It's a biography almost 25 years in the making. Princess Diana's voice coach Stewart Pearce is finally opening up about his experience working with the late royal in the new book Diana the Voice of Change. But he's only publishing it after keeping a decades-long promise to the Princess about when he'd share their story.
Diana came to work with Pearce, who has had clients ranging from Mark Rylance to Minnie Driver, shortly following her landmark Panorama interview in 1995, the same interview with Martin Bashir that has recently come under investigation. "She sought me out after that Panorama interview because she looked at herself on screen and realized that she wasn't appearing to be as powerful as she wanted to be. She felt quite submissive," Pearce tells T&C.
"She wanted to try and find a way of really balancing her private self with her public persona so that there is no change between the two—so she could stand on a platform and render forth whatever she needed to say, but feel good about it, to feel relaxed, to feel confident, to feel empowered, and to feel harmony."
In his own words, Pearce helps to "tune people into their note," a practice which sounds almost as much like therapy as it does vocal training.
"What I do is I connect people with their sound, with their voices, because our voices are at the very core of our beings," he explains.
"When we're feeling good about ourselves, we have fantastic voices. And when we're tense, we only give one small part of ourselves, so our voices are affected. So what I do is tune people into their note. We each have a note, which is right at the very core of our beings. And when we're using it, we feel harmonic. We feel powerful, we feel creative, we feel resonant. We feel charismatic."
Self love, he says, is the key to sounding confident—well, that and tuning into your breath. "Your breath is your soul. And the more aware we become aware of the power of the breath, then the easier it is to be whom we want to be in the world," he says.
Not long before Diana's death, she and Pearce spoke about him potentially writing a book about their experience working together, but she didn't want it published before her sons were settled.
"When we were working together during the latter stages of her life—not that we knew that then, of course, her death came as a very surprising, shocking, horrific event—but she said to me, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if all this work we've done became a book? And I said, 'Yeah, that would be wonderful. Wouldn't it?' She said, "Yes, but don't write it until the boys are married, because then they're going to be exploring their own power in the world and discovering their own sovereignty.' And that was just a passing statement, so I thought that was rather amusing, but I waited until now."
In his writing, Pearce wanted, not to document his time with Diana, but rather her "essence."
"I wrote the book because I felt that there was something very valuable to say about Diana's soul what allowed her to ignite the radiance that she brought forth into the world," he says.
"[Most biographies] chronicle Diana's life, as though they were social diaries. And I chose not to do that. I wanted to go to the very essence of who she was and to talk about the quality of her soul, which was just so remarkable in its beauty, in its loving, in its compassion, in its empathy."
Diana the Voice of Change is out now.
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