Princess Diana's struggles with bulimia: 'It was a symptom of my marriage'

By Melanie Aiden November 18, 2020
Princess Diana's struggles with bulimia: 'It was a symptom of my marriage'

Princess Diana reportedly struggled greatly during her time in the royal fold and one of the biggest contributors was her battle against bulimia. 

She detailed her struggles with the eating disorder during her infamous Panorama interview with Mr. Martin Bashir and even admitted to the host that she felt utterly “ashamed” over having to deal with bulimia because many already thought she was “wasting food."

The princess explained, “You have to know that when you have bulimia you’re very ashamed of yourself and you hate yourself, and people think you’re wasting food, so you don’t discuss it with people.”

She added, “And the thing about bulimia is your weight always stays the same, whereas with anorexia you visibly shrink. So you can pretend the whole way through. There’s no proof.”

When her interviewer Mr. Bashir questioned whether someone actually ‘specifically suggested’ that she was wasting food through her actions, the princess replied by saying, “Oh yes, a number of times. It was just, ‘Well, I suppose you’re going to waste that food later on’ ‒ and that was pressure in itself. And, of course, I would, because it was my release valve.”

While Princess Diana struggled with her eating disorder for “a long time” she became “free of it” shortly before the infamous Panorama interview took place.

“It’s like a secret disease you inflict upon yourself, because your self-esteem is at such 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.”

“It’s like having a pair of arms around you, but it's temporary. Then you are disgusted by the bloatedness of your stomach and then you bring it all up again. And it's a repetitive pattern, which is very destructive to yourself.”

“If I had been on an away day, I’d come home feeling pretty empty because my engagements at that time would be to do with people dying, people very sick. And I’d come home and it would be very difficult to know how to comfort myself, having been comforting lots of other people, so it would be a regular pattern to jump into the fridge.”

She concluded by pointing out the root cause of her issues and explained that, “It was a symptom of what was going on in my marriage. I was crying out for help, but giving the wrong signals and people were using my bulimia as a coat on a hanger.”

“They decided that was the problem ‒ Diana was unstable. The cause was a situation where my husband and I had to keep everything together, because we didn’t want to disappoint the public, and yet obviously there was a lot of anxiety going on inside our four walls.”