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Lady Colin Campbell (born George William Ziadie;[2] 17 August 1949) is a Jamaican-born British writer, socialite and television and radio personality who has published three books about the British royal family. They include biographies of Diana, Princess of Wales, which was on The New York Times bestseller list in 1992 and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. She has also written two autobiographies, one exploring her mother.

Lady Colin Campbell
George William Ziadie

(1949-08-17) 17 August 1949 (age 69)[1]
St Andrew, Jamaica
ResidenceKennington, London, England
Other namesGeorgia Arianna Ziadie
OccupationAuthor, socialite, radio hostess
Lord Colin Campbell
(m. 1974; div. 1975)


Early lifeEdit

Georgia Arianna Ziadie was born in Jamaica in 1949,[1] one of four children of department store owner[3] Gloria Dey (née Smedmore) and Michael George Ziadie.[4] At birth, she had a genital malformation (a fused labia and deformed clitoris). Medical advice at the time was to assign her as a male so that she could live what was deemed as a normal life. She was christened George William.[5] Though her family life was otherwise happy, Campbell has since spoken and written of the many personal issues she faced being raised as a boy when she was physically female.[5]

Her family, the Ziadies, were prominent in Jamaica, having grown wealthy from trade.[6] Their father was descended from one of six brothers who had emigrated from Lebanon in the early 20th century; they were Maronite Catholics.[7] Her mother was also Catholic, of English, Irish, Spanish and Portuguese descent and her maternal great-grandmother was a Sephardic Jew.[7]

Campbell moved from Jamaica to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.[8] She was not able to have corrective genital surgery until 1970 when she was 21, when her grandmother discovered what had occurred and gave her the $5,000 she needed. At that time, Ziadie legally changed her name to Georgia Arianna and received a new birth certificate.[5]

"No one ever faced the knife more eagerly than I. You would have thought I was going on a wonderful cruise – which, in a way, I suppose I was," Campbell wrote in her autobiography. She had already started working as a model in New York City prior to her surgery.[5][9]

Marriage and familyEdit

On 23 March 1974, after having known him for only five days, she married Lord Colin Ivar Campbell, the younger son of the eleventh Duke of Argyll. She has said of him, "He had the strongest personality of anyone I had ever met – he simply exuded strength, decisiveness and charm."[5] However their relationship quickly soured, and she left him after nine months, citing his abusiveness and drug addiction. The couple divorced after 14 months. She successfully sued several publications that claimed she was born a boy and had subsequently undergone a sex change, and accused her former husband of selling the untrue story for money.[5][10]

In 1993, she adopted two Russian boys, Misha and Dima.[10] She lives in Kennington, London.[9]

In 2013 she purchased Castle Goring, a Grade I listed country house in Worthing, Sussex.[11]

Writing careerEdit

Campbell is best known for her books on Diana, Princess of Wales, and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her 1992 book, Diana in Private: The Princess Nobody Knows, provided information about Diana's struggle with bulimia and her affair with James Hewitt. Campbell was dismissed as a fantasist, but some of her claims were later vindicated.[10] Diana in Private appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list in 1992.[12]

Campbell's 2009 book, Daughter of Narcissus: A Family's Struggle to Survive Their Mother's Narcissistic Personality Disorder, was well received.[citation needed][by whom?]

Some of her books have been criticised for unverified statements. In The Queen Mother, The Untold story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (2012), Campbell claimed that Elizabeth and her brother were born to the family's French cook, who was used as a surrogate mother.[9][13]


In November 2015, Campbell took part in the fifteenth TV series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. The following month, she left the programme before its conclusion "on medical grounds".[14] In a later interview, Campbell said that she felt bullied into leaving the show by Tony Hadley and Duncan Bannatyne.[15]

In 2016, she featured in a documentary entitled Lady C and the Castle, which was broadcast by ITV.[16][17] The programme charted her journey in converting her dilapidated castle into a wedding venue.[18] In 2017 she appeared at the castle in an episode of Salvage Hunters on Quest. She also appeared on Through the Keyhole, where Keith Lemon toured Castle Goring.[citation needed]


  • The Queen Mother: The Untold Story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Who Became Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. 2012.
  • Daughter of Narcissus: A Family's Struggle to Survive Their Mother's Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 2009. (Autobiography, profile of her mother)
  • The Real Diana. 2005. (A re-publication of her 1992 book, with sources)
  • Empress Bianca. 2005. (Withdrawn after legal threats from Lily Safra and subsequently reissued in 2008 with amendments)
  • A Life Worth Living. 1997. (autobiography)
  • The Royal Marriages: What Really Goes on in the Private World of the Queen and Her Family. 1993.
  • Diana in Private: The Princess Nobody Knows. 1992.
  • Lady Colin Campbell's Guide to Being a Modern Lady. 1986.


  1. ^ a b Blond, Anthony (12 July 1997). "No, she went of her own accord". The Spectator.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Contemporary Authors, 1993, Donna Olendorf, p. 67
  5. ^ a b c d e f "They said she was a boy". The Telegraph. 2 August 1997. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "A very unlady-like Lady: Why high society is terrified of Lady Colin Campbell". Mail Online. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Interview with Lady Colin Campbell, Author of Daughter of Narcissus". The Writer's Life. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Fury over book's claim that Queen Mother and her brother were born to family's French cook". Mail Online. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Llewellyn Smith, Julia (2 November 2013). "Lady Colin Campbell: 'My father said I should take rat poison'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Castle Goring in Worthing's new owner revealed as I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! star". The Argus. Newsquest Media (Southern). 18 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  12. ^ "BEST SELLERS: June 21, 1992". The New York Times. 21 June 1992. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  13. ^ Ostler, Catherine (21 April 2012). "Defiance of Lady Poison Pen: Vilified for her new book's lurid claims about the Queen Mother, an utterly unrepentant Lady Colin Campbell dismisses her critics as royal 'suck-up merchants'". Mail Online. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  14. ^ "I'm a Celebrity 2015: Lady Colin Campbell is 'fine' after leaving the jungle on 'medical grounds'". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  15. ^ Greenwood, Carl (2 December 2015). "Lady C's first interview since quitting I'm a Celebrity jungle". Daily Record. Media Scotland. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  16. ^ "She's Back! Lady C Reveals New TV Show Plans". Huffington Post UK. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Lady C goes on epic cling film rant in ITV's Lady C and the Castle". Evening Standard. ESI Media. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Lady C and the Castle is a masterclass in how to have a really good tantrum". Radio Times. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2018.

External linksEdit