Princess Diana is arguably one of the most iconic members of the British Royal Family. As the Princess of Wales, Diana was known for her charitable work, devotion to her kids, and her chic fashion sense. Tragically killed in a car crash in August 1997, Princess Di’s death effected millions around the world.
This August marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. While many people know the basics about “The People’s Princess,” there are many not-so-known stories and facts about Princess Di that have been shared throughout numerous books.
Below is a round-up of the best books about Princess Di, listed in no particular order. Whether you want to give them as a gift for a Princess Diana fanatic, or you just want to have a piece of the history for yourself, these books are wonderful additions to your personal library.
1. Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words
Diana: Her True Story was first published in 1992, and revealed quite a bit about the British monarchy that the public had not yet been exposed to. This is because Princess Di herself helped Andrew Morton, the biographer, write the book, giving him many inside details to her life and the ways of the British family. The book has been a #1 New York Times bestseller, as its contents feature many raw interviews and personal details about Princess Di’s marriage, life in royalty, and more. This book is the closest to an autobiography that you can find about Princess Diana, and it is being re-released in honor of the 20th anniversary of her death.
- Written with help from Princess Diana
- Many raw details featuring Princess Di’s life in royalty, marriage, and more
- #1 New York Times Bestseller
- More personal than a standard biography
2. Diana: A Closely Guarded Secret
Written by Princess Diana’s first royalty protection officer, Inspector Ken Wharfe, this book provides deep insight into the life of Princess Di. Inspector Wharfe was a close and trusted friend to the Princess of Whales, and he provides many first-hand accounts of events surrounding Princess Di, as well as details about her character (good and bad). This book is a total page-turner and provides an intimate account of the life of Princess Di.
Price: $13.46 for paperback
- Written by Inspector Ken Wharfe, Princess Di’s first royalty protection officer
- Intimate portrayal of Princess Di’s life
- Long book (400 pages)
3. Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs
Princess Diana was one of the most photographed people of all time, and for good reason. The book was just released on August 1, 2017, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death. Filled with more than 100 photos of the beautiful Princess of Wales, this book would make a wonderful coffee table book. While there is not a ton of biographical information or stories detailed in text, the pictures are iconic and tell the story of Princess Di’s life. The book is published by National Geographic, and includes a foreword from Tina Brown.
- Features more than 100 images of Princess Diana
- Makes a great coffee table book
- Only available in hardcover
4. The Diana Chronicles
If you’re one for juicy details, this book’s got ’em. Written by Tina Brown, former Editor-in-Chief of Tatler (English gossip magazine), Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, this book focuses on the female characters in Princess Diana’s life. Brown’s writing style is fast and perhaps a little one-sided, but she reveals a lot of insider information about the life of Princess Diana. While it’s on the bigger side (more than 500 pages), it’s light reading and provides interesting details about Princess Di and her family.
- Lots of insider information regarding Princess Di’s life
- Light reading
- Writing style airs towards the side of a gossip read
- Large book – 561 pages
5. A Royal Duty
The author of this book, Paul Burrell, was a personal footman to the Queen who later became a butler to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and then Princess Diana herself after her divorce. Burrell and Princess Di shared a deep bond, and it is evident throughout this book as he shares stories about Princess Di, drawing from personal accounts and private letters between himself and the Princess. The devotion that Burrell had to Princess Diana is clear throughout the book, as he writes about her character and the Royal Family in a positive light. This book steers clear of some of the more scathing details about Princess Diana, and instead reminds the reader of why Princess Diana was such a beloved woman.
Price: $7.29 and up, depending on seller
- Written by a well-connected source – Princess Diana’s butler
- Paints Princess Di in a more positive light
- Light reading
- Some say the book is a little one-sided
- Long book – 405 pages
6. Who Was Princess Diana?
If you have a kiddo who is interested in learning about Princess Diana, this book is a fun read. The “Who Was” series is known for creating biographies geared towards younger readers, and this book about Princess Di is no different. The book covers many events in Princess Diana’s life, and talks about how she went from Lady Diana Spencer to the People’s Princess. Written with 8-12 year olds in mind, this book is meant to give younger readers a peek into the life of Princess Diana and the Royal Family.
Price: $4.39 for paperback, $5.99 for Kindle
- Great biography for younger readers
- Provides a lot of factual information about Princess Diana
- Less expensive than other Princess Di biographies
- Not meant for adults
- May be too long for some kids (more than 100 pages)
7. Dead Wrong 2: Diana, Princess of Wales
There are many people who think the accidental death of Princess Diana was actually a planned assassination. This book breaks down the conspiracy theory, as it details multiple reasons as to why Princess Diana’s death was actually planned, rather than a simply terrible accident. Theories about how the car was diverted, how the vehicle computer chip was changed out, how the traffic cameras weren’t recording at the time and more are explained throughout the novel. This book is ideal for someone who loves a good conspiracy theory.
