Princess Diana was a complicated woman, says former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond

·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond says Princess Diana was a ‘complicated woman.’

Bond, 68, who covered the royal beat from 1989 until 2003, became close to the late princess while reporting on her charity engagements and tours.

“I never saw the really angry side of Diana but I did see her ignore me, when the day before we had been sitting chatting, having a cup of coffee and the next day she would just blank me and walk straight past, she was a complicated lady,” she tells Yahoo UK’s ‘The Royal Box.’

Bond recalls one of Diana’s most memorable overseas trips to Angola in January 1997, where she walked through an active minefield in support of the Hazardous Areas Life-Support Organisation (HALO Trust).

She says: “The tour with Diana to Angola was probably one of the most meaningful and important tours that I did. It was memorable for me because she was heavily criticised by a junior minister in the government for being a ‘loose cannon’ for espousing Labour policy.”

Princess Diana in 1997 and Jennie Bond speaking on Yahoo UK's 'The Royal Box.' [Photo: PA/Yahoo UK]
Princess Diana in 1997 and Jennie Bond speaking on Yahoo UK's 'The Royal Box.' [Photo: PA/Yahoo UK]

At the time, the Conservatives, who were in power at the time, said they would not support a ban on landmines worldwide until all countries had signed a deal.

Diana’s trip to Angola was seen as an endorsement of Labour's anti-landmine policy. Earl Howe, who was then junior defence minister, was the one who labelled the princess a “loose cannon.”

PA NEWS : 15/1/97 : DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, WEARS A PROTECTIVE JACKET AS SHE WALKS NEXT TO THE EDGE OF A MINEFIELD IN ANGOLA, DURING HER VISIT TO SEE THE WORK OF THE BRITISH RED CROSS. (PHOTO BY JOHN STILLWELL ).  11/07/03 : The future of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund set up after her death is under threat. It has frozen all its grants to beneficiaries and been forced to approach other charities in a bid to keep its own projects going. The fund s crisis follows a protracted legal battle with the US company, the Franklin Mint. In June 2000 the Memorial Fund lost a court battle in the US against the firm in which they failed to stop the company making products bearing the Princess s image. The battle led to a  4 million legal bill for the fund.
Princess Diana walks on the edge of a minefield in Angola in 1997. [Photo: PA]

Bond continues: “I tackled her [Diana] about this and she was upset, she gave me an answer, but she was very upset.

“She got into her Landrover afterwards and burst into tears, and I sent her a note [saying], “You have to understand, you did well with what you said, ‘I’m just a humanitarian, I’m just trying to help,’ that is fine, it’s going to be good headlines tomorrow, it will make a good news report.”

Bond says that Diana forgave her after she sent the note and the stylish royal even gave her some fashion advice in return, telling Jennie she shouldn’t wear yellow - “it really makes your skin look quite sallow, you should wear red.”