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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Author Stewart Pearce talks new Princess Diana book

Stewart Pearce’s book was “Diana: The Voice of Change.” Princess Di’s confidante and friend, his “Diana, Wish You Were Here” comes momentarily.

Pearce, “Master of Voice” coach of Eddie Redmayne and Hugh Bonneville to pols Margaret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto, says: “The last years of Diana’s life, moving into independence, watching herself on PBS’s famous interview, this svelte woman of the world became discouraged at her appearance. She loved Charles and suddenly required grounding. Liberation. To stand tall. And a friend introduced us.

“Diana felt many fears. Like phones tapped into. Items gone missing. Car brakes failing. Great driver yet she could feel a dark presence chasing her down a highway. Her briefcase, carrying many things, suddenly gone.

“Father Yves-Marie Clochard-Bossuet, chaplain of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital where Diana died, was called 2 a.m. He sat with Diana’s body six hours. The room was sealed. There was hysteria. This Catholic priest, her custodian, shared with me intimate details about those final hours.”

What was private Diana like as a simple off-hours person?

“Ordinary as possible. She’d lived with three girlfriends in an apartment and missed that plain everyday life, the enjoyable ways of immense fun, she’d had. She longed to go to a local neighborhood theater. One day she called with: ‘Let’s go to a movie.’ The film ‘Jerry Maguire’ was playing. She put on a long black wig, sunglasses, felt funny and naughty and the relief of just laughing.

“That morning she’d eased her inner stress with a colonic irrigation. To release her body before having to go back and then do up her hair, nails, makeup, she’d swim every day, get a massage, go to the gym in the palace. More insane on this particular movie day she said to me: ‘Isn’t it amazing that nobody’s going to know that I am s - - tless.’

“And that famous black décolleté ‘revenge’ dress? Charles had just announced his affair with Camilla.”

His memorabilia consists of letters, photos, personal gifts. So why — a quarter of a century later — a second book?

Partly, Broadway’s Diana musical, fashion’s resurgence copying Diana’s style — plus the Harry/Meghan mishmash.


News training

LESLEY Stahl. On the Acela to DC. Sitting First Class. With a team of “60 Minutes” types. PLUS her own printer, which seemed not to be first class. The thing jammed repeatedly. Like over and over. As her chicken masala got cold, she huffed at staffers. Hey, life upon TV’s wicked stage ain’t easy.


She’s a ‘Girl’ wonder

COMES now doc “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It,” airing on PBS’s “American Masters.”

Rita: “I’m 89. Documentaries are often posthumous or near one’s last curtain. Well, I’m not dead yet! Norman Lear’s producing. The director’s Mariem Perez Riera, so — warts and all — it’s the story of a sister Puertorriquena.” 


Going green

POSSIBLY due to so much gas emanating from DC — our state’s looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

Saturday, the Old Stone House, 336 Third St., Park Slope, along with Heat/Cool Smart Brooklyn — host the Sustainable Home Fair 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Focus is how homeowners, renters, Realtors can lower their carbon footprint and energy bills. Free presentations on solar panels, heat pumps, rain barrels, composting, green roofs, home insulation, electric ranges and urban farming in a partridge or a pear tree.


HOMEOWNER: An accountant saves you money on your taxes especially after paying those heating and oil and electric bills. Needed is that extra money — if only just to pay your accountant — although my CPA is very considerate and compassionate. He has a recovery room.

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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