Diana, Princess of Wales "deeply regretted" giving the infamous television interview in which she discussed Prince Charles's extra-marital affairs, her former private secretary has disclosed.

Patrick Jephson said that the Princess began to question if she should have taken part in the BBC Panorama programme even before it aired.

During the hour-long interview in 1995, the effects of which damaged the reputation of the Royal family, the Princess spoke frankly for the first time about her separation.

She described the Prince's camp as the "enemy" and said that the monarchy was in desperate need of modernisation.


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She admitted to an adulterous affair with her riding instructor, James Hewitt, and described her hurt at her husband's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

The Princess spoke about her depression and bulimia, her children and the future of the monarchy. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she said. It was also during this interview that she said she wanted to be the "queen of people's hearts".

But Mr Jephson has now disclosed that the Princess, who told him about the interview a week before the broadcast, was "not at all confident about what she had done".

He told the Mail on Sunday: "I think the scales fell from her eyes and suddenly what had been rather a subversive or daring scheme - or however they [the BBC] had dressed it up for her - it suddenly in the cold light of day didn't look like such a good idea.

"I knew from her general demeanour, her fidgeting, that she was not at all confident about what she had done and that the full implications were dawning on her. So you had this mixture of anxiety and defiance.

"I think by the time of the broadcast, she deeply regretted it, not least because it did nothing to advance her cause."

The Daily Telegraph