What Princess Margaret's Relationship With Princess Diana Was Really Like

It's no secret that there was friction between Princess Diana and the royal family, but she did have an ally in Prince Charles' aunt, Princess Margaret. The princess took her niece-in-law under her wing, revealed royal biographer Andrew Morton in his new book, Elizabeth & Margaret (via Town & Country).

There was affection on both sides, wrote Morton. "Diana was full of appreciation at her royal guardian angel," he wrote. "'I've always adored Margo. I love her to bits, and she has been wonderful to me from day one,' she told me. When Diana returned home from the hospital with baby William, Margaret gathered up the staff and rushed outside with them to wave handkerchiefs and tea towels as mother and baby drove by."

Princess Margaret reportedly helped Princess Diana navigate life as a member of the royal family. Like Diana, she had experience being the subject of public scrutiny and notably had an affair dragged through the press (via History). "So much that Diana was going through reflected Margaret's own experience," wrote Morton.

Princess Margaret's relationship with Princess Diana turned sour

Princess Margaret stood up for Princess Diana to Queen Elizabeth, with Morton noting in the excerpt of his book published by Town & Country that she told her Diana was "having difficulties adjusting to her role and that she should cut her some slack."

Princess Margaret even stood by Princess Diana after her separation from Prince Charles — at first. The older royal cut off contact after Princess Diana's infamous BBC Panorama tell-all, which left Diana heartbroken. "Diana was devastated by Margaret's hostility," wrote Morton. "From that day forward, Margaret became her fiercest critic and most implacable opponent. She welcomed the queen's decision to ask the couple to divorce as soon as legally possible and supported the move to remove her appellation, Her Royal Highness."

Not even Princess Diana's death moved Princess Margaret. "She said the hysteria was rather like Diana herself... When she died she got everyone to be as hysterical as she was," wrote royal biographer Craig Brown in Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret (via Cheat Sheet).