Queen Elizabeth has met a staggering number of people throughout the years of her reign as monarch. However, according to royal reporter Ingrid Seward, only one person has left the queen feeling “drained.” The culprit was none other than Princess Diana.
According to The Express, the “People’s Princess” would visit the queen and unload her marital woes onto the monarch. Though Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially separated in 1992 in what the queen famous called her annus horribilis, their marriage had been struggling for some time under the strain of jealousy and infidelity.
Princess Diana might have been looking for a mother substitute when she spoke of her woes to her then-mother-in-law. Her own mother, Frances Shand Kydd, absconded with her lover, Peter Shand Kydd, to escape her unhappy marriage. The decision cost her the custody of her children.
“Diana’s neediness stemmed from a troubled childhood,” explained Royal House of Windsor narrator Gwilym Lee, per The Frisky.
“Diana later admitted she had been haunted by the crunch of the gravel as her mother departed,” Lee added.
Though Queen Elizabeth may have handled diplomacy and international relations with ease, she was reportedly not prepared to act as a therapist for her daughter-in-law, The Express continued.
Seward claimed in her book, The Queen & Di: The Untold Story that, as a result, Queen Elizabeth began to “dread” seeing the popular royal.
“The Queen came to dread these meetings with her daughter-in-law,” Seward wrote.
“They left her feeling drained and despondent and confused — an uncommon state for a woman accustomed to the certainties of her position.”
As a result, the queen began to schedule less and less time to see the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, which Diana attributed to jealousy. It was not an outrageous conclusion; she had allegedly already earned the envy of her husband Prince Charles for having a “star power” that he lacked, per The International Business Times.
However, fellow royal reporter Penny Junor claims that nothing could be further from the truth. The queen was pleased at the estimated 750 million that watched the royal wedding, and she did not feel threatened as she could remember her own popularity when other royal courtiers could not.
“When the mania over Diana was at its height, one of the Queen’s courtiers said, ‘Ma’am, you will never have seen anything like the publicity Charles and Diana are having,'” Junor recounted in her book, The Firm.
“‘You were not around,’ she said witheringly, ‘when Margaret and I were having our future husbands talent-spotted for us,'” the queen allegedly concluded.