What The Queen Really Felt About Princess Diana's Sudden Death

Many royal family followers criticized the Queen for what was considered to be a non-reaction to the sudden death of Princess Diana in 1997. As the world mourned the loss of the Princess of Wales, Her Majesty remained stoic and silent until the funeral.

It is true that the Queen and Diana didn't always get along and that the tragedy struck long after Prince Charles and Diana's divorce. However, that doesn't mean that the Queen wasn't heartbroken about what happened. She poured out her true feelings about the loss of her daughter-in-law in a letter she sent to Henriette, Lady Abel Smith, one of her most trusted aides.

“It was indeed dreadfully sad, and she is a huge loss to the country,” Queen Elizabeth wrote. “But the public reaction to her death, and the service in the Abbey, seem to have united people round the world in a rather inspiring way. William and Harry have been so brave and I am very proud of them. Emotions are still so mixed up but we have all been through a very bad experience!”

When the Queen and the royal family were first informed of the car crash, they were told that Princess Diana could survive because she wasn't even badly injured. As they stood by for updates, she asked for tea but never really got around to drinking it due to the anxious waiting. The Queen was in the room with Prince Charles when he got the bad news via a phone call. She watched her son slowly lose his composure and break into tears upon learning that Princess Diana was no more.

The Queen herself was left in shock, but the silence that followed as the coverage and outpouring of love came in gave some people the negative impression. However, royal family fans believe that she simply did what any good mother and grandmother would. She had to put on a brave face for Prince Harry and Prince William, who were just 12 and 15 at the time.

In a very rare instance that would go on to be one of the most unforgettable moments in her long monarchy, the Queen addressed the country the night of Princess Diana's funeral. She described her as an “exceptional human being” who never failed to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.

Queen Elizabeth II Princess Diana death John Loughrey sits round the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain as it re-opens to the public, August 20, 2004, in London's Hyde Park. How did the Queen truly feel about Diana's untimely death? Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

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