Phone Message Transcript: August 31, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"I could be cut off at any time but you can still leave a one minute message. we are getting a new machine. It's august 31, 1997 and I am grieving with all my heart for Princess Diana. Iwatched TV late last night. I watched everything pertaining to the auto crash in which she was killed, and I feel her loss with my whole heart. I felt she was one of the finest and truest and perhaps maybe even the last princess that we have had in this century. She really cared about the people. She understood the meaning of noblesse oblige. She knew that she was not, she just did not take her privileges for granted. She went to AIDS wards. She gave up herself to everyone and she provided a love, a love and a warmth and a flare to the monarchy in Britain which they badly, badly needed, and I am so happy to hear the whole world speaking so highly of her and realizing how large her contribution was, and I hope to God that the Royal Family will learn from this. Obviously, they treated her tremendous charisma and her tremendous power to do good with jealousy and spite in the past and that was a terrible thing, and I think she was in a terrible predicament. I hope Prince William and Prince Harry, I wish that there was someway I could express my feelings you know that wouldn't be vulgar, you know like an ad in the paper to just tell them learn from your mother, learn what it means, that royalty means something; it is not just, you know, the privilege to go play polo and say nasty things to the press. I think Prince Charles' behavior towards Lady Diana has been despicable since the beginning of the marriage.
In any event, I just wanted to say that I'm joining everybody else around the world in grieving for her. She was extraordinary. I spend my hours reading about the English monarchy. I know a great deal, not the present ones, I read about the early ones and the Shakespearean ones but in a sense Lady Diana really was somebody who could have saved the monarchy in our time. She restored a value, a credibility, a force to it, and I hope her sons will be allowed to understand that. I hope that they will be allowed to understand that her sense of public obligation was very, very great and whatever her private peccadillo they are not the point. They really are not. You know this is our royalty too. We're Americans and they're British but it's our royalty too and we do not have to have a royalty, you know nobody says that we have to. They don't rule by divine right really but there are many, many reasons why we keep them and Britain keeps them and Diana fulfilled the bill. She really, really did. She was beautiful. She was a true princess. She had a true generosity in her heart and a true love of the people around her, and I think she was the victim in the marriage with Charles, and I just want to say to all of you who are already calling about her, I just, my heart is just filled with sorrow that she's gone, and I hope that Prince William can now assume the role. I know he's a young boy and he has to be educated but perhaps he can begin to make some of the public appearances and offer the public some of the warmth that Diana offered. I think, I wish, I think Queen Elizabeth herself has been a dignified and marvelous queen but it was Diana who took things into a new age, and in between unfortunately we have that miserable Charles, the Prince of Wales, absolutely despicable man.
Enough on that, I mourn for her. I wish I knew where to send flowers. I may put them on the front gate, I don't know. We've lost something incredibly precious in her, incredibly precious, and the Royal Family has lost an extraordinary opportunity in the late twentieth century that could have brought them closer to the people and that's really I think all that's appropriate to say today except that we should all, not we should, but I want to mourn for her and I want to believe that she went right into the light, and I do. You know, for those of you who don't know the details she died in a car accident in Paris. She left the Ritz and I just, you know, it's a very great tragedy but I think the outpouring of love will perhaps be a testimony to generosity which no one can ignore.
OK, leave me a message and god bless you. August 31, 1997 and we have losT the last true princess of the twentieth century. The last real royal princess."