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Before Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle joined England’s most famous family, the royal sisters-in-law everyone talked about were Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson. The two ladies were once very close but had a falling out before the princess died.

While there have been many reports about their relationship, not much is known about what kind of relationship the women had with their mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. Here’s more on that and who Her Majesty got along with better.

Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana
Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with Princess Diana

The queen had a complicated relationship with Princess Diana.

It’s not that Queen Elizabeth didn’t like Diana. If that were the case she never would have approved of her marriage to Prince Charles but once Diana joined the family she didn’t adjust to royal life the way Her Majesty expected her to.

The princess did connect with the public though in a way the other royals had not as she was open and honest. That honesty though became too much for the queen when Diana and Charles separated and the Princess of Wales started talking to the press and disclosed information about her troubled marriage with the future king.

Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II
Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II | Tim Graham/Getty Images

After Diana’s explosive Panorama interview in 1995, the queen was livid and wrote a letter advising her to divorce the prince. They did so in 1996.

While the women had their differences over the years, the queen spoke to the nation in a live broadcast following Diana’s death and paid tribute to her former daughter-in-law.

“In good times and in bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness,” the monarch said. “I admired and respected her — for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys.”

Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with Sarah Ferguson

It’s been reported that Her Majesty had a better relationship with Sarah Ferguson than she did with Princess Diana.

Author Ben Pimlott wrote in his book titled The Queen: Volume 2 that “the royal family really took to Fergie, more than they ever did to Diana” and Queen Elizabeth “liked the way [Ferguson] used to sit with her legs apart, making jokes.”

Sarah, Duchess of York and Queen Elizabeth II
Sarah, Duchess of York and Queen Elizabeth II | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

He added that “Sometimes the duchess was invited to dine with the queen alone when Andrew was away.”

When Fergie’s toe-sucking scandal made headlines though the monarch was very upset with her. But after her marriage to Andrew ended, the two women have been able to rebuild their relationship and are on good terms today. A source told The Sydney Morning Herald that they even started meeting again and enjoying tea together.

“The queen always tries to see the best in people and she has stayed in close touch, even having tea with Ferguson regularly at Windsor,” the source said.

Read more: Why Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ sister Princess Anne Didn’t Get Along

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