The Diana Chronicles

Thương hiệu: Tina Brown
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Thông số sản phẩm
Doubleday; 1st edition (June 1, 2007)
542 pages
Reading age
18 years and up
Item Weight
1.92 pounds
5.6 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
Best Sellers Rank
#910,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)#1,669 in Royalty Biographies#2,260 in England History#4,820 in Rich & Famous Biographies
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Thông tin sản phẩm The Diana Chronicles
Thương hiệu Tina Brown là cái tên nổi tiếng được rất nhiều khách hàng trên thế giới chọn lựa. Với kiểu dáng đẹp mắt, sang trọng, sản phẩm The Diana Chronicles là sự lựa chọn hoàn hảo nếu bạn đang tìm mua một món Europe cho riêng mình.
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Mô tả sản phẩm

Product Description

"Intensely well researched and an un-put-down-able read, Tina Brown's extraordinary book parts the brocaded velvet and allows us an unprecedented look at the world and mind of the most famous person on the planet. A social commentary, a historical document and a psychological examination, written by a superb investigative journalist."

–Academy Award® Winning Actress Helen Mirren

Ten 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?

Only Tina Brown, former Editor-in-Chief of Tatler, England’s glossiest gossip magazine; Vanity Fair; and The New Yorker could possibly give us the truth. Tina knew Diana personally and has far-reaching insight into the royals and the Queen herself.

In The Diana Chronicles, you will meet a formidable female cast and understand as never before the society that shaped them:   Diana's sexually charged mother, her scheming grandmother, the stepmother she hated but finally came to terms with, and bad-girl Fergie, her sister-in-law, who concealed wounds of her own.  Most formidable of them all was her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought till the day she died. Add Camilla Parker-Bowles, the ultimate "other woman" into this combustible mix, and it's no wonder that Diana broke out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.  

From Publishers Weekly

Princess Diana was "the best thing to happen" to the British royals "since the restoration of Charles II," concludes Brown in this dishy biography, and the royal family's error was not realizing that. It's tough to pigeonhole a peacock, but Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, tries, calling the late Diana a diva, "a siren of subversion" who "even as a small girl... had been dangerous when hurt." Brown shows how Diana excelled at manipulating the media; her in-laws could only stand by helplessly as she captivated the cameras by batting her eyes or lowering them in her trademark "Shy Di" look. So enamored of herself was Diana, according to Brown, that she claimed not to understand why a certain cardiologist preferred his work at the hospital to seeing after her. Brown interviewed more than 250 people, from Mikhail Baryshnikov (who found the late Princess "so much more beautiful than any photographs or TV") to a friend of Diana's late mother, who says that mum disapproved of her daughter's too hasty royal marriage and tried talking her out of it. In the battle of unpleasant revelations made by both sides in the Di-Charles battles, Brown speculates that Squidgy-gate was the product of MI5 bugging the royal phones. Brown gives her book a tabloid-lingo touch and can fall into melodrama (while everyoneo saw Di's life as a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the author says, it "was becoming more like something out of Hitchcock"), but then, given the nature of the subject matter, a little melodrama is entirely fitting. However, the final portrait of Diana as a heroine who broke free of the royal bonds and changed the monarchy forever will be familiar to most readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

