- (Photo: Reuters/Roy Letkey)
A new book by Robert Lacey offers an in-depth look at the relationship between Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth.
Many may assume that Diana had great disdain for her mother-in-law after a revealing interview on Panorama and the tell-all book "Diana: Her True Story." However, Lacey's book, "The Queen: A Life in Brief," explains that there was a mutual relationship of love, with the Queen being on Diana's side throughout her trials.
In the beginning, Queen Elizabeth was very fond of Diana and encouraged Charles to marry the young woman. However, the Queen was aware of the pressure that the media would put on Diana. According to Lacey, "Ever vigilant, the Queen was determined to protect her potential daughter-in-law from the almost immediate and overwhelming press interest."
Diana married Charles in July 1981 in front of a worldwide audience of over 750 million. The public was immediately enthralled and captivated by the grandiosity of the wedding. Lacey reveals: "On the wedding day itself, Her Majesty was as giddy as everyone else with the high emotion of the day. That evening, she watched the wedding all over again on large screen televisions… She did not leave till 1:30 in the morning, hitching up her skirt and performing a little jig as she said her goodbyes."
The fallout came much later, after Diana gave an interview to Panorama, a British television channel, in which she openly criticized her marriage to Charles and famously said, "There were three of us in this marriage." What particularly angered the Queen was Diana's statement, "Because I know the character [of Charles], I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don't know whether he could adapt to that."
Diana's death two years later brought renewed speculation of the feud between the two women. The people of Europe were outraged that the Queen refused to acknowledge Diana's legacy and popularity; they accused the Queen of being callous and stubborn. She finally decided to allow a public funeral with royal honors and gave a speech to the people in which she gave thanks for Diana's influence and life.
Many books have been written about Diana's relationship with the Royal family, but Lacey's is the first to provide this information about her relationship with the Queen. It will be released in May and is already generating renewed interest in the Royal family and Princess Diana.