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Royals couldn't deal with how popular Diana was, claims ex-bodyguard Wharfe


Ken Wharfe with Princess Diana

Ken Wharfe with Princess Diana

Ken Wharfe with Princess Diana

The legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales, lives on through her sons who are changing the face of the monarchy just like their mother, her former bodyguard has said.

Former Met Police officer Ken Wharfe claimed at the time of Diana's death the monarchy was "jealous" of her popularity, but the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have followed in her footsteps by carrying on her work.

Mr Wharfe, who guarded Diana for more than five years until 1993, said: "We now know Diana did change and modernise, whether we like it or not.

"What we see today with William and Harry, in the way that they now conduct themselves as two leading royal figures, is so different from what royalty was in the 1980s.

"They are literally cardboard cut-outs of their mother's work and 20 years on we are now speaking about their mother more than ever."

Since her death, the brothers have taken on some of their mother's charity work, from Harry raising awareness about Aids and supporting the efforts of the HALO Trust's fight against landmines, to William championing the homeless.

The former Scotland Yard officer, who has written a book, Guarding Diana, about his overseas travels with the princess, said her modernisation was reflected not only in the way she conducted royal engagements but how she brought up her boys.

He said: "She would take them to Kensington High Street, take them to the cinema. They were great regulars of Bill Wyman's Sticky Fingers restaurant."

Mr Wharfe added the experience of a trip to a local restaurant or visits to Marks and Spencer to buy frozen chips and burgers, which they would cook, was also part of William and Harry's education.

He claimed there were some within the monarchy who appeared threatened by the adulation the princess received.

He said: "The problem with Diana in this family is they could not deal with her popularity, they couldn't cope with it - basically they were jealous."

He added: "They couldn't do it themselves and they wouldn't acknowledge just how good she was at it, this was a problem.

"Their attitude was 'this has been going on for a few hundred years, let's not wreck it' - they weren't moving with the times and they couldn't honestly bring it round to say 'we've got somebody here who is changing its direction'."

When Diana died, a global figure was killed who Mr Wharfe believes would still be championing causes today.

He said: "Let's imagine for one moment she may have been working for Tony Blair - who knows? That was always part of the ideal, that she'd become an ambassador somewhere, but it never really reached fruition."

Guarding Diana by Ken Wharfe is published by John Blake Publishing

Belfast Telegraph