Why Princess Diana did not get on with Princess Anne

Their rift 'came to a head' at Royal Ascot
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The royal family has had its fair share of fallouts.

WATCH: Members of the royal family arrive for the third day of Royal Ascot

According to a royal biographer, Princess Diana and Princess Anne had a feud which played out at Royal Ascot.

As a 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer made her debut at Royal Ascot in 1981, just a month before her wedding to Prince Charles, she faced the “withering disdain” of his sister, Princess Anne. 

Prince Charles Lady Diana 1981 Ascot
Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, arrive at the races at Royal Ascot in 1981 (Credit: Getty)

“Anne was indifferent to Diana from the very beginning,” said biographer Ingrid Steward in her book Prince Edward, reports

The week of racing proved an ordeal for Diana, who wasn’t a huge fan of horse racing and horses – unlike her soon-to-be sister in law. 

“She treated the woman, who by marriage to her elder brother might have become her Queen, with withering disdain.

“She called her ‘a silly girl’,” Ingrid continued. 

Diana and Anne at Epsom in 1986
Diana and Anne didn’t share the same love of horses and horse racing (Credit: Getty)

Everything came to a head shortly before Lady Diana married Prince Charles, in a fairytale royal wedding at Westminster Abbey on July 29, 1981. 

“The situation came to an early head at the end of Ascot week in June 1981, barely a month before Diana’s marriage,” Ingrid said. 

Diana tried to ingratiate herself with Anne by venturing to the nursery at Windsor Castle, where the family were staying and Anne was 
settling her young children. 

“Diana, still only a Lady, gave the Princess the benefit of a full curtsey and declared: ‘Ma’am, how wonderful to see you’,” Ingrid continued. 

“Anne is contemptuous of pretension at the best of times.

“When she was struggling with two small children she had no time for it at all.

“She looked up at Diana – and looked straight through her.

“Diana, confronted by the searing force of Anne’s scorn, fled the room.”

princess anne ascot
Princess Anne at Ascot this year

Ingrid’s account of Anne was backed up by royal reporter, Richard Kay, reports

“Princess Anne, she had no time for Diana.

“She didn’t like the way she went about her duty and the way she used the cameras and the media to promote herself, in her eyes.

“Anne had a much more traditional approach to monarchy and royal duty,” he said. 

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