Tina Brown is the former editor in chief of one of England's glossiest gossip magazines.
With "The Diana Chronicles," she makes her way stateside with a new book documenting Princess Diana's life. Brown attempts to give insight into the mind of this royal and how it influenced her relationships. It may be poised to become the definitive biography on the princess. Brown knew Diana personally and also discusses Diana's mother, grandmother, stepmother, sister-in-law Fergie and her mother-in-law, the queen.
In the book, Brown says Diana sought the queen's approval up until her death.
Here is an excerpt from "The Diana Chronicles."
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 heavyduty 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 publicevent. 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' not looking at your legs, Ma'm'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.' "