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  #321  
Old 10-13-2012, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
...Imagine what big deal they make if the letters were found..
That's why they have the Royal Archives. Everything safe and secure under lock and seal at Windsor Castle for whatever period of time is deemed appropriate, thirty years, fifty years, even a hundred years.

It remains a mystery as to why Princess Margaret at least didn't send her mother's correspondence relating to Diana to the Royal Archives, or why the Queen Mother herself hadn't sent it off (or even why Diana's mother chose not to do so). I doubt the QM had hoarded all of her private papers dating back to before her wedding in 1923 at Clarence House. Every so often they must have had a clear-out of paperwork to be secured in the Archives at Windsor Castle so there is no logical reason why Diana-related correspondence couldn't have been included. The alternative, physical destruction, is akin to an attack on the historical record.

It also raises the question as to whether Princess Margaret took the opportunity to destroy the Queen Mother's correspondence that related to the Princess's own romantic and marital vicissitudes, from Townsend to Snowdon to Llewellyn.
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  #322  
Old 10-13-2012, 07:02 PM
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Oh okay. Well that's an interesting way of looking at it too. Although I'm sure not all their correspondents were harsh but loving and sincere.

So much of Diana's relationship with the royal family have been the fodder for the tabloids and some stuff were just made up and tarnished. I think it would've been great to at least have some sort of insight of the real relationship between Diana and the royals. There are some things out there but I think destroying her latters was a careless act.
No one actually knows the number of letters written between the 2 women.

By some accounts the Queen Mum stopped talking to Diana in 1984.

We have no idea, how many letters were destroyed on either side and how many survived.

To assume all were destroyed is wrong. To assume there were that many to begin with is also wrong.

Why would there have been any letter between Diana and the Queen Mum about Charles & Diana's marriage/divorce if the relationship between the 2 women ended in 1984? Even if it lasted longer why would they have written many letters between them.

Logically, this is a relationship between grandmother/daughter in-law and not many people write letters to their grandmother-in law.

Most letters might have been of a general nature asking about their health, commenting on how the children had grown since she last saw them, a thank you note for a birthday/Christmas gift. Nothing of interest.

Most people assume more than what these letter probably contained.
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  #323  
Old 10-13-2012, 08:56 PM
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Usually when someone destroys letters or documents, it's because they don't want others to see the contents of the letters or the documents for whatever reason. The contents are embarrassing to them or people who read them would get an impression of them which may or may not be correct. Sometimes it's done because the person doing this doesn't like the person. Could it be possible that the individuals who destroyed the documents had a falling out with Diana or in the case of PM didn't like her.

From what I gather it doesn't seem like PM liked many people.

Seems strange why if its true that Princess Margaret would destroy letters that Princess Diana sent to the Queen Mother as I don't think she was mentioned in these letters.
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  #324  
Old 10-13-2012, 09:20 PM
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It's a loss for serious historians as well. All they will have to go on is recorded comments about what the Queen Mother and Diana said about each other, but not what they said to each other.

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It's a shame though.
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  #325  
Old 10-13-2012, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nascarlucy View Post
...Seems strange why if its true that Princess Margaret would destroy letters that Princess Diana sent to the Queen Mother as I don't think she was mentioned in these letters.
Princess Margaret routinely sorted out her mother's letters. It had nothing to do with Diana. Every year she may have thrown out everything that was 5/10 years old. The Queen Mother received thousands of letters a year. Do you think each & every one was & should have been saved?
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  #326  
Old 10-13-2012, 10:59 PM
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Princess Margaret routinely sorted out her mother's letters. It had nothing to do with Diana. Every year she may have thrown out everything that was 5/10 years old. The Queen Mother received thousands of letters a year. Do you think each & every one was & should have been saved?
I think the historian in question probably wouldn't put letters between members of the Royal Family in the same category as those from the public or "bread and butter" letters from friends. We have no way of truly knowing PM's intentions but since Shawcross singles out letters from Diana specifically in his biography of the QM (where it's almost the only reference to Diana - IIRC, there were less than ten, maybe less than five.) I would think the implication is the Princess didn't want these letters ever made public. As to the QM not taking action, whether stopping Margaret or submitting to the RA at Windsor - she was definitely a passive person in many familial manners, at least face to face. For example - the Townsend affair was never discussed between the QM and her younger daughter - and they were living together at the time! Even the Royal Family referred to this attitude as the QM's "ostriching". I'm just saddened that the exchanges between two of the House of Windsor's most influential women have been lost to history. The RA could easily have kept them out of public view during William and Harry's lives if their publication would have proved painful.
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  #327  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:35 AM
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Sorry but it just seem too neat of a package, to say that Princess Margaret destroyed Diana's letter and Diana's mother's destroyed the Queen Mother's letter.

