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Princess Anne says Queen did ‘exactly the right thing’ after Princess Diana died

Princess Anne has said the Queen did ‘exactly the right thing’ by staying in Balmoral with Princes William and Harry in the days after the death of Princess Diana in an unseen interview from 2017.

The Princess Royal, 72, spoke to ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship about her mother’s seventy-year reign in a discussion which was broadcast for the first time today.

As well as sharing her approval for the way the Queen handled Diana’s death in 1997, Anne also praised her parents’ 73-year marriage, saying their ‘partnership was really important’.

The Queen faced criticism after deciding to remain in her Scottish estate with her family while an outpouring of public grief took place in London following Diana’s fatal car crash in Paris.

However, in the same year as Anne’s interview, former senior courtier, Sir Malcolm Ross, who was in charge of organising Diana’s funeral, told how the monarch felt her priority lay with her grandsons in Scotland and both she and her staff were ‘hurt’ at the upsurge of feeling against them.

 

Princess Anne has said the Queen did ‘exactly the right thing’ (pictured) by staying in Balmoral with Princes William and Harry in the days after the death of Princess Diana in an unseen interview from 2017

Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, Prince Philip, the Queen and Peter Phillips stop to look at floral tributes left for Princess Diana at the gates of Balmoral on September 5, 1997

Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, Prince Philip, the Queen and Peter Phillips stop to look at floral tributes left for Princess Diana at the gates of Balmoral on September 5, 1997

The Princess Royal said: ‘I think my mother did exactly the right thing. I think it’s absolutely extraordinary that any right-minded parent should believe… [there] would have been an alternative to bring those children down here to London in all that hoo-ha. 

‘I just don’t know how you can think that would’ve been a better thing to do.’

Diana died when William and Harry were aged 15 and 12, respectively. When asked if it was a case of the Queen putting her grandchildren first, the Princess Royal replied: ‘Absolutely.’ 

‘I don’t think either of those two would’ve been able to cope had they been anywhere else,’ Anne claimed. 

She said: ‘That was the only good thing that happened was that they were there, and they had that structure, they had people around them who could understand, give them the time.’

Even Diana’s own sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, previously said she backed the monarch’s judgement.

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen's coffin

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen’s coffin

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne today as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne today as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

‘If you were the grandmother of a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old whose mother had just been killed in a car crash, she did absolutely the right thing.

‘If I had been her, I would have done that. Why would you bring them to London? Why don’t you let them get over the start of the shock in the bosom of their own family?’ she told BBC One Documentary Diana, 7 Days.

Sir Malcolm added that it was the sovereign who made the decision that her former daughter-in-law be honoured with a royal funeral. 

Meanwhile, in the 2017 interview, Anne also referred to the marriage of her parents as a ‘partnership’, explaining that the pair ‘complemented each other’s strengths and skills’ throughout their seven-decade marriage.

In a speech on their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1997, the monarch said Prince Philip had ‘quite simply been my strength and stay all these years’. 

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen's youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal's back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal’s back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city

The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured centre today) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

 Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured centre today) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

Today, Anne was pictured being comforted by the Countess of Wessex as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight.

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal’s back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city.

The Queen’s children and their spouses – Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex – watched as soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland carried the coffin into the Palace. 

In a touching moment, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads. 

Her Majesty did not travel alone during her 180-mile journey, Anne and her husband were in a limousine as part of a procession directly behind her. 

The Queen will stay at the palace overnight before being moved to St Giles’ Cathedral tomorrow afternoon – where earlier a large crowd had gathered to witness the midday proclamation of King Charles as head of state.

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family.

Meanwhile, Scottish mourners paid tribute to Her Majesty by lining the route of her coffin procession in their thousands as she left Balmoral for the last time.

Silent, sombre and respectful, well-wishers gathered beside country roads, bridges and in village and city centres to say goodbye to the woman who was never more at home than when in Scotland.  

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