Queen Elizabeth II had a complicated relationship with Princess Diana, the late mother of her grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry. While the Queen initially thought Diana was quite suitable for her son, Prince Charles, the two had a strained relationship in the years that followed.
The Queen first met Diana in 1977 when she was just 16 years old. At the time, Diana was dating Charles and the Queen thought she was a suitable match for her son. “She was very much a hit with the royal family—they really warmed to her,” says royal biographer Robert Lacey. “Diana worked very, very hard to ingratiate herself and to model what she thought being a princess would entail, and she did it very successfully.”
However, the Queen’s opinion of Diana changed as the years went on. As Diana’s marriage to Charles began to unravel, the Queen was reportedly concerned about the negative publicity that Diana was bringing to the royal family. In addition, the Queen was reportedly unhappy with Diana’s increasingly public life, including her highly publicized interviews and her relationship with the media.
The Queen was also reportedly concerned about Diana’s mental health. In 1995, Diana wrote a letter to the Queen expressing her distress over her crumbling marriage. The Queen reportedly responded with a letter urging Diana to seek professional help.
Despite their differences, the Queen was reportedly devastated by Diana’s death in 1997. She made a public statement expressing her shock and sadness, and she ordered the Union Jack to be flown at half-mast over Buckingham Palace.
In the years since Diana’s death, the Queen has come to appreciate her late daughter-in-law’s legacy. She has praised Diana’s work with charities and her commitment to her sons. In recent years, the Queen has also made efforts to strengthen her relationship with Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Overall, Queen Elizabeth II had a complicated relationship with Princess Diana. While the Queen initially thought Diana was quite suitable for her son, Charles, their relationship became strained in the years that followed. However, the Queen was reportedly devastated by Diana’s death and has since come to appreciate her legacy.