There are few who could delve as successfully into Princess Di's life as the celebrated Tina Brown, who combines her journalistic savvy with the gossip only an insider could know. While she stresses Diana's role in changing the relationship between the press and the House of Windsor, Brown offers plenty of juicy details, "varying from credible to melodramatic to weirdly sitcomlike" ( New York Times)-from Diana's sexual relationship (remember Squidgy?) with Charles to her insecurities, her bulimia, the castles, the rivalries. Diana comes off as a bundle of contradictions, which was part of her appeal. If The Diana Chronicles is, in the end, a book partially built on others, it is nonetheless "a trashy (if delicious) tale ... rendered vividly mordant" ( Wall Street Journal).
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Is this a total dis job? Does the former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker do a number on the late Princess of Wales, whom she counted as a friend? That is hardly Brown's intention; her well-researched, well-considered biography is responsible, eloquent, and honest. And if honesty means she calls things as she sees them pertaining to the increasingly darker aspects of Diana's out-of-control side, then Brown exhibits no hesitation in doing so. Her lack of trepidation in both crediting Diana for her accomplishments in her difficult role as wife of the heir to the throne and drawing negative conclusions about Diana's difficulties in performing that role achieves an understanding of Diana no author has reached before. Brown fathoms the needy girl never loved enough; she grasps the reasons for the collision of this outsider spirit with a royal family slow on the uptake in terms of today's omnipresent media and the rising cult of celebrity, which, in Brown's words, is now the "coin of the realm." Diana knew how to manipulate the press, of course, but she had a tiger by the tail; if she let go of the media game she had created around herself, it could destroy her. Brimming with new information and insights, this book on the unfortunate Princess of Wales is not just for the season but will last for a long time to come. Hooper, Brad



From The New York Times Book Review:

With “The Diana Chronicles,” Tina Brown breathes new life into the saga of this royal “icon of blondness” by astutely revealing just how powerful, and how marketable, her story became in the age of modern celebrity journalism....Brown offers an insightful, absorbing account of the pas de deux into which, to her eventual peril, Diana joined with the paparazzi. As the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, Brown certainly has the authority to examine the Princess of Wales as a creation and a casualty of the media glare.
-Caroline Weber

From The New Yorker:

By now, there have been dozens of books....But the best book on Diana is the newest, "The Diana Chronicles"... by Tina Brown....her book is, among other things, a miracle of access....She tells the story fluently, with engrossing detail on every page, and the mastery of tone which made her Tatler famous for being popular with the people it was laughing at.

-John Lanchester

From The Chicago Tribune:

...[An] insanely readable and improbably profound new biography...."The Diana Chronicles," Brown's hotly awaited dish on the princess, [is] more than a mere gossip-fest....real charm and substance lie in Brown's analysis of contemporary media....It is terrifically well written, with motion-capture phrases that instantly distill some complicated essence of contemporary life into a few deft adjectives.

-Julia Keller

From The Boston Globe:

"The Diana Chronicles," by Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, peels many layers of... mystery away and even makes the old horror stories of [Diana's] life seem fresh....Brown gives them new vigor, with insights based on her own exhaustive research and a wickedly canny, celebrity-trained eye for detail.
-Amy Graves

From The Washington Post:

...Brown's jam-packed, juicy roll in the high cotton is... fragrant with the rich schadenfreude that makes Top People so much easier to bear. And in return for its rumored $2 million advance, it includes shovelfuls of hot fresh dirt, tucked among the standard (and amazingly detailed) iconic fare. Remember the sex-soaked phone tapes (Diana as Squidgy, or Charles's Tampax fantasy)? Remember the Royal Love Train? Dueling media manipulation? Jealous attention-grabbing? Top-of-the-line adultery, divorce and money-grubbing?...The sour wisdom Brown gleaned during decades spent editing chic magazines glints throughout her book, like rhinestones under sackcloth....Diana's tragicomedy is Shakespearean in scale, with its slippery royal machinations, its agonized ironies, its seething jealousies and heartbreaking inevitability....a walloping good read.
-Diana McLellan

From The Wall Street Journal:

Only Ms. Brown could deploy such words as "hottie" and "propinquity" in the same sentence. In her hands, a trashy (if delicious) tale is rendered vividly mordant. She writes with the feline flair of a woman who has met, but not necessarily liked, most of the characters in her book and who has an uncommonly good way with characterization....The book's greatest attraction, however, is its sheer wealth of detail, by turns salacious, vinegary, depressing and hilarious....a psychodrama, a morality play, a pageant of recklessness and revenge, of passion and pity, of loneliness and looniness.
-Tunku Varadarajan

From The LA Times:

