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Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles tied the knot more than four decades ago in what was described as a fairy tale wedding. However, their marriage didn’t mirror a storybook about princes and princesses who live happily ever after.

When Diana found out that her husband was still seeing his mistress, formerly known as Camilla Parker Bowles, the princess tried turning to others for help. She wrote letters to her husband’s father, Prince Philip, and eventually went to Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, for guidance. But as a royal expert has revealed, the queen really “dreaded” those conversations with her daughter-in-law.

What Princess Diana admitted about her conversations with Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana talking at a Polo Club in Windsor (circa 1984)
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana talking at a polo club in Windsor (circa 1984) | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

There came a point when Charles’ affair with Camilla was no longer a secret as just about everyone, including most of his family members, knew what was going on. Nothing was ever kept from the queen and a senior courtier informed her that Camilla, who was married to Guards officer Andrew Parker Bowles, was cheating with Charles. When Diana didn’t know where else to turn, she went to Queen Elizabeth herself to discuss it.

The princess spoke about her conversations with the then-monarch in her secret recordings, which are heard in the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words. She explained exactly what her mother-in-law’s response was when she sought advice about her marriage.

“So I went to the top lady, sobbing, and I said ‘What do I do? I’m coming to you, what do I do?’ And she said ‘I don’t know what you should do. Charles is hopeless,’” Diana recalled. “And that was it, and that was help.”

Author says the queen didn’t like Diana coming to see her because of her ‘rants’

According to longtime royal author Ingrid Seward, despite not hearing what she wanted or getting help from the queen Diana still went to her vent.

Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana attending the wedding of Viscount Linley and Serena Stanhope (circa 1993)
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana attending the wedding of Viscount Linley and Serena Stanhope (circa 1993) | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Express noted that for the book My Mother And I, Seward spoke to people who were members of the royal household at a time when Diana used to be so upset about how Charles had been treating her and would go to the queen about the matter. They claimed that Diana would wait in the page’s vestibule next to the queen’s sitting room and then “push her way in without waiting to be announced.”

The author wrote: “Often in tears, she’d rant about Charles, saying he hated her and rail against her mother, her stepmother, her sister Jane, and her husband Robert Fellowes, and anyone else who had upset her. Everyone else was to blame: Diana insisted that she was being victimized and no one understood her. The queen came to dread these meetings. She’d never had to deal with such outbursts in her life and they left her feeling drained, despondent, and confused.”

At the queen’s request, Charles and Diana eventually agreed to divorce. That was finalized in 1996, one year before the princess’s untimely death.