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Princess Diana was 'desperate' to tell the world her story, says biographer Andrew Morton

Watch: Royal biographer explains Diana was "desperate" to make her story public

Princess Diana was "desperate" to tell the world her story, the late royal's biography has revealed.

Andrew Morton - who penned best-selling biography Diana: Her True Story - explained that the Princess of Wales agreed to be interviewed by proxy for his book because she "was quite desperate to get her story out".

"She thought the book could be written and published in a week," Morton said during an interview on Good Morning Britain today. "Which was rather naive but nonetheless it showed you how desperate she was to convey her message to the wider world."

Morton added that their collaboration "empowered [Diana]", saying: "It gave her control of the narrative for the first time in her life."

ITALY - APRIL 22:  Diana, Princess Of Wales, Wearing A Silk Suit Designed By Fashion Designer Bruce Oldfield, During An Official Overseas Visit. Diana's Crystal Heart Earrings Are By Jewellers Butler And Wilson.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Princess Diana during an official visit to Italy in April, 1985 - while her marriage was breaking down already behind closed doors, it would be five years before she began to get her story out to the public by answering Morton's questions. (Getty Images)

Diana's secret collaboration with Morton has been dramatised in the new season of The Crown, which dropped on Netflix today.

His controversial biography was filled with shock revelations, including her husband's infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles, her struggles with bulimia and her attempted suicide.

The second episode of The Crown season five is dedicated to Diana's — portrayed onscreen by Elizabeth Debicki — covert collaboration with Morton.

He interviewed Diana for his biography using their mutual friend James Colthurst as a proxy. Colthurst would take a tape recorder and Morton's questions to Kensington Palace and return with Diana's recorded answers.

Much of how the secretive collaboration took place is based on the accounts of the experience the two men have provided in the intervening years. Morton has said since: "the whole thing was rather like a spy thriller."

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01:  Author Andrew Morton In Front Of Windsor Castle Holding A Copy Of His Book On Diana (exact Day Date Not Certain)  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Andrew Morton outside Windsor Castle holding a copy of the bombshell biography he wrote with Diana's help, 1992. (Getty Images)

He also has explained that the process had to be so secretive because "if the Establishment had got any wind of it [...] the story of Diana that the world knows today would never have been revealed."

For years, Morton and Colthurst kept Diana's involvement in the creation of the book a secret and it was denied strenuously by the palace. Instead, Morton said that friends of Diana's had cooperated with him.

However, after her death in 1997, the royal biographer admitted the extent of her involvement.

Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) at the Royal Albert Hall after an English National Ballet production of 'Swan Lake', London, 3rd June 1997. The Princess is wearing a dress by designer Jacques Azagury. (Photo by David M Benett/Getty Images)
Princess Diana at the Royal Albert Hall after an English National Ballet production of 'Swan Lake' in 1997, just over two months before her death. (Getty Images)

The New York Times wrote at the time of this revelation: "it has long been widely assumed that Diana had a strong hand in making her story public through [Morton's] book," and that "Mr. Morton said today that the friends had agreed to provide cover for her so that Buckingham Palace could not accuse her of having supplied the damaging information."

After her death, a new edition of Diana: Her True Story was published which included transcripts of Diana's interviews.