The Truth About Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana’s Relationship
The image of Queen Elizabeth II has been generally favourable throughout the years. Conservative in dress, she is well known for her solid-colour overcoats. If that doesn't mean the queen likes you, then we don't know what does. II gave her formal consent to Harry and Meghan's marriage in an. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been married to her husband, Prince Philip, for over 70 years. In that time, many strange facts have come out the pair.
They were not gainsaid anything like enough. As the marital disasters mounted, the Queen increasingly aired her sense of powerlessness. Often, Prince Charles was the focus of her anxiety. He takes no notice of what we say, and he has all these ghastly people around him'," recalled one former courtier.
They are also hugely indecisive on family issues. They don't know what to do, so they simply stick their heads in the sand.
There is no doubt that the Queen is fond of Prince Charles and that they are now getting on a little better than they did, but theirs has not been a close relationship for a very long time. Astonishingly, according to Charles's aides, it was Lord Shelburne who delivered the invitation to the Queen to attend the Prince's 50th birthday party at Highgrove. Charles, presumably, did not ask his mother himself because he was afraid she would decline, knowing that Camilla Parker Bowles would be there.
According to courtiers who know both of them well, the Queen thinks Charles is clever and talented, full of enthusiasms, but all over the place, slightly dotty, sometimes totally exasperating.
She simply does not know how his mind works. In that, at least, many parents will recognise their feelings about their own sons.
She thinks he is full of self-pity. She also feels that he makes too many controversial speeches. So, the Queen is genuinely perplexed by her son. The amount of kit and servants he takes around is grotesque.
Papers go from his secretary to Highgrove and stay there for two or three weeks. In the dark days after the divorce from Diana, one of her senior advisers felt that the situation was coming to the point where it might be better if Charles were to retire to the country, marry Camilla and pass on the succession directly to Prince William.
His view was duly reported to the Queen who, he says, did not react violently against it and, indeed, appeared to wonder if it might not offer a possible solution. The adviser eventually changed his mind and came to believe that Charles would, in fact, make a very good king, but the Queen's willingness to entertain the notion is revealing.
There is hurt and bitterness on both sides. She also profoundly disapproved of the way he drifted back to Mrs Parker Bowles as his marriage fell apart. Charles is furious that the Queen has never, in his view, adequately acknowledged the primacy of his position among her offspring and, too often, treats him no differently from his brothers and sister.
She has not planned for the future very well - she almost seems to see herself as the last sovereign. Everything has been about what was good for her, not what was good for the monarchy in the long term.
Prince Charles's resentment comes from not being allowed to be involved enough, a feeling that his mother has treated him no differently than his siblings. He can't understand the total absence of motherly genes in her. He feels that she doesn't really like him. Even with clerics he totally trusts, he finds it impossible to talk about his father, to whom the Queen has delegated responsibility for both her children and for running her estates.
That is why he doesn't play a bigger role in family affairs.
His father often doesn't let him get a look-in, but Charles is sensitive - far too sensitive. If he said something, his father was rather apt to jump down his throat.
The trouble is, they're so completely different in judgment, style and outlook. Charles always wants to turn the clock back - he's all for lovely Victorian loos and old barns - whereas Philip is always looking towards the future.
According to a former Dean of Windsor: He'll take you around the house and say: He once said to me: When I told him what it had been like, he said: Why do they put people through that torment? He's the wrong sort of person for her - too needy, too vulnerable, too emotional, too complicated, too self-centred, the sort of person she can't bear.
Arts, charitable causes that aren't wrapped in a rigid sense of duty - it's all anathema to her. And he's afraid she never will. It is all down to Mummy not saying 'well done! And when, after some time, Diana took up tap-dancing and started to swim hundreds of lengths in the palace pool, she said: Those evenings were torture for her because she didn't have a single subject of conversation, but the Queen resented her leaving in that way.
I used to pray for the Queen to go to bed. The Queen said rather sadly: While becoming ever more critical of her daughter-in-law, she would still ask courtiers: And, when he did, he may well have told the Queen a pack of lies about Camilla, so he really didn't behave very well at that time.
The Queen had every right to be difficult. Getting involved in the Royal Family's marital problems was not the sort of task that he and his colleagues relished.
Without her, it's not worth having a Royal Family at all. The fact that Diana was his own sister-in-law didn't deflect him from what he believed to be in the best interests of the monarchy.
We hoped she'd find a nice man, but she didn't. Then, for some reason, her attitude changed and she came to feel that a good financial settlement would at least make divorce palatable.
If it had not been for Robert, they'd have left it to fester. So, we've got to sort it out because the longer it continues, the more damaging it will be for you as a family and as an institution. It took him a year or so to persuade them to move.
The Queen may have had a strong kernel of belief that they ought to persevere with the marriage. She gave way only after Philip became convinced that there was no alternative to divorce. It was Robert, I believe, who wrote the first draft of the letter which the Queen sent to Charles and Diana. Particularly in family matters, the Queen is better at following advice than taking the initiative herself.
