An all-time loyal assistant of, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother has revealed how she refused and denied to let Diana’s name be mentioned in public after Princess Diana separated from Queen Mother’s beloved grandson Prince Charles.
Colin Burgess, the all-time assistance served the Queen Mother for two years in the mid-1990s and saw first her feelings over the much-publicized fallout of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage. “Just a few weeks into the job, I asked whether she had seen Jonathan Dimbleby’s television documentary about Prince Charles broadcast the night before, ” he recalled, in an extract from a new edition of his memoir Behind Palace Doors, published by the Mail. “It included the famous interview in which Prince Charles admitted and declared that he had been unfaithful to Princess Diana in their marriage of 15 years. The look the Queen Mother has that day could have frozen the fire. There was a bit of a smile there but she spoke through gritted teeth and her eyes narrowed slightly as she said, ‘Some things are best not discussed.
Colin Burgess noted that it was a particularly sensitive and delicate subject, because “Prince Charles was clearly Queen Mother’s favourite grandchild”.
The relationship between Queen Mother and Princess Diana
“For her part, while she had all the time in the world for Prince Charles, it was quite clear that the Queen Mother had no love at all for the Princess of Wales, Diana. “Once Princess Diana split from Prince Charles, she was very much persona non grata, and nobody never again heard her name mentioned by, or in front of, the Queen Mum, not even couple of months after Princess Diana’s death, by which time Colin Burgess had left her to employ.
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“Princess Diana and Prince Charles split in 1992 and finalized their divorce four years later – after Diana’s explosive allegation that “there were three in the marriage”; a reference to Prince Charles’ now wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles. “I desperately want it to work; I desperately love my husband and I wanted to share everything together. And I thought that we were a very good team”, said Diana at an infamous interview.
Charles and Diana’s relationship played out in the relentless glare of the media spotlight, appeared strained from the beginning. Asked whether they were in love after their engagement, Diana replied “of course”, while Prince Charles gave the rather more awkward response of, “whatever in love means”. Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
The Queen Mother died in 2002. Prince Charles hinted at the closeness of his relationship with his grandmother in his tribute, saying: “She was quite simply the most magical grandmother you could have, and I was utterly devoted to her.”