PRINCESS DIANA was left dreading her outings with the Royal Family after her separation from Prince Charles due to the Queen Mother making her feel “unwelcome.”
Princess Diana had admitted she had felt like an “outsider” when attending Christmas celebrations at Sandringham with the rest of the Royal Family. But despite her separation from Prince Charles in 1992, the Princess of Wales would continue to visit the Norfolk residence to spend the holidays with her sons until her divorce became official in 1993. Diana however had lamented the treatment she received from some senior members of the family, reportedly telling royal expert Richard Kay the Queen Mother had been particularly harsh with her on the first Christmas back since the separation.
Speaking to Channel 5 documentary ‘Diana, In Her Own Words’, Mr Kay said: “She was not welcome at Sandringham.
“I remember her telling me the first occasion she went, the Queen Mother has sort of looked at her, raised her eyebrow and said, ‘I didn’t think we’d see you again.’
“Under that kind of pressure, you have to be quite a tough character and I think she found it extremely hard but she took a deep breath and she got through it.”
In a tell-all book describing her frayed relationship with Charles and the Royal Family, Princess Diana told author Andrew Morton her experience of the Christmas holidays at Sandringham was “terrifying and so disappointing.”
Princess Diana felt she was “not welcome” at Sandringham (Image: GETTY)
Princess Diana was allegedly confronted about her presence by the Queen Mother (Image: GETTY)
She added: “No boisterous behaviour, lots of tension, silly behaviour, silly jokes that outsiders would find odd but insiders understood.”
But despite her negative experience, Diana insisted on going back to Sandringham to ensure her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, had a sense of Christmas “tradition.”
Debbie Frank, a friend and former astrologer to Princess Diana, said: “Diana would have spent Christmas with the Royal Family in 1994 because she definitely wanted to keep a sense of the unit going, the tradition.
“She was, above all, concerned with how they would feel, the boys.”
Diana remained a staple at Sandringham until her divorce in 1996 (Image: GETTY)
Diana continued to attend Christmas at Sandringham to be with William and Harry (Image: GETTY)
The Princess of Wales would continue to attend public engagements with Prince Charles and the Royal Family under they officially divorced in 1996.
According to former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond, Diana had hoped the marriage could be transformed into a partnership to avoid a divorce.
But the Queen ultimately put an end to those hopes as she is believed to have personally intervened to put an end to the very public skirmish Diana and Charles had begun with a series of interviews.
Ms Bond said: “Diana was pretty unsettled with the divorce, she didn’t want the divorce, she told me, ‘It’s not something I want’.
The Royal Family has been spending Christmas at Sandringham for decades (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)
“I think she felt somehow they could continue as separated but partners and parents to the two boys.
“I think she really did try to make it work or wanted it to work.”
Charles and Diana agreed she would give up her Her Royal Highness status but maintain the courtesy title of Princess of Wales.
The loss of status meant she would have to bow to all members of the Royal Family, including William and Harry.
Diana also maintained all the jewels she had acquired as a member of the family except for the Lover’s Knot Tiara she had received as a wedding gift from the Queen. The diadem would lates be passed on to her daughter-in-law, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK