What Was Princess Diana’s Relationship Like With Queen Elizabeth?

Princess Diana was loved by an entire country, possibly even the world. But how did those closest to her feel? The queen has never been one to shy away from giving her opinion. It’s obvious she approved of Diana at the beginning, but after years of a troubled marriage and royal tension, how did the queen feel about Diana? Keep reading to get an inside look at the relationship between Diana, and Queen Elizabeth II.

The queen approved of Prince Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Tim Graham/Getty Images

Although the queen never directly told Prince Charles that he should marry Diana, she made it clear that she approved of her. Diana was young and beautiful, her parents had wealth and ties to the royal family, and she was viewed as virginal. (Camilla, by contrast, was seen as a woman with a history.) The queen viewed Diana as someone who could easily be shaped to royal life.

Queen Elizabeth offered Princess Diana comfort- for a time

Diana struggled through the first few months of her marriage, and the queen had empathy for her. Diana would often meet with the queen, seeking her advice, and greatly appreciated the support she received. She once told Ingrid Seward, author of The Queen and Di: The Untold Story: “I have the best mother-in-law in the world.”

At first, the queen accepted Diana’a regular visits, since it seemed to really help her. But as Diana became more and more emotional, often crying through her entire visit, the queen reportedly began to dread the encounters.

In the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, it was revealed that Diana went to the queen in 1996 to seek advice about her loveless marriage. However, the queen was less than helpful. “I went to the top lady and said ‘I don’t know what I should do,'” Diana said. “She said, ‘I don’t know what you should do.’ And that was it. That was ‘help.'”

Princess Diana collaborated on a tell-all book

In 1992, the book Diana: Her True Story was released. Although it wasn’t confirmed until after her death, it was assumed that Diana had collaborated on the story. The book offered a troubling look inside her marriage and the royal family. The queen was astonished that Diana would air their dirty laundry in that way.

Princess Diana was the one person Queen Elizabeth never learned to handle

The queen once likened Diana to a “nervy racehorse,” who needed careful handling, not harsh discipline. But in reality, the queen never really learned how to manage Diana. If she was criticized, Diana took it harshly, often reacting as if the family was ganging up on her. But when the queen gave her freedom and allowed her to ignore protocol, Diana ran out of control.

Diana was both a blessing and a problem for the queen. The public loved her, and she softened the image of the royal family, something that was desperately needed at the time. But she also caused problems, by refusing to follow protocol, and for simply being unable to be happy. In the end, it was the queen who recommended that Charles and Diana divorce.

The queen was heartbroken by Princess Diana’s death

Diana’s death shocked the public and the royal family, but the royals expressed their emotions behind closed doors. The queen was criticized for failing to capture the mood of the country during her address to the nation. However, many reports say that the queen was deeply touched by Diana’s death, and recognized it as a great loss for the country.

In a letter, written after Diana’s death, the Queen wrote: “It was indeed dreadfully sad, and she is a huge loss to the country. But the public reaction to her death, and the service in the Abby, seem to have united people round the world in a rather inspiring way.”