In a documentary to be screened in the UK for the first time Princess Diana describes how Prince Charles was all over her “like a bad rash” at the start of their courtship.
Diana reveals Charles’ attempts to woo her during a barbecue in Sussex in 1979 when she was 18 was not very romantic.
The princess speaks about her relationship with the heir to the throne in the Channel 4 documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, based around video tape interviews made by her speech coach Peter Settelen in the early 1990s.
After meeting Charles a few years earlier and not being swayed by the royal presence, she initially changed her mind at the barbecue.
“I sat there and this man walked in and I thought, ‘well I am quite impressed this time round’. I was different and everything else,” she said.
“He chatted me up – like a bad rash he was all over me.”
When she sympathised with the prince about the recent funeral of his great uncle and mentor Lord Louis Mountbatten, killed by the IRA in 1979, and how he had needed someone “beside” him at the service, Charles responded amorously.
Diana said: “Wrong word – whereupon he leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything – this is not what people do. And he was all over me for the rest of the evening, followed me around (like a) puppy.”
She confessed they only met 13 times before they married but when they were interviewed to mark their engagement the Princess was left dumbstruck by the Prince’s response to the question about whether they were in love.
Diana replied “of course” and Charles gave his famous response “Whatever in love means”.
The princess said: “That threw me completely, I thought what a strange (answer) – absolutely traumatised me.”
Diana later speaks candidly about her battles with an eating disorder.
“Everybody knew about the bulimia in the family and they all blamed the failure of the marriage on the bulimia, and that’s taken some time to get them to think differently.
“I said I was rejected, I didn’t think I was good enough for this family, so I took it out on myself.
“I said ‘I could’ve gone to alcohol, which would’ve been obvious, I could’ve been anorexic, which would be even more obvious. I decided to do the more discreet thing, which ultimately wasn’t discreet but I chose to hurt myself instead of hurting all of you’.”