Revealed: The truth about the Queen’s tribute to Princess Diana

Inside the very subtle moment.

Following Princess Diana’s tragic death in August 1997, Queen Elizabeth II‘s slow response garnered a huge outpour of questioning from the British public.

The Queen, then aged 71, found the monarchy being questioned like never before.

Since then, royal experts have examined in what ways the Queen might have acted differently. 

Should she have spoken publicly at in Scotland, where she and Diana’s two young sons – Prince William, 15, and Prince Harry, 12 – were staying? Should she have immediately returned back to London?

When Her Majesty finally did arrive in London, the monarch walked among mourners, collecting flowers and personal cards. She then gave her first address to the public on the eve of Diana’s funeral. 

queen elizabeth
princess diana
(Credit: Getty)

On the morning of the funeral, just six days after Diana’s tragic death, the Queen made a subtle gesture that many royal commentators thought changed the public’s opinion. 

As the funeral cortege passed the palace, the monarch led her family out to the gates.

Photographer Mark Stewart recalls to PEOPLE watching the Queen in the ‘completely unscripted’ moment, ‘walking out of the palace down to the side of the road with the public.’
‘I pushed my way through the crowd, which was about 20 deep, and luckily the BBC had left a ladder against a tree. I managed to climb the ladder and I have the only shot of the Queen bowing her head at the coffin as it goes past,” he says. ‘It showed the Queen…The best of the Queen, really.’

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