Burned History: Why Queen Elizabeth II’s Sister Destroyed Letters Diana Wrote To The Queen Mother

Date August 8, 2018

The legacy of Princess Diana carries on, despite her tragic death more than 20 years ago. She is still remembered and loved by millions. Her style, wisdom and manner of raising children are still admired, and the life and death of Lady Di are shrouded in a halo of mystery. However, from time to time some stories surface, which could have been important or may have changed something. In particular, letters Diana addressed to the Queen Mother, the grandmother of Prince Charles, could have played an important role in her life.

Elizabeth II was the first child in the family - parents decided to name her after the mother, wife of George VI. In childhood, the personification of British monarchy was called “Lilibet”. However, much has changed with the ascent of the young successor to the throne. To avoid confusion, it was decided to call her Elizabeth II, and her namesake parent - the Queen Mother. That's how Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was known for most of her life outshadowed by a more influential daughter.

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Even though the Queen Mother was loved by many, the biographers didn’t give as much credit as her more popular daughters and grandchildren. The last work dedicated to her appeared on the shelves of bookstores 8 years after the Queen Mother died in 2002 at the age of 101 years. The author of the book, William Shawcross, published a detailed biography of the Queen Mother, her thoughts and beliefs in various fields ranging from feminism to homeopathy, nearly on 1,000 pages. It is peculiar how the author accidentally or deliberately omitted the subject of the love triangle between Prince Charles, Lady Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles. What he mentioned was that the correspondence between Princes Diana and the Queen Mother was almost completely destroyed by Princess Margaret.

Several media sources claimed that there was a gap between Lady Di and the royal family. The behavior of the princess at Diana’s funeral (the sister of Elizabeth II looked alienated and in every way showed that she would like to be anywhere else) gave a reason to believe that she hadn’t been on friendly terms with her nephew's wife.

Shortly before Diana and Charles announced their decision to divorce, Margaret took charge of her mother's correspondence. Among the letters addressed to the Queen Mother were ones from the People's Princess. However, not all of them reached their addressee. It has become known that Margaret shared her thoughts on Lady Diana’s letters with one of her friends. She found them too personal. Perhaps, Diana was revealing how unhappy she was in her marriage.

According to earlier media reports, Margaret burned the correspondence as a preventive step, at least that’s what she believed. As far as one can judge, she thought that the accidental or willful disclosure of their contents could damage not only her nephew, the Prince of Wales, but entire Great Britain. It could be that the Queen Mother and Diana were discussing possible options for resolving the crisis in the life of the latter.

READ ALSO: Could Diana And Charles Reunite For Their Grandchildren?

It remains obscure how Elizabeth treated Diana in fact, but it may be safe to assume that her behavior was different from the traditional ideas of aristocratic marriage. Perhaps, the Queen Mother, who wasn’t the most sympathetic kind like Princess Margaret, believed that Diana threatened the reputation of the royal family. Maybe she even tried to save Charles’s marriage. However, it will remain a mystery, as after the letters were destroyed all the people involved - Lady Diana Spencer, the Queen Mother, and Margaret - have passed away.

READ ALSO: Prince William Actually Introduced His Children To The Late Princess Diana

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II