From the moment she and Prince Charles got engaged in 1981, things were very challenging for Princess Diana. Just 20-years-old when she wed the future Crowned King in a massive ceremony televised across the globe, the princess has no idea what she was getting herself into.
The princess’s marriage to the Prince of Wales was thought to be a “good match.” However, the 32-year-old and the 20-year-old had very little in common. It also didn’t help that Prince Charles was still very much in love with his ex-girlfriend, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
For years, Princess Diana would later reveal, she felt isolated and alone. However, toward the end of her life and following her separation from Prince Charles, she’d found her footing. She even grew closer to the queen.
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Princess Diana never felt accepted in the British royal family
Though the late princess was from an aristocratic family, she was not at all like members of the royal family. She was simply not outdoorsy nor was she very formal. Princess Diana was given very little information about royal life and was isolated from her family. Her unhappiness and bitterness toward her marriage resulted in bulimia nervosa, a binge and purge eating disorder. She also self-harmed on multiple occasions, including throwing herself down a flight of steps when she was pregnant with Prince William.
“She acknowledged that she was now seen by the rest of the royal family as ‘a problem,’” Andrew Morton wrote in Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words.
In contrast, her sister-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, flourished in the royal fold. “I got terribly jealous and she got jealous of me,” Princess Diana once admitted. “She kept saying to me: ‘You mustn’t worry, everything is going to be fine.’ I couldn’t understand it, she was actually enjoying herself, whereas I was fighting to survive.”
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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Diana had a ton of friction early on in their relationship
Early on in her marriage, Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II had quite a bit of friction. They once got into a heated argument after the princess debuted a new hairstyle at the State Opening of Parliament in 1984.
“I was told really close to the time really infuriated the Queen. She didn’t mind Diana having a new haircut – that wasn’t the point,” a royal source said in a documentary, H.M The Queen: A Remarkable Life. “The point was that by introducing it on the day of the Opening of Parliament, she took all the emphasis away from the dignity of the occasion. That was not very good for democracy and for the House of Windsor.”
Later, as she struggled in her marriage, Princess Diana got no help from the queen. “I went to the top lady and said: ‘I don’t know what I should do.’ She said: ‘I don’t know what you should do.’ And that was it. That was ‘help,’” the princess revealed in Diana: In Her Own Words.
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Princess Diana has a very personal nickname for Queen Elizabeth
Despite their friction in the early years, the princess and the queen grew closer following the Wales’ separation and subsequent divorce. According to Good Housekeeping, in the last 10 years of her life, Princess Diana reportedly called the queen “Mama.”
It seems that the princess leaned on the queen for support in the final years of her life, and considering the events of 1992, Queen Elizabeth took stock of what was occurring in her family and happily obliged.
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