Diana documentary gives painful insight into her fight for change

Must See 25/07/2017

A new documentary giving a glimpse into the deeply personal life of Princess Diana has screened in the UK and the US, giving a painfully raw look into the struggles she faced during her tenure as Princess. 

Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, which screens in New Zealand on Three on Tuesday night, shows how Diana fought for the rights of the homeless and AIDS sufferers, even as her marriage was crumbling.

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The film addresses the issue of homelessness, showing footage of Dina at a shelter and on the streets in some of London's dodgiest areas. 

Viewers are given insight into some of the political walls the 'People's Princess' faced as she fought for change. 

In news footage from the time, a politician comments: "The princess is really a headstrong and wilful young lady, charming and delightful as she is in other ways".

Diana's friend Elton John is also interviewed, who talks about the vital role she played in helping AIDS sufferers during the 1980s epidemic. 

"It was considered to be a gay disease, and to have a member of the royal family, someone who was a woman and who was straight, care, was an incredible gift," Elton says, 

Looking at photographs of her visiting the victims, her son Prince Harry points out while "the reality then was doom and gloom, but everyone in that photo is smiling".

The documentary also confronts Diana and Prince Charles' crumbling marriage, although it does shy away from other issues such as extra-marital affairs. 

Harry Herbert, a close friend of Diana, speaks of how he was questioned about the marriage of Diana and Charles by the Queen in the weeks leading up to their separation. 

"That was a bad time for Diana. You know, the light had gone out, if you like," Mr Herbert says.

"I had a talk to the Queen about it at Balmoral. The Queen wanted to talk to me about it because she was so worried about Diana."

The pair spoke after a lunch at the castle in Aberdeenshire and the Queen wanted to know "how was Diana feeling". Mr Herbert says it was "a sad discussion" because "that was everything at its worst".

Diana died in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. 

Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy will be broadcast on Three on Tuesday, July 25 at 8:35pm.