Shadows of a Princess
An Intimate Account by Her Private Secretary
By P. D. Jephson
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780061015458, 464pp.)
Publication Date: October 2000
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In 1981 Lady Diana Spencer was destined to ascend the British throne, innocent young wife to the future King Charles III. With her beauty, modesty, and charitable good works, she seemed the perfect addition to bring the Royal Family into the twenty-first century.Instead, she brought a revolution.
Twenty years later, the comforting illusion of royalty as we knew it is gone forever. Diana is dead, the Windsors are marginalized and a chastened Prince faces the dilemma of being a very different sort of King than his people expected. But what does it mean to be royal? Thrown into her role with little background for it, Diana learned the hard way. This book goes further than any other in exploring Diana's growth, from innocent schoolgirl to sometimes cynical member of the world's most royal family.
No one knows more about Princess Diana's struggles than the author, P.D. Jephson, Diana's closest aide and adviser during her years of greatest public fame and deepest personal crisis. Rooted in firsthand experience, Shadows of a Princess is the most authoritative, balanced account we ever will have of the woman who became an icon yet remains a contradictory enigma. Viewed from behind the scenes during eight relentless years, this is the princess in all her disguises, as we never have seen her before. It is the story of shifting loyalties, self-delusion, and shattered hope--of defiance and wasted opportunities. But it is also a story of the laughter and optimism that were the hallmark of Diana's alternate court and a tantalizing glimpse of what might have been.