Princess Diana was part of the Royal Family for many years, but her experience was far from happy at times. While the breakdown of Diana’s relationship with Prince Charles is common knowledge, little is known about how well Diana got on with the Queen in the 1980s and 90s. Express.co.uk spoke to body language Judi James about four key moments in the Queen and Diana’s relationship over the years.
After Charles and Diana’s engagement was announced in 1981, the Queen appeared in a snap with the pair and she looked delighted by the impending nuptials.
Ms James said of the occasion: “It all started so well. Diana’s poses with the Queen during her engagement suggest a relationship that was warm and which was intended to grow.
“Posing between her son and his future wife, the Queen even signals a preference for Diana by standing closer to her and leaving a gap between herself and Charles.
“This suggested a desire to offer moral support as well as approval for this new member of the Firm.
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“The Queen’s delighted smile looks tinged with relief to see her son and heir finally paired off here, and her eye-dart is in Diana’s direction.
“Diana, meanwhile, mirrors that smile of delight and stands in a submissive, complimentary pose, with her legs crossed and her hands clasped behind her back.”
While all seemed to go swimmingly at the beginning, 1982 appears to have brought challenges to Diana’s relationship with the Queen.
In one famous photo, expectant mother Diana looked quite upset while attending a polo match with her mother-in-law.
The body language expert said: “By 1987 we can see a very different Diana emerge from the tragedy of her marriage.
“She is looking so much more confident here and in charge of her life.
“She stands apart from the Queen here and slightly to the front of the pose, clapping while the Queen has her hands firmly clasped on her handbag, when there is often a trait of mirroring the Queen when you are near her and paying avid eye attention.
“This pose seems to raise Diana’s status, showing the two women more like a Queen and a Queen-in-waiting. But there are no signals of friendship or rapport visible.”
After her separation from Prince Charles in 1992, Diana’s joint engagements with the Queen became fewer and far between.
But at one outing in 1994 when the Queen and Diana witnessed the unveiling of a monument together, the Queen’s smile appeared “unusually forced”.
Ms James said: “In 1994 we can see the Queen and Diana dressed in toning outfits to suggest royal bonding, and Diana’s residue smile as the Queen walks away from her suggests the transaction has been cordial enough.
“The Queen doesn’t seem to be holding her smile quite as long, though. Her eyes have dipped and her smile is looking unusually forced.”