Princess
Diana

Princess Diana

Who Was Princess Diana?

Every person in the world dreams of living a fairy tale: being whisked away from their dull, average life and into one of luxury and excitement. Almost every young girl has dreamed specifically of one day becoming a princess and living that life of luxury. The life of Princess Diana, formerly Lady Diana, is one of the few times when such a dream was truly achieved. However, the facts of Princess Diana show that this dream can come with a price.

DID YOU KNOW?

Princess Diana was one of the most famous people of her time.

On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died. The death of Princess Diana rocked not only the nation but the world as a whole. Since it was a tragic end to a beloved figure who was incredibly young at the time, the mystery of the death of Princess Diana grew. Many conspiracies arose surrounding her death. However, the main effect of her tragic end was the proof of just how much of an impact Princess Diana had on the world as a whole, as the world felt the grief of her passing for long after.

Interesting Facts

Princess Diana is known for her breakthrough work with HIV awareness.

Princess Diana’s life was full of charity work. Still, her most important work may have been her championing of gay rights and the destigmatization of HIV/AIDs. Princess Diana opened the first HIV/AIDs unit in the UK at London’s Middlesex Hospital.

The Princess of Wales was the first royal bride to ever have a paid job.

Before marrying Prince Charles, Princess Diana had several paid jobs, including being a kindergarten teacher. When she married Charles in 1981, she made history by being the first royal bride to have had a paid job.

The future princess grew up with three siblings.

Princess Diana had two sisters who also became Ladies, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, as well as two brothers, a younger one who became Earl Spencer after their father. Additionally, Princess Diana had an older brother named John Spencer, who died as a baby.

The parents of Princess Diana also divorced.

Princess Diana was not the first in her family to get a divorce. Her own parents divorced when she was only seven years old. Her mother, Frances Shand Kydd, cited abuse and infidelity as reasons for divorcing her father, Albert Edward John Spencer.

Princess Diana was famous for supporting an international treaty banning land mines.

The facts show that she was a philanthropist and an activist and won much public favor for her work to help out just about everyone. Land mines had been an issue for many, many years. Still, they only became an internationally recognized issue after Princess Diana walked through a minefield in Angola.

Her husband, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana were distant cousins.

Princess Diana continued a long-held royal tradition by marrying a relative. The prince and princess both descended from King Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty, making them 16th cousins.

Princess Diana originally wanted to be a ballerina.

Lady Diana dreamed of being a ballerina. She never became one but became a princess instead. Lady Diana studied ballet for many years but eventually gave up on the dream because she was too tall.

The future princess met Prince Charles when he was dating her older sister.

Princess Diana met her future husband through her sister Sarah in the 1970s.

Early Life of Princess Diana

Although she wasn’t born a princess, the early life of Princess Diana was one of privilege and esteem. The future royal, Diana Frances Spencer, was born at Park House near Sandringham, Norfolk on July 1, 1961, to parents Albert Edward John Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd, who were socialites long before their daughter married the prince. The wedding of Princess Diana’s parents was considered “the social event of 1954,” according to the BBC, and even Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance.

Princess Diana benefitted from her parents’ social standing and wealth mainly through opportunities in her education. She attended boarding school when she was young and eventually went to the public West Heath School in Kent, where she excelled at swimming but failed all her O levels (the tests that students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland take after their 11th year of schooling that mark the end of secondary education).

DID YOU KNOW?

Princess Diana worked as a nanny, cook, and assistant at a kindergarten.

However, Princess Diana did not allow the throne to change her. She retained a personal style that earned her the title of fashion and glamour icon. More than that, much of the life of Princess Diana was devoted to charity work and helping others. Princess Diana was regarded as relatively down-to-earth and kind, earning her the nickname “people’s princess.”

The Marriage and Divorce of Lady Diana

Princess Diana is iconic and important for so many reasons, but the one that has put her in history books and captured the attention of the public for so many years of her life is her marriage to and eventual divorce from Prince Charles.

The engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was announced on February 24, 1981, and the couple were officially married in St. Paul’s Cathedral in July of that year. On June 21, 1982, Princess Diana delivered her first son, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales. Two years later, on September 15, 1984, Prince Henry (“Harry”) Charles Albert David, her second son, was born.

Sadly, royal marriage was not nearly as perfect as fairy tales would have us believe. Princess Diana struggled with many mental health issues, including postpartum depression and eating disorders. The issues that Princess Diana dealt with put pressure on an already difficult marriage, and the couple formally separated in 1992. Finally, after year-long negotiations, the couple divorced on August 28, 1996, and Diana’s “Her Royal Highness” title was officially removed.

Public Role of Princess Diana

The reason that she gained so much love and attention from the public was not solely because she married a prince. Princess Diana used her time as part of the royal family to form a strong public role and beloved image in the public eye. Most of this role was developed through her charitable work. Still, some of it was also strategic political work at the behest of the royal family.

Princess Diana’s first time traveling without her husband after their marriage was to attend a performance of “Carmen” by the London City Ballet in Norway. She patronized the ballet and wished to attend its world premiere. Later, Princess Diana’s first time representing the royal family on her own would come when she attended the state funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco in 1982.

The facts of Princess Diana show that, despite these public appearances, she is still best known for her philanthropic work. Princess Diana worked for people experiencing homelessness and people with disabilities, HIV/AIDs awareness, the Red Cross, as an active campaigner to ban land mines, and much more.

DID YOU KNOW?

Lady Diana was buried on her family’s island in the Spencer estate, where she grew up.

Princess Diana’s hold on the world and Britain is most likely due to the incredible work she did while she was alive. From philanthropist to super mom, Princess Diana will be remembered for years to come.

Princess Diana’s Legacy

Princess Diana is a figure who defined an age. Having received the title of Lady Diana Spencer in 1975 when her father became an earl, she was thrust into the public eye from an early age. She was incredibly charming and fashionable, making her an immediate fan-favorite royal who could have earned her celebrity status even if she’d never entered the royal family. Strangely enough, Princess Diana had the nickname “Shy Di” due to her shy and humble demeanor; however, it is possible that this nature of hers only cemented the public’s love for the down-to-earth princess.

It is accounts of Diana’s life like these that have made these accomplishments what most remember Princess Diana for. Today, she is known for her work as a philanthropist and political activist. She used her fame to bring attention to and aid those in need. Many charitable causes are much better off today than they might otherwise have been due to her immense work in the ‘80s and ‘90s, including HIV/AIDs awareness, the Red Cross’ work in Nepal and Zimbabwe, and more.

FAQs

What is special about Princess Diana?

Princess Diana is known for her charity work, beauty, style, her marriage to and divorce from royalty, and her death at a tragically young age.

What were Diana’s last words?

According to firefighter Xavier Gourmelon, who was on the scene of her accident, Princess Diana’s last words were to ask “My God, what has happened?”

Where was Diana, Princess of Wales, born and raised?

Princess Diana was born at Park House near Sandringham, Norfolk. Eventually, she went away to boarding school for most of her childhood at Riddlesworth Hall near Thetford.

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