QUEEN ELIZABETH made a staggering remark that highlighted the huge differences between the monarch and her young daughter-in-law Princess Diana.
The Princess of Wales was different to many members of the Royal Family in that she insisted on being a very hands-on mother. She wanted to be the one who took her sons Prince William and Prince Harry to school and she wanted to be there when they got back. This was in stark contrast to the Queen, who left most of the raising of her children to nannies and other staff members.
This was in part due to the fact her role as Queen meant she was extremely busy, and in part because of the era in which she had young children.
When the Queen had her children, in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties, it was customary for children to have a full-time nanny, and for most of the actual care-giving to be left to staff members.
Diana, meanwhile, was a young, modern royal who wanted to do things in a different way.
The Queen could apparently not understand Diana’s desire to be a hands-on mother.
Queen Elizabeth II’s staggering comment confirmed royal divide (Image: GETTY)
Diana was a very hands-on mother with William and Harry (Image: GETTY)
Sarah Bradford, a royal biographer also known as Viscountess Bangor, spoke to the Daily Mail about this last year.
She described one particular instance when William was very small and his nanny was on holiday.
Diana was looking after him at Balmoral while the nanny was away and the Queen was taken aback.
She reportedly said: “I don’t understand why Diana had to do this; there are millions of housemaids around.”
Princess Diana and the Queen had very different parenting styles (Image: GETTY)
This comment highlighted the “huge divide” between their parenting styles.
It also demonstrates the attitudes that were still pervasive in Diana’s era, raising children in the Eighties, compared to now.
For example, Prince William and Kate Middleton have also tried to be very hands-on parents, and it is seen as the natural thing to do.
Ms Bradford also explained how the Queen would hold back her opinions on the subject when Diana and the boys were visiting her.
The Queen and Philip with their four children Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward (Image: GETTY)
She said: “I don’t think the Queen could understand how important it was to Diana to be a hands-on mother.
“I remember one courtier describing the Queen as ‘frigid’ when Diana and the boys came to tea.
“I understand what he was trying to say, but it wasn’t so much frigidity as shyness.
“She was holding back because their ideas on bringing up children were different.”
For Diana, who had what she called an “unhappy” childhood, it was important that she had a close relationship with her sons.
She had a challenging relationship with her own mother, who she felt had abandoned her after her parents’ divorce.
She also loathed her stepmother Raine and used to taunt her as a child with chants like “Raine, Raine, go away”.
However, later in life she and Raine got on much better and Diana realised she had done a lot to help her father, who suffered from ill health for a long time.
The Queen with William and Harry as youngsters (Image: GETTY)
Diana also insisted that her sons should have “as normal a life as possible”, a mantra that both William and Harry have taken on when it comes to their own families.
William’s children George, Charlotte and Louis are generally kept out of the spotlight and only seen at key royal events.
Meanwhile, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have stepped down as senior royals and now live in Los Angeles with their one-year-old, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK