The Queen's private divorce pain has been revealed by royal experts who say Her Majesty struggled to deal with the collapse of Prince Charles', Princess Anne's, and Prince Andrew's respective marriages.
- In the 1990s three of Queen Elizabeth's children went through divorces.
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Royal experts have uncovered the Queen's private struggle during the 1990s as she watched the collapse of three of her children's marriages.
Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips separated in 1989 and finalized their divorce in 1992. In the same year in 1992, Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated, as did Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. Both couples later divorced in 1996.
Although the Queen was calm and collected during this time, behind closed doors she struggled with this negative attention on the royal family.
"Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting," said Robert Hardman in his upcoming biography, Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II which was excerpted for People (opens in new tab). "Another former member of the Household recalls that every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair."
"It distressed her much more than she let on," a former staff member told the author as they tried to reassure the Queen, "I said, 'Ma'am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice.' But she just said, 'Three out of four!' in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn't underestimate the pain she's been through."
Despite the negative press, the author was told by the Queen's former press secretary, Charles Anson, that the Queen never outwardly revealed her despair.
"I don't remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she exclaimed, 'No! What next?'" said the former press secretary. "The issue was sometimes embarrassing, but she got on with it. It is immensely reassuring in those situations to work for someone who isn't knocked back."
The author concluded that despite her inner turmoil, the Queen has often taken after her father and believed that every storm shall pass. "While the Queen has sometimes been accused of being slow to act, there has never been a charge of panic. Her default mode in the face of a crisis is stillness," said the royal expert.
Despite the Queen's despair, three of her four children are now happily married, and Princess Anne and Prince Charles have both found love again after their divorces.
Prince Charles is now happily married to Camilla Parker Bowles, who will one day be Queen consort when Charles becomes King. Princess Anne has also remarried and has been the wife of Sir Timothy Laurence since 1992.
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 loves to cover 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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