A new Royal Family documentary series has claimed Queen Elizabeth II didn’t want to be ‘rushed’ by the British public after Princess Diana’s death – and ‘behaved like any grandmother would. already done “.
ITVX’s The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor, which was released today, devoted its fourth episode to exploring the decisions of the late Her Majesty following the death of the then Princess of Wales in 1997 .
After the devastating news broke around the world, the Queen stayed at her Scottish home of Balmoral, where she and several members of her family had been enjoying their summer holidays. She was joined by Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, then aged 15 and 12 respectively.
But the decision to stay away from Buckingham Palace and the mourning crowds that lined the gates, as well as his silence in the days following the Princess’s death, have been deeply criticized by part of the nation in grief.
“The British public wanted the Queen to dance to their tune, didn’t they?” Lady Anne Glenconner, lady-in-waiting to the late Princess Margaret, narrated the documentary. Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey added: “‘Your Majesty, your country needs you to come and comfort us’, well the Queen didn’t have that.”
On the show, members of the public interviewed at the time shared their criticisms of the monarch shortly after Diana’s death. The princess died in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997.
“Our queen should be in London with our people and they should know what all her people think of Diana,” a tearful woman said. “I think it’s disgusting they didn’t appear or say a word,” another added.
Another woman insisted she found the Royal Family’s behavior in the days after Diana’s death “very, very shameful”.
Lady Anne Glenconner, however, said Queen Elizabeth “behaved like any grandmother”.
“She stayed in Scotland, because William and Harry were there, and she looked after them, and that’s what you do,” the 90-year-old socialite added.
She continued: “Princess Margaret, of course, lived in Kensington Palace, and from her windows you could see a sea of flowers, which was extraordinary.
“But of course a lot of them were wrapped in cellophane, so the smell of those flowers at Kensington Palace, I mean she had to keep all the windows closed. It was very unfortunate.
“I don’t know what happened, this extraordinary outpouring of grief, people went crazy, screaming and crying.”
But as the Queen remained silent, the country’s prime minister at the time, Tony Blair, who had only been in office for four months, addressed the audience.
Anji Hunter, director of government relations from 1997 to 2001, who played an intimate role in arranging the funeral, recalled: “I spoke to Tony very very early on, he phoned me and told me that it was huge.
“Tony came out several times to fill in the blank, where is the Royal Family…they weren’t visible.”
Anji also recalled being “scolded” by Prince Philip over a speaker at Buckingham Palace, explaining, “Suddenly that voice came, I’ll never forget it.”
“It was Prince Philip’s voice, and it was quite distressing and he scolded us and he said ‘you have to realize these boys are grieving, they’ve lost their mother.
“People forget that the royal family was up there at Balmoral dealing with this most terrible situation,” Anji said, adding, “I think [the Queen] I didn’t want to be pushed around.
The Queen eventually returned to London and spent more than 10 minutes speaking to the crowd outside Buckingham Palace, alongside her husband Prince Philip.
“Madam, take care of the boys,” one person was filmed saying to the monarch, to which the then Duke of Edinburgh said, “That’s what we did.”
On September 5, the Queen finally gave a rare televised speech, addressing the grieving British public as both “your queen” and “like a grandmother”.
The documentary also covered the outpouring of grief at the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, with Anji saying Queen Elizabeth ‘showed a bit more emotion’ in an address to the nation and was ‘a bit more emotionally intelligent. than perhaps she was.” .
According to BBC One Documentary Diana, 7 Days (2017), the Queen was said to have been deeply ‘hurt’ by public criticism of her handling of Diana’s death, but agreed to address the nation as part of of his sense of duty.
According to former senior courtier Sir Malcolm Ross, who was in charge of arranging the funeral, the monarch felt her priority was with her grandsons in Scotland and she and her staff were distressed by the rising sentiment against them.
Despite this, he said, it was the sovereign who made the decision that her former daughter-in-law be honored with royal burials.
And she also agreed to lower the Union Flag at Buckingham Palace, even though it went against centuries-old traditions.
Sir Malcolm said: “I knew the Queen would be very strong in her opinions. She didn’t lower the standard when her father died and she wouldn’t lower the standard when someone else died. These protocols are crucial to maintaining standards.
Princess Anne also said the Queen had done “exactly the right thing” by staying at Balmoral with Princes William and Harry.
The Princess Royal said: ‘I think my mum did exactly the right thing. I think it’s absolutely extraordinary that a sane parent would believe… [there] would have been an alternative to bringing these kids here to London in all this hoo-ha.
“I just don’t know how you can think that would have been a better thing to do.” Asked if this was a case of the Queen putting her grandchildren first, the Princess Royal replied: “Absolutely”.
“I don’t think either of those two would have been able to cope if they had been somewhere else,” Anne said.
She said: “That’s the only good thing that happened was that they were there, and they had this structure, they had people around them who could understand, give them time. “
Even Diana’s own sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, said she supported the monarch’s judgment.
“If you were the grandmother of a 12 year old and a 15 year old whose mother had just been killed in a car accident, she absolutely did the right thing. If I had been her, I would have done that. Why would you bring them to London?
“Why don’t you let them get over the beginning of the shock within their own family?” she asked.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said it was “very difficult to determine exactly what the Queen was thinking at the time”.
He said: “I think she was resistant to anything that hit her as wrong or hit her as a PR event in the face of something that was a deep personal tragedy.”
“Princess Diana’s relationship that she had with the monarchy and the relationship with Prince Charles, there was a risk that the feeling of loss of the country would turn into a feeling of anger and grievance and then backfire. monarchy. So the first conversation with the queen was an important conversation.
“She was obviously very sad for Diana. She was concerned about the monarchy itself because the Queen has a very strong instinct for public opinion and the way it plays.
All episodes of The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor are available to stream exclusively on ITVX from today
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