Inside Princess Diana and Princess Anne’s Christmas Fight

Princess Diana changed the British Royal Family a great deal. Though her marriage to Prince Charles was tumultuous, painful, and ultimately ended in divorce — the late Princess of Wales changed the way royals approach the public. Since her entry into the family was so unpleasant — Queen Elizabeth II had to restrategize how outsiders were accepted into the royal family, shifting things for Duchess Sarah Ferguson, Duchess Kate Middleton, and Duchess Meghan Markle.

Though Princess Diana was beloved by the public, she never quite found her footing within the royal family. In fact, she found the holidays to be especially trying as she tried to adhere to royal traditions while providing her sons, Princes William and Harry, with normal childhoods.

There was one royal Christmas in particular, that was especially humiliating for her.

This is how Princess Diana celebrated the holidays

Though she was a warm and open person, Princess Diana found the holiday season with the royals to be an exhausting experience. Between the pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day activities with the queen and running after her young sons –the princess never received a break.

In 1987, she wrote to her beautician Janet Filderman saying, “William and Harry had the best Christmas ever, and I am exhausted just trying to keep up with them as they rush around. Anyway, at least they sleep well.”

Despite her exhaustion — the princess adored seeing her sons happy faces.

Princess Diana loved looking for the perfect Christmas gifts

Princess Diana had a major heart for charity so she spent a great deal of the holiday season giving back even more. When she wasn’t volunteering or working with her patronages — she searched for the perfect Christmas gifts for Prince William and Prince Harry.

Former butler Paul Burrell told Express U.K., “She’d spend hours looking for jokey things for their stockings. One year, Harry got fake dog poo.”

Inside Princess Diana and Princess Anne’s Christmas fight

Each year, the royals exchange gag gifts on Christmas Eve at Queen Elizabeth II’s Sandrigum Estate. In recent years — Prince Harry has given Prince William a comb and a year before Prince Harry met Duchess Meghan Markle, Duchess Kate Middleton gifted the Duke of Sussex a Grow-Your-Own-Girlfirlfeind kit.

During her first year with the British Royal Family — no one told Princess Diana about the gag gifts. Instead, she gifted Princess Anne a serious present. “The rule is, the jokier the better,” royal author Claudia Joesph explained. “I think they compete to out-do each other in terms of the joke. Princess Diana was obviously not briefed of this little quirk of the royals. She gave Princess Anne a cashmere jumper thinking that that was a suitable present for her sister-in-law. And in exchange, she received a loo-roll holder!” Obviously the young princess was humiliated.

Unfortunately, the incident didn’t help Princess Anne and Princess Diana’s relationship. It would always be strained. “Anne was indifferent to Diana from the very beginning,” biographer Ingrid Seward said in her 1995 book Prince Edward. “She treated the woman, who by marriage to her elder brother might have become her Queen, with withering disdain.”

If the holidays are always this stressful when can see why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are skipping out this year.