LONDON — A British television channel on Monday defended its decision to broadcast recordings of Princess Diana candidly discussing her personal life, after some royal watchers called it a betrayal of the late princess’ privacy.

Channel 4 said the videotapes, made in the early 1990s, are an “important historical source” and place Diana “front and center” in her own story as Britain marks 20 years since her unexpected death.

The channel said that although the recordings were made in private, “the subjects covered are a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story.”

Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, in 1981 and the couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, the year before she died in a car crash in Paris, at 36.

The recordings of Diana talking to voice coach Peter Settelen will feature in a Channel 4 documentary that is due to air Sunday.

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