Tony Blair has been elected prime minister of England, on a modernizing Labour platform. After the victory, Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, visit the queen. Initially he feels unease in the presence of the queen due to his progressive values. Three months later, while at their Scottish retreat, the royal family learn of the unexpected death of Prince Charles's ex-wife, Diana Spencer. The tradition and culture do not require the queen to make a public comment about the incident and the queen does not wish to make Diana's funeral a public affair, as that is not the wish of Diana's family.
The public response to Diana's death complicates matters, when people come out in droves to mourn her death. Tony Blair describes her as the "people’s princess" in a speech. While Prince Charles feels that the monarchy should have read the mood of the public and modernize things, Prince Philip and the other members of the royal family feel that they should not buy into the scrutiny of media and society, and instead mourn privately and quietly. The queen agrees, wishing to look after her grandsons and maintain traditional values.
The queen fights any attempts by the prime minister to change her mind about making a statement about Diana's death. While in Scotland, she has a bit of an identity crisis, as she realizes how much her own people dislike her because of her decision to remain discreet about the death. Eventually, she decides to go along with Tony Blair's advice, and submits to the public's wishes. She makes a public statement, visits the memorial for Diana, and attends the public funeral.