Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana probably have one of the most complicated relationships any in-laws could have. No, they were not antagonistic to each other, but Princess Di’s worsening marital problems with Prince Charles was just putting too much strain on her and the Queen’s relationship.

The Queen Thought Diana Knew What Royal Life Was Like

Unlike Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, who only had direct contact with the royal family when they met their respective husbands, Prince Harry and Prince William, Princess Diana’s Spencer family is part of British nobility.

In fact, her grandmother, Ruth Roche, served as ladies-in-waiting for the Queen Mother. Given this exposure, Queen Elizabeth II thought that Diana might already know what is expected of her when she marries Prince Charles. “I trust that Diana will find living here less of a burden than is expected,” the Queen wrote to a friend according to Ingrid Seward in her book “The Queen And Di: The Untold Story.”

Diana’s Boredom And Loneliness Made Her Sick

Apparently, the truth was that she was far from ready for a royal life as she found it an “extraordinary burden” right at the start. While she would be occasionally busy planning her wedding, she was simply bored the rest of the time and became increasingly irritable. She just doesn’t get why Prince Charles, who had to go through countless appointments, can’t find time to be with her.

It was at this point that Diana’s bulimia began to surface. She would go to the kitchen several times a day and fix herself a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes complete with sugar and cream, only to go to the bathroom afterward and make herself sick.

The Queen Thought Diana Just Needed Time To Adjust To The Royal Lifestyle

At this stage, Her Majesty, as well as the royal staff, merely thought that Diana was just having a case of “bad nerves.” They assumed that her behavior would soon normalize if given enough time as she starts to settle down to her life in the palace.

Diana Tried To Call Off The Engagement

But for Diana, it was so much more than getting nerves. In fact, less than a month before her wedding, she bolted out of the palace and traveled alone by car to her family home. She told her father that she wanted to call off the engagement. However, just like the Queen, her father, John Spencer, thought it was just due to pressure and things will eventually become easier for her as soon as she gets used to royal life.

The Queen Understood Diana’s Difficulties And Tried To Be Her Support

After the wedding, Diana’s problem with bulimia got worse. Queen Elizabeth tried her best to support her new daughter-in-law, a gesture that Diana greatly appreciated. “I have the best mother-in-law in the world,” she once told Seward.

However, the problem between Prince Charles and Diana worsened even with the birth of Prince William and Prince Harry. During this time, the Queen was Diana’s go-to person when things get rough.

In her book, Seward shared a brief dialogue between the Queen and a footman, which shows just how close the two were at this time. “The Princess cried three times in a half an hour while she was waiting to see you,” the footman told Her Majesty. “I had her for an hour — and she cried nonstop,” was Queen Elizabeth’s response.

Diana Stunned The Queen

Even when Diana’s close relationship with Capt. James Hewitt was made known, the Queen thought things might still work out. However, their bond was tested when Andrew Morton's book “Diana: Her True Story” came out in 1982.

While Her Majesty was aware of Diana’s resentment at Prince Charles, she was reportedly “stunned” that Diana would collaborate with the biographer. She never expected that the Princess would air her “dirty linen in such a way.”

The Queen Decides It’s Best To Let Go Of Diana

But Princess Diana did not stop there. She began acting on her own, such as when she questioned Prince Charles’ moral character to be king on television. Despite her many good qualities, Diana was now viewed as a liability at this point. Thus, the Queen was left with no choice but to order Prince Charles and Diana’s divorce.

Princess Diana Diana, Princess of Wales, smiles as she meets wellwishers outside St Vincent's Hospice in Sydney on November 2, 1996, her last official engagement in Australia. TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images