If she had lost confidence in Robert, his position would have been impossible. He steered it through, calm and discreet. It also subjected her to what Prince Philip regarded as a great public humiliation, when she felt forced to yield to pressure from the London crowds, fuelled by the media, to return to the capital earlier than she had intended.
It was not that she was overwhelmed either by the Princess's death - far from it - or by the growing hysteria of Diana worshippers in London. A leading civil servant remarked dryly that "the idea of the Queen having a massive shock is unreal.
She's simply not capable of such a thing. They ate a very good supper. The flagpole would still be bare even if Mummy or I had died. It never flies at half-mast. The trouble is, I've been around too long' - by which she meant that, if she or the Queen Mother had died, everyone would have been reminded of the correct form, that the Standard flies only when she is in residence at the palace.
On the following day, with a growing sense among her advisers that the monarchy was in grave danger, she most reluctantly gave way to heavy pressure from all of them, with Robin Janvrin then her deputy secretary the most insistent, in favour of half-masting.
She was equally angry about the suggestion from sections of the media, and Channel 4 in particular, that she had been against sending a royal aircraft to bring Diana's body back to Britain and had wanted it taken to a private place of rest, when that was the exact opposite of the truth, according to civil servants who were closely in touch with events from the very beginning of the crisis.
They say that, as soon as he had heard of Diana's death, Robert Fellowes, with the Queen's full agreement, had ordered that a plane should be sent to Paris with the Prince of Wales, that Diana's body should lie in state at the Chapel Royal and that there should then be a full state funeral. According to civil servants, it was Diana's own family who had initially wanted a private funeral, to be followed by a memorial service.
As Fellowes told a colleague at the time: One of the most dangerous things which took place during those fraught days was that the two palaces were totally at odds with each other.
When she was given what one called "a respectful clap" as she inspected the bank of flowers outside the palace, they sensed that the crisis had passed. So Diana was dead, but Camilla Parker Bowles was very much alive and presented the Queen and her advisers with what, in some ways, was an even trickier problem. Little wonder that, in the years that followed, she was less than enraptured with her eldest son.
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The Camilla question has proved to be an issue that has not only continued to divide the two palaces, but, for a time, also split Buckingham Palace itself into two factions. Fellowes's firm conviction was that the Queen ought not to receive Mrs Parker Bowles, who had not been considered for any guest list for more than 20 years after the Queen discovered that Charles was sleeping with her.
Fellowes was also convinced that it would be easier for everyone concerned if the Prince of Wales were to stop seeing her altogether. He apparently indicated as much to Charles.
His view, I believe, had a considerable influence on the Queen. It would, they both believed, be like pushing a bus with no brakes towards a precipice, because the media were bound to hype the fact that the Queen had received Camilla.
Once they had hijacked the situation, you never knew where it would end. When asked whether she would receive her, she replied: She has rehearsed all the constitutional and legal arguments with Robert, and knows she can block the Prince of Wales from getting married.
To her, Charles either becomes King and puts Camilla aside, or marries her and reconsiders his future. Fellowes has always maintained that he never took a position on behalf of the Queen unless he was absolutely sure that those were indeed her views, but his critics - both then and now - wonder where precisely those views originated.
Was he, they ask, the one who put them into the Queen's mind in the first place? There were certainly a good many senior courtiers who strongly disagreed with him about the best way to deal with the Camilla issue - by no means all of them in the Prince of Wales's camp.
Mary Francis, a former civil servant who had become the Queen's assistant private secretary, and who did not get on particularly well with Fellowes, was known to believe that it was no business of the Queen's private secretary to be advising Charles about his relations with Camilla, still less indicating that he ought to give her up. What Charles was doing, she pointed out to her colleagues, was happening all over society.
Far better for the Queen's advisers to employ their energies in helping the Queen build a better relationship with her eldest son. Robin Janvrin, Fellowes's deputy, was thought to hold roughly similar views, while David Airlie, the Lord Chamberlain, also felt the Queen should be more sympathetic to Prince Charles, given that the idea of "partners" was now a recognised vehicle for relationships.
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Mark Bolland, Charles's able spin-doctor-in-chief, was fully aware of these differences between the Queen's senior courtiers. Taking the view that "on the family front, she is wholly guided by advisers", he could not wait for the day when Fellowes - who had banned him from his meetings because he felt Bolland would only leak what was said - was succeeded by the more sympathetic and emollient Janvrin. Both Bolland and his princely master believed that, if Janvrin could be persuaded to meet Camilla, the Queen was sure to follow.
Prince Charles, indeed, was so eager to recruit Janvrin to his cause that he tried to sandbag him into meeting Mrs Parker Bowles even before Fellowes had left Buckingham Palace. A few months later, however, after Fellowes had departed for a job with Barclays Bank, Janvrin duly met Camilla - and at his own instigation. He had obviously made a point of asking the Queen for permission to do so. The issue was so delicate that, for a time, Janvrin did not even tell some of his senior colleagues that he intended to meet Mrs Parker Bowles.
