In a brand new clip released ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, Diana tells how she believed she was an “underlying rebel”.
The tapes, recorded by Peter Settelen in several sessions at Kensington Palace in 1992 and 1993 also reveal that the late Princess was popular even back at school.
Diana said: “I was a rebel. I always did the dares. I always did the opposite from everybody else.
“I wasn’t academically interested at all. I just wanted to be with people and have fun and go after people, things like that.
Diana In Her Own Words tapes: NEW Channel 4 clip reveals Princess was ‘underlying rebel’
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I got the prize of being the kindest girl in school
“I got the prize of being the kindest girl in school. I got the prize of this…”
When told by Settelen that being given the prize of the kindest girl “doesn’t ring rebel”, Diana revealed that it was a hidden trait.
She continued: “I know, but it was underlying. It was always there.”
The documentary voiceover also hints at a focus on the Parker Bowles family, saying: “1953, a coronation. The stage is set. There was a Queen, Elizabeth. There was a Prince, Charles. Among the pageboys there was Andrew Parker Bowles who will also have a part to play. Only the Princess is missing. Diana will not be born for another eight years.”
It comes as Channel 4 defended its decision to air the controversial tapes after facing a backlash from royalists and Diana’s brother Earl Charles Spencer.
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A Channel 4 spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The excerpts from the tapes recorded with Peter Settelen have never been shown before on British television and are an important historical source.
“We carefully considered all the material used in the documentary and, though the recordings were made in private, the subjects covered are a matter of public record.
“They provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story, which culminated in her later interview for Panorama.
“This unique portrait of Diana gives her a voice and places it front and centre at a time when the nation will be reflecting on her life and death.”
Kensington Palace declined to comment on the Diana tapes when approached for comment by Express.co.uk.