(England Twitter)-Diana, Princess of Wales,Diana Frances;née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was a member of the British royal family and an international personality of the late 20th century as the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981. The wedding, which was held at St. Paul's Cathedral, was televised and watched by a global audience of over 750 million people. The marriage produced two sons: Princes William and Harry, currently second and third in line to the thrones of the 16 Commonwealth realms, respectively.
A public figure from the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles, Diana was born into an old, aristocratic English family with royal ancestry, and remained the focus of worldwide media scrutiny before, during and after her marriage, which ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. This media attention continued following her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997, and in the subsequent display of public mourning a week later. Diana also received recognition for her charity work and for her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. From 1989, she was the president of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Diana Spencer was born at Park House, Sandringham, in Norfolk, England, the youngest of three daughters of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (later the 8th Earl Spencer) and his first wife Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche, and later Frances Shand Kydd). Her father was of English descent and counted the 1st Duke of Marlborough among his ancestors. Her mother, who was of English and Irish descent, was a daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. Diana had two older sisters, Sarah and Jane, and a younger brother, Charles. She was baptised on 30 August 1961 at St Mary Magdalene Church by the Rt Revd Percy Herbert (rector of the church and former Bishop of Norwich and Blackburn), and her godparents were: the Lady Mary Colman; Mr John Floyd (the chairman of Christie's); Mrs William Fox; Mr Alexander Gilmour; and Mrs Michael Pratt.
Diana was first educated at Silfield School, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, then at Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk, and at West Heath Girls' School (later reorganised as The New School at West Heath) in Sevenoaks, Kent, where she was regarded as a poor student, having attempted and failed all of her O-levels twice.However, she showed a particular talent for music as an accomplished pianist. Her outstanding community spirit was recognised with an award from West Heath. In 1977, at the age of 16, she left West Heath and briefly attended Institut Alpin Videmanette, a finishing school in Rougemont, Switzerland. At about that time, she first met her future husband, who was then dating her eldest sister, Lady Sarah. Diana reportedly excelled in swimming and diving, and longed to be a professional ballerina with the Royal Ballet. She studied ballet for a time, but then grew to 5'10", far too tall for the profession.
Prince Charles had previously been linked to Diana's elder sister Sarah, and in his early thirties he was under increasing pressure to marry. Under the Act of Settlement 1701, royals forfeit their succession rights to the Throne if they marry "papists" (Roman Catholics). Diana's Church of England faith, native Englishness, and lack of an obvious "past" appeared to render her a suitable royal bride both legally and socially.
Prince Charles had known Diana for several years, but he first took a serious interest in her as a potential bride during the summer of 1980, when they were guests at a country weekend, where she watched him play polo. The relationship developed as he invited her for a sailing weekend to Cowes aboard the royal yacht Britannia, followed by an invitation to Balmoral (the Royal Family's Scottish residence) to meet his family. There, Diana was well received by Queen Elizabeth II, by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and by the Queen Mother. The couple subsequently courted in London. The Prince proposed on 6 February 1981, and Diana accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks.
Engagement and wedding
See also: Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer andWedding of Prince William of Wales-and Kate Middleton
Their engagement became official on 24 February 1981, after Diana selected a large £30,000 ring, £85,700 in today's terms, consisting of 14 diamonds surrounding a sapphire, similar to her mother's engagement ring. The ring was made by the then crown jewellers Garrard but unusually, for a member of the Royal Family, the ring was not unique and was, at the time, featured in Garrard's jewellery collection. The ring was later used in 2010 as the engagement ring of Kate Middleton, the wife of Diana's elder son Prince William.
Twenty-year-old Diana became The Princess of Wales when she married Charles on 29 July 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral, which offered more seating than Westminster Abbey, generally used for royal nuptials. It was widely billed as a "fairytale wedding," watched by a global television audience of 750 million while 600,000 people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Diana en route to the ceremony. At the altar Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles's first two names, saying Philip Charles Arthur George instead. She did not say that she would "obey" him; that traditional vow was left out at the couple's request, which caused some comment at the time. Diana wore a dress valued at £9000 with a 25-foot (8-metre) train.The couple's wedding cake was created by Belgian pastry chef S. G. Sender, who was known as the "cakemaker to the kings.
On 5 November 1981, Diana's first pregnancy was officially announced, and she frankly discussed her pregnancy with members of the press corps. In the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, on 21 June 1982, Diana gave birth to her and Prince Charles's first son and heir, Prince William. Amidst some media criticism, she decided to take William, still a baby, on her first major tours of Australia and New Zealand, but the decision was popularly applauded. By her own admission, Diana had not initially intended to take William until it was suggested by the Australian prime minister.
A second son, Henry Charles Albert David, was born about two years after William, on 15 September 1984. Diana asserted that she and Prince Charles were closest during her pregnancy with "Harry", as the younger prince was known. She was aware their second child was a boy, but did not share the knowledge with anyone else, including Prince Charles.
