Princess Diana leaked internal royal staff info to journalists, to get back at Charles


I’ve read many biographies/tell-alls about Princess Diana. My favorites – and the ones I put the most stock in – were written by Andrew Morton and Tina Brown (Brown’s The Diana Chronicles was a surprisingly good read). Almost all of the biographers who really knew Diana have all said the same thing: that Diana had an almost savant-like ability to manipulate the press. She had most newspapers and tabloids eating out of her hand, and she kept tabs on all of her favorite (and least favorite) journalists. Of course, there are stories about the press biting the royal hand that fed them too, and Diana had her share of bad press back in the day. But she also had the ability to play the game, and she wasn’t afraid to really go to war with the royal family.

I bring this up because Diana’s ghost is now haunting the ongoing (and neverending) hacking trial. What are we even calling it? Hack-gate? The Hacking Scandal? Whatever – it’s the trial about how the Rupert Murdoch press (and other UK publications) were illegally hacking royals, celebrities and average citizens on a regular basis. In testimony yesterday, a former News of the World journalist named Diana as his source for some “internal” royal phone numbers:

Princess Diana leaked information to the press in an effort to ‘take on’ her husband, Clive Goodman, a former royal reporter at the shuttered tabloid News of The World said in court today. Diana was sensationally named by Clive Goodman, a defendant, as the source of a 1992 internal royal phone directory found in his possession.

At the phone hacking trial in London today, Goodman said that the high-level phone directory, known as the Green Book, which contained the personal phone numbers of senior royals, was sent under plain cover to his office in an envelope with his name on it. Princess Diana called him in person later that day, asking Goodman whether he received it.

Goodman said, “She was going through a very, very difficult time. She told me she wanted me to see the scale of her husband’s staff and household, compared with others. She felt she was being swamped by people close to his household. She was looking for an ally to take him on—to show there were forces that would rage against him. She had a relationship with several journalists,” said Goodman of the call, citing Martin Bashir of Panorama and Richard Kay at the Daily Mail.

Goodman said Diana sent the book because she wanted him to “see the scale of her husband’s household compared to hers” and how she was “being swamped by his household.” He said Diana was looking for “an outlet to take them on,” adding, “They were quite a powerful organization: they still are.”

Goodman denied paying for any of the 15 royal phone books found in his possession when police raided his home in 2006. He also denied using them to hack phones. Goodman was jailed for four months in 2007 after pleading guilty to intercepting phone messages. He is a defendant in the current trial, facing two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office. One of those counts comprises the charge that he bought an Internal Telephone Directory.

The court heard today that when police raided his home they found seven copies of the “Internal Phone Directory” —which lists all numbers at the palace, including administrative and switchboard numbers, and were for “foot soldiers in the Royal Household” and seven copies of the more sensitive ‘Green Book’ which, Goodman said were, “a directory of names addresses and telephone numbers of senior members of Royal Household.” The Green Books contained the private phone numbers of some senior royal family members.

“It sounds very Upstairs/Downstairs” said Goodman’s lawyer, David Spens, QC, of the distinction between Green Books and ITDs: “Yes, very Downton Abbey,” agreed Goodman.

Diana’s co-operation with journalists to incriminate the royal family is, of course, legendary. In the most celebrated case, she passed tapes she had recorded to the Daily Mail’s Andrew Morton, in which she laid out in detail her grievances against Prince Charles, and described in detail her suicide attempts and eating disorders.

[From The Daily Beast]

This Goodman chap also told the court that he had a source in Prince Charles’ valet’s son – the son started leaking information about Charles because the son knew his father hated working for Charles, apparently. Goodman also said that he never used the private royal numbers for hacking purposes, but he did use the numbers to get into contact with certain royal lackeys and courtiers specifically, and he said that one of those occasions was the night that Diana died in Paris, and Goodman was able to get in touch with the Queen’s private secretary Robin Janver directly because “the palace press office was quite frankly useless.”

So, is Goodman telling the truth? My take: yeah. This sounds like something Diana would have done. And for good reason too – at this point in time, Charles and his staff (and his friends) were going to the press all the time to paint Diana as some crazy woman constantly throwing fits and tantrums. As I said, she was never afraid to go to war with these people.



Photos courtesy of PR Photos and WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

60 Responses to “Princess Diana leaked internal royal staff info to journalists, to get back at Charles”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    She wasn’t perfect, but I think she felt this was the only weapon she had against a huge, powerful machine. I don’t blame her.

