Angela Rippon royal secret: How Princess Diana broke ban and spilled about wedding dress


SEASONED journalist Angela Rippon interviewed Prince Charles and Princess Diana ahead of their wedding. While she was stopped from asking about Diana’s wedding dress by a royal aide, the princess later flaunted the ban and revealed all.

Broadcaster Angela Rippon, 75, was a constant face on the BBC for decades. The journalist was one of two lucky reporters who got to interview Princess Diana and Prince Charles for TV ahead of their wedding in 1981. While the interview was the gig of a lifetime she has since claimed she was under strict instruction not to quiz Diana about the wedding dress.

In a recent Channel 5 documentary, Charles and Di: The Truth Behind Their Wedding, Angela reflected on the interview and watched the footage back.

Ms Rippon claimed the Queen’s press secretary Michael Shea was in the room for the entire length of the interview and forbade her from asking Diana about her dress.

She recalled: “When we went into the room, Michael was standing behind me, out of camera shot but behind me and in Lady Diana’s eye-line.

“I’m not sure how comfortable it made her feel.”

Angela claimed the entire encounter was carefully directed by Mr Shea.

She recalled: “Andrew and I were called into the office of Michael Shea who was the Queen’s press secretary at that time.

“He was sat behind his very large antique desk and said: ‘You realise you know, you can only ask the questions that we have agreed.’

“And then he leant across his desk and he went: ‘And you, will not mention the dress.’”

Mr Shea, who died in 2009, is said to have told the interviewers: “If you ask a question which I feel is inappropriate, should not be asked or you are taking the interview in a direction that we have not agreed, I will stop the interview.”

But despite Mr Shea’s claims to keep details about the dress secret, the rebellious Princess of Wales bent the rules for Angela off-camera, she has claimed.

Angela recalls: “I remember when it was over, Prince Charles very kindly said, ‘Well, would you like to come up and have a cup of tea with us?’ So, we trotted off to the private apartments.”

Princess Di reportedly gushed over her dress once Mr Shea had left the room.

Ms Rippon recalled: ’She clasped her hands together and she said: ‘Oh Angela, I had my last fitting just a few days ago in the workroom, and when I put the dress on, all the girls in the workroom, they all applauded and cried and said ‘Oh ma’am, you look just like a fairy princess.””

Princess Diana and The Prince of Wales tied the knot at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

While their big day was dubbed the wedding of the century their marriage was not to last and they divorced in 1996.

Reflecting on the iconic prenuptial interview Ms Rippon noted warnings signs in the couple’s body language even then.

She said: “When I say ‘wishing you a lifetime of happiness together’, he looks towards her and she looks down at the floor.

“Goodness, maybe we should have read so much more into to that five seconds at the end of the interview.

“That expression on Diana’s face at the end speaks volumes… gosh.

“Might have told so much more about what was to come.”


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