The Queen's sister initially asked Her Majesty to cut Princess Diana some slack but things took a sour turn after Diana's explosive Panorama interview in 1995.
Princess Margaret didn't always feel like a part of the royal family. The Queen's sister often struggled to find her own place within the British monarchy but at the end of it all, she wanted to support Her Majesty till the very end, no matter what; they were sisters after all. When Princess Diana joined the monarchy, Princess Margaret welcomed her as a breath of fresh air despite others' doubts. The latter understood what the Princess of Wales might be going through as Diana was also a "Metropolitan Princess". Diana was also significantly younger than her husband, Prince Charles, and at the time only Charles' aunt was able to sympathize with the young bride.
"Neither of them was hunting, shooting, or fishing types," royal biographer Andrew Morton told PEOPLE. "Margaret put her arm around Diana. She could see they were two metropolitan princesses." Morton told the outlet of Margaret, "She did say, 'Just give Diana a chance.'" In his new book Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters, he writes that "Princess Margaret came to her rescue, suggesting to the Queen that Diana was having difficulties adjusting to her role and that she should cut her some slack. The Queen, who avoids family confrontation if at all possible, took her sister's advice." Margaret, who died in 2002 at age 71, "was someone who understood the Queen in a way no one else could," Morton said. "They knew each other intimately from the day they were born. There is a unique intimacy between two siblings brought up together, brought up royal together, that is absolutely fascinating." Though they were close they were quite different from each other where one sibling pushed boundaries while the other was more cautious.
Princess Margaret knew what it felt like to be a bit different from most of the royals so she supported Diana as royal life became increasingly difficult for her. But things took a turn after Diana's explosive Panorama interview. Princess Margaret "had always defended the Queen and was always loyal to her. She felt Diana let her sister down. She was the Praetorian guard of her sister."
An excerpt from the new book Elizabeth & Margaret offers a revealing look at the royal family's inner turmoil https://t.co/gGk4t9CpkV— TOWN&COUNTRY (@TandCmag) March 30, 2021
According to an excerpt from the book in Town & Country Magazine, Morton writes that "once her staunchest supporter in the family, Margaret sent Diana a 'wounding and excoriating' letter following her controversial performance on the BBC Panorama program. She had obviously been 'incapable of making even the smallest sacrifice,' she wrote. Noticeably, she had refrained from writing to Prince Charles, who was the first member of the royal family to admit his adultery on prime-time television. She was doing exactly what she complained about during her own separation and divorce from Lord Snowdon — she was solely criticizing the errant wife for her behavior. In Diana’s mind, her controversial television interview was a riposte, however ill judged, to the original documentary about her husband." But Margaret found it to be an attack on the royal family. The Queen's sister was so enraged that "after the interview she threw out every magazine with Diana’s picture on the cover." Even after Diana's death "she never forgave Diana for what she saw as her betrayal of the royal family."
As for the Queen, she seems to be seeing some similarity between Princess Margaret and her grandson Harry, according to the royal expert. Morton told Vanity Fair, “I think the Queen knows that being the spare is hard and a part of her recognizes that Harry was sometimes a bit of a lost soul just like her sister... She has always wanted to protect Harry and I think in part that’s because she watched Margaret fall victim to the system. Shutting out Margaret didn’t help and the Queen has learned from that. She didn’t want history to repeat itself with Harry.” The writer added, "The Royal Family is a hierarchy and if you’re not number one that can be challenging,” said Morton. “There are also many parallels between the relationship between Elizabeth and Margaret and William and Harry. William is dutiful, serious, considered, cautious, just like the Queen. I think one of the main differences between Margaret and Harry was that Margaret was always loyal to the crown.”
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