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The not-so-complicated relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana

The two women respected each other, and the complications of their relationship were most likely from the strained marriage of Diana and Charles

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Diana, princess of Wales, left, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II smile to well-wishers gathered outside of Clarence House on the birthday of Queen Mother Elizabeth in London on In Aug. 4, 1987. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, has died. She was 96. Buckingham Palace made the announcement in a statement on Thursday Sept. 8, 2022.

Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II.

Martin Cleaver, Associated Press

The relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana is one that the public has scrutinized for years. While the passing of the the queen on Thursday rocked the world, many are reminded of Diana. News outlets and public discourse has returned to wondering what Diana’s relationship was like with her mother-in-law.

The public’s focus on the queen’s legacy includes when Princess Diana joined the royal family, but many wonder if their relationship truly was tumultuous or not. What information do we have on what the dynamic was like between the two iconic figures?

What was the relationship between the queen and Princess Diana like?

The relationship between the two women was one that was seemingly complicated. While many speculate that the two women had differences because of each other, more evidence points to the strained relationship being a product of Diana and Charles’ rocky marriage.

The two women met when Diana began to date the queen’s son Charles according to Mint. The queen approved of the union between her son and Diana, and the couple married about a year from their initial meeting.

As soon as the queen and princess began to get to know each other, the relationship between the two women became strained.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles share a wedding kiss while Queen Elizabeth II stands by

Britain’s Prince Charles kisses his bride, Lady Diana Spencer, the new princess of Wales, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London on July 29, 1981, after their wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Queen Elizabeth II stands at right.

Pool Photo via Associated Press

What caused a strain on the queen and Princess Diana’s relationship?

The Economic Times reported that Princess Diana was intimidated by her mother-in-law, and the queen noticed this unease. Meeting the in-laws is a scary prospect on its own, but adding in the royal element made the ordeal more terrifying than usual to Diana. The new rules and regulations to take on as a princess also affected Diana’s ability to connect with the queen, according to author Andrew Morton’s novel “Diana: Her True Story.”

The novel also explained that queen and princess found respect for each other. The women didn’t have any problems with each other personally, but their relationship eventually became complicated from the conflicts taking place in Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles.

Reports alleged that Charles had multiple extramarital affairs during his marriage to Diana. The History Channel reports that the queen eventually urged the couple to divorce as their troubled marriage created a bad image for the entire family.

What did the queen say about Princess Diana?

Though the relationship between the queen and Diana was strained due to the bad press, the tragic death of the princess five years after the divorce rocked the royal family. The queen made respectful remarks about her estranged daughter-in-law.

“She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness,” the queen said.

The queen added that she greatly admired the princess’s commitment to others and especially to her sons, William and Harry.

“I admired and respected her — for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys,” the queen added.