I read every whiplash chapter and came away rubbing my cervical vertebrae...."The Diana Chronicles," Brown's account of the young aristocrat's marriage to the heir to the throne, motherhood, divorce and death, has enough of Diana's hairpin personality turns, emotional drops and gleeful summits to be a Disneyland thrill ride....Brown reminds us of her instantly intimate, magical presence.
-Patt Morrison


"Nothing comes close to Tina Brown's book for its tight grip on the dark human comedy that was Diana's life and death. Brown knows the ritual dances, the shouts and whispers of the tribes of Britain better than anyone who has ever written this story but she also has a perfect ear for the way ordinary people responded to the doomed Princess. The result is a compulsively page-turning trip to the poisoned place where class met glamour and the result was catastrophe."
–Simon Schama, author of A History of Britain

"This is not only first-rate biography, but a marvelous social history, and a bitingly accurate portrait of the English upper classes."
–Michael Korda, author of Charmed Lives and Ike

"Tina Brown has produced something that is, as well as absorbing and stirring, witty and penetrating."
–Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great

"A delightfully smart and insightful book that... weaves a compelling human drama into a rich social history."
–Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe

About the Author

Tina Brown was 25 when she became editor-in-chief of England's oldest glossy, The Tatler, reviving the nearly defunct 270 year old magazine with an attitude and style that gave it a 300 percent circulation rise. She went on to become editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, and won four National Magazine Awards. In 1992 she became the first female editor of The New Yorker where she raised newsstand circulation by 145
percent. In 2000, Ms. Brown was awarded C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth. She is married to Sir Harold Evans. The couple have two children and reside in New York.

From The Washington Post

Reviewed by Diana McLellan

I wonder if Tina Brown ever had the Queen Dream? Back in the mid-'80s, around the time Brown moved from editing London's Tatler to Vanity Fair, an astonishing 65 percent of the English -- including actors Judi Dench, Alec Guinness and several socialist politicians -- confessed to dreaming of a cozy tête-à-tête with Her Majesty. (Full disclosure: I had my second tea-with-the-Queen dream after reading Brown's book. It ended in a genteel food-fight, amid gales of chummy laughter.)

For those who haven't had the pleasure, Brown's jam-packed, juicy roll in the high cotton is even better, fragrant with the rich schadenfreude that makes Top People so much easier to bear. And in return for its rumored $2 million advance, it includes shovelfuls of hot fresh dirt, tucked among the standard (and amazingly detailed) iconic fare. Remember the sex-soaked phone tapes (Diana as Squidgy, or Charles's Tampax fantasy)? Remember the Royal Love Train? Dueling media manipulation? Jealous attention-grabbing? Top-of-the-line adultery, divorce and money-grubbing?

One charming image is new to me: The night before her fairy-tale wedding, the just-turned 20 Lady Diana Spencer gobbled everything in sight, got "sick as a parrot" (presumably to fit into her wedding dress) and then, at loose ends, tripped gaily downstairs at Clarence House to chat with the Queen Mum's elderly page. Spotting the old boy's bike, she hopped on and began peddling joyfully in circles, jingling the bell and singing over and over, "I'm going to marry the Prince of Wales tomorrow!"

That triumphant crow crowned months, if not years, of meticulous plotting -- not only by Diana, but also by the desperate-for-a-virgin-bride Windsor tribe, all laid out here for our delectation like a really good hunt breakfast. It also heralded the dawn of 16 years of hell. Hell for Di, hell for the Royals, hell for everyone but the press -- hell that didn't even end on Aug. 31, 1997, the night the black Mercedes carrying Di and her coke-snorting beau crashed into a wall of the Pont D'Alma tunnel in Paris, kicking off a decade of conspiracy theories, to which Brown gives a rather cursory and politic nod.

