The tapes reveal a beloved icon who was secretly wrestling with bulimia and thoughts of suicide.
"The public side was very different, obviously, from the private side," Diana said on the 1991 tapes, recorded in secret by an intermediary for royal biographer Andrew Morton.
"The public side, they wanted a fairy princess to come, touch them and everything would turn into gold and all their worries would be forgotten," Diana said.
"Little did they realize that ... the individual (was) crucifying herself inside, because she didn't think she was good enough."
Of her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, Diana recalls, "I felt I was a lamb to the slaughter. The whole thing was ridiculous."
"...they wanted a fairy princess to come, touch them and everything would turn into gold and all their worries would be forgotten. Little did they realise that ... the individual (was) crucifying herself inside, because she didn't think she was good enough"
Their wedding night, she says, was "very strange."
As their honeymoon began aboard the royal yacht Britannia, Diana says, "I had tremendous hope, but it was slashed by day two.
"I remember crying my heart out on my honeymoon.
"The first week back home after the honeymoon I learned to be a royal in one week," she says. "I was thrown into the deep end. Nobody ever helped me at all."
Diana's battle with bulimia became a bit more public in 1986, when she fainted during a trip to Canada with Prince Charles.
Publicly, officials blamed fatigue for the fainting spell, but in private, she said Charles was cross with her.
"My husband told me off," she said. "He said I could have passed out quietly somewhere else, behind a door. It was all very embarrassing. ... And inside me I knew there was something wrong with me, but I was too immature to voice it."
Diana painted a picture of a
rather cold,aloof Prince Charles
In talking about a 1982 suicide attempt, Diana painted a picture of a rather cold, aloof Charles.
Three months' pregnant and feeling miserable as her marriage was on the rocks, Diana said she spoke with Charles and threatened to kill herself.
"Charles said I was crying wolf, and I said I felt so desperate, and I was crying my eyes out. And he said, 'I'm not going to listen. You're always doing this to me.' He said, 'I'm going riding now.'
"So I threw myself down the stairs, bearing in mind I was carrying a child. Queen comes out, absolutely horrified, shaking she's so frightened. I knew I wasn't going to lose the baby, quite bruised 'round the stomach, and Charles went out riding. And when he came back, you know, ... it was just dismissal -- total dismissal."
Diana and her then boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, died in a late-night car crash in Paris in 1997, one year after her divorce from Charles.