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A new documentary has revealed that Princess Margaret only saw her sister Queen Elizabeth cry once, and it was over her feud with then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In a new Channel 5 documentary Elizabeth: Our Queen, Princess Josephine Loewenstein (a close friend of Princess Margaret) said that the Princess once told her,
“I’ve only seen my sister cry once. It was when the press put all the articles about her not getting on with Margaret Thatcher.”
The documentary tells how the Prime Minister was so afraid of the monarch that she would “down whiskey in Buckingham Palace to de-stress after their weekly meetings”.
The two women reportedly had a run-in at Balmoral, with the Queen saying, “Can’t that woman just sit down?”
This is not the first news of a rift between the two.
In 2015 a book, The Queen and Mrs Thatcher: An Inconvenient Relationship, detailed the many times the two powerful women were at loggerheads.
In fact, the author Dean Palmer claims that they “met and disliked each other on sight”.
The Queen, known for her biting impressions, mocked Thatcher’s accent, and would put her down due to her class. The Prime Minister, meanwhile, had been born a greengrocer’s daughter and did not know how to deal with her “social superior”.
On one occasion, the Prime Minister suggested to Buckingham Palace that she and the Queen should coordinate outfits, and was met with the cold response that, “The Queen does not notice what other people are wearing”.
The Queen and Prime Minister would meet every Tuesday for their weekly audience, and Mrs Thatcher would apparently greatly annoy her Majesty by arriving too early, refusing to listen, and “lecturing” – which did not go down well!
According to the book, there were fundamental issues relating to the two women’s personalities. The Queen has a dry sense of humour, whereas Thatcher “did not have one”. Mrs Thatcher was also unable to comprehend the idea of leisure, something which greatly confused the Queen.
However, as time went on, and the two women were required to spend less time together, their relationship apparently improved – the Queen even attended Mrs Thatcher’s funeral in 2013.
Elizabeth: Our Queen airs on Channel 5, Tuesdays at 10pm.