Princess Diana Once Shoved Her Stepmother Down a Flight of Stairs

Illustration for article titled Princess Diana Once Shoved Her Stepmother Down a Flight of Stairs
Image: AP

One fun thing about the royal family is that while they may be all Christmas sweaters and familial harmony on the outside, you know that just below the surface lurks the same simmering anger and resentment the rest of us feel toward our loved ones. For proof, take the fact that Princess Diana once shoved her stepmother down a flight of stairs. Spicy!

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The incident is mentioned in a new documentary on the Smithsonian Channel called Princess Diana’s ‘Wicked’ Stepmother, which focuses on the tense relationship between Diana and Countess Raine Spencer, who married Diana’s father in 1976.

According to the New York Post,

It was September 1989, and Princess Diana was staying at her ancestral home of Althorp in Northamptonshire, England, when her fury for her stepmother boiled over.

The royal, then 28, berated Countess Raine Spencer, who had married her father, Johnnie, 13 years earlier. Then she pushed her so hard, she fell down the stairs.

“[Raine] was badly bruised and was dreadfully upset,” Raine’s former personal assistant, Sue Howe, explains in a revealing new documentary. “It was a cruel and heartless thing to do.”

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This isn’t the first time Diana shoving her stepmother down the stairs has been reported publicly. According to The Telegraph, Diana admitted to pushing Raine in a tape sold to NBC by her former voice coach and subsequently released in 2004.

“I pushed her down the stairs, which gave me enormous satisfaction,” Diana reportedly said. “I wanted to throttle that stepmother of mine. She brought me such grief.”

Diana and Raine’s relationship softened a bit after the death of Diana’s father in 1992, and the two were frequently seen in London having lunch together. That’s nice, but I still get to keep the image I have in my mind of Diana the moment after the shove, smiling peacefully in a pale pink pantsuit on the top landing, a soft light setting her feathered hair aglow as her stepmother screams.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

hippomania
Hippomania

I just don’t see what’s funny about this.

My own teenagers threatened to push me down the stairs repeatedly, and I lived in constant fear for several years that this would happen. When we were all upstairs, I made sure they went down the steps first.

I continued to be cautious until they finally moved out in their early twenties.

I actually fell down two steps by myself, cracking a rib. I was in agony for weeks.

Why is pushing an old woman down the stairs funny?