Exclusive! Diana tells all to the Hungarians

Related Topics
As must be quite apparent by now, Princess Diana's scorn for the British press is equalled only by her respect for the foreign media, which treat her with the fair-mindedness she craves. She will not speak her mind to a Fleet Street man, but will open her heart to the man from Le Monde.

In fact, I might well never have secured the exclusive interview with her which follows, had I not taken the precaution of masquerading as a Hungarian journalist and requesting an interview on behalf of a Budapest broadsheet.

I do not in fact speak any Hungarian, but neither, I surmised, does the Princess. And after some time spent in the company of the late George Mikes, I felt I could assume a convincing Hungarian accent.

The interview took place in the fine furnishings department of Harrods, a large store in central London.

Your Highness, perhaps if you were to sit here on this sofa which is marked `Now Only pounds 1,770', and if I were to stand to attention beside you ...

Oh, but that is not fair. You should not stand if I am sitting.

But you are royalty ... You are Your Highness ... I am only My Lowness.

Yes, I know, but I have always felt a special sympathy for those who were in a more difficult situation than myself, such as you. Victims of circumstances. People who, for no fault of their own, had to suffer. Why I should feel a special sympathy for the innocent victims of society's cruelty I have no idea, but there you are ...

So it would make you feel a lot better if I were to sit down?

Oh, yes! I would feel a lot better! My tears would dry! My eyes would lose their photogenic moistness! I would force a smile to my lips! I would face the light to give maximum chance of a good exposure for any passing photographer!

I thought you hated passing photographers?

I do. But one must be ready at all times.

Good. Very well then. I will seat myself.

Where have you gone?

I am afraid we do not have sofas as rich and soft as this in my native Hungary. I have sunk out of sight down this end ... Perhaps I will stand after all.

Very well. But watch where you stand. You never know what you might stand on.

Really? You are thinking of?


Land-mines? They sell land-mines here in Harrods?

No, I don't think so, but the possibility of land-mines is never far from my thoughts. Do you have land-mines in Hungary?

I don't know. I have never needed to acquire one. I know a man in Buda who claims he can get anything at 24 hours' notice, but this is something I have never asked for.

Believe me, you should not ask for one. If you knew anything about land- mines, you would realise the damage caused world-wide is ...

Yes, yes, but I do not think my readers in Hungary will be interested in land-mines. It is not one of our preoccupations.

What, then, would your readers in Hungary be interested in? Would they be interested in what I feel about the last government?

Well, we do not change governments very often in Hungary, and I am not sure how many people remember the last government.

No, no, I was talking about the last British government.

Oh no. I don't think we would be interested in that. However, if you wish to say something off the cuff that would be caught by the world's press agencies and flashed round the tabloids under the headline `DI'S CLANGER', I am happy to oblige.

Very well. Here we go. As far as the previous government is concerned, I could not stand John Major. He talked incessantly about cricket as if it mattered.

Hmm ... This might be difficult in Hungary, where we do not have cricket. Can I make that water polo?

Polo is not my favourite game.

Water polo has nothing to do with horses, Your Highness. For water polo you do not stand around shivering on cold, windswept fields, making idle conversation to aristocratic oafs. You stand shoulder to shoulder with ecstatic crowds in warm, echoing swimming stadia, roaring your side on ...

I do not think I would entirely enjoy that. It is not easy for someone like me to mingle easily with a crowd when one is, alas, so easily recognised.

No danger of that in Hungary, your ladyship. No one would have the faintest idea who you were.

Oh, I don't think I would like that very much ...

Dodi's a funny name.


Dodi is a funny sort of name. Where does it come from?

Just a moment, what has happened to your Hungarian accent?

The full transcript of this interview, which lasted a little while longer, can be obtained from me, subject to normal rates.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month  

General Election 2015: Politics is the messy art of compromise, unpopular as it may be

David Blunkett
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012  

Vote Tory and you’re voting for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer

Mark Steel
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'