Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was a member of the British Royal family. She was the first wife of King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) and mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. Her activism and glamour made her an international icon, and earned her enduring popularity.
|Princess of Wales (more)|
|Born||Diana Frances Spencer|
1 July 1961
Park House, Sandringham, England, United Kingdom
|Died||31 August 1997 (aged 36)|
Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France
|Burial||6 September 1997|
Althorp, Northamptonshire, England
Charles, Prince of Wales
(m. 1981; div. 1996)
|Father||John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer|
Early life Edit
Diana Frances Spencer was born on 1 July 1961 at Park House Hotel in Sandringham, Norfolk, England. Her father was the Earl Spencer. She left school when she was 16 years old and moved to London when she was 18 years old.
Marriage, family and divorce Edit
Charles and Diana separated in 1992, and divorced in 1996. Diana said Camilla Parker-Bowles was responsible for the problems with her marriage. Diana was the first Englishwoman to marry an heir to the British throne in 300 years. Charles' brothers married commoners: Andrew, Duke of York, married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, and his youngest brother, Edward, Earl of Wessex, married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999.
The couple had residences at Kensington Palace and Highgrove House, near Tetbury. On 5 November 1981, Diana's pregnancy was announced. In January 1982—12 weeks into the pregnancy—Diana fell down a staircase at Sandringham, suffering some bruising, and the royal gynaecologist Sir George Pinker was summoned from London; the foetus was uninjured. Diana later confessed that she had intentionally thrown herself down the stairs because she was feeling "so inadequate". On 21 June 1982, Diana gave birth to the couple's first son, Prince William. She subsequently suffered from postpartum depression after her first pregnancy. Amidst some media criticism, she decided to take William—who was still a baby—on her first major tours of Australia and New Zealand, and the decision was popularly applauded. By her own admission, Diana had not initially intended to take William until Malcolm Fraser, the Australian prime minister, made the suggestion.
A second son, Prince Harry, was born on 15 September 1984. The Princess said she and Charles were closest during her pregnancy with Harry. She was aware their second child was a boy, but did not share the knowledge with anyone else, including Charles.
Diana gave her sons wider experiences than was usual for royal children. She rarely deferred to Charles or to the royal family, and was often intransigent when it came to the children. She chose their first given names, dismissed a royal family nanny (and engaged one of her own choosing), selected their schools and clothing, planned their outings, and took them to school herself as often as her schedule permitted. She also organised her public duties around their timetables.
Throughout her life, Diana was something of a rebel. Her work with victims of AIDS could, in some ways, be seen in this regard. She was one of the first very high profile people to be pictured touching those afflicted with AIDS, and this had a significant impact in changing people's opinions and attitudes to the disease. It was certainly a charity not following the protocol and tradition of the Royal family. As Princess Diana said:
“HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them hug heaven knows they need it”
Diana had a very personable touch. She was very at ease in meeting people from any background and even if they were ill or in hospices. The patients would react very favourably to her meetings, they warmed to her life energy and heartfelt sympathy. Part of her appeal was her sympathy and natural compassion. She could empathise with people’s suffering, having suffered much herself.
To the media, Diana often portrayed a very stoic and positive energy, but an aide suggested that at the same time these engagements often drained Diana emotionally at the end of some engagements she felt depleted.
As well as working on charities such as AIDS she lent her name to the campaign to ban landmines. Her personal support is said to have been a significant factor in encouraging Britain and then other countries to support the Ottawa Treaty which sought to introduce a ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. When Robin Cook brought the second reading of the landmines bill to the house in 1998 he made a point of paying tribute to the contribution of Princess Diana.
Car accident and death Edit
Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, were killed in a car accident in Paris, France, in the early morning of 31 August, 1997. She was 36 years old. Many mourners left flowers, candles, cards and personal messages for her in public places. She was buried in London on 6 September, 1997.
Concerts for Diana took place shortly after her death. The concerts involved Elton John and numerous others. Elton John released a remake of his song, "Candle in the Wind" in memory of Diana.
- 1961–1975: The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer
- 1975–1981: Lady Diana Frances Spencer
- 1981–1996: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales
- in Scotland: 1981–1996: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay
- 1996–1997: Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana's full title, once married, was Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland. Legally, she was still entitled to use her previous royal courtesy titles after her divorce as long as she remained unmarried.
Other websites Edit
- Last Will and Testament of Diana, Princess of Wales Archived 2008-05-24 at the Wayback Machine
- Lord Stevens' Operation Paget Report Into The Death of Diana, Princess of Wales - published 14 December 2006 Archived 3 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- H.M. Coroner of Surrey: The Official Inquest Into The Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales & Dodi Al Fayed