A remarkable cache of 19 vinyl LPs owned by Diana during her mid to late teens offer a fascinating insight into a period in which her adult personality was emerging and her future contained countless different possibilities.
Discovered at a car boot sale eight years ago and put up for auction, they are deeply personal treasures, which is why The Mail on Sunday decided to step in by buying them and returning them to their rightful place – with her sons, William and Harry.
And they have been well received. The Princes’ spokesman said: ‘They are very grateful to The Mail on Sunday for retrieving the records and returning them. They were a cherished part of their late mother’s possessions, music being a critical part of her enjoyment of life.’
Some of her choices are fairly middle-of-the-road: the reassuringly clean-cut John Denver and the Eagles. But there are surprises, too, not least Bob Dylan’s 1976 live album Hard Rain, which – like all Dylan’s work – is brimming with deep personal reflection, cinematic imagery and biblical references.
The collection suggests a very different side to the lightweight Diana of popular perception and hints that the teenager whose childhood was blighted by her parents’ acrimonious split was receptive to music that tackled the disappointments of love and relationships, as well as the usual teenage romantic dreams.
It is, perhaps, Diana’s favourite album as a teenager that is the most poignant choice. She adored the Nino Rota soundtrack to Franco Zeffirelli’s steamy 1968 film Romeo And Juliet. This was extremely popular with young audiences at the time because its actors were close to the age Shakespeare intended the characters to be.
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