When I told one of them what had already happened, he was astounded. One of Prince Charles's senior aides recalled: He and Stephen Lamport then decided that it would be better if it didn't occur at St James's. They thought it would be rather odd for the Queen's secretary to be meeting the Prince's mistress in one of the Queen's own palaces. Camilla also wanted it to be somewhere less controversial. True, it was still a grace-and-favour house which belonged to the Queen, but they both felt more comfortable with that.
They spent an hour or so together and they've met at least half a dozen times since then, at Highgrove and elsewhere. Before long, the Queen followed where Janvrin had led. Early in June last year, she decided to go to King Constantine of Greece's 60th birthday party at Highgrove, knowing full well that Camilla would be present.
When Constantine told Charles that his mother would be coming, the Prince did not believe it until he had spoken to her himself. It was just as big a surprise to senior courtiers at Buckingham Palace.
She hadn't discussed it at all with us. Robin had worked away at it, and said that, at some point, she ought to meet Camilla.
After she had said she would, he looked both surprised and pleased. Janvrin would have told her that the public mood about Camilla was becoming ever more favourable and that, in the light of that, being seen as the hard-faced woman who refused even to meet her eldest son's long-term companion was simply disastrous public relations. Camilla herself was terrified by the prospect of meeting the Queen and, afterwards, even Prince Charles's spin doctors had to admit that it had not proved to be a "wonderful-to-see-you-after-all-these-years" kind of encounter, representing instead "merely a cracking of the ice rather than a breaking of it".
The ice, it seems, was still not for melting. Pent-up and lonely, Diana began making herself ill, the first signs of bulimia.
The Truth About Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana’s Relationship
Several times a day she visited the kitchen, filling a bowl with Kellogg's Frosted Flakes and fruit, adding sugar and drenching it all in cream. Afterward, she would go to the bathroom and make herself sick.
Her moods became ever more unpredictable, and Charles drew much of her fire. Why, she asked, was he not spending more time with her? It was explained that the Prince had a schedule of engagements arranged months before. That did little to pacify her. The Queen chose to overlook Diana's behavior in these early months, concluding that she needed time to settle in. Nearly everyone, from the Queen to the staff who looked after Diana, attributed her behavior to a bad case of "nerves.
After one particularly difficult stretch in Junewhen the Prince was traveling, she bolted. Following a party to celebrate Prince Andrew's 21st birthday, she got into her car at 5: She told her father, John Spencer, that she was calling off the engagement.
He listened as Diana poured out her heart, then advised her that it was probably just the pressure.
Once she was married, said her father, things would get easier. By Sunday night Diana was back in Buckingham Palace, acting as if nothing had happened. Here are some more things you never knew about Princess Diana. Instead, during her honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean, Diana became violently ill with bulimia. After 15 exhausting days, which were punctuated by tremendous fights, the newlyweds arrived back at Balmoral.
The Prince summoned a doctor, the first of many who would try to help. In medical terms, some feel that Diana suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. Symptoms include fear of abandonment, a tendency toward histrionic behavior, a need for adoration, and mood swings.
Bulimia can be another manifestation. The Queen was understanding of Diana's difficulties, especially after it was made clear just how unwell her daughter-in-law was. For all her reserve, Elizabeth seemed to have a natural empathy with Diana. Diana was an exuberant city girl barely into her 20s, with zero experience in romance. Charles was a contemplative self-described "countryman," with several significant love affairs behind him. The Queen hoped that the birth of Prince William, inand Harry, two years later, would ease the tensions and give Charles and Diana reasons to grow together.
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Instead, the pressures on the couple increased. Diana's emotional difficulties grew worse, and in short order, the marriage began to curdle. As it did, Diana began calling at Buckingham Palace seeking guidance from her mother-in-law. At first, the Queen took a tolerant view of these unscheduled visits. In time, though, Elizabeth came to dread the meetings. After one session a footman said, "The Princess cried three times in a half an hour while she was waiting to see you.
James Hewitt of the Queen's Household Cavalry. Charles also resumed a relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, a married woman who many believed was the love of his life.
Find out the true story of what happened between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Queen Elizabeth was advised of these unhappy developments. She had once likened Diana to a "nervy racehorse" who needed careful handling, not harsh discipline. Despite the evidence, she convinced herself that if Diana were given the independence she claimed she needed, her self-assurance would grow and she would settle down. Although she was not quoted directly, it was clear Diana collaborated on the book.
The Queen was stunned. She was well aware how unhappy her daughter-in-law was, but never imagined Diana would air dirty linen in such a way. In most families, this behavior would have meant the immediate end of the marriage. For all her grievances, the Princess realized what life would be like if she were cast out of the royal family altogether. The gossip magazines might print acres of stories about arguments and illicit affairs, but Diana carried on with her appointments, and the public never stopped adoring her.
She also had a genuine sympathy for the ill and troubled. In a royal family desperately in need of a humane face, she was the only one who could kneel to comfort a sick child and look as if she meant it.