Is This Why Princess Diana Always Read The Newspaper?

The world was turned upside down when they learned that Princess Diana had died in a car accident after being chased by the paparazzi in August 1997. Millions of people from across the globe mourned the death of "the People's Princess," who was known to have an extremely complicated relationship with the press. In fact, just two years before her untimely death, a bombshell BBC interview with Martin Bashir — in which the broadcaster "made lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her [Diana's] fears and fueled paranoia," according to Prince William (via NPR) — completely damaged Diana's reputation, and both Prince William and Prince Harry believe that Bashir's deceitful interview contributed to the death of their mother.

During an interview with Oprah in March, Prince Harry, who was only 12 years old when his mom died, opened up about the aftermath of Diana's death, telling the longtime talk show host, "I was so angry with what happened to her, and the fact that there was no justice at all ... The same people that chased her through that tunnel photographed her dying on the back seat of that car" (via NBC News).

Here's why Princess Diana was always reading the newspaper

Princess Diana clearly had a complicated relationship with the British media, but there's actually a very logical reason she was always spotted reading the newspapers and tabloids. According to journalist Mark Honingsbaum in a 1997 piece for The Spectator, she read them "out of necessity, not love" to know what was being reported about her each day (via Bustle) — especially during the last few months of her life, in which the tabloids were reporting on her romance with Dodi Al Fayed, who died in the car crash with Diana, almost daily.

"The Princess, like 'the people' who worshipped her, was addicted to the tabloid newspapers," Honingsbaum wrote. "One of her friends told me that each morning over breakfast at Kensington Palace, she would read The Sun, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail, and The Express, although not necessarily in that order."

"They were really lurid," Sally Bedell Smith, who penned one of Princess Diana's best-selling autobiographies, told USA Today about the media's treatment of Diana before her death. "There had been a crescendo of salacious headlines in the weeks before she died, three weeks of the wildest tabloid coverage ever seen, tearing Dodi apart, turning on Diana. It was highly unusual."