The golden scales: the nightmare that Queen Elizabeth imposed on Lady Diana (but not only on her)

The golden scales: the nightmare that Queen Elizabeth imposed on Lady Diana (but not only on her)

Christmas 1981: the Princess Diana she was pregnant, in her womb she was carrying Prince William. It was one of the first anniversaries she celebrated at Sandringham Housethe English royal family’s country estate in County Norfolk: it was the worst of her life, but not the only one that the Queen of the People spent in distress. That Christmas she had a violent quarrel with her husband Carlo, after which, desperate, she threw herself down the stairs: said the journalist Andrew Morton in a recent French documentary made on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of her death, which occurred in a tragic accident in Paris in the summer of 1997. A shocking revelation, one of the most touching anecdotes ever told about Diana by the author of his biography: a biography according to many dictated by the princess herself who, through trusted friends, sent the reporter recordings in which he recounted his life in the royal family. A complex life, alongside that husband – now King Charles III – who has always betrayed her, but also of that queen of hers, Elizabeth IIthat perhaps he had never understood it and that it certainly had not helped to alleviate his malaise.

The nightmare within the nightmare

It was Elizabeth who found her that night, after Diana lay on the ground for hours unable to move

: the sovereign helped her to get up, called the doctor, went back to her rooms. Fortunately, neither the mother nor the child were harmed in the aftermath of the accident, Morton said. Diana was lucky that time, but that episode certainly contributed to marking her already compromised relationship with the Royal Family: from that moment, in particular, for her Christmas dinners at Sandringham they became a nightmare within a nightmare.

Diana’s scales of malaise

Sandringham, in fact, for Diana soon became a symbol of that etiquette and of those royal habits that she just could not manage, also because she was the place where she was forced to publicly deal with her body and her eating problems. There was, and still, a gilded scale in the dining room of the sumptuous English royal holiday estate: an idea of ​​Edward VII that, at the beginning of the 1900s, he thought that the satisfaction of Christmas dinners should be measured in kilos taken. And so, since then, each of the members of the royal family has been required to go up there before and after eating. The winner is whoever achieves what Queen Victoria’s son was a kind of gold standard: 1 kilo and 300 grams more than the starting weight. It was the weight of liking, a divertissement with typical English humor, except for Diana: for her, who considered food an enemy, and who began to deal with serious eating disorders as soon as she realized that she had been chosen as wife by the then Prince Charles more out of a question of form than of love, that Libra – which Elizabeth never spares her – was a real torture. One of the many that she was forced to endure in that estate that she never welcomed her and in which it never integrates. Do not she could not even keep up with the presents: on her first Christmas in Sandringham, unaware of the custom of exchanging funny objects, she gave her sister-in-law, Princess Anne, a cashmere sweater, in exchange for a toilet roll holder.

Diana’s loneliness, even at Christmas

S.andringham was very overwhelming to her. There were so many people there, the whole royal family in full force, with children and grandchildren and she couldn’t take refuge in any room for some peace and privacy. The only thing was to go for a walk in the park alone and I have seen her do it many times when she was in Sandringham: to speak in this case Darren McGradyfor many years court chef which, in addition to revealing dozens of recipes loved by the Windsors, has often revealed unexpected details about their family habits. Between these the obligations imposed by the queen who, in particular on Diana, and precisely for the Christmas dinners, caused so much malaise and suffering.He sacrificed himself as long as his children were young, but when things began to precipitate between Diana and Carlo he no longer felt like facing that long day in the company of the other royals.continued the cook, saying that at a certain point Diana was expressly forbidden to spend Christmas with her children in Sandringham and all for a specific order of Elizabeth II.

Those Christmases never spent with Harry and William

From 1992, the year of the formalization of the separation from Carlo, until 1997, the year of his death, Diana has never spent a Christmas with William and Harry. In compliance with the protocol, the queen required that the two princes stay next to their father, first for official commitments in London (which Lady Diana was not welcome) and then during family celebrations. Despite shared custody Elizabeth did not want Diana to stop by Sandringham for Christmas dinner or for the princes to join her in London. So she stayed alone at Buckingham Palace every year and also asked the staff to come home to spend the holiday with her family. it happened that we left something ready in the refrigerator. sad to remember, but it really happened. Diana was always alone at ChristmasMcGrady continued. It was always very sad to work for Lady Diana. We all knew that she would be alone at Christmas, with her two children forced to go to their grandmother. A distance that certainly did not help Diana and that even her children will probably never forget. The sharp no to Queen Elizabeth’s invitation to spend the first Christmas in the family with their first child, Archie, by Harry and Meghan, seems to be due precisely to this. Or maybe a that flag never lowered at half mast on Buckingham Palace in mourning on August 31, 1997, the day of Lady D’s death: a signal that the people, as well as Diana’s children, expected together with a public intervention from the Queen, which never came.

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