That's is why I think the letters, if any really existed, were not of any significance.

When did Frances come in and clean out Diana's things, before or after Paul Burrell stole some?

Wasn't Frances supposedly left out of the funeral arrangement for Diana? Do you really think if she did not have access to her daughter's body, she had access to KP after Diana's death?

If Diana & her mother was not on speaking terms when she died do you really think the staff, if they were loyal to Diana, would have allowed her mother into the KP?

Logically, it doesn't make sense.
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  #328  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:01 AM
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Diana and The Queen Mother didn't stop talking to each other in 1984. Their relationship continued for many years and I think Diana was even at The Queen Mother's 90th birthday party.

I do think it's a shame that their letters to each other was destroyed.
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  #329  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:19 AM
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In 2009 when Shawcross 1st book came out there was no mention of Diana's mother destroying any letters. (This is a new add to the story.)

Shawcross, himself said in 2009, "there is no record of just what was lost." He was only suggesting what the letters "might" have contained and why they might have been destroyed. Also he did not suggest they were about the Wales marriage/divorce. Nor did he give a timeline as when the letters might have been written.

It was everyone assuming what was contained in the letters & everyone else ADDING on to the story.

Diana may have attended the Queen mother 90th birthday party but that does not mean she was still on speaking terms with her. It might have been for show as Diana was still part of the family and not yet divorced.

Also even if they spoke to each other, that does not mean Diana wrote letters to the Queen Mum about her marriage to Charles.
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  #330  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:48 AM
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Diana and members of the royal family had their differences but I think they all respected and admired Diana. I think Diana respected and admired them too.

The tabloids and other media outlet have come up with all kinds of crazy stories about the royals and their relationships with each other but I don't think the royals hated or disliked Diana. They had their moments, as all families do, but I think it shocked and deeply saddned the royal family when they lost Diana so early. I have no doubt in my mind that they miss her just as they miss The Queen Mother & Princess Margaret and other late members of their family.
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  #331  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:18 AM
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. . . . The Panorama interview hugely enraged PM mainly for the questioning of Charles' fitness to be king, as well as the implied criticism of the Queen, to whom PM was always loyal, even when the relationship between the sisters was at its various low points.
This is hardly unusual, most family dynamics work on the "I can say what I like about my family but anybody else that does is toast". And in this case it was more dramatic family "offence" than most.

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Originally Posted by Aliza View Post
I've always been curious as to why PM chose to burn most of the correspondence between Diana and the Queen Mother. That is a major loss to history and it must have been intense reading for Margaret to go to those lengths to destroy it.
I have my suspicions that Paul Burrell would have gotten to Diana's mail way before mother and PM, if what has been imparted just on this later page or two, merely "culled the hoards". Anything Else is pure speculation.

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. . . . Margaret didn't even soften at Diana's death and was heard complaining about the "rotting smell" of the field of flowers left in front of KP and she did not follow the Queen's lead and bow to Diana's coffin.
I think PM is getting a really unfair an nasty rap here. I have just recently returned home and, on opening the front door, was greeted by the smell of a decaying floral arrangement I had omitted to dispose of before leaving. Now multiply that sickly rotten smell by a 1.5 metre deep pile of decaying flowers outside KP, well I can only imagine the air must have been somewhat sickly, cloying and downright ripe. That there was no end in sight for the removal of them would have been distressing to many inhabitants of KP. Feeling nauseated by such a stench does not make anyone a bad or mean person.

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She encouraged HM to remain at Balmoral that week, refuse to lower the flag, etc - and was even heard complaining about having to return from her vacation in Italy upon news of Diana's death. In her book, Diana was no longer royal and her death should not have interfered with her time in the sunshine!
That is, of course, pure speculation. We have heard many logical reasons for HM to remain at Balmoral, all of them very sensible. We have absolutely no evidence that HM was encouraged by PM to do anything at all, especially not out of spite or disrespect to Diana. The Queen was one of the few in the royal party that did bow to the coffin. Does that make them all mean and spiteful or just mesmerised like bunnies in the headlights by the sheer enormity of what was actually happening.
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  #332  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:48 AM
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AGAIN: if you watch the documents carefully PM DID bow to the coffin! As she was standing in the second row, it's hard to see.

