Mary Clarke was 21 when she started working for the Spencer family in 1971 at their Norfolk home Park House. She first met a young Diana when she picked her up from school.
Ms Clarke described Diana as “a lovely child, a real English rose with rosy cheeks and that downward glance everyone got to know”.
She added: “I had been told by the other house staff about some mischievous tricks she’d got up to. So I did have a bit of trepidation.
“But I never had anything like that with Diana.
“I found her initially shy, [but] soon she would warm to you … once you gave her confidence, she really excelled.”
Ms Clarke enjoyed days out with Diana and her siblings at the beach, swimming pool and village fairs.
She told The Sunday Times: “Diana loved being outside, loved all her pets, her guinea pigs, her dog.
“She was happy. She loved having her friends round.
In Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story, Diana said she was “traumatised” by the “disruption when Mummy decided to leg it”.
And in an interview in The Sunday Times Magazine last week, her brother Charles Spencer described having a “ruptured” childhood and said their mother “wasn’t cut out for maternity”.
But Ms Clarke said of Diana’s mother: “She was a lovely person… the children spent quite a lot of time with her… they had wonderful times when they were with her.
“The mother loved those children. Would she have put herself through that horrendous second court case if it wasn’t that she really wanted them?
“It was handled extremely well by both parents.
“Those parents gave them a wonderful life.”