Following Princess Diana’s death, Queen Elizabeth was the target of backlash after she failed to cut her vacation short and publicly mourn her former daughter-in-law. While the Queen’s decision may have looked heartless and disrespectful, insiders revealed she actually had a good reason for not returning home.
Diana died in 1997 following a car accident in Paris. At the time of her death, Queen Elizabeth was on vacation in Balmoral with her husband Prince Philip, her son Prince Charles and her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry.
In a Channel 5 documentary, author Tina Brown revealed Queen Elizabeth’s decision to remain on vacation was her way of shielding William and Harry from the spotlight during a tragic time in their lives.
“The Queen was adamant that her place was at Balmoral with her grieving grandsons. Everyone rallied around the young princes. This was the first time in a long reign that the Queen was thinking about her family before her people,” Brown explained.
“We should admire her for that. Her thoughts were with her grandchildren and she wasn’t thinking about how this would be played out in the media,” she added.
Princess Diana’s death also made Queen Elizabeth concerned about how the tragedy would affect the public’s view of the royal family.
“She was most worried about the impact on the boys, obviously sad about Diana, and concerned about the monarchy itself because the Queen has a very strong instinct about public opinion and how it plays out, and, in that first conversation, we agreed to keep closely in touch with it,” Tony Blair revealed in a BBC documentary.
In the end, Queen Elizabeth returned to London from her vacation a day earlier than expected and publicly addressed Princess Diana’s death. Prince Charles flew to Paris to bring his ex-wife back to Britain, where she was buried on the Spencer family estate in Northamptonshire, England.