Prince Charles’ ex-wife, Princess Diana, and Queen Elizabeth II‘ younger sister, Princess Margaret, were once very close — until they weren’t. The two royal ladies had a falling out after the Prince and Princess of Wales separated and that grudge is something Margaret held even after Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
Margaret aka the Countess of Snowden was considered a rebel in the royal family but once she felt someone else crossed the family, they felt her wrath. This was true with Princess Diana. Here’s why the women were at odds, plus the shocking thing Margaret reportedly said when Diana was killed following a car crash in Paris.
Why the princesses were feuding
Royal author Craig Brown wrote the book Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret, which details many aspects of the countess’ life including her strained relationship with Diana.
“She wasn’t keen on others misbehaving,” Brown said. “Broadcasting your feelings to the world without a warning was considered an amazing kind of betrayal even if what Diana was alleging was true. Margaret was very unforgiving.”
He added that “she wouldn’t [even] let her children talk to her. These were all royals living in Kensington Palace. But if you crossed swords with Princess Margaret, she was a very unforgiving type.”
What Margaret said about Diana after her death
Margaret cut Diana out of her life following that tell-all interview and she showed little to sympathy after the Princess of Wales died.
Brown claimed that Her Majesty’s sibling called the public’s grief over Diana “hysteria.”
“She said the hysteria was rather like Diana herself…When she died she got everyone to be as hysterical as she was,” Brown wrote.
The author also noted that Margaret did not feel that flags in the country should have been flown at half mast following Diana’s death and was against a statue of the late princess going up outside Kensington Palace.
The countess reportedly told people, “‘I’m not having that woman outside my bedroom window.’”
Margaret’s health issues and death
The end for Margaret was nothing close to the glamorous facade she put on her entire life.
She was a heavy drinker and smoker for many years and ended up suffering a series of strokes, which left her with partial vision and paralysis on her left side.
As Brown put it, “The end was so tragic, a half-paralyzed, bloated figure in a wheelchair but, I suppose, 50 years of cigarettes and whiskey had effectively destroyed her system.”
Margaret died on Feb. 9, 2002. She was cremated and her ashes were placed in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.