In a recently discovered letter written six days after Princess Diana’s 1997 death, Queen Elizabeth reportedly calls the royal’s passing a “huge loss to the country,” but notes the “inspiring” way the tragedy united people.
According to ABC News, the revealing letter — written to one of the queen’s aides, Lady Henriette Abel Smith — also sheds light on how she felt about watching her grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, cope with the tragic loss.
“It was indeed dreadfully sad, and she is a huge loss to the country,” wrote Her Royal Highness. “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.”
“William and Harry have been so brave and I am very proud of them,” she continued.
In the handwritten note, the queen went on to describe the loss as a “very bad experience.”
“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!” she shared. August 31 marks 20 years since Diana died from injuries sustained in a Paris, France, car crash.
In a new documentary, based on secret interviews conducted with the princess in 1991, she discusses her marriage issues, struggle with bulimia and courtship with Prince Charles.
The couple only met 13 times before their wedding day, according to the doc, which is titled Diana: In Her Own Words and airs on National Geographic on Monday.
“He would ring me up every day and then not contact me for weeks,” she shared. “He wasn’t very consistent in his courtship.”
See more on the beloved princess below.
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