Former President Donald Trump will publish letters from members of the royal family including Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana in his book, Letters to Trump, set to be published on April 25.
A press release from Winning Team Publishing lists Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton and Kim Jong Un among other high-profile individuals to have their letters included in the book. The publisher was co-founded by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.
The inclusion of a previously unseen letter from Diana has the potential to cause “embarrassment,” Newsweek has heard. This is particularly true after comments made by the president about the princess.
Donald Trump photographed August 6, 2022. And (inset) Princess Diana photographed November 20, 1995. A previously unseen letter, written to Trump by the princess, will be reproduced in his new book. Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
“It is possible that [the letter] might contain embarrassing material, though it is highly unlikely they will contain anything compromising as [Diana] apparently viewed him with disdain,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Newsweek.
“Some of Donald Trump’s previous comments about Diana have been unspeakably vulgar,” Fitzwilliams said. “However, it must be borne in mind that, since his behavior has been so bizarre, both when he was in office and after leaving it, that it is highly unlikely there will be a public response to whatever his book contains.”
In 2022, a new biography of King Charles III claimed that Trump had “aggressively pursued” Diana after she divorced in 1996. This is something journalist Selena Scott had previously discussed in 2015.
“It didn’t help that Trump […] had aggressively pursued Princess Diana after her divorce—overtures that were rebuffed—and claimed later on a radio program that he could have ‘nailed her if I wanted to,’ but only if she passed an HIV test,” author Christopher Andersen wrote in his book The King: The Life of Charles III.
In 2016, The Daily Beast published extracts from a 1997 interview between Trump and Howard Stern. In it, he discussed his chances of bedding the royal after her divorce. The interview was given in the weeks after her death at the age of 36 in a Paris car crash with then-boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.
“Why do people think it’s egotistical of you to say you could’ve gotten with Lady Di? You could’ve gotten her, right? You could’ve nailed her,” Stern asked Trump. The magnate had been socially linked to Charles and Diana in the press throughout the 1980s, per The Daily Beast.
“I think I could have,” was the response.
Princess Diana photographed in New York after her divorce, 1997. Journalist Selina Scott has claimed that Donald Trump sent Diana flowers to her Kensington Palace apartment near the end of her life. Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Selina Scott was a friend of Diana who interviewed Trump in 1995 and later said that he sent her intimidating messages over his unflattering portrayal. Scott wrote in 2015 that the then-businessman would send bouquets of roses to the princess’ London home.
“He bombarded Diana at Kensington Palace with massive bouquets of flowers, each worth hundreds of pounds,” she wrote, per U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times. “Trump clearly saw Diana as the ultimate trophy wife.
“As the roses and orchids piled up at her apartment, she became increasingly concerned about what she should do,” Scott continued. “It had begun to feel as if Trump was stalking her.”
Despite his 1997 comments to Stern, Trump has spoken of Diana with reverence since her death. He even denied the stories of any potential romance between them, in a 2016 interview with Piers Morgan.
“There was a flurry of stories recently that you had a little frisson for Princess Diana,” said Morgan.
“Totally false,” Trump replied. “It was so false. I liked her. I met her in New York once standing in line, and we were all shaking hands, and that was the only time I ever met her. I read that story that I was calling her or something, and it was so false.”
“I did respect her,” Trump added, “but no interest from that standpoint. But I did meet her once, and I thought she was lovely.”
He did not at this point mention any letter that the princess had written to him.
Donald Trump photographed with Queen Elizabeth II during his term as the U.S. president, June 5, 2019. Trump will include a letter from the late queen in his new book. Karwai Tang/WireImage
Since the Letters to Trump project announcement, legal questions have been raised over whether the former president has the right to reproduce letters from private individuals.
Twitter account Letters of Note posed the question: “I’m interested to know how he got these cleared for publication. Would Oprah, for example, really agree to that? And Princess Diana’s estate?”
Yes! I’m interested to know how he got these cleared for publication. Would Oprah, for example, really agree to that? And Princess Diana’s estate?
— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) March 9, 2023
In a statement previously provided to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Winning Team Publishing said: “The book comprises of a unique collection of correspondence either from President Trump or from public officials both foreign and domestic, or from private individuals. For those in public office at the time, no copyright protection arises.
“For the last category, Winning Team Publishing has either actual or implied consent for their publication.”
Letters to Trump will be published by Winning Team Publishing on April 25, priced at $99.
Newsweek approached the office of Donald Trump, Winning Book Publishing and representatives of Prince William and Prince Harry via email for comment.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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