When Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story – in Her Own Words came out in 1992, everyone was shocked by the level of insight and details it revealed about the life o the royal family. It was only later discovered that Morton’s source was no other than Princess Diana herself. She would record tapes that were secretly passed on to Morton by her friend, James Colthurst, who turned them into the bestselling book. One of the things Diana revealed was her struggle with bulimia and how she got the disorder in the first place.
It all started when right after she got engaged to Prince Charles, Diana revealed in her tapes: “The bulimia started the week after we got engaged (and would take nearly a decade to overcome),” Diana said on the tapes. “My husband [Prince Charles] put his hand on my waistline and said: ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ and that triggered off something in me. And the Camilla thing.”
Bulimia became an ‘escape mechanism’ for Diana
The Camilla thing referred to the affair Prince Charles had with Camilla Parker Bowles, his long-time friend. Princess Diana used bulimia a crutch that helped her cope with her turbulent life: “I didn’t like myself, I was ashamed I couldn’t cope with the pressures,” Princess Diana said on the tapes. “I had bulimia for a number of years, and that’s like a secret disease. It’s a repetitive pattern which is very destructive. It was my escape mechanism.”
Diana used bulimia as a ‘release of tension’
Princess Diana talked a lot about bulimia on the tapes, remembering the first time she purged: “I was desperate, desperate. I remember the first time I made myself sick. I was so thrilled because I thought this was the release of tension.”
She even disclosed how much weight she lost due to bulimia and purging: “The first time I was measured for my wedding dress, I was 29 inches around the waist. The day I got married, I was 23½ inches. I had shrunk into nothing from February to July. I had shrunk to nothing.”