Princess Anne made Diana ‘flee room’ by ‘confronting’ her with ‘searing force of scorn’

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PRINCESS ANNE, who celebrates her 72nd birthday today, once made Diana, Princess of Wales “flee the room” by “confronting her with a searing force of scorn,” a royal biographer claimed.

According to Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and author of ‘Diana: An Intimate Portrait’, the tension between the two women “came to a head” prior to the Princess of Wales’ first appearance alongside the Royal Family at one of their favourite events.

In her 1995 book ‘Prince Edward’, Ms Seward wrote: “The situation came to an early head at the end of Ascot week in June 1981, barely a month before Diana’s marriage.”

The biographer explained that then-Lady Diana was staying at Windsor Castle for the Ascot race meeting.

Princess Anne / Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Anne and Princess Diana reportedly had a strained relationship. (Image: Getty Images)

Princess Diana and Princess Anne

The tensions between the women ‘came to a head’ at an important royal event. (Image: Getty Images)

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Diana had sensed “Anne’s apathy toward her and wanting to ingratiate herself, she ventured up to the nursery in the Queen’s Tower where Anne was settling in with her son Peter, who was three at the time, and her four-week-old daughter Zara.

“Diana, still only a Lady, gave the princess the benefit of a full curtsey and declared: ‘Ma’am, how wonderful to see you.’

“Anne is contemptuous of pretension at the best of times.

“When she was struggling with two small children she had no time for it at all.”

Seward continued: “She looked up at Diana — and looked straight through her.

“Diana, confronted by the searing force of Anne’s scorn, fled the room.”

Princess Diana leans against car

Diana at Royal Ascot in 1981. (Image: Getty Images)

Ms Seward claimed the Princess Royal “was indifferent to Diana from the very beginning.”

She added: “She treated the woman, who by marriage to her elder brother might have become her Queen, with withering disdain.

“She called her ‘a silly girl.’”

Richard Kay, a royal expert and old friend of the Princess of Wales, backed up Ms Seward’s claims.

He told the 2019 Channel 5 documentary ‘Paxman on the Queen’s Children’ that Anne “had no time for Diana”.

He continued: “She didn’t like the way she went about her duty and the way she used the cameras and the media to promote herself, in her eyes.

“Anne had a much more traditional approach to monarchy and royal duty.”

However, while Anne allegedly was not Diana’s biggest fan, a video of the Princess of Wales discussing her relationship with the Princess Royal suggests that she actually admired her sister-in-law.

In 1985, Diana and her then-husband Prince Charles sat down for an interview with broadcaster Alastair Burnet.

Sitting in Kensington Palace, the Prince and Princess of Wales discussed their marriage, family and life in the The Firm.

And when asked about the supposed rivalry with Anne, Diana seemingly quashed the gossip, saying she thought the Queen’s daughter was “wonderful”.

Princess Diana

Diana said she thought Anne was ‘wonderful’. (Image: Getty Images)

Mr Burnet asked Diana: “Do you have any sense of living in a state of rivalry between you and Princess Anne, as is said time and time again?”

In response, the princess said: “None at all. Princess Anne has been working incredibly hard for the Save the Children Fund and I’m her biggest fan because what she crams into a day I could never achieve.”

She added: “We’ve always hit it off very well and I just think she’s marvellous.”

In the same year, Anne was also asked about the reported rift with her sister-in-law during a television appearance on the talk show ‘Wogan’.

Host Terry Wogan said to the royal: “Lately there’s been tales of you and the Princess of Wales not exactly hitting it off.”

Anne denied the accusation, telling Mr Wogan: “Yes, that was one of their better fairy stories.”

But, while both princesses denied any animosity existed between them, they were rarely spotted or photographed together in public.

In 1992, when Anne married her second husband Sir Timothy Laurence, attention was once again drawn to the two women’s relationship as Diana did not attend the intimate ceremony on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.

However, the reasoning behind her absence could be that the wedding, which took place on December 12, came just days after Diana and Charles’ official separation had been announced, on December 9.

And years later, the Princess Royal stepped up to support her nephew and Diana’s son at a critical time.

Princess Anne and Prince Harry

Princess Anne stepped in to help her nephew Prince Harry, (Image: Getty Images)

According to royal biographer Tina Brown, Anne “was especially kind to Harry.”

In her 2007 book, ‘The Diana Chronicles’, Ms Brown wrote: “Princess Anne was especially kind to Harry, whose fragility was manifest.

“She took him alone with her exploring the Balmoral wilds on foot and on horseback.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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