In the new HBO documentary, The Princess, which airs Aug. 13 on HBO and HBO MAX, the late royal's life in the spotlight is examined through archival audio and video footage.
In PEOPLE's exclusive clip of the Ed Perkins-directed documentary, Lady Diana Spencer is seen preparing for her royal wedding. While civilians celebrate the occasion, Diana's life is clearly under a new lens.
"News of Lady Diana's visit [to a dress shop] spread quickly," a news anchor says in an audio clip over footage of Diana making her way through the crowd to a car and is followed by cameramen. "The crowds saw that, like most brides, Lady Diana has lost weight as the day approaches."
According to Diana herself, who spoke about her rapid weight loss in Andrew Morton's book Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words, it came on the heels of a comment about her figure by the groom. "The bulimia started the week after we got engaged (and would take nearly a decade to overcome)," she shared. "My husband [Prince Charles] put his hand on my waistline and said: 'Oh, a bit chubby here, aren't we?' and that triggered off something in me." Additionally, Diana said that she was contending with feelings about her husband's ex, Camila Parker Bowles. "And the Camilla thing," she added.
Jacob SUTTON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Princess Diana
A clip from a U.K. talk show is then shown, with the host asking the audience how many people thought the press should "lay off the poor girl," to which most people raised their hands.
Another interviewer then asks if Diana realizes "how tough life will be in the full public gaze?"
"Well, I'm sure she does," the commentator responds. "I don't think there could have been a future consort who's been through anything like it."
He adds that he thinks it will get easier for Diana.
"I think we're going to see a change in the attitude of the press," he says. "I think that now she's probably one of the royal family, all this telephoto lens business will stop."
The Princess explores Princess Diana's complex relationship with the media, from the early days of her romance with Prince Charles to their headline-making breakup and her tragic death in 1997 at age 36.
"Intensely emotional, The Princess is a visceral submersion into Diana's life in the constant and often intrusive glare of the media spotlight," according to HBO. "The film unfolds as if it were in the present, allowing viewers to experience the overwhelming adoration, but also intense scrutiny of Diana's every move and the constant judgment of her character. Through archival material, the film is also a reflection of society at the time, revealing the public's own preoccupations, fears, aspirations and desires."
The Princess had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary film will air on August 13th on HBO and HBO MAX.