Diana, The People's Princess
Aged 19 she married a future king and became, almost overnight one of the most instantly recognisable women in the world. At her wedding the Archbishop of Canterbury said, "Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made."
Yet she was not a happy young woman. Her marriage did not solve her problems, only added to them. Diana was only 36 when she died a violent, senseless death. She left behind two young sons, a string of lovers and an international sense of tragic loss that was stunning in its reach.
Before The Royal Family
Princess Diana was born Diana Frances Spencer on July 1, 1961 at Park House, the home her parents rented on the British royal family's estate at Sandringham. Her parents were Edward John and Frances Spencer Viscount and Viscountess Althorp, later Earl and Countess Spencer. Diana had two older sisters, Sarah and Jane, and a younger brother, Charles. When she was 6 her parents split up and her mother got married to businessman, Peter Shand-Kydd. Diana's father received custody of the children. In 1975 he became the eighth Earl Spencer, making Diana a Lady. Diana and her siblings moved to Althorp, the Spencer family estate in Northampton.
The Spencer children continued to see their mother regularly and often spent school holidays at Frances' new home in the north-west of Scotland. As was the custom among the aristocracy at the time, when she was about 8 Diana was sent off to boarding school first at Riddlesworth Hall and later to West Heath Girls School in Kent.
Earl Spencer's second marriage to Raine, formerly Countess of Dartmouth and daughter of the romantic novelist Barbara Cartland, and a colourful and strong headed character, did not meet with the approval of his children, and it was never to be a peaceful household. On her arrival 'Raine stopped play' was caustically entered into the visitor book at Althrop.
Diana never enjoyed the academic life and on leaving school at sixteen without a single 'O' level was enrolled at a Swiss finishing school, the Institut Alpin Vidamenette. She suffered terrible homesickness, and after two weeks of pleading letters her parents allowed her to return, and her indulgent father bought her a London flat, which she shared with friends.
As she had always been fond of children, she embarked on a career first as a nanny and later as a nursery assistant at the Young England Kindergarten in Pimlico, London. It was here that she first attracted the attention of the British Press.
The New Princess
romance with the Prince of Wales began in 1980 and, in 1981 her engagement to Prince Charles captivated the world. The image of the inexperienced, shy teacher meeting her prince charming delighted even the most jaded observers. The oldest child of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, Charles was 12 years older than Diana, and had previously dated her sister Sarah. Almost from the start, the press took a special interest in "Lady Di." She became an immediate hit with the British public and a household name throughout the world.
Diana and Charles were married July 29, 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral which offered more seating than Westminster Abbey which had been previously used for royal nuptials. The wedding was broadcast in 74 countries and watched by 750 million people worldwide. It was at the ceremony that the Archbishop of Canterbury said, "Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made."
However, the marriage was soon in trouble and its breakdown was daily fodder for tabloids during the 1990s. The fairy tale was an illusion, as Diana discovered. Charles had resumed his old romance with Camilla Parker Bowles, the wife of his friend Andrew Parker Bowles and Diana resented the relationship. The obligations and rituals of royal life also took a toll. Diana later admitted severe psychological problems. . "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Princess Diana remarked years later. Distraught, Diana developed bulimia and attempted suicide. Despite her problems, she was a devoted mother to her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. She worked tirelessly for charity, and was beloved by the public for her warmth and humanity.
In 1992 Princess Diana decided to expose the truth about her relationship with Prince Charles to the public. She secretly collaborated with author Andrew Morton on his book Diana, Her True Story. The princess's direct involvement in the writing of the book was not revealed to the public until after her death.The separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales was announced on December 9, 1992 and the divorce became official August 28, 1996. After months of negotiations, Diana received a generous settlement consisting of a lump sum of $28 million, $600,000 per year. Diana did not retain the right to be called Her Royal Highness but kept the title Princess of Wales and continued to work for her favorite charities. She and Prince Charles had joint custody of their sons.
In 1997, after several unsatisfactory affairs, Princess Diana began a love affair with Emad "Dodi" Fayed, the son of billionaire businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed. Their romance ended abruptly on August 31, 1997 when both were killed in a car accident in Paris while fleeing from paparazzi. Princess Diana's sudden death led to an unprecedented worldwide outpouring of grief and love. As her brother said at her funeral, she was "the unique, the complex, the extraordinary and irreplacable Diana, whose beauty, both internal and external, will never be extinguished from our minds."
