The Dark Allegations Behind the Queen’s Royal Feud With Princess Diana
Princess Diana was deeply loved by the American and British public alike, but it was no secret that her relationship with the British royal family was strewn with dark allegations and serious drama.
Most people know the details surrounding Charles extramarital affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana’s struggle with mental illness. However, it was Queen Elizabeth’s involvement that remained a mystery … until now (page 6).
1. People are obsessed with Princess Diana
It’s been over two decades since the fateful car crash that took the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. The three new documentaries on the life and death of Diana prove that the people’s fascination with her does not wane. When Diana married Charles, heir apparent to the British throne, an estimated 17 million people in the U.S. alone watched the 1981 nuptials.
“Americans were at her wedding fascinated by the fairy tale aspect of her romance with Charles,” Monarchy historian Arianna Chernock said, “And then, of course, the tragedy of that fairy tale, and her in some ways very American commitment to being candid and questioning … and undercutting traditions.”
Next: The biggest drama of Charles’s and Diana’s marriage.
2. Both Diana and Charles were romantically involved with other people
The media flocked to Diana and, over the course of a decade, released some of the most intimate details of her private life. Among these were calls between Diana and her lover, James Gilbey. The press released the calls as well as some between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles in 1992.
Charles and Diana married in July 1981, but by the early ’90s, there were rumors of their infidelity. Diana revealed Charles’s extramarital affair with Camilla Parker Bowles in biographer Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story. In December 1992 the royal family released an official statement about the couple’s “amicable separation.” A year later reports arose of Diana’s affair with former cavalry officer James Hewitt.
Next: The interviews revealed deep, dark secrets about the princess.
3. Interviews reveal Diana’s struggles with mental illness
Morton’s book revealed Diana’s unhappiness in the royal family, her disordered eating, and her five suicide attempts to the public for the first time. The shocking news was still ridden with secrets: little did the public know that Diana supplied the interviews to Morton through a friend.
The public sympathized with Diana and some felt that her struggles made her appear more real. However, the book “rocked the royal family,” royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith said.
Next: How Diana felt about her relationship with the family.
4. Princess Diana felt ‘isolated’ from the royal family
A never-before-seen letter discovered in 2017 revealed that Diana wrote her friends about her serious unhappiness in the royal family. In 1991 she wrote her close friend Dudley Poplak about how she felt “continuously misunderstood.” She appeared to relish in how Poplak was one of the people who truly did understand her in her time of distress.
“I do feel extremely isolated more than ever now, as I see what’s coming to this country and this family,” she wrote.
Next: Few people know that Diana turned to Queen Elizabeth as her marriage fell apart.
5. Diana went to the queen for help
Queen Elizabeth called 1992, the year Diana: Her True Story was published, as her “annus horribilis,” (horrible year). According to tapes recorded by Diana’s public speaking coach, Peter Settelen, Diana turned to the queen for help but didn’t receive the assistance she was hoping for.
“So I went to the top lady [Queen Elizabeth II], sobbing. And I said ‘What do I do? I’m coming to you, what do I do?’ … she said ‘I don’t know what you should do,'” Diana said. “And that was it. And that was help.”
Next: The queen offers her advice.
6. The queen requested they get a divorce
It was Diana’s infamous interview with BBC1’s Martin Bashir that reportedly crossed “the point of no return” for Queen Elizabeth. The 1995 conversation titled “The Panorama Interview” broached topics like Diana’s feelings of isolation, her and Charles’s infidelity, and her mental illness.
Many people question why Diana went ahead with such a revealing interview, to which her brother points to the circumstances. “Whether she was right or wrong … she felt really in a tight spot,” he said. The queen wrote to Charles and Diana encouraging they get a divorce a month after the 1995 interview was published.
Next: Queen Elizabeth’s speech became famous.
7. The Queen’s speech showed her true feelings
Diana’s tragic death shocked the world. The people’s princess died in a car accident in Paris as her driver sped away from paparazzi. Queen Elizabeth delivered a speech that is revered as one of the defining moments of her rule. “[Diana] was an exceptional and gifted human being,” she said. “In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.”
A letter from the queen to her close aid, Lady Henriette Abel Smith, surfaced twenty years after Diana’s death. “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 Abbey, seem to have united people round the world in a rather inspiring way. William and Harry have been so brave and I am very proud of them,” Queen Elizabeth wrote in the letter.
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