Revealed: What Princess Diana Really Believed ‘Kept the Wolves From the Door’

Princess Diana is known for her affectionate smile and personality. She was the light of the Royal Family and was ahead of her time in a lot of ways. She was also known for her attempts at letting the public know what was really going on within the marriage between the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Princess Diana was a media darling

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana may have been always smiling and appeared to enjoy all the attention as Prince Charles’ wife, but she was shy by nature and wasn’t used to all the publicity. She struggled in her new role without knowing what she was supposed to do. She did provide the heirs the monarchy so desperately craved, but not before she almost unraveled completely.

Diana wasn’t ready for her new role

Princess Diana revealed the story of her life in Andrew Morton’s biography about her called Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words. She was extremely candid and explored her own thoughts on the monarchy and her marriage. She was a young girl who was thrust into the spotlight too quickly and she wasn’t ready.

Princess Diana was ‘nervous’ but she kept smiling

Diana’s constant tendency to smile didn’t help matters at all. Everyone thought things were going well at first, especially with Diana’s affectionate pull with the public and the media. She was actually quite nervous all the time and had no real support from her husband Prince Charles. “However nervous she may have felt inside, her warm smile and unaffected manner were a photographer’s delight,” Morton wrote.

‘It kept the wolves from the door’

The Prince and Princess of Wales
The Prince and Princess of Wales | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

So, where did Diana get this constant smile that never seemed to leave her face in the early days of her marriage? The Princess believed she had learned the skill from her own mother, Frances Shand Kydd. “She believed that she was able to smile through the pain thanks to qualities she inherited from her mother,” Morton wrote. “When friends asked how she was able to display such a sunny public countenance she said: ‘I’ve got what my mother has got. However bloody you are feeling you can put on the most amazing show of happiness. My mother is an expert at that and I’ve picked it up. It kept the wolves from the door.’”

Princess Diana had a tendency to harm herself

Princess Diana also revealed in the tell-all novel about her life that she suffered from bulimia nervosa and even tried to kill herself on multiple occasions. She also revealed her struggle with bulimia in another jaw-dropping interview that gave Diana a bad rap with the monarchy if she hadn’t already earned it. She participated in the famous BBC’s Panorama Interview and spoke about the struggles in her marriage, her bulimia, and beyond.

“I had bulimia for a number of years. And that’s like a secret disease,” Diana revealed to Martin Bashir during the interview. “You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don’t think you’re worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day – some do it more – and it gives you a feeling of comfort.”

Princess Diana may have had a need to smile through the pain, but she was far from happy in her marriage with Prince Charles. His affair with Camilla Parker Bowles was always on Diana’s mind and she felt the whole thing destroyed their marriage in the end. Princess Diana and Prince Charles ended up divorced by 1996.