As it happened, Diana's bike caper was entirely in character. All her life, Earl Spencer's daughter hung with the help. Skimpily educated, she learned everything she knew below stairs at her family's splendid Althorp estate. She loved the gossip and chatter of housemaids and pastry cooks. Personally, I've always thought that her total ease with the British press -- and the reason its hard-boiled hacks fell so madly in love with her -- was that deep-down she considered them all matey surrogates for the gang in the scullery back home. She relished menial work, too -- to clean house, to wash and iron clothes, nanny small children and cook bread-and-butter pudding for the staff, was bliss. During her honeymoon aboard the royal yacht Britannia, as her cerebral Prince buried himself in the highbrow books of Laurens van der Post, Di slipped away whenever possible to crash the crew's parties. At one point, she had to be elbowed away from playing the piano for a crowd of cheering sailors. Even her accent -- flat, affectless and airing some surprisingly vulgar vowel-sounds -- struck many snobs as stunningly low-class for an earl's daughter. (In Charles's and Camilla's set, they use funny vowels, too, but they're the right funny vowels: "House" is pronounced "hice." "Very" is "virry." "Bouncy" is "bincey." Don't try this at home.)

Perhaps most important, Diana read what housemaids read -- down-and-dirty tabloids and sugary shy-virgin-marries-the-prince romances. Barbara Cartland, the pink-ostrich-plumed mother of Di's own hated stepmother, Raine, wrote hundreds of these, and would claim they were Diana's downfall: "They weren't awfully good for her." Fifteen years after the wedding (to which she wasn't invited), the Queen of Romance opined that the marriage was doomed all along because Diana "wouldn't do oral sex." Well, that wasn't in the romance novels, was it? But while we're down here in the trouser zone, it's worth noting that Diana herself called her marriage's sexual problems "geographical," and reported that Charles only sought her out every three weeks. We now learn that Charles likes to be called "Arthur" at the height of his amorous endeavors. Who would know? Not Di. But Camilla would, with her "long, languid understanding of her man" and her striking physical resemblance to his beloved childhood nanny.

The sour wisdom Brown gleaned during decades spent editing chic magazines glints throughout her book, like rhinestones under sackcloth. She blames Diana's bulimia on media exposure, pure and simple: "Us magazine today is filled with the sunken cheeks of formerly pneumatic starlets who are turned by round-the-clock exposure into tiny famished ghosts attached to hair weaves." "For women over thirty-five, glamour has three Stations of the Cross: denial, disguise, and compromise. As she entered her thirty-seventh year, Diana told herself she was looking for love. But what she was really seeking was a guy with a Gulfstream."

The young Diana was no angel. As a child she tormented her unlucky nannies. She locked one in a bathroom; she threw another's undies out the window; she spiked one's cushions with pins; she tossed another's engagement ring down the drain. As a teen, when James Gilbey stood her up on a date, she poured flour-and-egg paste all over his Alfa Romeo. When she and her sisters read about their father's marriage to Raine, recently divorced from the Earl of Dartmouth, and realized that they, the girls, hadn't been invited to the ball, she confronted the groom, hauled off and slapped his face. "That's from all of us, for hurting us," she said, before stalking out and slamming the door.

Word of the guerrilla warfare she launched against her new stepmother -- poison pen notes, harassing phone calls, yanking out the wiring from beneath the floorboards -- might have given the Royal Family pause before they launched their relentless campaign to have the heir to the throne marry England's sole remaining high-born virgin. One night, perhaps sensing she was being short-changed, she became so enraged with Charles kneeling beside his bed in prayer that she bonked him on the head with the family Bible. She used the f-word with some frequency. And she had an especially soft spot for garbage bags: When stepmother Raine was finally kicked out of Althorp, upon Earl Spencer's death in '92, Di had Raine's glorious clothes unpacked from her "S"-emblazoned Vuitton suitcases, stuffed into garbage bags and then kicked downstairs. (Her brother Charles, heir to the Spencer title, bowled Raine's other possessions after them.) And after her divorce from Prince Charles, she shoved the priceless Prince of Wales china into a heavy-duty garbage bag and went at it with a hammer and a will.

