The Crown Margaret Diana

Here’s what The Crown got right about the rocky relationship between Margaret and Diana

The two lived as neighbours in Kensington Palace

On The Crown, two royals who have had consistently engaging storylines are the late Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. Whether the two ill-fated royals were played by Helena Bonham Carter and Emma Corrin or Lesley Manville and Elizabeth Debicki, there’s always a wistful doomed sorrow to the characters intertwined royal experience.

Margaret and Diana lived adjacent to each other in neighbouring apartments at Kensington Palace, with The Crown season five touching on it as the Queen seeks council with Margaret on the War of the Waleses. Here’s what the relationship between Margaret and Diana was really like and how it compares to The Crown and its portrayal.

Kindred spirits

Margaret and Diana had a lot in common in the way that the media had a fascination with their style and glamour, and Margaret made a lot of effort to welcome Diana into the family. The two would often go on trips to the theatre together. Diana told Andrew Morton: “I’ve always adored Margo. I love her to bits, and she has been wonderful to me from day one.”

Margaret talking to Diana in season four

The Crown showed in season four the dynamic between Margaret and Diana navigating Christmas at Balmoral, and this seems to be an accurate portrayal of the two’s dynamic. Margaret allegedly told the Queen to cut Diana some slack, and that if people stopped fussing over the Princess of Wales she would do alright.

As the marriage between Charles and Diana got worse and worse, Margaret supported the two getting a divorce (she too, went through a widely publicised divorce). In the early days of the divorce, Margaret said she planned to continue her close relationship with Diana.

It all changed after Panorama

Margaret always strongly stated that her sole focus was supporting the Queen and the monarchy, and after Diana’s hugely discussed Panorama interview Margaret cut the relationship completely dead. According to Andrew Morton in his book Elizabeth & Margaret, the Queen’s sister saw the interview as destructive to the family and deeply disrespectful.

Photo by Shutterstock (158194c)

Margaret is said to have sent Diana a furious letter and said that after all the support she’d given her, Diana was “incapable of making the smallest sacrifice.” She never forgave her, and became Diana’s fiercest critic in the family and actively lobbied for her to be stripped of Her Royal Highness status.

Diana was extremely saddened by it all. Margaret never ever forgave her and the two neighbours of Kensington Palace never managed to sort out their differences after the Panorama interview. It will be fascinating to see how The Crown navigates the Diana and Margaret relationship going forward into season six.

The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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