Correspondence between Diana and Queen MUM: QM was known as the royal ostrich ... do you really think she varied from that habit NOT to address unpleasant things? I don't think any letters between the two could have been more than appropriate noises to whatever occasion.
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  #333  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:06 PM
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...By some accounts the Queen Mum stopped talking to Diana in 1984...
Do you have a specific source to support your statement that Diana and the Queen Mother stopped speaking in 1984?
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  #334  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:43 PM
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Do you have a specific source to support your statement that Diana and the Queen Mother stopped speaking in 1984?
Exactly. Even if they did stop talking is there any evidence that it was the QM who stopped talking to Diana and not the other way around? Diana has a well established reputation of turning people off and on according to her moods and purposes. One minute you were close friends the next she did not return your calls.
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  #335  
Old 10-14-2012, 05:05 PM
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IIRC Burrell moved the things out of KP in reaction to Diana's mother destroying correspondence. I think that it would have been perfectly normal for Diana's mother and sisters to be allowed into Diana's apartment to go through her personal things. That's what any family does after a death, Royal or not. Diana's sister Jane lived in the Kensington Palace complex and was married to the Queen's
Private Secretary. It could have been easily arranged.

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When did Frances come in and clean out Diana's things, before or after Paul Burrell stole some?

Wasn't Frances supposedly left out of the funeral arrangement for Diana? Do you really think if she did not have access to her daughter's body, she had access to KP after Diana's death?

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  #336  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:05 PM
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...We have no idea, how many letters were destroyed on either side and how many survived.
To assume all were destroyed is wrong. To assume there were that many to begin with is also wrong.

...Logically, this is a relationship between grandmother/daughter in-law and not many people write letters to their grandmother-in law.
Most letters might have been of a general nature asking about their health, commenting on how the children had grown since she last saw them, a thank you note for a birthday/Christmas gift. Nothing of interest.
Most people assume more than what these letter probably contained.
No one here has made any assumptions about the specific number of letters, we only have the statements in the article which claim to be quoting Shawcross:
"The Queen Mother’s official biographer, William Shawcross, has revealed that two unlikely figures destroyed all epistolary evidence of the relationship between the royal matriarch and her grand-daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales.

"Frances Shand Kydd shredded a great number of the Queen Mother’s letters to Diana after the princess’s death in 1997,” says Shawcross."
"...after Diana’s death Shand Kydd stepped in to deal with her daughter’s private papers."

"Meanwhile, the late Princess Margaret was carrying out a similar task. “Some time in the Nineties Princess Margaret consigned many of her mother’s papers to black bin-bags for burning — including letters from the Princess of Wales,” adds Shawcross.
"

Diana had mentioned receiving supportive letters or notes from the Duke of Edinburgh; it would come as no surprise to learn that "old-fashioned" methods of communication were, and possibly still are, favoured by many members of the Royal Family. They do things differently to you and I and to most other people. They also have recourse to the Royal Archives as a secure repository for private papers, along with the official.

The content of the destroyed correspondence between the Queen Mother and the late Diana and between mother and daughter is unknown. It may have been highly charged, it may have been bitter and twisted, it may have been anodyne and as dull as dishwater. The point is that source documents, part of the historical record and which may have shed light on the individuals, relationships and events directly contributing to the darkest period of Elizabeth II's long reign, have been deliberately and needlessly destroyed.
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  #337  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Warren View Post
No one here has made any assumptions about the specific number of letters, we only have the statements in the article which claim to be quoting Shawcross:
The content of the destroyed correspondence between the Queen Mother and the late Diana and between mother and daughter is unknown. It may have been highly charged, it may have been bitter and twisted, it may have been anodyne and as dull as dishwater. The point is that source documents, part of the historical record and which may have shed light on the individuals, relationships and events directly contributing to the darkest period of Elizabeth II's long reign, have been deliberately and needlessly destroyed.
Thanks Warren - for the lovely voice of reason.
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  #338  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:14 PM
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I don't recall where I read it. The date stuck in my mind as that was the year Harry was born and it surprised me that their relationship was already strained.

It might have been in stories about the Queen Mother refusing to allow magazines with Diana on the cover.

In my post I also stated they may have maintained a relationship even though the divorce.
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  #339  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:33 PM
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I dont think the Queen Mother really cared much about the entire Charles-Diana fiasco. If she did, she would have long back discouraged Charles from proposing to Diana (From a person who knew both family backgrounds/ upbringings/ priorities very well, and having age and experience of 80 years, thats the minimum foresight we expect), and spared her daughter a lot of horror.She showed the same indifference regarding Princess Margaret, but I am not sure of the things then.
I guess she was much content with the granny-of-the-nation image, and thought she fulfilled her "duty" by duly showering people with graceful smiles and waves..This is not a personal attack or something..no offence..
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  #340  
Old 10-06-2013, 06:32 PM
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I once read that Princess Diana and Princess Anne did not get along very well.
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