Princess Diana: Royal author reveals Queen Elizabeth knew she wasn't right for Charles

In her newest book My Mother and I, royal expert Ingrid Seward recounts how Queen Elizabeth II had strong intuitions about the future of the relationship between Lady Diana and her son, then-Prince Charles.

Princess Diana Queen Elizabeth King Charles wedding Prince Andrew
© Tim Graham / GETTY IMAGES
Princess Diana Queen Elizabeth King Charles wedding Prince Andrew

It's been called the wedding of the century. On 29 July 1981, Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. A ceremony watched by 750 million television viewers worldwide. While we remember the bride's huge train down the church steps and the kiss on Buckingham Palace's balcony, we also remember the chaotic aftermath of this union. What looked like a fairytale on the outside quickly turned into a nightmare for the couple.

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When he first met Lady Diana, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip already had another woman on his mind. In 1970, he had met a certain Camilla Shand, with whom he immediately fell madly in love. After serving in the Royal Navy, he learned that she had married Major Andrew Parker Bowles. A marriage that didn't keep them apart.

In 1977, Prince Charles met Lady Diana Spencer's mischievous eyes for the first time. Back then, he was courting the young woman's sister, whom he eventually left in 1980 to become involved with the future mother of his children. The British were delighted, as their future King was finally to marry. But there was one detail that should have tipped them off. Before the grandiose wedding, the lovebirds had agreed to sit down for an interview to celebrate their engagement.

The journalist commented

You both look very much in love

Lady Diana acquiesced and answered:

Oh, yes. Absolutely.

While the groom-to-be replied:

Whatever 'in love' means.

A statement that left some unease in the air and which reportedly left Lady Diana 'traumatized'.

It is widely believed that Prince Charles didn't want to marry Lady Diana, 12 years his junior. Before saying 'I do', it was reported that then-Lady Diana thought of calling the wedding off when she discovered the farewell gift her future husband-to-be was about to give to his mistress, Camilla. But her sister stopped her, telling her it was too late.

Though the story of Charles and Diana still fascinates today for its many ups and downs, they weren't the only ones involved. Indeed, Queen Elizabeth II also had a lot to say...

Queen Elizabeth II delighted by her meeting with Lady Diana

The 'happiness' of Princes William and Harry's parents was short-lived. After a tumultuous eleven-year marriage, Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated in 1992. It was both a failure and a relief for Queen Elizabeth II, who had seen the fiasco coming.

In her new book My Mother and I, Ingrid Seward looks back at the monarch's first meeting with the Princess. In 1980, while visiting Jane Spencer - Diana's elder sister - she met the young blonde. The Queen was immediately smitten, and Diana was invited to spend four days at Balmoral Castle for a special occasion.

Elizabeth II's two reservations about Lady Di

According to the author, everyone was 'enchanted' by the presence of the future princess, who got up earlier than the others to go for a walk in the garden. Although she seemed the ideal candidate for the Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II had a few reservations.

Barely 19, she was worried that Lady Diana wouldn't know the difference between man and royal duty. She also felt that her personality would have been more in keeping with that of another of her sons, Prince Andrew - embroiled in a sex trafficking scandal for many years. In the end, neither would have been a good choice.

Ingrid Seward on Diana and Andrew

Ingrid Seward, an author and columnist for Daily Mail, made many revelations in her new book: My Mother and I. Anticipating its release, Seward and the Mail serialised extracts of the book with its first instalment on Sunday 4 February.

In her article Seward goes into detail about how Princess Diana supposedly worked hard to become the Princess of Wales. She wrote about how the late Princess played her ‘sharpest card’ when she was in royal company. The royal author also divulged that the Princess almost called off her engagement after then-Prince Charles didn’t dance with her at Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party.

On top of that, there was a revelation that took royal watchers by surprise: supposedly Queen Elizabeth II thought Princess Diana to be ‘better suited’ for Prince Andrew. She wrote:

She (Queen Elizabeth II) couldn't help thinking that the Spencer girl would be far better suited to her younger son, Andrew.

As shocking as this statement was, Seward didn't expand on it, a clever way to get people to buy her new book. But it might also had to do with the fact that this revelation about Diana and Andrew dates back to 2020. At the time, Seward had published Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century. However, for what we have gathered, her 2020 comments didn’t mention Queen Elizabeth but merely talked of ‘discussions’.

In her recent article in the Mail, the royal author also explained how the engagement between Charles and Diana continued to unfold as well as the demise of their wedding.

Who is royal author Ingrid Seward?

At the time and still now, it remains unclear on what Ingrid Seward bases her claims but the author is well-known and has written 20 books on the Royal Family. Her books focus on different members of the family including Sarah Ferguson, Prince Philip and the royal children.

According to her website biography, Seward is the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine - a publication ‘covering all aspects of British, European and other royal families around the world.’ She also regularly writes for Daily Mail and is often welcomed on TV as a royal commentator.

Her biography suggests that Ingrid Seward knows ‘many members of the Royal Family personally’ and that her position at Majesty Magazine allows her to have ‘a special relationship with the Royal Household’.

Her newest book focuses on the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles. The revelation about the King’s iconic first wife and his brother being brought back in the spotlight forces us to dig deeper into the relationship between the two.

What was the relationship between Andrew and Diana

In August 2023, Sarah Ferguson said on her podcast that any rumours claiming that ‘Diana had the hots for Prince Andrew and had pictures of him up’ are a ‘load of rubbish.’ She continues:

Diana really always got on very well with him, and I say that he's certainly the best-looking prince.

However, on her podcast, she clearly dismissed any idea that the two fancied each other.

As explained above, in 2020, Seward herself spoke about the relationship between Diana and Andrew. She explained to People that ‘some of Diana’s friends thought that Andrew would be more fun for her than Charles, because he was very much her age and he was full of fun and everything else’. However, Seward quickly said that Diana had no interest in the younger Prince.

Finally, according to Richard Kay, another royal commentator and author, Prince Andrew simply was Princess Diana’s favourite royal sibling. In the 2019 docu-series Paxman on the Queen's Children he said:

Diana had a much warmer relationship with Prince Andrew who she had known well since she was a child. They had played together as children on the Sandringham Estate

Indeed, it could be said that Princess Diana and Prince Andrew were childhood friends. Both of them were close in age and Diana was always around the Royal Family. It was reported by Seward in 2020 that sometimes Diana would ‘watch movies and things with [Prince] Edward and Andrew’ while at Sandringham with her father.

This article has been adapted from Voici

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Royal author reveals Princess Diana didn't believe Camilla was the reason for her divorce with King Charles Royal author reveals Princess Diana didn't believe Camilla was the reason for her divorce with King Charles