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What Princess Diana’s Relationship with Queen Elizabeth Was Really Like

The Crown season four episode 6 ends on what could also be the most emotionally excruciating moment of the season (and there’s no scarcity of contenders). After getting back from the emotional rollercoaster that was her Australian tour with Charles, Diana is at her wits’ finish and requests an viewers with the queen. She opens up about her marital problems with Charles and explains how he resents her for eclipsing him within the press. Far from providing any consolation, the queen is coldly unreceptive, asking Diana: “Is it possible that there’s a part of you that’s enjoying your own success a little too much?” She goes on to accuse Diana of taking part in as much as the press for consideration, and Diana admits it does really feel good to get validation from the general public, in lieu of getting any from her in-laws.

“If you show me love, approval and acceptance, everyone else will follow,” Diana says. She then hugs the queen, who appears extra unsettled by this show of affection than she was when an intruder broke into her bed room within the earlier episode. It’s…brutal.

So how correct is the depiction of the queen and Diana’s relationship in The Crown? Read on for the extra sophisticated reality.

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana attend the opening of Parliament in November 1982.

Princess Diana ArchiveGetty Images

Diana’s relationship with the queen was initially pleasant.

Although she’s typically described as a “commoner” and an outsider, Lady Diana Spencer was in actual fact no stranger to the royal household. The Spencers had been an upper-class household with longstanding ties to the royals—Diana’s grandmothers had been each ladies-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother—so Diana and her sisters grew up in the identical circles as Charles and his siblings. Diana had already met the queen earlier than she started relationship her son, and royal biographer Ingrid Seward wrote in 2001 that as the couple’s relationship blossomed, the queen “never directly addressed the question of his marriage, but by nod and nuance, she made it clear she ap­proved of Diana.” The monarch additionally appeared to grossly overestimate Diana’s capacity to regulate to royal life. In a letter written shortly after the couple’s engagement announcement, the queen notes, “I trust that Diana will find living here less of a burden than is expected.” Instead, the soon-to-be princess struggled with bulimia and loneliness within the months main as much as her wedding ceremony.

According to Andrew Morton’s 1992 biography, Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words, Diana’s relationship with the queen was pleasant—at the least compared to her relationship with the Queen Mother, who stored her at arm’s size. “However,” Morton writes, “it was governed by the fact that she was married to her older son and a future Monarch. In the early days, Diana was quite simply terrified of her mother-in-law. She kept the formal obsequies—dropping a deep curtsy each time they met—but otherwise kept her distance.”

The queen entrusted Diana with representing her at royal occasions very early.

In 1982, shortly after Charles and Diana had been married, Grace Kelly—aka Grace, Princess of Monaco—died. Diana had encountered Grace at a gala the earlier 12 months and the 2 had bonded, so she went to Charles and requested if it will be attainable for her to symbolize the queen at Grace’s funeral.

According to Morton, each Charles and palace workers informed her it was unlikely she can be allowed to go. “I went to her private secretary, who was then Philip Moore, who said that he didn’t think it would be possible because I’d only been in the job three or four months,” Diana recalled to Morton. “I went to the queen and I said, ‘You know, I’d like to do this,’ and she said ‘I don’t see why not. If you want to do this, you can.'”

Though Diana was nonetheless new to her royal function and simply 21 years outdated on the time, the queen was proper to belief her. It was her first solo abroad journey as a consultant of the royal household, and he or she gained reward for her “dignified manner at the highly charged and at times mawkish funeral service,” per Morton.

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Diana attends Princess Grace of Monaco’s funeral on September 18, 1982.

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How did the Queen react to Charles and Diana’s break up?

As the pressures of her excessive profile and troubled marriage started to get to Diana, she felt “extremely isolated” by the royal household, who “continuously misunderstood” her, in response to a letter she wrote to her friend Dudley Poplak in 1991.

Although there is no experiences of a scene fairly as brutal because the one The Crown depicts, Seward writes that Diana would seem unannounced on the palace as her marriage crumbled:

At first, the Queen took a tolerant view of those unscheduled visits. “Diana was usually in a lot better mood when she left than she was when she arrived,” one of many Queen’s workers recalled.

In time, although, Elizabeth got here to dread the conferences. After one session a footman stated, “The Princess cried three times in a half an hour while she was waiting to see you.” The Queen replied, “I had her for an hour—and she cried nonstop.”

In a transcript of her interview with Morton, Diana recalled a dialog by which the Queen “indicated to [her] that the reason why our marriage had gone downhill was because Prince Charles was having such a difficult time with my bulimia.” In that second, Diana defined, she realized the royal household noticed her bulimia as the reason for her issues with Charles, reasonably than a symptom of them.

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Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince Harry have fun the Queen Mother’s birthday in August 1992.

Tim GrahamGetty Images

But the queen wasn’t wholly unsupportive. Just like Prince Philip, she did provide assist to Diana within the wake of the break up. “She [found] one perhaps rather unlikely ally at the palace in the queen,” Morton wrote, “whose understanding and helpful attitude did much to encourage Diana to soldier on.”

Did the queen be taught something from Diana?

According to Morton, the queen took at the least one vital lesson from her relationship with Diana, Accurately or not, the general public notion was that she did not make a lot of an effort to welcome her new daughter-in-law to the household. “One of the many ironies of [the queen’s] life is that Diana’s impact on the royal family is measured by how much more accommodating the house of Windsor is now to newcomers,” Morton wrote within the 2017 anniversary version of his biography. “It is noticeable that the queen frequently joined Prince William’s bride Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, in the early days of her Royal career. Certainly lessons have been learned—but at a price.”

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