This week, we have been given a rare insight into Queen Elizabeth's "private pain" regarding the death of Princess Diana...
Now, this glimpse has been long-awaited...
via: InstagramBecause the Queen's response to Princess Diana's death remains one of her most controversial moments in the throne.
At the time, the Queen's reluctance to make an immediate public statement and to openly mourn was met with harsh criticism...
via: YouTubeAnd many believed it to be confirmation of her rumored dislike towards Diana.
But things weren't exactly how they seemed.
via: InstagramA newly discovered letter from the Queen has put all the rumors about her apparent grudge against Di to bed and has actually revealed her hidden "pain" over the shocking death.
Now, Diana's introduction into the royal family was somewhat of a whirlwind.
via: GettyAfter meeting only twelve times, Prince Charles proposed to Diana. The pair announced their engagement in February 1981 but, during the broadcast, many remember Charles being oddly reluctant to say he was in love with Diana. They married on 29th July 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral in a lavish ceremony that was watched by over 750 million people around the world.
Soon after, they welcomed a baby into the world.
via: GettyThe couple announced their pregnancy just four months after tying the knot, and, on June 21st of 1982, they welcomed Prince William into the world.
And not long after that, Diana fell pregnant again...
via: GettyPrince Harry was born on 15th September 1984. However, although they were keeping up appearances, all wasn't quite so sunny in the relationship between Charles and Diana.
In spite of their marital difficulties, though ...
via: GettyOne thing Diana was absolutely dedicated to was being a mother. She had strong ideas about how she wanted her kids to be raised, often giving them more freedom than traditional royal heirs.
Diana was also known for her extensive charity work.
via: GettyShe was determined to use her massive platform to better the world and dedicated her life to many noble causes, including the land mine crisis.
She also made world news when she shook hands with an AIDS sufferer.
via: GettyUnlike the typical Royal wife, Diana was dead set on doing work for herself and for the betterment of the world, earning her the nickname "The People's Princess."
Her independence was likely a factor in the breakdown of her marriage with Charles.
And the dynamic between Diana and the rest of the royal family was certainly no easier.
via: InstagramRumors about Queen Elizabeth's distaste for Diana had been rife for years, with sources claiming that she was even "jealous" of the attention Diana drew from the rest of the family.
Allegedly, the Queen wasn't her biggest fan...
via: ShutterstockAnd she apparently made no effort to make Diana feel welcome in the family. Andrew Morton, who collaborated with the Princess on the 1992 Diana: Her True Story wrote that “behind the public smiles and glamorous image was a lonely and unhappy young woman" and that she was seen “as an outsider by the Queen."
So, when tragedy struck in 1997...
via: InstagramPeople were intrigued as to how she would react.
August 31st, 1997 was a dark day for the United Kingdom.
via: GettyThe car that in which Diana and her partner, Dodi Fayed, was traveling in through the Pont L'Alma tunnel in Paris suffered a horrendous crash, which was fatal for both Diana and Dodi, plus their driver, Henri Paul.
Diana was taken to the nearby Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Diana's death was mourned around the world.
via: GettyThe totally unexpected nature of her passing, alongside the fact that she was such a well-liked public figure, made her death and funeral into something of a media circus.
Diana's funeral was televised and held on September 6th of 1997.
via: GettyIt garnered viewing figures of over thirty-two million in the U.K, breaking all viewing records up to that point. Millions more watched around the world.
However, something didn't seem quite right.
via: YouTubeQueen Elizabeth failed to publically address Diana's death, and footage from her funeral showed a seemingly emotionless monarch.
Many assumed she was simply unmoved by the princess' death...
via: InstagramBut things weren't as they seemed.
A newly-surfaced letter has shone a little light on her secret grief.
via: InstagramThe Daily Mail obtained the never-before-seen letter, which was written in response to condolences from Lady Henriette Abel Smith, a lady in waiting and close confidante to the Queen.
It was an emotional read.
via: Instagram"It was indeed dreadfully sad, and she is a huge loss to the country," the Queen wrote. "But the public reaction to her death, and the service in the Abbey, seem to have united people round the world in a rather inspiring way."
She also talked about the strength of her grandchildren during the traumatic time:
The Queen then gave an insight into her own grief.
via: InstagramReflecting on her emotional response to the horrific event, she wrote: "I think your letter was one of the first I opened - emotions are still so mixed up but we have all been through a very bad experience."
So, despite her seemingly cold and emotional response at the time of Diana's death...
via: InstagramThe Queen was quite evidently grieving in her own private way. For more royal family news, keep scrolling...