 36. As Prince William and Prince Harry get ready to unveil a commemorative statue in the grounds of Kensington Palace, we’ve rounded up the best of what to read, listen and watch to learn more about her incredible – and ongoing – legacy.
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WATCH

Diana

This new ITV documentary has been released to coincide with what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. Using rare footage and personal testimony, the film looks back over the life of one of the 20th century’s most enduring icons, cataloguing her difficult childhood, tense relationship with the royal family and her marriage – plus its subsequent breakdown – to Prince Charles. 

Visit ITV.com

Diana: In Her Own Words

Originally broadcast on Channel 4 in 2017, Diana: In Her Own Words includes footage of the late Princess of Wales discussing aspects of her personal life – including her marriage to Prince Charles – as part of conversations she had with a voice coach in 1992 and 1993. Despite drawing a mixed reaction from critics, as well as Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, the documentary handed Channel 4 its largest overnight ratings for more than a year, watched by an average audience of 3.5m. If you want to watch a documentary told specifically from the princess’s perspective – and a deeper look at her childhood and family history – make this your first stop.

Visit YouTube.com

Diana: Seven Days That Shook The World

Another documentary also broadcast in 2017, this film focuses on Diana's death, funeral and the effect it had on those closest to her and the grieving public. Specifically, it looks at how the royal family came to terms with tragic events, and the Queen’s delayed response in speaking to her people. Featuring footage of then-prime minister Tony Blair, as well as a host of royal experts and biographers, even if you lived through it at the time, it’s an incredible insight into one of the defining events of the late 20th century. 

Visit Netfix.com

The Royal House Of Windsor

Much has been made of Princess Diana’s struggle to fit into the confines of royal life, and to better understand the institution she joined, don’t miss this six-part series on Netflix. Billed a more accurate version of Netflix hit The Crown, this documentary traces the history of Britain’s most famous family, from just after the end of WWI to the struggle faced by Prince Charles to reclaim the public’s support following Princess Diana’s death. 

Visit Netflix.com

The Crown: Series 4

If you’ve yet to dip your toe in the Netflix smash hit, and just want to look at the glamour and behind-the-scenes workings of Diana’s entry into the royal family, skip straight to season four to see Emma Corrin pay immaculate homage to her early life. Winning a Golden Globe for her performance, Corrin portrays Diana’s teenage years spent at her family estate Althorp, her initial meeting with Prince Charles, their subsequent marriage and birth of their two sons, followed inevitably by the breakdown of the marriage and plans for divorce. Next season, Elizabeth Debicki will take over the role, covering the years Diana spent coming into her own as a philanthropist and, some might say, the most famous woman in the world.

 

Visit Netflix.com

READ

The Diana Chronicles By Tina Brown

More than 20 years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she the ‘people's princess’ who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy? In a new commemorative edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrew Marr, The Diana Chronicles parts the curtains on Diana's troubled time in the mysterious world of the Windsors, as she breaks out of her royal cage into celebrity culture. Widely considered the most comprehensive, well-researched and balanced account of Princess Diana’s life, if you’re looking for the definitive biography on the Princess of Wales, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Available at Waterstones.com

Diana: Her True Story By Andrew Morton

When Diana: Her True Story was first published in 1992, it changed the way the public viewed the British monarchy. Never before had a senior royal spoken in such a raw, unfiltered way about her marriage, her hopes and fears and her extraordinary life inside the House of Windsor. More than 25 years on, the book’s author Andrew Morton has since revisited the secret tapes he and the late princess made, to reveal startling new insights into her life and mind. Whatever your perspective on the controversial book, it’s probably the closest we will ever come to her autobiography.

Available at Waterstones.com

Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs By Tina Brown

Published to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, this coffee table book – complete with a foreword by Tina Brown – celebrates the life of one of the most iconic women in the world in pictures. Around 100 photos from the legendary National Geographic archives document the royal's most memorable moments in the spotlight – from her days as a schoolgirl to her engagement to Prince Charles, the birth of Princes William and Harry, and her life in the media as an outspoken advocate for the poor, sick and the downtrodden. The book also includes reflections from those who knew her best, like Nelson Mandela and Elton John, and personal insight through the princess's own words. 

Available at Waterstones.com

Diana: Style Icon By Dan Jones & Illustrated By Fernando Monroy

We can’t quite believe it’s taken us this long to mention Princess Diana’s impeccable style – a trend which continues to resonate today. Diana: Style Icon charts her fashion evolution through 50 hand-illustrated looks – from ruffles to polka dots, dreamy red-carpet classics to her talent for nailing off-duty chic, the book showcases legendary designers such as Chanel, Dior, Versace, Ferragamo and Jasper Conran, and includes more exclusive ones, such as Bruce Oldfield, Catherine Walker, Christina Stambolian and Atelier Emanuel, the latter of which designed the princess’s wedding dress. A must-have for fashion fans. 

Available at Waterstones.com

LISTEN

You’re Wrong About

Tune into this Diana mini-series, hosted by journalist Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall. Broken down into five parts, it spans the pivotal chapters of Princess Diana’s life, including her and Charles’ courtship through to that fatal night in Paris. For us, it’s the fourth instalment that’s the standout. In this episode, Diana leaves the royal family with her reputation intact and her title slightly edited, as she attempts to break away from the rigour of royal life in the hope of a fresh start. Compelling listening.

Listen here 

The Crown Official Podcast

If, like us, you’re a mega fan of The Crown, then you’ll know the pain of having to wait ages for a new series to land. To plug the gap, tune into the official podcast, hosted by radio legend Edith Bowman. If you loved series four and Emma Corrin’s portrayal of the princess, then tune into the latest episodes, which were released last November to coincide with the drama’s return, featuring guests including showrunner, writer and creator Peter Morgan and cast members Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter. 

Listen here

VISIT

Royal Style In The Making

Hosted at Kensington Palace this summer, this temporary exhibition explores the intimate relationship between fashion designer and royal client, revealing the process behind the creation of a number of the most important couture commissions in royal history. On display is the wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales – on show for the first time in 25 years, in addition to a rare, surviving toile for the 1937 coronation gown of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Book tickets here 

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