Veteran royal expert Jennie Bond has opened up about how the "shrewd and intelligent" Princess Diana was underestimated and was a lot more intelligent than people thought.
Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, the former BBC royal correspondent, 67, who covered 14 of the most turbulent years of the monarchy recalled that there was much more to Diana than met the eye, the Daily Mail reported.
"Princess Diana was far more articulate, coherent, shrewd and strong than I had anticipated," she recalled.
"She was funny and much more intelligent than she made out. She was a cleverer woman than people thought."
By contrast, Prince Charles was "very troubled" during the years Jennie knew him, and she's happy to see him content in later life with Camilla.
Although acknowledging that being a royal comes with a huge level of privilege, the journalist admitted that she does feel sorry for the family in some ways.
"I feel sympathy for the destiny they are born in to, the restrictions and constrictions it places on their lives," she said, pointing out that Harry and William were not able to choose what to do with their futures in the same way most other men do.
Bond also recently opened up about Meghan Markle's new role in the family, saying the Duchess of Cambridge is most likely relieved to see the former Suits star stepping into the limelight.
"I think it will come as something of a relief for Catherine to have someone else to share all the press attention," she said.
"She's been the star of the royal family for some years now, and that kind of scrutiny must be wearing, especially when you are pregnant and probably feeling quite tired and pre-occupied.
"She now has a woman of a very similar age to help soak up the pressure, and with whom she can share the very strange experience of becoming a member of the royal family.
"I hope they become the best of friends. They certainly seem to get on very well."
Bond, who is fronting a campaign by personal print company Photobox for people to submit snaps taken at any royal engagement since World War II for an upcoming book, said that in turn Markle will be grateful for Kate's support.
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"The great thing about Meghan is that she is older than most royal brides," she said.
"She is confident, opinionated and she also has the experience of a previous marriage. So she knows that life has its ups and downs.
"But she has been welcomed with open arms into the royal fold. She has Harry and William and Catherine to guide and support her and she seems to have found her feet with the greatest of ease."