She was regarded by a biographer as a devoted and demonstrative mother. She rarely deferred to Prince 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 negotiated her public duties around their timetables.
Diana was interviewed in a BBC Panorama interview with journalist Martin Bashir, broadcast on 20 November 1995. In it, Diana asserted of Hewitt, "Yes, I loved him. Yes, I adored him." Of Camilla, she claimed "There were three of us in this marriage." For herself, she said "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." On Charles's suitability for kingship, she said: "Because I know the character I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don't know whether he could adapt to that."
In December 1995, the Queen asked Charles and Diana for "an early divorce," as a direct result of Diana's Panorama interview. This followed shortly after Diana's accusation that Tiggy Legge-Bourke had aborted Charles's child, after which Legge-Bourke instructed Peter Carter-Ruck to demand an apology. Two days before this story broke, Diana's secretary Patrick Jephson resigned, later writing Diana had "exulted in accusing Legge-Bourke of having had an abortion.
Personal life after divorce
After the divorce, Diana retained her double apartment on the north side of Kensington Palace, which she had shared with Prince Charles since the first year of their marriage, and it remained her home until her death.
Diana dated the respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, from Jhelum, Pakistan, who was called "the love of her life" after her death by many of her closest friends, for almost two years, before Khan ended the relationship. Khan was intensely private and the relationship was conducted in secrecy, with Diana lying to members of the press who questioned her about it. Khan was from a traditional Pakistani family who expected him to marry from a related Muslim clan, and their differences, not only religion, became too much for Khan. According to Khan's testimonial at the inquest for her death, it was Diana herself, not Khan, who ended their relationship in a late-night meeting in Hyde Park, which adjoins the grounds of Kensington Palace, in June 1997.
Within a month Diana had begun dating Dodi Al-Fayed, son of her host that summer, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Diana had considered taking her sons that summer on a holiday to the Hamptons on Long Island, New York, but security officials had prevented it. After deciding against a trip to Thailand, she accepted Fayed's invitation to join his family on the south of France, where his compound and large security detail would not cause concern to the Royal Protection squad. Mohamed Al-Fayed bought a multi-million pound yacht on which to entertain the princess and her sons.
On 13 July 2006 Italian magazine Chi published photographs showing the princess amid the wreckage of the car crash, despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published. The editor of Chi defended his decision by saying that he published the photographs simply because they had not been previously seen, and that he felt the images are not disrespectful to the memory of the Princess.Fresh controversy arose over the issue of these photographs when Britain's Channel 4 broadcast them during a documentary in June 2007.
1 July 2007 marked a concert at Wembley Stadium. The event, organised by the Princes William and Harry, celebrated the 46th anniversary of their mother's birth and occurred a few weeks before the 10th anniversary of her death on 31 August.
The 2007 docudrama Diana: Last Days of a Princess details the final two months of her life.
On an October 2007 episode of The Chaser's War on Everything, Andrew Hansen mocked Diana in his "Eulogy Song", which immediately created considerable controversy in the Australian media.
Titles, styles, honours, and arms
Titles and styles
1 July 1961 – 9 June 1975: The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer
9 June 1975 – 29 July 1981: The Lady Diana Frances Spencer
29 July 1981 – 28 August 1996: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales
28 August 1996 – 31 August 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales
Posthumously, as in life, she is most popularly referred to as "Princess Diana", a title she never held. Still, she is sometimes referred to (according to the tradition of using maiden names after death) in the media as "Lady Diana Spencer", or simply as "Lady Di". After Tony Blair's famous speech she was also often referred to as the People's Princess.
Diana's full title, while married, was Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales & Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.
Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II
A message of condolence at Piccadilly Circus following her death
Diana's interest in supporting and helping young people led to the establishment of the Diana Memorial Award, awarded to youths who have demonstrated the unselfish devotion and commitment to causes advocated by the Princess.
In 2002, Diana was ranked 3rd in the 100 Greatest Britons poll, outranking Queen Elizabeth II and other British monarchs.
On 30 August 2007 Peruvian photographer Mario Testino announced that on 20 November he would auction a signed photo of Diana for the benefit of Peru earthquake (in London by Phillips de Pury & Co). The photo appeared in a 1997 Vanity Fair issue, and shows Diana wearing a black dress.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground was erected in Kensington Gardens at a cost of £1.7 million.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk was dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, it stretches between Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Hyde Park and St James's Park.
On 6 July 2004 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. It is located in the south-west corner of Hyde Park in London.
In 1999 the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Inspirational Young People was established.
Diana's family announced in 2010 they would auction art and horse-drawn carriages that once belonged to Althorp House.
Fashion designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, responsible for much of Diana's fashion including her wedding dress, announced in May 2010 they were auctioning 30 lots of clothing, measurements, and related items.
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