UPDATE (6/16) — Princess Diana's funeral will forever go down as one of the saddest days in history. It was so tragic, in fact, that even Queen Elizabeth broke royal protocol to honor her beloved daughter-in-law during the solemn procession.
According to footage, the Queen bowed her head as the coffin, accompanied by eight Welsh Guards, passed Buckingham Palace where the royal family stood.
Watch closely, and you'll see the Queen's subtle move.
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The move is quite remarkable for a few reasons. First, while others are expected to bow or curtsy to Her Majesty, the monarch herself is not required to do so for anyone. Secondly, there was a huge amount of drama that surrounded the events following Princess Diana's death, including the Queen's fierce but failed attempts to make the funeral private. While the Queen was highly criticized for her silence and "business-as-usual" behavior in the wake of the tragic loss, her rare gesture was a symbol of compassion and heartfelt grief that mirrored fans' sympathetic tears.
How beautiful. The late princess will forever be missed.
In the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, Queen Elizabeth was heavily criticized for staying in Balmoral, Scotland, instead of coming straight back to London.
While we now know the protective grandmother was simply trying to shield Prince William and Harry from the intense coverage of their mother's tragic passing, at the time the public's perception of the royal family was at an all-time low.
And now, a new documentary called Diana: 7 Days That Shook The Windsors reveals just how wounded Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were by the backlash.
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Two royal fans have shared their fascinating encounter with Her Majesty as she and Philip made the first public appearance at Buckingham Palace the day before Diana's funeral on September 5, 1997.
According to Enid and her daughter Katie Jones, when the royal leaders stepped out of the car the mood was ice-cold.
"The attitude of the crowd was unpleasant and it was something which I have never, ever seen before in any Royal occasion, ever."
"You know, usually when the Queen goes by people clap, people cheer, people wave. They don’t just stand there," Enid explained of the uncomfortable vibe.
via Getty Images
When her daughter Katie stepped in to offer The Queen flowers, what happened next was truly fascinating.
"I was waving my flowers and, and she came over and asked me if she wanted me to go and put them down with all the rest of the flowers. And I said no, they’re for you ma’am," Katie explained on the TV special.
A hesitant Queen was taken aback by the gesture.
"She’d held my hand at this point, she was shaking. She sort of questioned me like, 'Are you sure?' I was like, 'I think you deserve them, I think you’ve done the right thing staying with your grandsons.' I think I actually said you know, 'If my mum had just died, I’d want my grandma with me.'"
Footage from their tense meet-and-greet also shows Prince Philip snapping back at people who begged them to "take care of the boys."
"That’s what we’ve been doing, that’s what we’ve been doing," a frustrated Philip berates.
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Enid believes her daughter's comforting words helped The Queen greatly.
"I actually think perhaps what Kate said struck home and people realised that perhaps they’d been totally unfair to someone who after all has given her life to our country."
This August 31st will mark 20 years since Diana's death.
This post was written by Bella Brennan. For more, check out our sister site Now to Love.
See Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren then and now in the video below.
The Queen cannot be arrested because she is free from all prosecution. She and the royal family are also exempt from Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.
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