Princess Diana’s friend Dr Colthurst thought she was ‘crying’ in last ever conversation

Princess Diana 'concerned' by Charles' upbringing says expert

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Dr James Colthurst, 64, was a close friend of Princess Diana when she worked as a nanny in London before marrying Prince Charles in 1981. The pair knew each other for many years after meeting on a skiing trip in France in the late 1970s, 20 years before she tragically passed away following a car crash in Paris in 1997 when she was just 36 years old.

She called me and to start with was so incoherent that I thought she was crying

Dr James Colthurst

In a new interview, the medical professional took a look back at their last ever conversation where she rang him “in tears”.

Ahead of a new ITV documentary, which tells the story of the woman behind the garish headlines, Colthurst vividly recalled the last time he spoke to the Princess of Wales.

“She called me and to start with was so incoherent that I thought she was crying,” he said.

“There were just three words I could make out: tablet, silver, poem.

“And in a way she was crying – except they were tears of laughter.”

He admitted that her reaction was to that of a poem somebody had sent her, which was engraved on a silver tablet and it had made her “fall about”.

“The thing about Diana is that she was very funny and that didn’t really get the recognition it deserved,” he continued, looking back on the good times he had with his pal.

“I had to leave the room on more than one occasion when we were having lunch because once a chain of humour started, we would cry with laughter!”

There was even a point where she “floured and egged” his car after she found out it was him that was responsible for putting L plates and tin cans on her blue Honda Civic.

Following her untimely and shocking death, Colthurst talked about how much of a loss Diana was to the world.

“I’m in a business where death is not uncommon, but losing a friend was incredibly sad, especially someone who was showing such growth and promise,” he shrugged.

“She was quite keen on being abroad, and the idea of generating her own circle again was attractive to her.

“But she did say to me more than once that she didn’t think she’d make old bones.”

Of her legacy, the doctor smiled as he said: “I think she would be proud of the way her energetic spirit of humour and kindness created the changes that it did.

“It was the most powerful tool she had, and it has endured.”

Dr Colthurst’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times

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