Princess Diana Never Got Over This Part of the Royal Family

Princess Diana meeting members of the public
Princess Diana is remembered as the ‘People’s Princess’ | Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

When most people think of the late Princess Diana, they think about her warm spirit and the heart she had for the common people. She was known as the “The People’s Princess” because of her charismatic nature and affection for all people not just in her own country but all around the world.

One of her greatest legacies is her charitable work — Princess Diana worked with over 100 charities during her time as a royal and was beloved around the world for her philanthropic work. She had a reputation for going out of her way to be kind to people, even if it meant pulling over her car to comfort a grieving mother she saw in a cemetery.

No doubt if Princess Diana were still around today, she would be a loving mentor to both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton as well as a devoted (albeit a bit zany) grandmother to her little royal grandbabies. She is still remembered fondly, and even though her relationship with the royal family wasn’t always peaches and cream, even after her divorce she was still permitted to keep her title Princess of Wales because of the good press she brought to the family. 

Princess Diana wasn’t always totally comfortable being a royal

If you listen to her sons talk about her today, Princess Diana made a larger impact on the world than almost any royal in history. So it’s always still a bit surprising to be reminded that the role of Princess of Wales didn’t always come naturally to her, and in fact often made her feel like a bit of a misfit. Since she followed her own path and didn’t always want to follow the rules of royal life, there were many times Diana found herself at odds with Queen Elizabeth or others in the royal family.

She tried to be a normal person and mother even as a royal

One thing that was really important to Diana was to make sure her kids had a very normal childhood, no matter how many perks came with being a royal kid. Her duties as a mother always came first, so she would schedule her royal engagements around making sure she had time to spend with her two boys. Princess Diana also bucked royal traditions that she didn’t agree with, such as saying the word “obey” in her wedding vows. Even though Diana wasn’t completely at home in her royal position, she always seemed to keep her wits about her and make the most of it.

There was one aspect of royal life that Princess Diana couldn’t get used to

Even though Diana had a reputation for being warm and kind and seemed to adjust to royal life over time, there was still one aspect of royal life that she couldn’t seem to get past no matter how hard she tried. In her book The Queen and Di: The Untold Story, author Ingrid Seward shares a lot of insider stories about Diana’s life as royal, including one tidbit that’s a bit shocking in the context of her public image.

As Express reported, Seward shared one fact that almost sounds bizarre given Diana’s reputation: she could never get used to meeting and being around strangers. In her book, Seward notes, “No matter how hard she tried, Diana never succeeded in getting rid of that implosive feeling of claustrophobia which pressed on her whenever she was called upon to play the crowds.”

Steward added that towards the end of her life, Diana once said “I still feel really insecure about going out and meeting people I don’t know. After all these years I’ve never really got over it’.” It’s crazy to think about given how many of her duties involved meeting people, but if Princess Diana was truly uncomfortable around strangers, she certainly never let on.