On this day 21 years ago, the Queen paid tribute to Princess Diana on national television following her tragic death. Her Majesty delivered a live address to the nation where she addressed the tragic loss of the Diana – the mother of her two grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Dressed in black, the monarch began: "Since last Sunday's dreadful news, we have seen throughout Britain and around the world an overwhelming expression of sadness of Diana's death. We have all been trying in our different ways to cope." Paying tribute to Diana as both the Queen and a grandmother, she branded the late princess "exceptional and gifted, before listing the things that she admired most about her.
The Queen paid tribute to Princess Diana on a live broadcast
"In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired he and respected for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys," the Queen said. Opening up about the effect it had on her grandsons, the Queen added: "This week at Balmoral, we have all been trying to help William and Harry come to terms with the devastating loss."
William and Harry have spoken out in the past about the Queen's decision to keep her grandsons at Balmoral following Diana's death – something for which she weathered heavy public criticism. William said in BBC documentary , Diana 7 Days, "I don't think anyone, even my grandmother, had seen anything like this before. I think all of us were on new territory."
He added: "But for Harry and I, my grandmother and father believed we were better served at Balmoral, having the walks and the space and peace to be with family and not be immersed having to deal with serious decisions or worries straight away. I think it was a very hard decision for my grandmother to make. She felt very torn between being a grandmother and her Queen role." Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, said she also agreed with the monarch's decision: "She absolutely did the right thing. If I was her, I would have done that."
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.