A great glory of this book is the behind-the scenes close-ups of life at the various castles, palaces and Stately Homes. Picture Diana on her first two-month boot-camp in Balmoral, the sovereign's Scottish retreat: The long days slaughtering wildlife, picnics in the freezing rain, dinners seated between two elderly courtly stiffs ("heavy furniture" in Di-speak); Prince Philip booming on for hours about the evils of trade unions; Princess Anne barking about her day's kill; the Queen's bagpipers at last wheezing traditional Scottish airs around the table to signal time for the women to leave, perhaps for tiddlywinks and jigsaws. As nobody ever goes to bed before the Queen, Di could be stuck listening to Princess Margaret tinkling old show tunes on the piano until 2 a.m.

London's Kensington Palace, the luxurious grace-and-favor royal compound in which Diana and Charles lived for some time after their marriage, was a hive of loathing. Princess Anne called Diana "the Dope." Diana called the Austrian-born Prince Michael of Kent "the Führer" and "the U-Boat Commander."

Diana had not, of course, married for chums, a good time or even ambition, but for her ideal of romantic love. Finally understanding that Charles would always love Camilla Parker Bowles, and never her, she began the string of affairs that spiced up the end of her short life. Brown really goes to town here. She, worldly piece of work that she is, thinks everything would have been hunky-dory if Di had only got it on with Prince Philip, the Queen's consort. He fancied her anyway, and it would have kept the fuss inside the family. But Di aimed lower. Her first affair, Tina believes, was with Di's cockney bodyguard Barry Mannakee. For this flash, Tina pumped Di's pal Dr. James Colthurst, who helped the Princess tape all the dirt used by Andrew Morton in Diana: Her True Story, the H-bomb dropped on the House of Windsor in 1992. Not only had Diana admitted an affair, Colthurst said, but she thought Barry was "bumped off" when he died. Next came the red-haired Life Guards Maj. James Hewitt, her (and the boys') riding instructor. Later, when the discarded and broke Hewitt sold his memoirs, he was widely scorned as the Love Rat.

Was he or was he not the father of ginger-haired Prince Harry? Tina thinks so. "Well, I don't know what she was doing at the time," Prince Charles once responded, not too gallantly, when the subject arose. A succession of tall, handsome beaux, both before and after the official royal separation of Dec. 9, 1992, were dubbed "the Dianamen" and the "42 Longs" by her bodyguards. She fell hard for married art dealer, Oliver Hoare, becoming his "phone sex pest." She carried on with Will Carling, the rugby star. But by this time, she was already evolving into Saint Diana. The spurned but genuinely kind and empathetic princess comforted the sick, embraced AIDS patients, shook lepers' hands, touched bloody bandages. As she bent to speak to dying children or tenderly caress the wheelchair-bound, she seemed a veritable healing angel.

And now, she had a great love. He was a Pakistani heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan. Impressed that the devout Muslim would not consummate their affair until her divorce decree was absolute, Diana actually considered converting to Islam. She bought several sexy Pakistani outfits -- love those bare midriffs! -- cooked for him, ironed his shirts, vacuumed his modest apartment, and for his birthday turned up wearing sapphire-and-diamond earrings and a fur coat with nothing beneath. Ah, l'amour! And glamour! Unfortunately, his large, close family wanted him to marry a nice Muslim girl, and he obliged. Poor Dodi Fayed, who died in the Paris crash, was really just a stand-in.

Diana's tragicomedy is Shakespearean in scale, with its slippery royal machinations, its agonized ironies, its seething jealousies and heartbreaking inevitability. Brown is no Shakespeare. But she gives us a walloping good read.

