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Diana: Closely Guarded Secret Hardcover – Illustrated, September 2, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books; First Edition edition (September 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843170051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843170051
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Thanks Ken Wharfe for writing a honest book about our Diana.
Skye
It's a very balanced, very fair presentation of what his employment by the world's most famous (and most unhappily married & emotional) woman was really like.
SusieQ
To clearly understand the last chapter you should read Rees-Jones book "The Bodyguard's Story", subtitled "Diana, the Crash and the Sole Survivor".
Dottie Randazzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Ken Wharfe's wonderful account of his time with Princess Diana. I have read over sixty books on the royal family and this, by far, seems to be the most balanced account of Diana. I never had the opportunity to meet her but I knew that she could not have been as 'off balance' as much as has been presented in the past. Catherine Walker mentioned in her book that Diana had a wonderful sense of humor and Ken Wharfe expounds on that to give us examples of what she found funny and how lighthearted she could be at times. I also was not surprised that she could be a handful at times. While the world knows her past, her indescretions and some of her pain, she never let the British public down when it came to representing the royal family. It always amazed me that she could go from being with the most destitute of people, showing her caring for them, and then be at the most extravagant parties looking as though she was comfortable at both ends of the spectrum. One of the most eye-opening parts of the book is the difference of the protection officer from Scotland Yard and the protection offered by the Al Fayed family. It didn't occur to me until I read this that Mr. Wharfe had the opportunity to stop whatever may have come into play if it could possibly affect the safety of the Princess. He could do so directly with her without having to answer to the royal family since he worked for Scotland Yard. The Al Fayed protection team was hampered by the fact that they worked for their boss and I suppose their primary objective was to make all parties happy along with security and trying to keep their jobs all at the same time. It turned out to be a tragic combination. This is a well balanced book on Diana and Charles.Read more ›
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ken Warfe's book about Diana Princess of Wales was one of the more balanced and interesting accounts that I have read about her life from 1987 through the mid 90's. He was Diana's body guard provided by Scotland Yard and at one point considered himself to be close confidant for Diana in a professional way. His account neither condones or disapproves of her conduct but objecively describes her life at the time. In it, he tells about her affairs with James Hewitt, James Gilbey and Oliver Hoare yet doesn't divulge seamy details that he may have been aware of. He does a fine job of describing what Diana's life was like at that time in the royal family and how her some of her choices were effected by Prince Charles actions, particulary, his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. He doesn't make excuses for Diana's actions some of which are very immature but impartially describes the scene and the people involved. Wharfe doesn't deny that his job was difficult at times. In fact, he is very open about Diana's complex character. He describes a woman who can be very difficult yet fun to be with, manipulating and needy yet extremely caring and selfless, a person obsessed with being in the spotlight yet wanting a "normal" life. I felt that her bodyguard, Ken Wharfe, captured her life for that time period in a well thought out, easy to read and balanced presentation about one of the most fascinating people of this century.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By saskatoonguy on October 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Of the various Diana tell-all books that have come out, this may be the best, with the added advantage that the passage of time gives some historical perspective. Inspector Ken Wharfe was a police officer assigned as 'personal protection officer' to Princess Diana's sons, and later to Diana herself, from 1986 to 1997. He left that post following a nasty argument with Diana over, of all things, whether Diana could park in a no-parking zone when she wanted to buy some CDs.
The book operates on two levels, both as a chronicle of crucial events in Diana's bumpy personal and professional life from a relatively objective angle, as well as insight into how the London police protect the royal family. For most of the book, Wharfe is highly positive about Diana, describing her uncanny knack for relating to the needy, and he is critical of Charles. The author argues that tales of her being psychotic are highly exaggerated. Despite his spirited defense of Diana's mental health, one gets the impression that this was an extremely unstable woman with whom no one could maintain a normal professional or personal relationship. It seems every anecdote involves avoiding her angry outbursts or assuaging her fragile ego.
This perspective on Diana's life was spellbinding, but I was even more fascinated by the insight into how the London police protect the royals. 'Protection officers' are expected to get close on a personal level to their protectees in order to gain their trust - an approach fraught with problems. Wharfe describes engaging in horseplay with Diana's sons, becoming essentially a surrogate father to them and a sort of platonic-husband figure to Diana. Although Wharfe sneers at the US Secret Service, the London police could do worse than to emulate their more emotionally detached approach to personal protection.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ken Wharfe served as personal protection officer to Princes William and Harry and then to Princess Diana for almost seven years from 1987. During that time he spent more hours in the company of the Princess than anyone, and it is from this perspective that he is able to give a great deal of insight into who she was and what her life was like.

The book is well written and easy to read. Wharfe gives a very balanced portrait of Diana - not skimming over her faults but also not dwelling on them (in contrast to Patrick Jephson's book which covers a similar timespan). Overall Wharfe's relationship with the Princess was clearly close, warm and for the most part, one of mutual trust and admiration. In many ways he was part of the Wales family for several years and became very close to the young Princes.

This account is very informative and also has some great snippets of gossip, particularly in relation to the breakdown of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

I recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about what Diana was really like. This is definitely the most informative and intimate book that I have read about her.
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