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Princess Diana and The Queen’s Relationship Was Closer Than ‘The Crown’ Depicts


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The Crown season four episode 6 ends on what often is the most emotionally excruciating second of the season (and there’s no scarcity of contenders). After coming 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 issues 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 potential that there is part of you that is having fun with your individual success just a little an excessive amount of?” She goes on to accuse Diana of enjoying 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 present me love, approval and acceptance, everybody else will observe,” 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 difficult 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 actually no stranger to the royal household. The Spencers have been an upper-class household with longstanding ties to the royals—Diana’s grandmothers have 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 because the couple’s relationship blossomed, the queen “by no means immediately addressed the query of his marriage, however by nod and nuance, she made it clear she ap­proved of Diana.” The monarch additionally appeared to grossly overestimate Diana’s capability 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—not less than compared to her relationship with the Queen Mother, who stored her at arm’s size. “However,” Morton writes, “it was ruled by the truth that she was married to her older son and a future Monarch. In the early days, Diana was fairly merely fearful of her mother-in-law. She stored the formal obsequies—dropping a deep curtsy every time they met—however in any other case stored her distance.”

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

In 1982, shortly after Charles and Diana have 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 potential for her to signify the queen at Grace’s funeral.

According to Morton, each Charles and palace workers advised her it was unlikely she can be allowed to go. “I went to her personal secretary, who was then Philip Moore, who mentioned that he didn’t suppose it will be potential as a result of I’d solely been within the job three or 4 months,” Diana recalled to Morton. “I went to the queen and I mentioned, ‘You know, I’d like to do that,’ and he or she mentioned ‘I don’t see why not. If you need to do that, you possibly can.'”

Though Diana was nonetheless new to her royal function and simply 21 years previous 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 received reward for her “dignified method on the extremely charged and at occasions mawkish funeral service,” per Morton.

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

AFPGetty Images

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

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

Although there is not any studies 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 mentioned, “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 through which the Queen “indicated to [her] that the rationale why our marriage had gone downhill was as a result of Prince Charles was having such a troublesome 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, fairly 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 cut up. “She [found] one maybe fairly unlikely ally on the palace within the queen,” Morton wrote, “whose understanding and useful angle did a lot to encourage Diana to soldier on.”

Did the queen study something from Diana?

According to Morton, the queen took not less than 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 numerous ironies of [the queen’s] life is that Diana’s influence on the royal household is measured by how far more accommodating the home of Windsor is now to newcomers,” Morton wrote within the 2017 anniversary version of his biography. “It is noticeable that the queen incessantly joined Prince William’s bride Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, within the early days of her Royal profession. Certainly classes have been realized—however at a value.”

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Emma Dibdin writes about tv, motion pictures, and podcasts, with protection together with opinion essays, information posts, episodic critiques and in-depth interviews with creatives.

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