Did Queen Elizabeth II Dislike Princess Diana? Inside Their Relationship

The queen has had quite the ups and downs with Prince Charles’s ladies — particularly Camilla Parker Bowles, who he had an affair with. But, how did she really feel about her late daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales? Did Queen Elizabeth II dislike Princess Diana? Find out more about their relationship, ahead.

Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana’s relationship was, at times, rocky.  | PA/AFP/Getty Images

Did Queen Elizabeth II dislike Princess Diana?

Queen Elizabeth II has never really disliked Princess Diana. However, she didn’t always agree with the Princess of Wales’s behavior. Case in point: Princess Diana was brutally honest and outspoken. She often revealed things about her personal life (and, as a result, the royal family) that a then very private queen did not approve of. That said, the people loved Princess Diana for telling it like it is and coming forward with some of her struggles. And, in the end, the queen would learn to be more like her late daughter-in-law.

Up ahead, we take a closer look at Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana’s relationship, including some of the things the Princess of Wales did to get under the queen’s skin.

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana’s relationship

Before Princess Diana’s death, the royal family — especially the queen — kept a lot to themselves and remained closed off to the public. But, not Princess Diana. Her Royal Highness went by “the people’s princess” because of the way she touched the lives of the British people, as well as those around the world. And, much to Queen Elizabeth’s disagreement, she would eventually have to change her ways and become more like her daughter-in-law. Here’s an inside look at what Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana’s relationship was really like, plus some of the lessons Her Majesty learned from the Princess of Wales.

Princess Diana refused to say ‘obey’ in her vows

When Princess Diana married Prince Charles, she refused to say she would “obey” Prince Charles in her vows. This was not the first time Her Highness broke royal protocol early on in their relationship. She also ordered her engagement ring from a catalog instead of having it custom made, which is royal family tradition. While the scenarios weren’t the worst things that could happen (they are actually quite awesome), the queen isn’t someone who likes change and was probably bothered by these behaviors.

She leaked information about the royal family

When Andrew Morton’s book, Diana: Her True Story came out, the queen was livid. The princess had connected the royal biographer to some of those closest to her (even members of her own family). Together, they provided insight to her life inside the palace. They also discussed her troubled marriage with Prince Charles. The book even discusses Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana’s relationship.

At the time, releasing information about her family to the public was foreign to Queen Elizabeth and she kept a very distant relationship with the public. And, although confirmation of Princess Diana’s connection to the book did not come until after her death, Queen Elizabeth was pretty upset by it. However, she did learn some valuable lessons about being open with the public (just maybe not as open as Princess Diana) from her late daughter-in-law.

In addition to the book, Princess Diana gave several revealing interviews in her life, including one with BBC in 1995. In the interview, she spoke about her troubled relationship with Prince Charles, as well as her relationship with the royal family in general.

The queen asked Princess Diana to get a divorce

The queen clearly couldn’t take Princess Diana’s misery (or her outspokenness) any longer and allegedly wrote a letter to her daughter-in-law, asking her and Prince Charles to get a divorce. Queen Elizabeth wrote the letter with help from Prince Charles, the Prime Minister, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Diana (understandably) felt upset that someone else made the decision for her.

Queen Elizabeth had sympathy for Princess Diana

Much to Queen Elizabeth’s surprise, her aristocratic daughter-in-law had a hard time adjusting to royal life. And while it wasn’t what the queen had expected, she still offered Princess Diana sympathy. She even consoled her many times at the beginning of Diana’s relationship with Prince Charles. However, the sympathy wouldn’t last long and she didn’t always offer Princess Diana the advice she was seeking.

In the documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, the late princess spoke of a time she sought advice from Her Majesty about her “loveless” marriage. “I went to the top lady and said: ‘I don’t know what I should do’. She said: ‘I don’t know what you should do.’ And that was it. That was ‘help’,” Princess Diana shared.

The queen admired Princess Diana

Despite their differences — and the many times Princess Diana challenged The Crown — Queen Elizabeth had a lot of respect and admiration for Princess Diana. I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being,” Her Majesty said in the wake of Diana’s death. “In good times and in bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her — for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys,” she added.

The public slammed Queen Elizabeth for how she handled Princess Diana’s death. The loss of Diana was a turning event for both the royal family and the queen. Today, Her Majesty embodies a little bit more of Princess Diana’s character. Princess Diana’s legacy has also touched the lives of others in the royal family and it is clear that Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle pay tribute to their mother-in-law in the way they address the public, the charities they involve themselves with, and the outspokenness they (particularly Meghan) have.

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