Princess Anne Says The Queen Did What Was ‘Right’ To Help William And Harry ‘Cope’ With Diana’s Passing

Princess Diana was adored for her kindness and humanitarian work, and she was universally loved by not only the British public but by people the world over. She was always a trailblazer, from her stunning sense of style to her activism and the kind way she interacted with everyone she met. 

Diana used her influence to enact good, spending much of her time campaigning for humanitarian causes that improved the lives of others. She sat with people who were ill, helping to break the stigma of the then-new disease AIDS. These are the reasons she became known as the “People’s Princess” — she was a shining beacon of light in the royal family.

Diana died 25 years ago on Aug. 31, 1997, from the injuries she sustained in a car crash in a tunnel in Paris, France, which caused widespread media attention and mourning from people all over the world. She was buried on Sept. 6, 1997. Her untimely death has been the topic of conversations for many years, as people have continued to do their part to help carry on the late princess’ legacy.

And while the world mourned the loss of the princess, so did her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. However, Anne, Princess Royal, said that her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, did her part to help keep William and Harry away from London so they could grieve on their own terms. The set of brothers was very young at the time of their mother’s passing, so the queen thought it would be best to keep them at Balmoral, where they could cope with their heartbreaking loss.

For the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in 2017, many of her favorite flowers were featured in the Sunken Garden — a project started two seasons before the display was unveiled when over 12,000 bulbs were initially planted. The flowers on display included white lilies, white roses, forget-me-nots, tulips, cosmo daisies and narcissi. Royal Central reported that the palace’s website said the tribute was “inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.” 

Over the years since Diana’s passing, many royal family members have shared heartfelt words about missing the late princess. Her eldest son, William, opened up about the moments his mom missed out on. “I would like to have had her advice,” he told British GQ in 2017. “I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”

According to PEOPLE, William’s wife, Kate Middleton, was given Diana’s sapphire ring as her engagement ring, keeping it in the family line.

For their wedding in 2018, Harry and Meghan Markle hand-picked forget-me-nots, Diana’s favorite flower, from the Kensington Palace garden to include in the “Suits” actress’ bouquet for her marriage to the Duke of Sussex. In 2020, the couple planted forget-me-nots while visiting a preschool in Los Angeles, California, according to CBS News.

Harry and Meghan welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor in June 2021. In a statement, the parents wrote, “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.”

On July 1, 2021, William and Harry came together at Kensington Palace to commemorate and unveil a statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday. The late princess was also honored in other ways to coincide with what would have been her milestone 60th birthday in July 2021. Her iconic wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, was put on display at Kensington Palace, as per BBC News. The dress was only one part of a larger exhibition featuring royal heirlooms and artifacts but had been given prominence as the exhibition’s central piece.

While Diana’s loved ones have continued to share her message and legacy with the world, her influence has also left its mark on pop culture. In July 2022, an opera detailing Diana’s relationship with Dodi Al Fayed opened, according to BBC News.

Fayed had been in the tragic car accident that took Diana’s life. The pair had just started dating a few weeks earlier and spent a total of nine days together on a romantic vacation. According to the Washington Post, it was believed that the Princess of Wales wanted to focus on her private life with Fayed, and he had planned to propose to her.

And in August 2022, HBO released a documentary film titled “The Princess,” which dove deep into the late princess’s life using archived footage. The movie specifically highlighted the “intrusive glare of the media spotlight,” allowing viewers to get an up close and personal look into Diana’s character and how her every move was scrutinized.

Even though it’s been 25 years since Diana’s tragic passing, her memory is ever present and will surely continue to inspire others for many years to come.

One person who has commented on Diana’s passing is Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s only daughter, Princess Anne. While many royals have shared their continued grief for Diana over the years, Anne shared how certain family members helped Diana’s children, who were quite young at the time of her passing.

The Princess Royal has led a quiet and more private life than many of her nieces and nephews. On her social media accounts, she mostly shares formal photos and pre-approved stories, which means that it’s not all that common for the public to get a glimpse into her life.

However, Anne’s been reported to be one of the busiest working senior members of the royal family. She is also known for her fashion. Like many royals, the media is always reporting on what she’s wearing, including her jewelry. This time the article of interest is Anne’s engagement ring, which is not only unconventional but has also caught the eye of fans around the globe. 

