A look behind the curtain. Former bodyguardLee SansumHis new book features shared stories from his time working with Princess Diana. Protecting Diana: A Bodyguard’s Story.
“My time with the princess, it was only a short period in my life, but it had a bigger impact on my life forever,” Sansum exclusively told Us WeeklyBefore the Tuesday, August 30 release. ”I think because of the 25th anniversary of her death coming up soon, people are just interested in the princess all over the world.”
Diana died in 1997, at the age of 36, in a tragic automobile accident. The bodyguard, for his part, will “never forget” meeting Diana for the first time when he was hired to work one of her vacations following her split from Prince Charles.
“Before I went out to St. Tropez, I already knew the princess was coming. Nobody else did, but the security team,” he told Use. “She was an amazing lady and what really caught my attention is she was just a normal down-to-earth lady and it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t know what I expected. She loved her boys. You could see that she cared about everyone, the staff and everyone she met. She smiled and treated everyone with kindness. She was funny. We had some great conversations, and she was a normal person.”
Sansum told Use that he is “trained to see nonverbal communications in people” and is “quite good at picking up if anybody’s hiding something or there’s an agenda,” but Diana was “just an amazing, lovely lady.”
He continued: “She was a caring mother. She loved her boys. She loved to watch them play. She loved playing with them. She loved Harry. [be a]A little bit of a naughty girl. They are naughty boys. [but] I call ’em a free child and I think she was a free child too.”
Prince WilliamHe was 15 years old when his mother died. Prince HarryIt was only 12.
“She used to, you know, [take] delight in watching him get up to his little antics and spraying the paparazzi with his jet ski, which I taught him to do,” Sansum said. “It was clear that she loved her boys.”
According to the author Diana intended to move to America to escape from the U.K. media before her death.
“She was quite adamant that in America, the press liked her. The people liked her, and she liked the place,” he told Use. “I know a lot of people have said she was depressed. She was anxious. She was paranoid. You know what? I understand why. She couldn’t enjoy her life. Things weren’t normal. She had no one to turn to.”
Sansum noted that Diana didn’t speak with him about her relationship with Prince Charles.
“[Once] there was one picture in the newspaper in one of the British tabloids at the time that showed a picture of the princess — a lovely picture. They had another of Camilla, which wasn’t a very nice picture. And I think the headline was, ‘He chose this for that,’” he recalled to Use. “It was a very crude comment and we saw that newspaper that morning and when the princess came down for a chat in the morning on the beach, which she used to do, you know, I did mention to her, ‘Have you seen the headlines?’ because I knew it would stir the paparazzi up. That was the only reason I made the comment and the princess said, ‘Well, it’s his choice. I moved on.’ Didn’t even comment any further in it. And I thought, you know, what a good comment.”
Diana’s safetyIt is now available. For more information, scroll through the book: