Princess Diana kept ‘distrustful distance’ from Queen Mother as ‘wedge’ driven amid royals

Princess Diana discusses feeling 'ashamed' in 1995 interview

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Reports regarding the Princess of Wales’ life have resurfaced after her son Prince Harry was interviewed by talk show host Oprah Winfrey for CNN this week. Her time with the Windsors will also be explored in tonight’s Channel 5 documentary When the Spencers met the Monarchy from 9pm tonight. Comparisons have been made between the two, as Diana herself made the bombshell move to have a televised chat with BBC Panorama 26 years ago.

In both interviews, the two royals opened up on their life within the Royal Family, and also other issues that affected their lives including mental health.

Harry, who joined his wife Meghan Markle on the landmark broadcast, also spoke of how his brother Prince William, and father Prince Charles, had both been “trapped” within their roles at the centre of the Royal Family.

Despite the concerns raised, Harry and Meghan lavished praise on the Duke of Sussex’s grandmother, the Queen, with the Duchess of Sussex recalling a sweet moment the two shared.

She described how Her Majesty gave her a gift before they went on their first joint engagement together, with Harry also detailing how strong his bond with the Queen is.

He told Oprah that he had “spoken more with my grandmother in the last year than I have done in many, many years”.

Yet, sadly the close bond shared between Meghan and the Queen, was a world away from the relationship Diana enjoyed with her then-husband Prince Charles’ grandmother, the Queen Mother.

Author Andrew Morton explained how Diana and the Queen Mother had a “less cordial” relationship, compared with other senior figures within the Firm.

In 1992’s Diana – Her True Story, Mr Morton noted how Diana “keeps a distrustful distance” from the Queen Mother, who was described as being a “matriarchal figure”.

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He detailed that at the same time, the Queen Mother “exercised an enormous influence” over Prince Charles, and that this affection was a “mutual adoration society from which Diana is effectively excluded”.

Mr Morton said a friend close to Diana recalled how “the Queen Mother drives a wedge” between the Princess of Wales and “the others”, and “as a result makes every excuse to avoid her”.

Yet, Mr Morton did recount how Diana did enjoy a healthy relationship with Princess Margaret – the Queen Mother’s daughter, and sister of the Queen.

Diana acknowledged that Margaret “gave her the most help in acclimatising herself to the rarified royal world”, Mr Morton said.

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He quoted Diana as saying: “I’ve always adored Margo.

“I love her to bits and she’s been wonderful to me from day one.”

Charles and Diana would eventually divorce in 1996, after separating four years before.

Some, however, felt that despite the breakdown in their marriage, the couple could have worked through their relationship issues had they spent longer getting to know one another.

There was a big age gap between the couple, and Simone Simmons, a healer who worked with the Princess of Wales, told the Daily Mail in 2019 why it could have survived.

She said: “After the divorce Charles got a very good friend in Diana because she understood him.

“Nobody is happy if their other half has affairs, but she loved him with all her heart.

“If they had left it 10 years and then got married, I believe they would be together today.

“They would have had their differences, but I think they may have got back together.”

During the Oprah interview, Harry also discussed his mother and what she would have felt about his and Meghan’s decision to quit senior royal life.

The couple had cited wanting to lead a “financially independent” life as one of their main reasons for leaving last year.

They have since gone on to secure lucrative deals with the likes of Spotify and Netflix.

And reflecting on what his mother would have thought of the move, Harry said Diana was with him during the negotiations of their exit.

He said: “I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process.

“I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad. But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

When the Spencers met the Monarchy airs tonight on Channel 5 from 9pm.

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