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The New York Times reviewed the book, criticising Brown for relying on earlier books about Diana, but also saying: "At its best this book combines gossip, opinion and context in ways that cast new light on Diana's cautionary tale."|
The extract in Vanity Fair, which Brown once edited, is focused on Diana's life after her divorce from Prince Charles. For a while, the relationship between the princess and the surgeon bloomed, she writes. He wasn't interested in high life or fashion, didn't want anything from her and had a dread of publicity.
Diana intended to turn a former equerry's room in Kensington Palace into a basement room for Natty, as he was known. On weekends, when her staff weren't there, she would cook dinner for him.
"Marks and Spencer have got these very clever little meals that you just put the timer on and press the button and it's done for you!" Diana is quoted as telling her therapist, Simone Simmons.
On his birthday, she went out to meet him wearing her best sapphire and diamond earrings, a fur coat and nothing else.
She would also spend the day at his messy one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea, where she would vacuum, do the dishes and iron his shirts.
Her trips to Pakistan with Jemima and Imran Khan were covers to ingratiate herself with his family. She turned up without notice to his family's house in Lahore.
But Hasnat's mother had no intention of letting her son marry anyone other than a Pakistani Muslim girl.
The episode deeply upset Hasnat Khan, who had concluded that Diana, abandoned by her mother when she was six, needed more love than any man could give her.
Diana's dream was that the two of them would become international humanitarians. Diana was delusional about the relationship. She talked to Jemima Khan late at night about how to handle marriage to a traditional Muslim man. She even got her butler, Paul Burrell, to ask a priest if it was possible to get married secretly.