Princess Diana saw her relationship with the Royal Family grow bitter as her marriage with Prince Charles soured within years of the pair tying the knot. The Princess of Wales allegedly caused additional friction with royal courtiers after inadvertently stealing the spotlight from the Queen at one of the most important royal events of the year. Luisa Ciuni, the co-author of Diana and the Queen: Secrets and Lies at Court, told Tv2000: “We took the opening of the English Parliament in 1984 as an emblematic episode.
“That is the moment when the Queen is at her peak. Crown on her head, sceptre, majestic dress, underarm gloves, and for her it is the most important moment of the year because she also makes her speech to the people.
“In 1984, what happened is in front of the Queen, unchangeable as not even a Greek statue could be, there arrived a young Diana, who at the time had been done up by the designers, with an incredible dress.
“It is the only moment in which Diana changes her hairstyle from her bob and she had a bun and a cascading halo of hair.”
The unexpected change from the blonde bob meant Diana stole away attention from the Queen, according to Ms Ciuni, and staffers reacted with fury to the Princess’s choice.
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The commentator added: “What happened? She had all eyes on her and newspapers the next day, instead of discussing the Queen’s speech, headlined on her hair and all hell broke loose.”
Princess Diana continued to be at the centre of public attention for the following decade, first as a royal fashion icon and later as the Princess of the People.
But the hairdo of contention would not be the only time the Princess of Wales sparked a furious reaction from courtiers or from the Queen herself.
Following her bombshell interview with BBC Panorama in 1995, Her Majesty issued her daughter-in-law a scathing rebuttal, after which Diana and Charles were ordered to divorce.
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The Queen wrote: “I have consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the prime minister and, of course, with Charles, and we have decided that the best course for you is divorce.”
In the interview, Diana had discussed her troubled marriage and had admitted she had had extramarital affairs, as had Prince Charles.
Despite having already been separated since 1992, the royal had maintained she did not want to divorce and some experts claimed the Princess of Wales wanted to have a working relationship with her husband for the benefits of their two sons.
Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond said: “Diana was pretty unsettled with the divorce, she didn’t want the divorce, she told me, ‘It’s not something I want.’
“I think she felt somehow they could continue as separated but partners and parents to the two boys, and she really did try to make it work and she wanted to make it work.
“She found the day of the divorce extremely hard. She did go out, she was seen in public, but she was hurting badly.
“She told me that it was an extremely difficult day, but she went home and burst into tears.”
Diana and Charles’s divorce was officialised in August 1996, with the Princess of Wales being stripped of her HRH title but maintaining permission to be styled as Princess of Wales.