Anne got married to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 and was the first out of her three siblings to tie the knot. According to Tatler, the two met in Mexico City while attending an event for horse riding enthusiasts. Although they were rarely spotted out together, the strain of their relationship was highly publicized, with reports of the both of them having affairs with other people (Anne dated her brother’s wife Camilla Parker-Bowles’ then-husband, Andrew Parker-Bowles). Their divorce was finalized in April 1992. The Princess and Phillips share two children together: Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

In her first marriage, Anne also had a non-traditional engagement ring. According to The Court Jeweller, Phillips “proposed with a Garrard ring featuring a central sapphire flanked by a pair of diamonds in 1973.” One tie that her former engagement ring and the one she received from Laurence have in common is that they both opt for the colorful sapphire as a gem instead of the traditional, clear diamond. Her cabochon sapphire from Laurence is on a simple gold band and features small diamonds on each side of the sapphire.

Following the breakup of her first marriage, Anne was lucky to find love a second time, marrying Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence at Crathie Kirk in Scotland, on Dec. 12, 1992. They do not have biological children together.

Something many people may not know about Anne is that she was almost kidnapped. According to PEOPLE, there was an attempted kidnapping of the princess on Mar. 20, 1974. The attack happened just a few months after she married her first husband.

Anne explained that she came face-to-face with an armed man named Ian Ball. “He opened the door, and we had a sort of ‘discussion’ about where or where not we were going to go,” Anne said. However, she told him it would “be much better if he just went away and we’d all forget about it.”

According to PEOPLE, Ball attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by police. It was then revealed that he intended to ransom the princess for about $4 million.

It’s clear that Anne has had a very eventful life, and at the age of 72, the Princess Royal does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. According to Vanity Fair, she carried out more than 500 engagements in 2019. Anne admitted to jam-packing her itinerary and said that her idea of retirement is not necessarily as traditional as people may think.

“I don’t think retirement is quite the same (for me),” Anne said. “Most people would say we’re very lucky not to be in that situation because you wouldn’t want to just stop. It is, to a large extent, the choice of the organizations you’re involved with and whether they feel you’re still relevant.”

According to Royal Central, the Princess Royal was promoted to the rank of general in the Army and air chief marshal in the Air Force. The appointments bring her ranks in line in the Army and Air Force with her rank in the Royal Navy.

Anne is very involved with charitable organizations and has been associated with Save the Children for over 50 years; she was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. There’s no doubt that the queen would be very proud of the woman her only daughter is today.

On the other hand, Anne has previously expressed how proud she was of her mother for the way she acted toward others during their time of need. She specifically referenced how the queen was there for William and Harry following the tragic passing of Diana.

Scotland has become a very prominent place for the royal family. It is where the queen passed away on Sept. 8, 2022, following her time in Balmoral. And back in May 2021, William spoke about how Scotland had been a very helpful place for him following the death of Diana.

William said he found “comfort and solace” in the Scottish countryside after Diana died, according to PEOPLE. The outlet reported that William stepped out as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 2021, which was the first time he carried out the role.

William began his tour of Scotland following his appointment just one day after he released an emotional statement condemning how the BBC handled the famous Panorama interview that Diana gave in 1995. In his statement, William said that this interview, which was conducted by Martin Bashir, was a “major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse.” William also expressed his anger in the wake of the official inquiry into the circumstances leading up to Diana’s interview with the BBC for the “deceitful way the interview was obtained.”

In his address at the Church, he opened up about how much Scotland meant to him personally. In his heartfelt speech, he elaborated on how Scotland has been the location for his happiest as well as saddest memories, especially as he was in Scotland when he heard about his mother’s passing.

In his speech, William said:

“Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy… Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest.”

William continued:

“I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning. And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”

According to ITV, it had been the late queen’s idea to keep William, along with his brother Harry, in Scotland following Diana’s death. While some people criticized the queen for coming off as “uncaring and distant,” Anne, Princess Royal, said that her mother “did exactly the right thing” by keeping William and Harry – along with their father, Charles – in Balmoral and away from London as they grieved.

Anne said:

“I think it’s absolutely extraordinary that any right-minded thinking parents should believe… (there) would have been an alternative to bring those children down here to London in all that hoo ha. I just don’t know how you could think that that would have been a better thing to do… I don’t think either of those two could, would have been able to cope had they’d been anywhere else.”

At the time of Diana’s death, William was 15 while Harry was 12. Anne continued:

“That was the only good thing that happened was that they were there, and they had that structure, they had people around them who could understand, give them the time, little time that they had, which was never going to be very much, to try and come – even in a fleeting sense – to terms with what had happened. It’s not possible for most people to do that in that space, never mind children at that age.”

Did you know that the late Queen Elizabeth II had been such a prominent figure in helping William and Harry cope with their mother’s passing? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your loved ones.