    • Rainbows says:

      She took on the single most powerful family on the planet and beat them at their own game. Clever girl!

    • Betty says:


    • Dubois says:

      It’s partly why I sometimes think her death wasn’t an accident. She had so much ammo against the machine. I don’t think the royals themselves plotted it, but I think it’s possible that the machine could have made it happen.

      • Angelic 21 says:

        I think so too. IMO grey must have something to do with her death if not members of RF(grey men are from military and political backgrounds). There is never so much smoke without a fire.

      • LadySlippers says:


        The Grey Men in that day almost exclusively came from the military. But that doesn’t mean they were killers — lots of boring non-combat, paper pushing jobs in the military too. It’s the group-think, duty bound, regimented mind that the military encourages that isn’t always the most helpful.


        I’ve read Ken Wharfe’s take on it and his analysis seems spot on. In short, he thinks the security team of the al Fayeds grossly mismanaged the entire evening that led to the calamity of her death (well beyond her driver possibly being intoxicated). Wharfe stated you couldn’t plan such a colossal f*ck up that caused her death.

        Plus, she absolutely could have lived. He said if this were planned, as so many think, she would have died instantly with no chance of survival. Wharfe lays the blame of Diana’s death on the horrible mismanagement of her security from the minute she was with the al Fayed’s to how the security team was allowed to change their plans on Dodi’s whims rather than being able to make safe choices without fear of their jobs.

        I suggest reading his book, it’s a delightful and enlightening read.

      • LAK says:

        Lady Slippers: must point out that Fayed isn’t royalty or descended from royalty. the Al in his name was a temporary affectation to elevate himself. He has since been found out, and dropped it from his name.

      • Tessy says:

        Don’t forget that she nearly had landmines banned too. The war machine was totally against her on that.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @LAK: Thank you for that! Every book I’ve read still has the ‘al’ in it. So thank you for that change.

      • bluhare says:

        And it came down to not wearing a seatbelt. The only person who survived in that car was wearing one, and I’ve read that Diana would probably have lived had she been wearing hers. Which brings me to LS’s point. A royal protection officer makes their charge wear a seatbelt, don’t they?

      • LAK says:

        LadySlippers: You don’t need to read royal biographies to know that Fayed used the ‘Al’ fraudulently. The kerfuffle over his acquisition of Harrods back in the 80s exposed the lie.

        He continued to affect it for another 10yrs [i think], but by the time of the British inquest into Diana’s death, he had dropped it and most news sources stopped referring to him with it.

      • LadySlippers says:


        Yes, RPOs have the ability to override their charge’s wishes and that too could have save her. But yes, seatbelts were a must. Diana was, ironically, a huge stickler for them too.


        Me being an American means I don’t get to see the same coverage as you so that detail wouldn’t register for most Americans, including me. Thanks again for correcting that.

      • redcard says:

        I read your pompous comments now and then but you need to be stopped on this one. Who said Al Fayed is royalty? Not Al Fayed himself. And did LadySlippers suggest he’s royalty? No. But you felt compelled to make this insidious comment that Al Fayed has been fraudulently pretending to be a royal. You might know a thing or two when it comes to Kate’s wigs and hair extensions but please don’t misinform readers with your total and utter ignorance. Al does not suggest “royalty”. Just like the name al-Qaeda (militant Islamist organisation) al jazeera (broadcaster) don’t suggest “descended from royalty”. And if it did (which it does not) it would only matter to people like you because most educated people on our planet don’t give a damn about royalty and royal families anymore – it is mostly a British obsession. The rest of the world has moved on from this nonsense. Your arrogance is completely out of control. Stop pushing your propaganda on this website. I for one am sick of it.

  2. Sixer says:

    I believe him, but you should note that he is on trial for bribing police officers to obtain the book. If found guilty, he’ll go back to prison. He’s already been once for hacking. He has a reason to say Diana gave it to him.

  3. Amber says:

    Photos of Diana still make me smile.

    • Girlygirl410 says:

      Me too! What a beautiful and caring woman.

      • Tatjana says:

        Caring, yes. But beautiful? Not so much. She looked okay.

      • FLORC says:

        Personality accounts for much of what we perceive as “beautiful”
        She may ot have looked like a beauty queen, but in the photo of her dancing with Travolta or when she was holding those HIV+ babies and young children… Beautiful to see so much compassion and grace in that woman.

