Dance guru Derek Deane revealed in a bombshell interview how Diana’s last summer was one of the happiest of her life.
Months before her tragic and unexpected death, Diana found love with Dodi, son of Egyptian business tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed.
The former director of the English National Ballet bonded with the princess over their shared love for ballet, quickly becoming one of her confidants.
Before heading to France for a holiday with Dodi, Diana met Mr Deane and revealed her hopes and dreams about her future, freed from her unhappy marriage with Prince Charles.
She was very positive about the rest of her life
Mr Deane said: “Shortly before she died she visited my staging of the biggest Swan Lake in the Royal Albert Hall, not knowing it was the last ballet she would ever see.
“She was very positive about the rest of her life.
“She knew what her mission was – doing charity work and helping bring peace.”
Princess Diana also opened up on her new romance, confessing to Mr Deane Dodi was making her happy.
Princess Diana revealed to Derek Deane she was positive about her future just months before dying
The dance maestro revealed: “She was dating Dodi and he was good for her. He protected her.
“It was a summer romance.
“I knew he would never be her new husband, but they had a wonderful time.
“She enjoyed his company and she felt safe.”
But Diana had no chance to enjoy her “summer romance” as on August 31 1997 she was involved in a car accident that claimed her lives, together with the ones of Dodi and her driver, Henri Paul.
Diana and Derek Deane meeting the cast of an English National Ballet production of ‘Swan Lake’
Mr Deane added: “This was the last time I saw her.
“We had plans to meet again but it wasn’t to be.
“She was going on holiday to the South of France to celebrate sun, love and freedom.
“She went to Saint-Tropez in August.
“I had a home there too and we planned to meet up.”
Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married on July 1981
As she was leaving for Paris, the Princess told Mr Deane: “I’ll see you in September at your next premiere.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Her last words still “haunt” the dance maestro, he confessed.
Mr Deane said he was in “shock and cried” when he received the sad news of the princess’ death.
Yet, he remembers her last year as a divorcee as happy.
Mr Deane added Diana transformed from a “mousy little girl” to a “swan with confidence” within just months.
He said: “Her divorce really changed her. She became more confident.
“A true change from the woman I got to know six years before, right after her engagement to Charles.
“We met after a performance at the Royal Opera House.
“She was so quiet, a mousy little girl excruciatingly shy and very insecure.
Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997
“The older she got the less of a quiet insecure little duck she became.
“No, she grew into a swan with confidence and I admired her for that, having that strength and courage when her life was so tough at that time.”
Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married in St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29 1981, a wedding compared to a fairytale by many.
The couple divorced in 1996, following a letter sent to the couple by the Queen where she advised them to end their relationship.