A controversial new book about the Princess of Wales claims she attempted suicide on several occasions over the last decade, and portrays her as a deeply depressed and unstable character.
Author Andrew Morton insists he has reliable sources for the allegations, which appear in Diana: Her True Story.
Buckingham Palace would not comment on any specific claims, and said Princess Diana did not co-operate with the biography in any way whatsoever.
The Princess has begun another full week of engagements, attending the annual Order of the Garter service with other members of the royal family at Windsor on the eve of the book’s publication.
Although she appeared composed at this event, she was seen breaking down in tears at another public engagement in Liverpool last week.
Speaking for the first time since details of the book became known, Mr Morton said: “The tears that she has shed in public in Liverpool are nothing compared to the tears she has shed over the last year.
“I can’t emphasise strongly enough the volatility of the situation inside Kensington Palace”.
The book alleges that Princess Diana tried to kill herself on as many as five occasions during the 1980s.
”It is what the Princess of Wales has told her friends”
“It is not hearsay. It is what the Princess of Wales has told her friends about what happened to her in 1982, in the early 80s, and the last suicide attempt I think was in 1986.”Mr Morton rejected suggestions that the revelations were based on rumour and gossip, and said he had interviewed a number of sources close to the princess who had insisted on anonymity.
The author also denied he had any ulterior motivation in making the disclosures.
He said: “My job is as a biographer, not as someone who is organising or orchestrating the future of the royal family.”
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. Less than a week after her death, Andrew Morton announced that she had been the source for the book.
He went on to write a book about the story of Monica Lewinsky’s affair with US President Bill Clinton and another on Madonna.
In 2000, he reached an out-of-court settlement with David and Victoria Beckham after they objected to 2,500 words of the 60,000-word book he had written about them.
The book Posh and Becks was published and included most of the words the Beckhams had objected to.