Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Queen ‘thought Princess Diana was better match for Prince Andrew’, new book claims

A new revelatory royal biography sheds light on the late Queen’s relationship with the King

Lydia Patrick
Sunday 04 February 2024 16:51 GMT
Footage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding restored in new documentary

The late Queen thought Princess Diana was better suited for Prince Andrew than her eldest son the Prince of Wales, a new book has claimed.

Ingrid Seward, the former editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, has shed light on the early days between the future King Charles and Diana in her new book My Mother and I.

In a new extract published in the Daily Mail, Seward writes the late Queen Elizabeth II first became aware of Lady Diana Spencer when she visited her sister Jane in 1980 who was married to Robert Fellowes, her then private secretary, at their cottage on the Balmoral estate.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana leaving St Paul’s Cathedral in London after the wedding ceremony (Getty Images)

Diana was invited to spend four days at the castle to attend a royal house party after her second visit.

According to Seward, everyone was “enchanted” by the future princess who woke up earlier than the other ladies to walk around the garden.

But the book claims the late Queen had two reservations about the new woman in her son’s life. Firstly, she did not know if anyone at the age of 19 could differentiate between the man and his royal duty. Secondly, she thought Diana would be better suited to her younger son, Prince Andrew.

Diana, Princess of Wales, during her interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC (BBC, PA) (PA Media)

King Charles and Princess Diana had an age gap of 15 years between them.

The biographer said: “Most of the ladies do not get up until after the guns have gone out, but Diana was always up early. If you looked out of your window at a quarter to eight, you would see her walking in the garden, and she made a great point of being there to see them off.

“It was then that she played her sharpest card. She would go around telling everybody how much she loved Balmoral and that it was such a magical place and how she loved it beyond imagination.”

Queen Elizabeth invited Diana and Charles to Birkhall, her house on the Balmoral estate, and later in January 1981 the future Princess of Wales was invited to Sandringham.

According to the book, Princess Diana had to work hard to fit into her new bourgeois way of life but her efforts eventually paid off when Charles proposed and she moved into Buckingham Palace a few months before her wedding.

Ms Seward has unveiled more royal secrets in her latest book, claiming the Queen thought that the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress was “too white” because she had been married before she met Prince Harry.

“In the monarch’s view, it was not appropriate for a divorcee getting remarried in church to look quite so flamboyantly virginal,” Seward wrote.

Meghan was previously married to film producer Trevor Engleson but they divorced four years before she married Harry in 2018.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in