Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

‘No doubt’ Queen was ‘sympathetic’ to Princess Diana during marriage to Charles

Princess Diana ‘brought huge interest’ says Ingrid Seward

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Her Majesty earned a special honour yesterday, awarded for her “unwavering devotion” to one of her true loves in life. She became the first entry in the official hall of fame for British horse racing within the special contributor category. The monarch is known for her love of horses and racing, with her famous purple, gold braid and scarlet colours recording more than 1,800 winners since her first at Fontwell in 1941. A new biography explores her near-70 year reign. She celebrates a Platinum Jubilee on February 6 next year, although official celebrations will not take place until the beginning of June.

‘The Queen’ is written by Matthew Dennison. He spoke to royal sources, both past and present, to cover her story.

When Prince Charles, the Queen’s eldest son, proposed to Lady Diana Spencer in February 1981, she was just 19. Later the same year, hundreds of millions across the world watched their fairytale wedding.

Diana, 13 years her husband’s junior, quickly saw her marriage fall apart.

Five years down the line, in 1986, Diana was devastated to hear Charles had renewed his relationship with old flame Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall.

Charles and Diana formally split in December 1992, and were divorced in 1996, shortly after Diana’s infamous interview with Martin Bashir where she said “there were three of us in this marriage”.

Diana had spoken of feelings of failure and “rampant bulimia”, which she claimed the discovery of Charles’ affair had contributed towards.

Mr Dennison told Fox News: “There’s no doubt that the Queen was sympathetic to the Princess of Wales.

“But you know, people didn’t discuss mental health to the extent that we do today. And people’s knowledge of it was less.

“And of course, the Queen, being a generation older than the Princess of Wales, had a very old-fashioned upbringing. It was a late-19th-century upbringing where you certainly didn’t talk about those things.”

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Her Majesty recommended Charles and Diana divorced after the BBC interview. Diana had previously not sought divorce because of the impact it would have on their sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

Mr Dennison claimed the Queen “had a great personal fondness” for Princess Diana.

He added: “I don’t think there was ever any lack of affection.

“I think the Queen didn’t understand why the Princess might say or do things that would jeopardise the institution that she’d married into, which was also her own children’s inheritance.

Diana is the subject of an upcoming biopic called ‘Spencer’, featuring Kristen Stewart as the People’s Princess.

The film follows the collapse of her marriage to Charles, played by Jack Farthing, and her departure from the Royal Family.

It is due for release in UK cinemas on November 5. After the film’s premiere, Variety reported a “loud buzz” in Venice that Ms Stewart will land her first Oscar nomination for the role.

Diana was killed in a car crash just a year after her divorce. She was just 36 at the time.

Her legacy lives on, however. William and Harry unveiled a statue of their late mother in the Kensington Palace gardens on July 1, which would have been her 60th birthday.

‘The Queen’ is written by critically acclaimed author Matthew Dennison and published by Apollo in June 2021. It is available to buy here.

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