Diana, Princess of Wales, believed that one of her lovers was “bumped off”, according to tapes being broadcast for the first time in the United States.
The NBC network acquired tapes made in 1992 by Peter Settelen, who worked with the princess to improve her public speaking.
She speaks on the tape about Barry Mannakee, a policeman who was assigned to protect her.
Reports that Diana had an affair with Mannakee surfaced in Britain in 1998.
“It was all found out and he was chucked out, and then he was killed,” Diana says on the tape, broadcast last night.
“And I think he was bumped off. But, um, there we are. I don’t… we’ll never know. He was greatest fella I’ve ever had.”
Mannakee died in a motorcycle accident in 1987, after being transferred from his post as Diana’s guard.
Settelen won a court judgment earlier this year to regain the tapes, which had also been claimed by Diana’s brothers and sisters.
The Metropolitan Police had been holding the tapes, which were seized along with other items in a 2001 raid on the home of Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell.
Excerpts from the tapes released in advance by NBC add little to the public’s knowledge of Diana’s progression from shy young bride to disillusioned wife to vengeful ex-wife, but they do add some fresh quotations to embroider well-known stories.
She tells of an early meeting with the Prince of Wales.
“And I said: ’You must be so lonely.’ And I said: ’It’s pathetic watching you walking up the aisle at St Paul’s (cathedral) with (Charles’ uncle) Lord Mountbatten’s coffin in front.’
“I said, you know: 'It’s ghastly. You need someone beside you.' Ugh! Wrong word! Whereupon he leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything, and I thought: ‘Waaah!‘
“You know, this isn’t what people do, and he was all over me for the rest of the evening. Followed me around, everything. A puppy. And, um, yeah, I was flattered, but I was very puzzled,” Diana says on the tape.
She also told of running to the Queen after she became convinced that Charles had resumed his romance with Camilla Parker Bowles.
“I went to the top lady and I’m sobbing, and I said: ‘What do I do?‘ The Queen said: ‘I don’t know. Charles is hopeless.’”