Queen's response to Diana's brother's damning speech

Sarah Carty

Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, has spoken out to reveal how the Queen felt after he delivered his eulogy at his sister’s funeral, 20 years ago.

At the time, many people though Earl Spencer took a dig at the royal family during the speech after he said Diana “didn’t need a royal title” to be great.

RELATED: ‘I ran out of oxygen’: Diana’s brother’s heart-wrenching eulogy
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And now he claims the Queen encouraged him to speak from the heart and didn’t ask anyone to read his speech before he took to the stand.

Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, has spoken out about his eulogy at Diana's funeral. Photo: Getty Images
Earl Spencer walked behind Diana's coffin alongside Prince William and Prince Harry. Photo: Getty Images

The speech, which was broadcast on televisions all around the world, touched on Diana’s role in the royal family and how he was going to protect Prince William and Prince Harry from being “immersed by duty and tradition”.

"All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality,” Earl Spencer said during his eulogy.

“Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.

"She would want us today to pledge ourselves to protecting her beloved boys William and Harry from a similar fate and I do this here Diana on your behalf. We will not allow them to suffer the anguish that used regularly to drive you to tearful despair.”

And while many people saw it as a public bashing of the royal family, Earl Spencer insists the Queen didn’t take it that way.

“I don’t feel I said many pointed things, I believe that every word I said was true and it was important for me to be honest,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said the Queen – who is his godmother – told him to say whatever he wanted and didn’t put any limitaions on his speech.

“I am not some rabid republic, but the speech was about Diana, it wasn’t really about anyone else,” he said.

He said the Queen told him to speak from the heart in his speech. Photo: Getty Images
Diana was his beloved older sister. Photo: Getty

The Earl spoke in the eulogy about his sister’s boys and said that “we, your blood family, will do all we can to continue the imaginative way in which you were steering these two exceptional young men so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition but can sing openly as you planned.”

He went on to add, “We fully respect the heritage into which they have both been born and will always respect and encourage them in their royal role but we, like you, recognise the need for them to experience as many different aspects of life as possible to arm them spiritually and emotionally for the years ahead.

“I know you would have expected nothing less from us.”

The Earl also spoke out about trying to prevent Prince William and Prince Harry from having to walk behind their mother’s coffin - but he was thwarted by a lying palace official.

“I thought it was a very bizarre and cruel thing for them to be asked to do,” he said in the Radio 4 interview.

He also spoke in the eulogy about protecting Prince William and Prince Harry. Photo: Getty Images

“I said, ‘she just would not want them to do this’, and there was lots of sort of embarrassed coughing the other end...

“Eventually I was lied to and told that they (William and Harry) wanted to do it, which of course they didn’t,” he claims.

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