Queen Elizabeth II and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are considered to be two of the most powerful women in recent times. One headed the monarchy with unflinching devotion and a symbol of stability as the world’s longest-reigning monarch, while the other was the longest-serving British prime minister of the twentieth century and was known as the Iron Lady.

It’s even amazing to think that two remarkable women would simultaneously work together for the good of the United Kingdom at one point in time. But for those who are thinking just what kind of harmonious relationship Queen Elizabeth and Thatcher might have, insiders say that while they were not actually quarreling, they were not the closest of friends either.

Experts say that the Queen and Thatcher’s relationship was complicated and even awkward at times. Royal expert Judy Wade narrated how the former PM once called Buckingham Palace to ask what Her Majesty would be wearing to an event where they’d both be attending so their outfit won’t clash.

But Thatcher got a reply that seems to hint that such concern is unnecessary. “Don’t worry, the Queen never notices what other women are wearing,” was the terse response.

Margaret Thatcher Photo of Margaret Thatcher. Levan Ramishvili/Flickr

Many believe that this complicated relationship is a result of the difference in their roles in the government, as well as their personality. Thatcher is said to have revered the monarch so much that she would treat Her Majesty with “utmost formality, curtsying down to floor,” according to Quora user Justin Mihalick.

Due to this reverence, the former PM was also “horrified at the possibility of looking silly” in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. Thus, it was understandable that when Her Majesty tried to break the ice by inviting Thatcher over at Balmoral, the former PM did not seem to respond enthusiastically when she was asked to participate in games such as charades.

But bigger than their differences in personalities is the fact that they differ in opinion when it came to some key issues. For instance, they were at odds on how to handle the apartheid regime in South Africa. Adey Hill wrote on Quora that the Queen was displeased at the “apparent unfeeling way that Thatcher's policies destroyed communities,” which resulted in their weekly meetings being icy.

But whatever differences and dislike they may initially have, the two women eventually came to respect each other, and it can be viewed that their relationship ended on a positive note.

“Thatcher, incidentally, made sure before she left office to pass legislation that guaranteed the Queen’s finances would be stable and sound,” Justin Mihalick wrote. “I suspect she eventually came to see Thatcher as a leader who steered Britain toward a more enduring pattern of stability.”

The Queen reportedly felt bad for Thatcher when she was forced to resign in November 1990. As a gesture of goodwill, she even invited the former PM to a horse racing meeting and was later made a baroness.

When Thatcher died in 2013, the Queen attended her funeral. This is a rare gesture from the Queen, who has not attended the funeral services of other prime ministers.

“In spite of the difficulties they had communicating and enjoying each other's company while both were in office, I think the Queen had respect for Thatcher and the successes she helped Britain achieve — in economics and the Cold War,” Mihalick noted.

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II attends a State Banquet at the Philharmonic Hall on the first day of a tour of Slovakia on October 23, 2008, in Bratislava, Slovakia. Chris Jackson/Getty Images