Plus, read about who Diana looked up too, how she communicated her authentic self, and what Pearce's own relationship with the Princess was like.
You’ll likely have heard the name Stewart Pearce but not quite be able to pin-point where or why. Let us help: he’s best known as Princess Diana‘s voice coach, and still works a master of voice and presence coach today.
“I began working with Diana Princess of Wales just after her BBC appearance in the infamous Martin Bashir interview,” he tells Marie Claire UK. For the two years following that, Pearce shares that he helped Diana connect with her inner voice – “she realised that she wasn’t appearing to be as powerful as she wanted to be and she felt quite submissive,” Pearce told Town & Country previously.
They weren’t just colleagues, but friends in the end, too. When I ask Pearce what his favourite memory with Diana is, he has many. “Walking quickly down Kensington high street with Diana in a wig, sunglasses and a trench coat en route to see Jerry Maguire incognito at the Odeon Cinema,” he shares. “Diana yearned to be normal – relishing the smell of rain on the top of a number nine bus during early winter, standing at my kitchen sink washing cups and saucers, and skipping out of my Chelsea Studio after a session clad in form fitting gym leggings.”
“All were achieved by seeking vitality and joy – Diana was such fun to be with,” he goes on.
He’s recently released his first book about the Princess – titled Diana: The Voice of Change – although it’s been 25 years in the making, he says, as he promised himself he wouldn’t release what he knew of the Princess until both Harry and William were married.
Now, thanks to The Conscious Life Expo landing in London for the first time this weekend, we got the chance to catch up with the coach. Naturally, he’s keen to talk about his and Diana’s relationship, his unique form of training, and how it helped shape the figure that the world still knows and loves today. Keep reading…
So… what’s a voice coach?
In Pearce’s experience, a voice coach is someone who engages with leading personalities who wish to achieve peak performance. Pearce personally has worked with Margaret Thatcher, Anita Roddick, Mark Rylance, Sebastian Stan, and Diana Princess of Wales, to name just a few
They all had one thing in common – “they all wanted to shine their own unique message into the world and be beacons of change, excellence, truth, justice, and compassion,” he explains. So, working with a voice coach helps enable you to do this via what Pearce refers to as radiant magnetism, a form of charisma said coaches believe they can teach an individual.
How so? “Radiant personal magnetism and sparkling charisma arise when the individual allows their essence to be expressed through presence,” explains Pearce. “The unmistakable power of presence happens when the individual is switched on by the passion and originality of their quest, when they are focused and present with each of the senses open and aware,” Pearce continues.
“Essentially, they shine with a unique resonance I call radiance.”
What are the benefits of having a voice coach?
Would Diana have left such a lasting impression on the world without being able to communicate her kindness, compassion and genuinity? Probably not.
“Being an effective communicator today is a challenging pursuit,” explains Pearce. “Engaging with a radiance, voice or presence coach means the presenter can acquire unique body-voice communication skills with an extra special patina galvanised by the conviction of their own inner glow, by the strength of a weighty vocal presence, and spell-binding physical centering.”
“All these skills allow the individual to communicate passionately, yet in an authentically true and earthy fashion,” he concludes.
The poet Rumi wrote: “If words arise from the heart, they enter the heart. If words arise from the tongue alone, they will not pass beyond the ears!”
Why was having a voice coach important to Diana?
According to Pearce, Diana wanted to gain an executive stance in all her public appearances.
“She wanted to find a voice that had greater ease, earthiness and colour, and wanted to find a voice that represented the values of all the changes she had experienced,” he shares.
“Particularly, she wanted to find a voice that would communicate her bid for freedom, from the Royal Family, from her establishment critics, and this she wanted to do in a forthright, brave, and empathic fashion.”
Pearce shares that Diana admired Anita Roddick, whom he had also coached. “Some of our work was based on how I had helped Anita to find her own authentic voice, as a strong, forthright woman involved in all aspects of social emancipation,” he explains.
Try this: Examine the speeches Diana gave post the BBC interview. “You can visibly see that she appears more self-assured, more focused, and with a much stronger vocal centre,” shares Pearce. “And that was just the beginning! From there, we worked to create a luminous voice that was also rich with panache and presence – consequently, she felt happier, more confident and more comfortable in her skin, so she shone,” he shares.
Why was Diana – both in her character and her voice – so distinctive?
Pearce maintains that Diana carried a unique luminescence wherever she was.
“She was enthralling to behold because she possessed outstanding beauty, immediacy, authenticity, flawless observation, and heartfelt compassion – so much so that she touched the souls of billions of people,” he shares. “From her initial entrance into our lives as a tender bud, she captured our hearts at every unfurling petal of her own extraordinary and intense life.”
But why was she so unique? “Diana’s capacity to illuminate lives and be truly radiant stemmed from her unique ability to be present to us, to give of herself, to bring herself whole-heartedly to us wherever she was,” he shares. “We saw her flower from a young girl of nineteen, through the many frosts and hailstorms she endured, to become the radiant divine woman of her final years.”
Any modern-day examples of people who have a voice similar to Di’s?
Pearce reckons what he calls ‘The Voice of Change’ is evolving in many outstanding women who champion Diana’s legacy – women like:
- Meghan Markle
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adicie
- Oprah Winfrey
- Sandra Bullock
- Meryl Streep
- Princess Mary of Denmark.
5 simple reminder tips that Diana used:
In other words, five simple, easy-to-action reminders that Diana used herself that could help you channeling her inner strength, and show your true courage and character like she did.
“Breathe in light force – that is, breathe wide and deep through the whole of your body,” advises Pearce. “See the breath-light moving through your whole spine and beginning to light up your interior. This will help you express your wonderful presence by feeling present,” he explains.
2. Ground yourself
“Before speaking, take three embracing full breaths and gently hum on each outbreath, feeling your voice grounded and truly part of your inner truth,” he advises. “This will send your love, freedom, and light into the world. Remember feel each sense, and be both open and present.”
3. See yourself surrounded by light
“See yourself surrounded by a white light or golden sheath,” Pearce instructs. Why? “The white light will make you shimmer, and the gold will insulate your force, protecting you from energies that are not in vibrational match with yours,” he explains.
4. Use stillness and gestures, too
Top tip: “Always employ dynamic-stillness and use gestures, movements and speech that flow – this will allow you to stay calm and in touch with your innate abilities,” he shares.
5. Work on your eye contact
Last but by no means least, develop a steady yet soft eye contact, recommends the coach. “This focus will always allow you to feel you are present – relaxed, grounded, lit-up and with a gentle stillness that always helps to create charm and serenity,” he shares.
The Conscious Life Expo is coming to London for the very first time and will be held at the London Olympia Hilton from 17th-19th September.