Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Princess Diana revealed 'the greatest love I've ever had' was bodyguard Barry Mannakee in secret tapes

She also says she was 'completely traumatised' when Prince Charles said 'whatever love is' when asked if he loved her

Rachel Roberts
Sunday 06 August 2017 22:07 BST
In Her Own Words: Princess Diana reveals she fell "deeply in love" with bodyguard Barry Mannakee

Princess Diana revealed her "greatest love" was a bodyguard she had an affair with, in video footage broadcast for the first time.

In tapes showed in the Channel 4 documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, she sensationally claimed bodyguard Barry Mannakee was sacked from his job and then “bumped off".

While Prince Charles’ late ex-wife did not name Mr Mannakee, it was clear this is who she was talking about.

Diana also said she was "completely traumatised" when Prince Charles infamously remarked "whatever love is" when asked before their wedding whether he was in love with her.

She only found true love several years later, she revealed in the recordings, made with former Coronation Street actor Peter Settelen between 1992 and 1993.

"When I was 24 or 25 I was deeply in love with someone who worked in this environment [security],” she said.

"But then he was chucked out and he was killed.

"Eventually he had to go and then three weeks after he left he was killed in a motorbike accident.

"He was the greatest love I've ever had, and that was a real killer."

Mr Mannakee, a police officer, was her bodyguard for about a year in the mid-1980s before he transferred to the Diplomatic Protection Group in London.

The 39-year-old died in 1987 when a motorcycle being driven by a friend, who survived, was involved in a collision with a car.

The driver was fined £85 for careless driving and a coroner ruled it had been an accident. While there is no evidence to suggest it was not, Diana appears to have believed the death was related to their affair, saying he had been "bumped off".

During the frank recordings – broadcast for the first time in the UK to coincide with the approaching 20th anniversary of her death – Diana revealed she met Charles just 13 times before their wedding day.

She said that on their second meeting, he chatted her up and was all over her “like a bad rash”.

In the intimate recordings, she revealed Charles had always blown hot and cold with her.

"He would ring me up every day and then not contact me for weeks, he wasn't very consistent in his courtship," she said.

And his initial ardour soon cooled into a dispassionate marriage with a far from active sex life.

"Once every three weeks, and then it fizzled about about seven years ago, six years ago" she said in the recordings, filmed over 18 months when the so-called "War of the Waleses" was at its height and Diana was aged 31 to 32.

Diana had the voice coaching in preparation for her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, where she spoke of her former husband’s long-term affair with his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles and her belief there was a concerted campaign against her by courtiers surrounding Prince Charles.

She said she wanted to present her true self in the Panorama film, which caused a sensation at the time.

"I lead from the heart and not the head. I do things differently because I don't go by a rule book," she said.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in