Reading Diana, Princess of Wales | Wyatt’s World

On Monday, July 27, HBO aired the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, marking a run of special broadcasts leading up to the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death on August 31, 1997. For readers interested in learning more about Diana and the royal family, these excellent backlist titles and new releases will have strong appeal. They also make great additions to displays and booklists.

  • The Day Diana Died by Christopher Andersen (Morrow).
    With Diana’s death came a period of global mourning and disbelief. Andersen’s account of the days before and after the fatal car accident that took her life captures that shock, tracing the reactions and fallout from the events that followed, including the responses of Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth. Published in 1999 and a best seller in its time, it once again evokes the anger and sorrow felt by so many.
  • William & Catherine’s New Royal Family: Celebrating the Arrival of Princess Charlotte by Ian Lloyd (Carlton).
    The legacy of Princess Diana lives well beyond her personal style and many charity efforts, resting in the lives of her children and grandchildren. The recent interest in Prince William and wife Catherine’s trip to Europe proves the next generation has plenty of followers, as this photo-rich book focuses on the second, third, and fourth in line to the throne.
  • Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton (S. & S.).
    First published in 2009, Morton’s blockbuster biography has had a long shelf life and is considered one of the key titles in the Diana canon. Update the collection with this 20th anniversary edition, which includes a fresh foreword and afterword as well as previously unpublished material Morton gathered while working on the original account.
  • Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs by National Geographic Eds. (National Geographic, Aug.).
    Some of the most popular titles on Princess Diana are the oversize photography books that document her resonant fashion sense. This latest addition features great classic and lesser-known images as well as commentary from celebrities and context provided by journalist Tina Brown. It joins the many earlier works that have a new chance to circulate in the next few weeks.
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith (Random).
    There is no way to talk about the beloved Queen of Hearts without running into the quagmire of her marital strife. Smith offers insights into both Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Charles’s current wife, while taking a meticulous look at the man who would be king.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

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