Queen Elizabeth was highly criticized regarding her actions following the death of her former daughter-in-law Princess Diana in 1997. British author Ingrid Seward, who covered the lives of the royal family for 18 years, says the monarch’s stiff upper lip hid her heartbreak in her book The Queen & Di.
Readers Digest reported that the women had a relationship much like one of an actual mother and daughter and the queen continued to have deep-rooted feelings for Diana despite the fact that she and Prince Charles had formally divorced in 1996 and Diana’s death was still a great loss for Britain’s monarch.
Seward penned that when Princess Diana’s tragic car accident occurred, the queen was soundly asleep at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in Scotland.
The author noted that the monarch was woken by one of her aides and met her son Prince Charles in the corridor, where he explained that Diana and Dodi Fayed had been involved in a car accident in Paris.
At that moment in time, the royals were led to believe that Fayed was reported dead, but Diana had survived.
Surprisingly, the queen asked her staff to make tea for everyone, but it went untouched as all were too nervous to partake in the usual English tradition, said Seaward.
The book explained that initially, the queen was told Diana had walked away from the accident. Prince Charles soon received another call that allegedly said, “Sir, I am very sorry to have to tell you that I’ve just had the Ambassador on the phone. The Princess died a short time ago.”
Seaward penned that Prince Charles broke down when he learned of his ex-wife’s death.
Queen Elizabeth was criticized after Princess Diana ‘s death for remaining in Balmoral with Prince William and Prince Harry, who were mourning their mother, rather than returning to London.
The queen later remarked that Diana’s death was “a terrible waste.”
ABC News reported in 2017 that a letter was unearthed from that dark time in the British Monarchy from the queen where she spoke of 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 penned in the letter.