“Cherish my grandchildren. They carry my heart.”
Those are the poignant words Diana, Princess of Wales sent across the years to her son William’s beloved wife Kate Middleton in a series of private taped messages she recorded after a chilling premonition about her death.
Now one of Diana’s closest friends has revealed the existence of the touching audio diary. On the tapes, Diana is heard offering motherly advice and baring her hopes for the future of her boys William and Harry and their families.
Here is the story of her friend, who has asked to remain anonymous:
“As incredible as it seems, Diana knew she was going to die young. She was very attuned to the spirit world and psychic events. She told me she made the tapes for the day she wouldn’t be around to help guide her boys.
“The Princess got the idea while taping memoirs to help Andrew Morton write his book Diana – Her True Story. Even after the book was published, she continued talking into her little Sony cassette recorder, off-and-on, right up until the time she was so horribly killed.
“She asked for the tapes to be played at key points in her sons’ future. That way, she could continue to be a part of their lives even after she was gone. She thought it quite clever – and loved the idea of being what she called ‘a nagging mum from beyond the grave.’ She found it quite amusing.
“I first learned of the tapes when I was invited around for tea at Diana’s Kensington Palace apartments. By this time, it was clear her marriage to Charles had become a sham and they were working toward divorce.
“She’d just finished making a tape a few minutes before I arrived and was quite pleased with the results. Diana was so delighted she played it for me and told me all about the other recordings she’d made.
“This particular one was for William’s future wife. He was about 13 or 14 at the time, just discovering girls. Diana was fascinated by the idea that he’d marry and one day have children of his own. She was certain he’d be a wonderful husband and warm and caring father – more like her than his own dad, who was rather cold and aloof.
“She wanted William and his bride to avoid the pitfalls that doomed her marriage and the marriage of her parents. She knew how hard it was to grow up in a broken home – and felt guilty her own children were going to be forced to deal with that pain. She told me the tapes were her way of coping with an uncertain future and unburdening her soul.
“The recording I heard didn’t last long. Perhaps two minutes. Maybe three. What struck me was her honesty. She was so sincere. You could hear it in her voice. She spoke straight from her heart.
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“It was so very moving, I remember bits of it quite well even after all this time. I was surprised she actually played it for me. And when it was done, we talked about the kind of girl William would marry. She thought his bride would be beautiful, smart and independent. And, amazingly, she was right. Kate is all that and more.
“The recording began with Diana chuckling in a rather stern voice, ‘Hello, it’s William’s Mum here. Welcome to the family business...’ Then, her voice got softer and warmer… saying: ‘I rather suspect THAT got your attention! Anyway, brace yourself for a one-way chat. Obviously, we haven’t met – though I want you to know I certainly wish we had. I know I’d adore you and we’d be fast friends. You have to be someone truly special. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be my William’s wife.’
“She rabbited on a bit, sharing things about William’s childhood and talking about how she’d always wanted a daughter.
“Then she turned serious again: ‘Marriage is never easy – and being the future Queen only makes it harder. For your marriage to survive the public glare and the private pressures of royal life, it will take patience, compromise, understanding, trust, loyalty and, of course, love. But you both must work at it. On a daily basis. I’m sure you’re aware of my failings and those of William’s father. Learn from these mistakes. Build a relationship that endures. You deserve it. And so do your children. My fondest dream is for you and William to have a life filled with love and joy – that your children are happy, healthy and free of the dark shadow divorce casts on those it touches. Family is the most important thing in life. Cherish your children for me. They carry my heart. Let them know I love them and will always watch over them.’
“She ended with a kiss and told William she loved him.
“I’m not certain how many recordings Diana made or exactly who was finally entrusted with delivering her messages to William and Harry. But I believe Kate has heard this tape. I suspect she’s been privy to others as well since she frequently talks in public and in private about her special bond with Diana. William’s mother remains a constant source of inspiration in their lives – and their children will truly be Diana’s legacy of love.”