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Queen Mother ‘wanted Prince Charles to keep Camilla as mistress and stay married to Princess Diana’


Queen Mother didn’t understand why Prince Charles ‘couldn’t keep Camilla as a mistress and stay married to Princess Diana’, new documentary claims

  • Tom Quinn, royal author,  said she the Queen Mother didn’t understand why Diana ‘couldn’t find accommodation’ for Camilla in her marriage to Charles 
  • Channel 5 documentary claims she didn’t want royal couple to separate
  • Jennie Bond added Diana found The Queen Mother ‘frightening and intimidating’ despite that pair initially enjoying a close relationship 

The Queen Mother didn’t understand why Prince Charles couldn’t have an affair with Camilla and stay married to Princess Diana, a new documentary has claimed. 

The Queen Mother: Grandmother to the Nation, which aired Saturday on Channel 5, claims the late royal hoped the Prince and Princess of Wales would find space in their marriage ‘for Camilla’ not get divorced but ‘miscalculated’ it as such an arrangement wasn’t something that would work for ‘her favourite grandson’ Charles. 

Speaking in the documentary, royal author Tom Quinn, explained some members of the royal family thought the Queen mother was ‘meddling in things she didn’t understand, while  former BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond said Diana found The Queen Mother ‘frightening and intimidating’ despite that pair initially enjoying a close relationship after Charles’ grandmother helped to get him together with Diana.

The Queen Mother didn’t understand why Prince Charles couldn’t have an affair with Camilla and stay married to Princess Diana, a new documentary has claimed. Queen Mother and Diana are pictured together at Trooping of the Colour in 1992

Tom Quinn told documentary makers: ‘Diana’s grandmother was a great friend of the Queen Mother and they cooked up the marriage between them.

‘She discussed the whole Camilla business and didn’t understand why she couldn’t find accommodation with his wife that meant they didn’t have to get divorced.

‘But she miscalculated because it was no longer something that wold work well in the world Charles inhabited.

‘There were certainly elements with the royal family who thought the Queen Mother was meddling and interfering in things she didn’t understand.

‘The Queen Mother thought Diana has a sort of fairytale view of how relationships should be, and conduced and was quite impatient thinking she should grow up. 

Diana’s grandmother Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy, the mother of Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd, was a close confidante and lady-in-waiting of The Queen Mother and played a part in preparing Diana for royal life after her engagement to Charles. 

Charles and Camilla are pictured together in 1979, two years before his wedding to Princess Diana

Charles and Camilla are pictured together in 1979, two years before his wedding to Princess Diana

Because of this history, the Diana and the Queen mother were initially close, but after Charles and Diana separated she thought Diana needed to ‘grow up’. 

Diana famously claimed that there were ‘three people’ in her marriage – while Charles later admitted to being unfaithful to Diana. 

‘She was devoted to her grandson and thought Charles was the gentlest and kindest of men and a considerate husband and she couldn’t understand what her complaint was about,’ royal expert Richard Kay added, saying that Elizabeth was particularly fond of Charles because he ‘reminded of her husband Bertie, unsure, lacking in confidence, needed to be built up.

‘She felt she could still maintain influence through Prince Charles’ he went on. 

Diana’s relationship with the Queen mother worsened in 1992 when the Princess of Wales collaborated with Andrew Morton who published tell-all book Diana: Her True Story, about her marriage to Charles.

Diana's relationship with the Queen mother worsened in 1992 when the Princess of Wales collaborated with Andrew Morton who published tell-all book Diana: Her True Story, about her marriage to Charles. Pictured, left to right: The Queen, The Queen mother, Diana and Charles at Balmoral in 2002

Diana’s relationship with the Queen mother worsened in 1992 when the Princess of Wales collaborated with Andrew Morton who published tell-all book Diana: Her True Story, about her marriage to Charles. Pictured, left to right: The Queen, The Queen mother, Diana and Charles at Balmoral in 2002

The year – which the Queen famously described as her ‘annus horribilis’  – also saw the separation of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and the divorce of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips.

‘It was double hard for Queen Mother as her and her husband George V had played such a important part in resurrecting the image of the monarchy, [following the abdication of Edward VIII] to see all that work pulled apart.

‘We all know Charles had a special place in the Queen mother’s heart and it was completely mutual, throughout his life she was a source of complete solace, he thought that her arms were wrapped around him in a way his parents never did,’ Jennie Bond added.      

She went on: ‘Diana told me she found the Queen mother frightening and certinaly intimidating and when she co-operated with Andrew Morton to give that tell all book she was appalled.

‘Washing your dirty laundry in public is something she severely disapproved off. She believed in restraint and discretion’.      

‘It broke every rule the royal family and the Queen Mother established. She’d had seen it as disgraceful,’  Tom Quinn added.

The Queen Mother: Grandmother to the Nation is available on My5

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