      • Tatjana says:

        I was born in 1993, so she wasn’t in the news during my life. Maybe if I was around in her time, I would feel diferently.

        But, apart from Queen Rania, I can’t think of any royal woman who is truly beautiful

      • Tessy says:

        @Tatjana she might not have been classically beautiful but she was without doubt the most striking, interesting and unforgettable woman of her day. People all over the world couldn’t get enough of her and the paparazzi wouldn’t leave her alone. She grew from an awkward tongue tied girl into a compassionate caring woman who never hid her humanity and flaws.

      • bluhare says:

        Tatjana: Caroline of Monaco was breathtaking in her youth.

    • Angelic 21 says:

      me too! She was 1 of a kind.

      • TG says:

        Me too. Too bad she had to be from the 80’s, one of the most awful clothing styles of all time. That and the 70’s I suppose.

  4. ali says:

    Clever girl is now dead. Nothing smart about that. #wearyoursealtbelts #livelong

    • Jag says:

      She was alive after the crash. Similar to Marilyn Monroe, I think the powers that be killed her so that she couldn’t come out with whatever information she was going to reveal.

      • Nicolette says:

        +1. I’ve never believed it was just an accident. There is a photo taken by the paparazzi moments before the crash, and the driver’s eyes are wide open. If he was so wasted as they tried to make it seem, would he look that way? Most people I know get a sleepy look to them when they’ve had too much. And I never believed that she would be so irresponsible as to get into a car with a driver that was drunk. She and MM were privy to a lot of information about some powerful people. Is the theory that they were silenced really that far out there?

      • LadySlippers says:

        Read Ken Wharfe’s book.

        I summarised his comments above but my guess is many of you will change your minds after reading his book.

      • Ravensdaughter says:

        What killed her post accident was stabilizing her at the scene the French way. In the US its “scoop and run” so a patient with likely internal bleeding can be assessed immediately with high tech diagnostics and then swept away to surgery.
        The OR at the French hospital was ready to go and the surgeons just waited and waited. Apparently she coded four times between the scene and arrival (essentially DOA) at the hospital. Post-mortem, it was determined that her vena cava-the largest vein in the body-had been lacerated. Ooops! All that time screwing around at the scene was the coup de grace. Then again, that was such a serious injury she may have died of internal bleeding anyway.
        I found this in early 2010 in what I would consider a legitimate source-an academic nursing journal. I just tripped over it as I was searching PubMed (gov’t funded medical search engine) for something entirely different. Dammit, I wish I had kept it as a PDF; unlikely to find that again.
        Nurse sleuths-take the ball and run with it!

      • LAK says:

        An assassination tends not to leave witnesses. The body guard survived and was able to describe events ten years after the fact. very inconvenient for conspiracy theorists and Fayed himself.

      • LadySlippers says:

        IF Diana had been wearing her seatbelt — she would have survived as well. That’s something she (and the RPOs) could control which also points to a colossal screw up rather than death by an assassin. LAK is correct, if she were murdered it’d be significantly more discreet and the death wouldn’t have hinged on so many ‘what ifs’.

      • bluhare says:

        I believe Diana’s injury was the same one Reagan had when he was shot by Hinckley. Reagan survived because he got to the hospital and into surgery quickly. Diana did not.

    • Carolin says:

      I wish she had. Just imagine.

  5. Chrissy says:

    She has been dead for almost 17 years. She deserves to rest in peace. She’s not around to defend herself so this whole issue just reeks of disrespect!

    • Sixer says:

      But a man is on trial for his freedom! Are you saying he shouldn’t be able to run a defence because a defence involving a dead prrson is disrespectful?

  6. Miffy says:

    I completely believe this, and I don’t think she was a victim with no other options, I believe it was because underneath her doe-eyed exterior she had balls of steel and knew all too well that she had the media and public’s adoration and could manipulate both. There’ll never be another royal like her, they’ll make sure of that and more’s the pity. She was fantastic, both for her humanitarian efforts and her discreet cajones!

  7. Angelic 21 says:

    You know after watching way too much Animal planet while sick, I’ve come to the conclusion Di was like a injured Lioness who became even more dangerous when she was injured. This is the reason I love her, she made a family of entitled brats for who thought they can get away with anything for wronging her, she might have entered the marriage as a innocent, virgin bride but she came out as a highly intelligent, confident, independent woman who as they say it roared. She is the perfect example of an underdog kicking the champions ass.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Great analogy. Except the BRF saw her originally as a docile lamb….

