Princess Diana Secretly Criticized the Royal Family in 1 Speech She Gave

Princess Diana did not hide her grievances with the royal family. In the 1990s, she famously gave interviews detailing her struggles as a royal and the lack of support she received. However, Diana sometimes criticized her in-laws in less obvious was as well. One speech she gave was believed to be thinly-veiled criticism directed at the royals.

Princess Diana talking into microphone
Princess Diana giving a speech in 1990 | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Princess Diana disliked some royal traditions

The royal family has many traditions—some of them centuries old. After Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, she found herself disliking some of these traditions and rebelled against them.

For example, she occasionally broke royal dress codes. In 1994, she wore a sexy black dress that revealed a lot of her shoulder and cleavage.

Unlike other royals, Diana also had no qualms about eating with her staff. As reported by Huffpost, her chef, Darren McGrady, once shared that Diana sometimes burst into the kitchen to make food and eat with him.

Perhaps the most famous tradition Diana rebelled against was related to parenting. For generations, royals were not hands-on parents who gave their kids emotional support. However, Diana was a warm mother to her two sons and bonded with them in different ways.

Princess Diana seemed to criticize the royal family’s lack of warmth in a public speech

Princess Diana looking on
Princess Diana in 1997 | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

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In 1992, Diana gave a speech in France in honor of European Drug Prevention Week. The princess’ speech highlighted the importance of love and affection in a household. Her message was that, in order for kids to not seek out drugs to self-medicate, they need to feel cared for at home.

“Hugging has no harmful side effects; there are potential huggers in every household,” she said, according to a Vanity Fair article from 1993. “Children are not chores, they are part of us. If we gave them the love they deserve, they would not try so hard to attract our attention.”

She also added, “Children who have received the affection they deserve will usually continue to recognize how good it feels, how right it feels, and will create that feeling around them. We’ve all seen the families of the skilled survivors. Their strength comes from within and was put there by means of learning how to give and receive affection, without restraint or embarrassment, from their earliest days.”

Although Diana did not slam the royal family, some people believe the speech was a critique of the royals’ parenting traditions.

Princess Diana reportedly thinks Prince Charles had his emotions ‘suffocated at birth’

Princess Diana and Prince Charles talking to each other
Princess Diana and Prince Charles | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

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Diana reportedly acknowledged how Charles’ childhood affected his ability to cope with emotions. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were stiff and formal at home, and Charles mostly grew up in the care of nannies.

“Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions,” royal expert Ingrid Seward said, as reported by the Daily Mail. “Instead, she said, his feelings seemed to have been suffocated at birth.”

Seward continued, “According to her, he never had any hands-on love from his parents. Only his nannies showed him affection but that, as Diana explained, was not the same as being kissed and cuddled by your parents, which Charles never was. When he met his parents, they didn’t embrace: they shook hands.”