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PatriciaV.Beduya on July 24, 2018:
I love Princess Diana she is extremley beautiful. Unforhetable princess of peoples hearts.
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on January 13, 2015:
I like princess Diana. She was beautiful , smart and kind. I like your tribute to her memory. You are fantastic. Everything , she wore looked good on her. She was a classy lady.Her elegance shows on her pictures. Thank you for writing about her and showing her pictures. I like your hub.
Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on February 07, 2013:
Beautiful hub! Voted up.
Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on September 17, 2012:
This is a beautiful collection and tribute to Princess Diana. If you don't mind I am going to link it to my hub regarding her death. Good job!
sarmadA on August 19, 2011:
beautiful collection of photos!!!
you might also like to read may tribute to diana!!!
alyssaxx on July 01, 2011:
no one will ever replace u ! we will always respect u n will always remember u in our hearts n soo will ur children n don't forget tht ! n don't forget, u have a beautiful smile, amazing personality, n u r a caring person for donating to charities ! u have a true heart n we will always luv u !
sehbella on June 12, 2011:
Diana, will forever live in our heart's and in our memories, her Astounding Beauty and Graceful touch.Her presences, always commanded the center of attention. The most beautiful smile, I have ever seen. Diana,is the (true Queen) and always will be. The one that is there now, serves only as a "FAKE, COLD- BITCH" she has never served as a good, nor faithful Queen, and never will. Too bad if some of you out there can't handle the true reality of it all. Take your head's out of the sand. The Monarchy, aka (The Establishment) had everything to do with Diana's (Death),they robbed William and Harry, of their beautiful, Mother Diana. She will never be forgotten, her memory will always live on. Through her hansome children. No one can nor will they ever replace her. She made the royal family look "Good", that's why elizebeth, didn't like her or her stuffy good for nothing 90yr old, sag for a husband. Her son Charles, how do you like being married too SEA-BISCUT. You had, the most beautiful,warm,loving and courages woman in the world, and you and your mum! planned Diana's "DEATH". You have Diana's "BLOOD"on your hand's, you can lie too your people, but you cannot lie too "GOD" you will answer for her Death. [ Queen Diana ]Rest in Peace, you will see your children again and your family whom loved you very much.
Marie on June 11, 2011:
MISS KEYC, OR WHOEVER YOU ARE, YOU HAVE THE GULL TO CALL SUCH A FABULOUS LEADER, A BITCH. LOOK IN THE MIRROR. FURTHERMORE, DIANA, RECEIVED THE LIFE SHE WANTED. SHE COULD HAVE HAD PROTECTION. SHE REFUSED IT. SHE LIKED THAT FAST LIVING, DON'T THINK SHE DIDN'T. SHE WAS WAS A LOVELY PRINCESS IN HER DAY, NOTE: WAS IT'S OVER, AND ONLY THE GOOD LORD KNOWS WHY.
Miss Clara Privilege Moyo on June 11, 2011:
Some simalarities in dames with princess of Wales To This Day: 'Quite Astonishing"
Sarah on April 29, 2011:
I wish diana was there to see her son getting married.
MOHMMAD SHAHID on April 29, 2011:
WE LOVE DIANA AND HARY
Lucy on November 24, 2010:
It's not until i was assigned a project for school that i took any intrest in Diana. I was to young to apreiate what she did though the 90's but she really was amazing. I think that she was under a lot of pressure internally and externally but she made the best of an awkward situation.
Diana, Queen of Hearts.
Love, peace and god bless.
Maggie on May 19, 2010:
Princess Diana, forever in our hearts.
keyc from san francisco on July 04, 2009:
I THINK QUEEN ELIZABETH IS ABITCH AND WAS SO MEAN TO PRINCESS DIANA .she let that ugly son of hers prince charles flirt with and have an affair with camilla and it really broke diana on the inside and on slowly on the outside.people do not really know what happened to her but she didd not want to marry him when the wedding came she was hesitant because it was going to be in front of the whole world etc
keyc from san francisco on July 04, 2009:
diana will be truly missed and is still missed and she is a lEGEND