Many of the princess’ friends are furious. So are Charles and Camilla’s staff, who fear the tapes will revive memories of their adultery. The aristocrat Rosa Monckton, a long-term custodian of Diana’s legacy, has written a complaint to Channel 4, calling the program “a betrayal of her privacy and of the family’s privacy.” Earl Spencer, Diana’s high-profile brother, known best for his speech at her funeral, has also attempted to have the tapes suppressed.

Ever since their existence has been known, conservative figures have argued that airing private discussions about the royal couple’s divorce would cause psychological anguish to Diana’s sons, an argument that succeeded in causing a similar documentary to be canceled 10 years ago, despite a cost of £100,000, according to The Guardian.

The most significant difference between then and now is that Princes William and Harry are older and, supposedly, less vulnerable. They have pointedly refused to comment on the release of the tapes, rather than get drawn into a tussle, but this month broke with precedent to talk about their private experience of their mother’s love. Defenders of the documentary say this means the princes have effectively sanctioned open discussion of their mother’s faults and virtues. Critics don’t buy it.

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