Diana adored her. . . un­til their bond turned toxic

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‘I’VE al­ways adored Mar­got,’ Princess Diana told a friend be­fore things took a turn for the worse. ‘She’s been won­der­ful to me from day one.’

Diana used to greet Margaret by throw­ing her arms around her neck and was one of the hand­ful per­mit­ted to ad­dress her as ‘Mar­got’.

This en­cour­aged Diana to imag­ine that as her mar­riage dis­in­te­grated, Margaret would take her side. In­stead, Margaret in­creas­ingly avoided her.

When it be­came clear Diana had been the prin­ci­pal source for An­drew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story, Margaret sent her a fu­ri­ous note of re­proof and she com­plained to a friend: ‘Poor Lili­bet and Charles have done ev­ery­thing they can to get rid of the wretched girl, but she just won’t go.’

Diana’s death did lit­tle to di­min­ish Margaret’s an­i­mos­ity. ‘She didn’t like the emo­tion­al­ism one bit,’ re­called Anne Ten­nant. ‘She said the hys­te­ria was rather like Diana her­self. It was as if when she died she got ev­ery­one to be as hys­ter­i­cal as she was.’

Alone among the Royal Fam­ily, Margaret ar­gued that Diana’s corpse should not be al­lowed to rest in the Royal Chapel, nor be hon­oured with a Royal fu­neral.

She was fu­ri­ous, too, about the mass of flow­ers out­side Kens­ing­ton Palace. Later, she op­posed a sug­ges­tion to erect a statue of Diana out­side Kens­ing­ton Palace, say­ing: ‘I’m not hav­ing that woman out­side my bed­room win­dow.’

‘WRETCHED GIRL’: Diana with Margaret in 1988, be­fore they fell out

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