This Is Why The Queen Mother Banned People From Saying Princess Diana’s Name

The British Royal Family has always been rigid when it comes to tradition. When Princess Diana and Prince Charles wed in 1981, though the couple barely knew one another and the prince was much older than the naive princess — they were thought to be the perfect match. Beautiful and young, the British Royal Family assumed that Princess Diana would simply fall in line, birth the prince’s heirs and be the picture of perfection as the eventual Queen Consort. They were very wrong.

Isolated from her own family, thrust into the spotlight and stuck in a loveless marriage, Princess Diana did what any sane person would do in her position, she rebelled. Though she and Prince Charles found joy in their sons, Prince William and Prince Harry —the Princess of Wales also began snubbing traditions.

The public fell in love with the outspoken princess who began stretching her hands to everyone from HIV/AIDS patients to others who society tried to forget about. She took her boys to Disney World and McDonald’s, and once Prince Charles struck up a love affair with Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles, she found love elsewhere also. Then, when it became too much –Princess Diana decided to divorce Prince Charles, something the royals were horrified about.

Queen Mother With Prince Charles And Princess Diana At The Derby
Queen Mother With Prince Charles And Princess Diana At The Derby | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The Queen Mother banned any mention of Princess Diana’s name after the divorce

Since he had a somewhat contentious relationship with his parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip growing up, Prince Charles was extremely close to his grandmother, the Queen Mother. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was Queen Elizabeth’s mother, and she doted upon her eldest grandson, taking him under her wing and providing him comfort.

Therefore, even though there was infidelity and unhappiness on both sides, Elizabeth, The Queen Mother banned people from saying Princess Diana’s name in her presence after the divorce.

The Queen With The Queen Mother, Princess Diana And Prince Charles At The Braemar Games During Their Annual Holiday In Scotland
The Queen With The Queen Mother, Princess Diana And Prince Charles At The Braemar Games During Their Annual Holiday In Scotland | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Queen Mother did not like Princess Diana

The Prince and Princess of Wales separated in 1992 only to officially divorce in 1996. Major Colin Burgess – a former equerry to the Queen Mother, told Daily Mail in 2017,

For all the friendliness and warmth which made her so popular there was a streak of steel in the Queen Mother and I got a glimpse of what it could be like to cross her shortly after I began working for her in the summer of 1994. Once Diana split from Charles, she was very much persona non grata, and I never again heard her name mentioned by, or in front of, the Queen Mum, not even when I saw her a couple of months after Diana’s death, by which time I had left her employ.

In fact, Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ divorce divided the royal staff. As people chose sides it grew increasingly awkward.

Queen Mother With Princess Of Wales And Prince William At Trooping The Colour
Queen Mother With Princess Of Wales And Prince William At Trooping The Colour | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The Queen Mother was furious at Prince Charles for admitting his affair

The pubic found out about Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles’ affair in 1992 when their private phone call was leaked to the press. The prince publically admitted the affair in a 1994 Jonathan Dimbleby’s television documentary. The Queen Mother was not impressed. Major Burgess recalls asking her about it and she gave him a look which “could have frozen fire.” He said,

There was a smile there but she spoke through gritted teeth and her eyes narrowed slightly as she said: ‘Some things are best not discussed.’ She meant that Charles shouldn’t have done the interview and, probably more pointedly, that I shouldn’t be asking her about it.

Even after the princess’ tragic death, The Queen Mother still never brought her in conversation.