The Truth About Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Princess Diana

Queen Elizabeth II's relationship with various members of the royal family has been tabloid fodder for decades. But, one notorious relationship has stood the test of time as one of the Queen's most contentious: that with Princess Diana. Especially after "The Crown" introduced a new generation to those fateful days in the 1980s and '90s, many wonder what aspects of the story really happened in real life.

However, according to Elle, things started off on the right foot between the Queen and the future Princess of Wales. The Spencer family had involved themselves with the royal family for centuries and Diana was no stranger to the life of the elites. The outlet notes that Diana's grandmothers were ladies in waiting for the Queen Mother; as such, the Queen's children and the Spencer children ran in similar circles. Indeed, the Queen had met her future daughter-in-law before she started dating Prince Charles and, by all accounts, approved of her marriage to her son.

However, it's clear that Queen Elizabeth failed to prepare the future Princess of Wales when it came to etiquette and life at the palace. The outlet explains that the loneliness and mental health struggles the 19-year-old experienced came as a result of a lack of guidance that plagued the family for the rest of the Wales' marriage.

Queen Elizabeth was initially sympathetic to Diana's struggles

Joining the royal family was no small feat for the 20-year-old, even if the Queen didn't see her discomfort coming. Making matters worse, Princess Diana questioned royal protocol, Good HouseKeeping reports, even shirking it whenever she could. For the head of the family, this didn't go over very well. From her unconventional engagement ring to her changed wedding vows, the younger generation seemed to be testing the patience of the powers that be.

As her marriage deteriorated, the young princess looked to the Queen to help her. Elle reports that she would often show up unannounced to see her mother-in-law, sometimes crying and pleading for help. The notoriously stoic Queen struggled with these visits — making the difference between the two seem insurmountable.

The outlet cites the 1992 publication of Andrew Morton's book, "Diana: In Her Own Words", as the nail in the coffin of an already strained relationship. Revealing intimate details of her relationship with Charles and the family as a whole, the book seemed like the ultimate breach in privacy — leaving a dent in the flawless veneer the Windsors so desperately tried to keep clean. In the book, Morton also chronicled the relationship between the two royal women, noting that while it was friendly, "it was governed by the fact that she was married to her older son and a future Monarch. In the early days, Diana was quite simply terrified of her mother-in-law. She kept the formal obsequies — dropping a deep curtsy each time they met — but otherwise kept her distance."

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana couldn't have been more different. While they were cordial, their relationship worsened after years of a widening divide.