London, Sept 01: Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has compared himself to Princess Diana, claiming that they both were adept at grasping the feelings of others and instinctively playing on them.
“We were both, in our own way, manipulators,” The Telegraph quoted Blair as saying.
Blair recalled the night of Aug 31, 1997 when he was woken up by a police officer at 2 am informing him of Princess Di’s accident.
Without wanting to sound callous, he said that he wanted to “manage” the situation and shape the public grief that would follow. He then prepared his now famous “People’s Princess” speech on the back of an envelope with the help of Alastair Campbell.
Blair felt the need for the whole incident to be spoken about, so he approached Prince of Wales, who agreed with him that the Queen should make a public statement.
Blair spent a lot of time with the Queen, both ill at ease since they weren’t familiar with one another at the time.
“I spoke, with passion, of the need to accept life’s lessons. I worried she found me presumptuous — she was a little haughty,” he revealed.
A year later he spent a weekend at Balmoral with Cherie and they had a barbecue where the Royal family served the food and did the dishes.
“You think I’m joking? You’re sitting in front of your empty plate and suddenly, the Queen clears it away for you,” Blair said.