Copyright 2007, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter Twenty
The Last Picture Show

Is she an angel?
—Helena Ussova, aged seven, land-mine victim in Angola, January 1997

Diana never looked better than in the days after her divorce. Divestment was the name of the game, in her life and in her looks. The downsizing started with her Kensington Palace staff, which she reduced to cleaner, cook, and dresser. The assiduous Paul Burrell became maître d’ of her private life, combining the roles of P.A., man Friday, driver, delivery boy, confidant, and crying towel. “He used to pad around listening to all,” says a friend of Diana’s mother. “I was quite sure his ear was pressed firmly to the key hole when I went to Kensington Palace for lunch.”

Diana reinforced her break with married life by stuffing a heavy-duty garbage bag with her entire set of Prince of Wales china and then smashing it with a hammer. “Make a list of everything we need,” she told Burrell. “Let’s spend a bit more of his money while we can.”

Diana now used police protection only when she attended a public event. Her favorite officer was Colin Tebbutt, who had retired from the Royal Squad. He was a tall, fair-haired matinee idol who was also a Class One driver, trained by the SAS. Tebbutt knew that by going to work for Diana he was effectively shutting the door to any future work with the Prince of Wales, but he had a soft spot for Diana. “There was always a buzz when she was at home. I thought she was beginning to enjoy life. She was a different lady, maturing.” Tebbutt says she would always sit in the front of the car, unlike the other Royals, such as Princess Margaret, who called him by his surname and, without looking up from her newspaper, barked, “Wireless!” when she wanted Tebbutt to turn on the radio.

“I drive looking in all three mirrors, so I’d say to Diana ‘I’m not looking at your legs, Ma’am’ and she’d laugh.” The press knew the faces of Diana’s drivers, so to shake them off Tebbutt sometimes wore disguises. “She wanted to go to the hairdresser one day, shortly before she died. I had an old Toyota MRT which she called the ‘tart trap,’ so I drove her in that. I went to the trunk and got out a big baseball hat and glasses. When she came out I was dripping with sweat, and she said ‘What on earth are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in disguise.’ She said, ‘It may have slipped your notice, but I’m the Princess of Wales.’ ”

Every Tuesday night, the Princess sat at her desk in her study at Kensington Palace, writing her steady stream of heartfelt thank-you letters and listening to a piano playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and—her favorite—Manning Sherwin’s “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” In the living room, Maureen Stevens, a clerk from the Prince of Wales’s office, who also happened to be a talented concert pianist, gave Diana a weekly private recital as she worked. You can almost hear Stevens’s piano rippling in the background as Diana writes a fulsome note to her close friend, Harper’s Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis: “Dearest Liz, How proud I was to be at your side on Monday evening… so deeply moved by your personal touch—the presents for the boys, candles at the hotel and flowers to name but few but most of all your beaming smile, your loving heart. I am always here for you, Liz.” Sometimes Diana would stop and telephone the Daily Mail’s Richard Kay—“Ricardo,” she called him—to help her with the phraseology of a letter. KP was her fortress. On warm summer afternoons, she vanished into its walled garden in shorts and T–shirt and her Versace sunglasses, carrying a bag of books and CDs for her Walkman. On weekends, when William and Harry were home, Burrell would see her in a flowing cotton skirt on her bicycle with the basket in front, speeding down the Palace drive with the boys pedaling furiously behind her. On her thirty–sixth birthday, in July, she received ninety bouquets of flowers and Harry gathered a group of classmates to sing “Happy Birthday” to her over the telephone.

Diana’s charity commitments were pared down from around a hundred to the six she most cared about: Centrepoint, the Royal Marsden Hospital, the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, the English National Ballet, the Leprosy Mission, and the National AIDS Trust. The public announcement she insisted on reaped her unnecessary flak and the resignation of her media adviser, Jane Atkinson. But Diana had a reason for being explicit. She wanted to avoid situations where she was just a letterhead. “If I’m going to talk on behalf of any cause, I want to go and see the problem for myself and learn about it,” she told the chairman of the Washington Post Company, Katharine Graham, at that time.