    • TG says:

      She seems to have helped raise an entitled brat in Wills. Sometimes I wonder if his disdain for royal duties isn’t because of her. Maybe he knows that after his grandmother dies the monarchy will end so he isn’t trying too hard. I don’t know.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Actually she was just as frustrated with him as others.

        And it’s the the of the British aristocracy that places the eldest male (the heir) in almost a reverential and worshipped spot. This entitlement is seen all throughout the Royals and the aristocracy.

      • Angelic 21 says:

        Really are we blaming Will’s faults on Diana? What about Chuck and his responsibility? For all their faults, both Chuck and Di loves/loved doing their job and had a profound sense of duty and they manage to raise Harry too, who also seems to take his position seriously. So I don’t know what on earth happened with William.

      • LAK says:

        William was a brat an entitled brat even as a child.

      • bluhare says:

        I love your lioness analogy, Angelic.

        I have read that Diana and William had argued and he was mad at her when she died. I can’t imagine the trauma that would leave on someone, so I’ve cut him plenty of slack over the years. (Not so much now!)

  8. HoustonGrl says:

    This morning I get to wake up to not one, but TWO royal stories!! Yay!! So, that first pic of Diana is breathtaking! I loved her so much growing up and remember very well the night she was killed. I’m one of the conspiracy theorists, and to me this line says it all: “she wasn’t afraid to really go to war with the royal family.” For that she paid the ultimate price, IMO.

    • bluhare says:

      And I’m mad I got so carried away with honoring Liberty for her book chapters, I totally blew past this one.

      I agree about the first photo. She looks lovely.

  9. Jaquebelle says:

    Team Diana for life!!! I also think that the circumstances surrounding her death were not accidental. She initially survived a horrific accident w/ the same type of injury 70 year old Ronald Reagan survived during his assignation attempt many years ago. Rumor has it Diana was murdered during the ambulance ride, basically allowed to bleed to death. In protecting herself from the royal establishment, Diana created some extremely powerful enemies and you don’t maintain royal dominance by sheer kindness lol. Too many inconsistencies and questions. May Diana continue to rest in peace. One love.

  10. FLORC says:

    For all of her wonderful qualities this woman knew how to throw down her whole life. She was not smart, but wise.
    I don’t doubt this story because Diana was conniving.

    • Mel says:

      Based on what I’ve read about her (reputable, fully documented books), I don’t think she was wise at all – but I suspect this may be a matter of semantics.
      She was a clever tactitian. And, alas, she was not above denigrating people for the simple reason they did not want – or knew how to – play by her rules, and her rules alone.
      And even her (true, long-time) friends made it clear, albeit not in so many words, that she could be devious and manipulative.

      Don’t get me wrong: I FULLY acknowledge her positive personality traits and accomplishments, and far be it from me to demonise anyone. Which means that I cannot stand the demonising of Charles (or Camilla, for that matter) either. Which is exactly what Diana did – and an appalling number of people swallowed it line, hook and sinker.

      To be sure, they – the entire royal family – gave her plenty of material to “work” with. But so did she to them.
      They may have tried to portrait her as someone who was half-crazy and threw tantrums… but she DID throw tantrums, and her behaviour wasn’t always the paragon of sanity.
      (The Oliver Hoare incident is but one piece of evidence of that.)

      • FLORC says:

        We are dealing with semantics and I fully agree with everything else you’ve said.

      • bluhare says:

        Makes it hard to play by the rules when one keeps changing them. 🙂

        I agree with you. Diana was no saint. She had charisma in bucketloads, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to perfection.

  11. LadySlippers says:

    I have stated this several times but I strongly suggest reading Ken Wharfe’s book to get his take on Diana and her death. His book is very balanced and it’s not overtly sweet nor is it spiteful.

    • Suze says:

      That is a good book, I agree.

      She was an incredibly complicated figure. Fascinating, years on.

    • Forthelasttime says:

      Yes, yes. We heard you the first time *eye roll*

      • LadySlippers says:

        Lol. Point taken.

        I reiterated my comments because so many people (here and elsewhere) honestly think she was murdered. And the facts don’t support it.

  12. ItSEtsYou says:

    Haha, I would do the same if I my husband would do what Charles did 🙂 Good for her, she beat them Royals at their own game!

  13. Kathryn says:

    It’s still so sad all these years later. I would have loved to see what she would have gone on to achieve.