Price: $7.95 for paperback, $3.99 for Kindle
- Good conspiracy theory book about Princess Diana’s death
- Breaks down the details surrounding the death of Princess Di
- Shorter than other Princess Diana biographies (just over 100 pages)
- Less about Princess Di’s life and more about her death
- A little one-sided regarding her death
8. The Housekeeper’s Diary: Charles and Diana Before the Breakup
Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage started as a fairy tale romance, but turned to shambles over time. While there was much public scrutiny around the relationship, no one ever really knows the full truth. Wendy Berry, the author of this book, was pretty close to the truth, as she served as the couple’s housekeeper for seven years. In the book, Berry provides the reader with a look into the day-to-day life of the Royal Family, and provides unique insider information about Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and their marriage.
Price: $16.90 for hardcover
- Inside look into the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana
- Written by someone who knew the Royal Family, rather than a journalist
- Light reading and on the shorter side (186 pages)
- A little one-sided in favor of Prince Charles
- Has a bit of a gossip vibe
Find more The Housekeeper’s Diary: Charles and Diana Before the Breakup information and reviews here.
9. The Day Diana Died
This book is a little different than other biographies, as it focuses on the days surrounding Princess Diana’s death. The author, Christopher Andersen, writes about the events leading up to and after Princess Di’s death in very vivid detail. There are many tidbits from inside sources that are included, and because it is focused on such a specific period in time, it’s in-depth but still makes for a fast read. Since this August marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, this is a very timely read.
Price: $7.06 and up
- Focuses specifically on the days surrounding Princess Di’s death
- Interesting and fast read
- Details provided by inside sources
- Doesn’t have an in-depth information about Princess Di’s life
- Long book (320 pages)
10. The Queen & Di: The Untold Story
While the Queen and Princess Diana were known for not really getting along, this book reveals a slightly more amicable relationship between the two royal women. Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty, has developed a good professional standing with the Royal Family over the years, and it is shown throughout the book as she shares details of the relationship between the Queen and Princess Di. Even though this book is not an in-depth biography on Princess Diana, it provides some interesting facts about her relationship with the Queen and details about the Royal Family.
Price: $9.99 for Kindle, prices vary for hardcover and paperback
- Details about the relationship between the Queen and Princess Diana
- Written by the editor of Majesty, who has a good relationship with the Royal Family
- Not an in-depth biography about Princess Diana
- A little long (300 pages)
11. Princess Diana: Her Life Story, 1961-1997
If you’re looking for a classic biography about Princess Diana, this book by Richard Buskin is straightforward and concise. Originally published in 1992, the latest addition has an extra 32 pages about Princess Di’s death. In addition to the text, there are 75 photos that cover the span of Princess Diana’s life. Unlike some of the other Princess Di biographies that may be one-side or rely on rumors, this book is to the point and factual.
Price: $4.99 and up, depending on seller
- Straightforward biography
- Includes 75 photos
- Not as many inside sources as other biographies
12. Diana: Finally, The Complete Story
In this book, Sarah Bradford expertly portrays Princess Diana and the Royal Family in a fair and balanced light. Drawing from sources that aren’t included in other biographies, there are unique aspects of Princess Di’s character and her relationships with others that are represented in the book. This book is great for someone who is looking for a balanced account that still includes information from sources that were close to Princess Diana.
- Includes information from inside sources
- More balanced than other Princess Di biographies
- A little more expensive than other biographies
- Not available in hardcover
13. Diana: Story of a Princess
Based on a documentary series that was on The Learning Channel, this Princess Diana biography is heavy on the research and provides a lot of facts about Princess Diana’s life. Multiple exclusive interviews are included, as well as 32 pictures – many of which are not published in other biographies. While this isn’t as light of a read as some of the other books about Princess Di, it’s a balanced portrayal of Princess Diana’s life that is set in facts and truth.
Price: $12.99 and up
- Includes a lot of research and facts about Princess Di
- Based on a documentary series on The Learning Channel
- Includes exclusive interviews
- Not as light of a read as some of the other books about Princess Di
- If you’re into rumors and scandal stories, this book doesn’t have as much and is more factual
14. DK Biography: Princess Diana
This biography is written with the young adult in mind, and is a straightforward biography based on the life of Princess Diana. It would be a great book for someone doing a book report on Princess Diana, but adults may enjoy reading it as well for a light, easy summer read. Pictures are also included in the book, so it gives good information about Princess Di as well as a visual look into her life as the Princess of Wales.
- Written for young adults
- Light reading
- Straightforward biography
- Pictures included
- Not as in-depth as other biographies
- Writing may not be advanced enough for adults
15. Diana: The People’s Princess: A Celebration of Her Life and Legacy Years On
It’s no question that Princess Diana left a legacy that will continue for years to come. This recently released book by Nicholas Owen pays tribute to that, as he focuses on the lasting impact Princess Di made as a mother and humanitarian. The book still includes biographical information and photos, but if you are looking for something that covers what’s happened in the last 20 years, this book is a great read.
- Recently released
- Focuses on Princess Di’s legacy
- Photos included
- Hardcover only
- Not as much history about Princess Diana compared to other biographies, as there is a larger focus on her present legacy