Princess Diana appeared happy in her supposed last interview but said her divorce had been “hell”, a royal expert has claimed.
Writing in The Sun, Ingrid Seward said the Princess of Wales told her her split from Prince Charles had taken its toll.
But Seward claims Diana still seemed in a good mood to her, and was apparently “full of life and vivacious, positive and at ease”.
The commentator was invited to Kensington Palace to chat with the princess in the summer of 1997, she said.
Diana and Charles had separated in 1992 before finalising their divorce in 1996.
Seward said that she was invited to meet with Diana – later dubbed the People’s Princess – for a “girlie chat”.
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She said they then talked about a number of issues before parting ways, with plans to meet again.
But Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris just seven weeks later.
Describing hearing about the death, Seward said: “How strange, I thought, I was probably the last journalist to ever ‘interview’ her.”
Seward said that she and Diana spoke about her protectiveness over her sons, the princes William and Harry.
And she claims that the princess talked with “affection” about Charles, despite their gruelling divorce.
She said Diana described the divorce as “hell”, and added: “I was in pieces. I didn’t feel safe anywhere.”
Seward’s comments come ahead of July 1, which would have been Diana’s 60th birthday.
She was aged 36 when she died.
It is hoped that William and Harry will come together for the unveiling of their mother’s statue, despite ongoing tensions between them.
The idea was hatched by the pair back in 2017, before the younger brother announced he would quit as a senior royal.
Harry and wife Meghan Markle have since left Britain and set up in California with their young children.
A plinth for the Diana’s statue has been laid in the palace’s Sunken Garden, said to be her favourite spot in the grounds.
The spot was transformed into a tribute on the 20th anniversary of her death in 2017.
This display included her favourite flowers, such as white roses and lilies, tulips and daisies.
Sean Harkin, Kensington Palace’s head gardener, said the choice of flowers reflected Diana’s love of cream and white blooms.