The truth behind Princess Diana and Princess Anne’s longstanding ‘feud’

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PRINCESS DIANA’S relationship with her sister-in-law Princess Anne was subject to speculation during the Eighties, with many believing that the two women were at the centre of a longstanding feud.

However, an unearthed clip of the late Princess of Wales has uncovered the truth about the royals’ relationship.

While it has widely been said that the two princesses were rivals, a video of Diana discussing her relationship with Anne may prove otherwise.

The clip, which is part of a much longer interview undertaken by Diana and her then-husband Prince Charles in 1985, was uploaded to Tik Tok by the user princessdiana.editssss.

With the backdrop of Kensington Palace, broadcaster Alastair Burnet sat down with the couple for a tell-all interview about marriage, family and the media.

Princess Diana / Princess Anne

Diana and Anne’s relationship was subject to speculation throughout the Eighties and Nineties. (Image: Getty Images)

Charles, Anne and Diana

Anne and Diana reportedly did not get on from the beginning. (Image: Getty Images)

In the years after Diana came onto the royal scene, there were several rumours of a rivalry between the new Princess of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter, the Princess Royal, with the two women supposedly competing for public and institutional recognition.

However, in the interview, Diana seemingly quashed the gossip, saying that she thought Anne was “wonderful”.

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.”

Reports of a strained relationship between Diana and Anne were heightened in 1984 when the Princess Royal was not named a godmother to the Prince and Princess of Wales’s second son, Prince Harry.

Anne had not been made godmother of Diana’s eldest son Prince William either.

Diana addressed these rumours later in the interview with Mr Burnet, saying: “The story arose obviously because [Anne] wasn’t chosen perhaps as a godmother for Harry. 

Charles, Diana and baby Harry.

Charles, Diana and baby Harry. (Image: Getty Images)

“Had our child been a girl the possibility was there but Harry arrived so we took to a man.”

Harry’s principal godfather is his uncle Prince Andrew, with six other godparents including Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Chatto, Diana’s close friend Carolyn Bartholomew and the portrait artist Bryan Organ.

Speculation surrounding Anne and Diana’s rivalry was furthered when the Queen’s daughter did not attend Harry’s christening.

According to a 1984 Daily Express report, Anne snubbed Prince Harry’s christening because she was angry at being overlooked as godmother for the second time.

Royal relatives and godparents following Harry's christening in 1984.

Royal relatives and godparents following Harry’s christening in 1984. (Image: Getty Images)

Royal correspondent Ashley Walton wrote: “She was said to have been hurt two years ago when Prince Charles failed to pick her as godmother to Prince William.

“Her displeasure grew into a full-scale family row recently as she learned that her younger brother Andrew was to be a godfather to three-month-old Prince Harry, while she was omitted.

“The christening was postponed time and time again as Anne kept turning down proposed dates because she was ‘too busy’.”

Ms Walton added that eventually, Charles and the Queen settled on St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and Anne did not turn up.

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

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

St George's Chapel in Windsor

Harry was christened at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. (Image: Getty Images)

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

When asked about missing her nephew’s christening the year before, Anne said “it was a great shame that we missed the christening but I was only given the choice of one date” before disclosing that her then-husband Captain Mark Phillips had committed her to a prior engagement.

She added: “I don’t think they [Charles and Diana] missed us really. They had a splendid day and I’m afraid my children went and more than made up in sheer decibels for any missed presence.”

Despite both princesses denying 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.

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips

Anne claimed she had a prior engagement with her husband on the day of the christening. (Image: Getty Images)

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.

But royal experts have claimed that the two princesses did not get on from the beginning.

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, told Vanity Fair in 2020: “Anne was indifferent to Diana from the very beginning…she called her ‘a silly girl.’

Meanwhile, Richard Kay, editor-at-large at the Daily Mail and friend of Diana’s, confirmed that Anne “did not have time for Diana…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.”

Diana and Anne with their children

Anne and Diana with their children. (Image: Getty Images)

But despite the princesses’ apparent indifference, and even though Anne was not made godmother to Harry, the Princess Royal stepped up to support her nephew at a critical time.

In August 1997, Diana tragically died in a car accident in Paris.

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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