There was a round of social purging. Lord and Lady Palumbo were excised after Peter’s candid warnings about Martin Bashir. Elton John was in the deep freeze after acting as a go-between with Diana and Gianni Versace for the fashion designer’s coffee–table book Rock and Royalty. (The pictures of the Princess and the boys appeared amid a portfolio of seminude male models, and Diana feared it would further annoy the Queen.) Sir Ronald Grierson was bounced after he made the mistake of offering a job to one of the many secretaries Diana froze out. And Fergie was back in Siberia, this time for good. The divorced Duchess had cashed in with an anodyne memoir, which was full of nice comments about her sister–in–law— except for one fatal line. She wrote that when she borrowed a pair of Diana’s shoes she had caught a verrucca—plantar’s wart—from them. Goddesses don’t get warts. Despite Fergie’s pleading apologies, Diana never spoke to her again. In 1997, the Princess gave a birthday party for her friend David Tang and told him he could ask anyone he wanted.

“Anyone?” he asked.


“All right, then—Fergie.”

“Absolutely not,” Diana replied, and would not be moved.

A new and unexpected ally was Raine. In 1993, Diana had finally made her peace with her formidable stepmother. The painful years of separation and divorce from Charles made the Princess see her old adversary in a different light. Still grieving for Daddy, her greatest support, Diana was at last able to recognize that Raine had loved him, too. She invited her stepmother for a weepy reconciliation over lunch at Kensington Palace. For moral support, Raine brought along her fiancé, the French Count Jean François de Chambrun. The precaution turned out to be unnecessary. Afterward, the Princess and the Countess were often sighted deep in a tête–à–tête at the Connaught Grill. One of Raine’s cautions was to try to stay on friendly terms with Charles for the sake of the children. She told Diana that both she—Raine—and her mother, Barbara Cartland, had maintained warm relations with all their former husbands and lovers.

Diana also made an improbable friend of Katharine “Kay” Graham. They had met in the summer of 1994, when Lucia Flecha de Lima had brought Diana to Kay’s beachfront house on Martha’s Vineyard. Not long after that, Kay gave a luncheon for Diana and Hillary Clinton at her Washington home. At a British Embassy lunch on the same visit, Diana met Colin Powell again. He told her he had been nominated to lead her in the dancing at the gala that night to raise money for the Nina Hyde Breast Cancer Foundation. Scotland Yard had been worried that at a ball in Chicago earlier in the year a stranger had cut in on Diana’s dancing partner. The General was deemed able to handle such an eventuality, but the Princess suggested she do a few practice spins with him in the Embassy drawing room. “She was easy with any melody, and we did all right in our rehearsal,” says Powell. “She told me, ‘there’s only one thing you ought to know. I’ll be wearing a backless dress tonight. Can you cope with that?’ ” Flirting with the big boys—what bliss!

Diana thrived in America. “There is no ‘Establishment’ there,” she told her fashion friend Roberto Devorik—wrongly, of course, but correct in the sense that America had no Establishment whose rules or members could possibly hurt her feelings. Richard Kay says she thought of America as “a country so brimming over with glittery people and celebrities that she would be able to disappear.”

Like her life, Diana’s taste in fashion became pared down and emphatic after her divorce. “English style refracted through an un–English sensibility” was how Vogue’s Hamish Bowles defined it. Her new evening dresses were minimalist and sexy, a look that had been taboo when she was an in-house Royal. “She knew she had great legs and she wanted to show them off,” said the designer Jacques Azagury. She wore his stunning red bugle–bead tunic over a short pencil skirt in Venice in 1995 and his blue crystal–beaded cocktail dress six inches above the knee to another Serpentine gallery evening. Diana actually looked her best at her most informal. Jumping rangily out of her car for lunch with Rosa Monckton at the Caprice, wearing stone–washed jeans, a white T-shirt, a beautifully cut navy blue blazer, and bare feet in flats (she was usually shod in Jimmy Choo’s black grosgrain “Diana” loafers), she was spectacular. Vanity Fair assigned the Peruvian-born photographer Mario Testino to capture h...


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