Piers Morgan claimed Princess Diana had an “unpleasant streak” in a rare insight.
The Uncensored presenter, 58, suggested the royal was a “master manipulator” when it came to “exploiting” her love life in the media following her divorce from then Prince Charles.
While Piers worked as a newspaper editor he recalled moments where she had cheekily “stitched him up” on occasion.
After their first meeting at a charity event, the broadcaster was invited to dine with Diana for a private lunch at Kensington Palace where they were joined by Prince William aged 13 and her former butler Paul Burrell served them.
For two hours she is said to have enlightened Piers with snippets of her new life outside of the Royal Family.
Writing in his latest column for The Sun, he wrote: “She talked about her lovers – promoting William to say he kept a photo of Will Carling’s then wife Julia on a dartboard and had ‘never laughed so hysterically’ as when, after James Hewitt spilled the beans about their affair in a tawdry book, I hired a white horse, which a Mirror reporter, in full armour, rode to Hewitt’s home to charge him with treason for sleeping with the wife of a future king.”
During their candid conversation Piers noted that Diana appeared hopeful about her future but admittedly felt pressure about being in the public eye, adding she would not mind a life of anonymity but had nowhere to escape to.
After their lunch, Piers said the pair had reached an agreement that he would let her know if a particularly sensitive story about her would be published but claimed “she didn’t quite play fair”.
He recalled one instance, three months before she died, while he worked at The Mirror he received a call that Diana had visited the Priory Clinic in London and had given a speech to women who suffered from eating disorders.
Piers let Diana know they were aware and “she gave me an hour-long off-the-record interview on the phone about exactly what she’d said, and all her own experiences with bulimia and anorexia”.
But once the story broke the following day, Diana issued a furious statement condemning the “sensationalised” publication of “private conversations” from her visit to the Priory.
Piers later phoned the late Princess of Wales’ office about the situation.
Among other scenarios, the former Good Morning Britain presenter admitted he adored Diana but claimed she would often use the media to suit her own agenda – something he believes is not accurately portrayed in the latest series of The Crown.
“So, although I loved her for many reasons – she was dazzlingly beautiful and fabulously charismatic, as actress Elizabeth Debicki captures so well with her brilliant depiction of her – Diana also had a very unpleasant and duplicitous streak that is never shown in The Crown,” he suggested.
In the early hours of the morning on Sunday, August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris alongside Dodi Fayed – with the tragedy being revisited in the final series of The Crown.