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Diana, Princess of Wales


Diana, Princess of Wales (30 Nov 1997) © Mike Forster /Rex Features
Diana, Princess of Wales (30 Nov 1997) © Mike Forster /Rex Features
Diana, Princess of Wales

Name: Diana Frances (née Spencer)
Title: Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales
Born: 1 July 1961(1961-07-01)
Parents: John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, 8th Earl Spencer and Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (later Frances Shand Kydd)

Diana Frances Spencer was born on the 1st July 1961 in Norfolk. She was the youngest child of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, 8th Earl Spencer and Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (later Frances Shand Kydd).

Diana's parents divorced when she was 8 years old, following her mother's affair with Peter Shand Kydd.

Diana was raised by her father in London. She attended schools in Norfolk and Kent but failed her O-levels twice. She briefly attended finishing school in Switzerland in 1977 and it was around this time that she met Prince Charles who was, at the time, dating her elder sister Sarah.

She moved back to London and was given an apartment in Earl's Court for her 18th birthday. Diana worked as a dance teacher, a playgroup assistant and a nanny and even under took cleaning tasks for her older sister.

Diana and Charles met up again in 1980 and the Prince proposed on 6 February 1981. Diana selected a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds from Garrard, the then crown jewelers. The ring was featured in their collection and was not unique.

At 22-years old, Diana married Prince Charles in a televised ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral on 29th July 1981. With her marriage she became Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales and her full title 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.

She never held the title Princess Diana, the name which she was best known for in the media (along with Princess Di, Lady Di or The People's Princess).

Diana's first child, William, was born on 21st June 1982. Two years later, on 15th September 1984, Henry (aka Harry) was born.

It was reported that Diana and Charles started to have problems in their marriage as early as 1985 but it wasn't until the 1990's that these came to the public's attention. Prince Charles' affair with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker-Bowles was exposed in May 1992 with the publication of "Diana: Her True Story" by Andrew Morton.

By December 1992, their separation was announced in the House of Commons and by 28 August 1996 the divorce was finalized. Diana lost her style Her Royal Highness but kept the title Diana, Princess of Wales.

After her divorce Diana dated respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan until 1997. She then began a relationship with Dodi Al-Fayed.

In August that year, Diana was killed in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma rod tunnel in Paris. Her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed and chauffeur, Henri Paul, also died in the accident which was reported to have been caused by grossly negligent driving by Henri Paul and by paparazzi chasing the car.

Diana's funeral took place in Westminster Abbey on 6th September 2007. Her sons, former husband, former father in law and brother all walked behind her casket.

The gates outside Kensington Palace became an ad hoc memorial to Diana and still the public leave flowers to mark her death each year.

There are several permanant memorials to the Princess including a Memorial Gardens in Regent Center Gardens Kirkintilloch, Scotland, a specially-designed Fountain in Hyde Park, London, a Playground in Kensington Gardens, London, a Memorial Walk through London parks and two inside Harrods (the department store owned by Dodi Al-Fayed'd father Mohammed Al-Fayed).

The Flame of Liberty at Place de l'Alma, Paris has also become an unofficial memorial site.


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