The Queen initially denied Prince Charles’ important request for Princess Diana after her death

Prince Charles and the Queen reportedly argued in the days following Diana's death

Prince Charles
(Image credit: Tim Graham / Contributor / Getty Images)

When Princess Diana died in Paris 24 years ago, Prince Charles and the Queen, reportedly argued about how her body should be brought back to the UK.


Princess Diana died in a car accident on August 31 1997, 24 years ago today. At the time, her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry were staying at Balmoral Castle with their father and other members of the royal family.

Prince Charles and Diana's relationship had ended and the couple had finalized their divorce the year before—1996. 

Despite this, the Prince of Wales decided to go to Paris to bring his ex-wife's body back to the UK using the royal family's plane.

It was a decision that reportedly caused a rift within the royal family as initially, the Queen did not accept Prince Charles' request to go to Paris.

Richard Kay, a journalist, and friend of Princess Diana's, previously told Channel 5 in the royal family documentary, Diana: 7 Days That Shook the Windsors that, "This was a surprising and brave move," from Prince Charles.

The journalist elaborated, "Charles wanted to take the royal flight to Paris but the Queen wouldn't allow it. Charles fought harder for Diana than he had ever fought for her in her lifetime."

Ultimately the Queen backed down and Prince Charles did go to Paris with Princess Diana's sisters, Lady Jane Fellows, and Lady Sarah McCorquodale, to collect her body and bring her home.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, Lady Jane Fellows (left) and Lady Sarah McCorquodale with officials at RAF Northolt to meet the coffin of their sister, Diana Princess of Wales, as it arrives from Paris

(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive / Stringer/ Getty Images)

The group traveled to Pitie Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and brought her home the same day on the evening of August 31 1997. 

At the request of Prince Charles, Princess Diana's coffin was draped with the Royal Standard, a flag that is used to commemorate members of the royal family.

Funeral arrangements were quickly made and Princess Diana's funeral was held on September 6 1997.

Princess Diana was not given a state funeral but instead, a royal ceremonial funeral was held that included a one hour and forty seven-minute funeral procession through the streets of London.

Prince Charles and his sons Prince Harry, who was 13 at the time, and Prince William, who was 15, walked behind Princess Diana's hearse for the long procession.

Prince Harry has since reflected on this moment and told Newsweek, "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television."

"I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen today."

Laura Harman
Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


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