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The Princess  Diana






Argument 3

Cap. I Early life. 4

Education. 4

Relationship with Prince of Wales. 5

Enagement 6

Wedding. 6

Children. 8

Charity work. 9

Problems and separations. 9

Divorce. 10

Personal live after divorce. 12

Cap. II The Death. 13

Circumstances. 13

Subsequent events. 15

The funerar. 16

The burial 17

Memorials. 18

Memorabilia. 19

Diana in contemporary art 20

Recent events. 20

Contemporary opinions. 21

Titles and styles. 22

Conclusion. 23

Bibliography. 24







Princess Diana was one of the most charismatic personalities of the 20th century

Even she died eleventh years ago she is still alive in many people's life. She was one of the important people in the 20th century that has a positive influence among people around the world.

Diana was an extraordinary woman. Her beauty and elegance attracted attention wherever she went. Much of her life was devoted organizing charity events and helping the poor people. She helped many people through her work, such as AIDS suffers and children in orphanages and patients in hospitals.

Diana's influence was so great that even after her death the good work she started has been continued by others. She was a person that influenced many people and won't be forgotten She became a princess of the people. Diana brought attention to worthy causes such as the elimination of AIDS and landmines. Also, through her own experiences, Diana became a role model for those who suffer from depression or bulimia.

I have chosen to write about Princess Diana because I admire her. She had a good behavior with those people who harassed her. I like her because she was beautiful, I like the way she dressed, but most of all I like her kindness, her behavior with those who suffered and with poor people.

Cap. I Early life

Diana was the youngest daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (later the 8th Earl Spencer) and Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche, and later Frances Shand Kydd). She was born at Park House, Sandringham in Norfolk, England on 1 July 1961, and was baptised on 30 August 1961 at St. Mary Magdalene Church by the Rt. Rev. Percy Herbert (rector of the church and former Bishop of Norwich and Blackburn), with godparents that included John Floyd (the chairman of Christie's). She was the fourth child to the couple, with older sisters Sarah (born 19 March 1955) and Jane (born 11 February 1957), as well as an infant brother, The Honourable John Spencer (born and died on 12 January 1960). The heir to the Spencer titles and estates, her younger brother, Charles, was born three years after her on 20 May 1964.

Following her parents' acrimonious divorce in 1969 (over Lady Althorp's affair with wallpaper heir Peter Shand Kydd), Diana's mother took her and her younger brother to live in an apartment in London's Knightsbridge, where Diana attended a local day school. At Christmas the children returned to Norfolk with their mother, and Lord Althorp subsequently refused to allow them to return to London. Lady Althorp sued for custody, but her mother's testimony during the trial against her contributed to the court awarding custody of Diana and her brother to their father. On 14 July 1976, Lord Spencer married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, the only daughter of romantic novelist Barbara Cartland and Alexander McCorquodale, after he was named as the 'other party' in the Dartmouths' divorce. During this time Diana travelled between her parents' homes. Her father inherited the earldom and Spencer seat in Althorp, Northamptonshire on 9 June 1975, and her mother moved to the Island of Seil on the west coast of Scotland. Diana, like her siblings, did not get along with her stepmother.


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 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. 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.

Diana moved to London before she turned seventeen, living in her mother's flat, as her mother then was residing most of the year in Scotland. Soon afterward an apartment was purchased for £50,000 as an 18th birthday present, at Coleherne Court in Earls Court. She lived there until 1981 with three flatmates.

In London she took an advanced cooking course at her mother's suggestion, although she never became an adroit cook, and worked first as a dance instructor for youth, until a skiing accident caused her to miss three months of work. She then got a job as a playgroup (pre-preschool) assistant, did some cleaning work for her sister Sarah and several of her friends, and worked as a hostess at parties.

Relationship with Prince of Wales

          Prince Charles had formerly been linked to Diana's older sister Sarah, and to Davina Sheffield, Scottish heiress Anna Wallace, the Honourable Amanda Knatchbull (granddaughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma), actress Susan George, Lady Jane Wellesley, heiress Sabrina Guinness and Camilla Shand, inter alia. In his early thirties, he was under increasing pressure to marry. Under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, his marriage required the Queen's formal consent. Under the Act of Settlement 1701, royals must marry within the Church of England or foreit their place in the order of succession to the throne. Diana's aristocratic descent, Church of England faith, presumed virginity and native Englishness appeared to render her a suitable royal bride.

From left to right, Prince Charles and Princess of Wales, the United States First Lady Nancy Reagan, and United States President Ronald Reagan in November 1985.

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 Castle, the Windsor family's Scottish home, to meet his family. Diana was well received at Balmoral by Queen Elizabeth II, by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Mother. The couple then courted in London. The prince proposed on 6 February 1981, and Diana accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks.


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 Castle, the Windsor family's Scottish home, to meet his family. Diana was well received at Balmoral by Queen Elizabeth II, by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Mother. The couple then had several dates in London. Diana and Charles had been seeing each other for about six months when he proposed on 3 February 1981 at a dinner for two at Buckingham Palace. He knew she planned a vacation for the next week, and hoped she'd use the time to consider her answer. Diana accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks.

Their engagement became official on 24 February 1981, after Diana selected a large £30,000 ring consisting of 14 diamonds surrounding a sapphire, similar to her mother's engagement ring. 20-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. At the altar Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles's names, saying Philip Charles Arthur George instead. She omitted to say the word 'obey,' which caused a sensation at the time. Diana wore a dress valued at £9000 with 25 foot train. The couple's wedding cake was created by Belgian pastry chef S. G. Sender, who was known as the 'cakemaker to the kings.'


There were 3,500 people in the congregation at St Paul's Cathedral. It was held at St Paul's rather than Westminster Abbey, which is generally used for royal nuptials, because St Paul's offered more seating. The service was a traditional Church of England wedding service. Another 750 million people watched the ceremony worldwide, making it the most popular programme ever broadcast, and this figure rose to a billion when the radio audience is added in. Two million spectators lined the route of Diana's procession from Clarence House, with 4,000 police and 2,200 military officers to manage the crowds.

The wedding of the 20th century, Prince Charles and Princess Diana seemed a fulfillment of a fairytale stuff that goes..and they lived happily ever after, but destiny decreed otherwise.

Lady Diana arrived at the cathedral in a glass coach with her father, John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, escorted by five mounted military police officers. She arrived almost on time for the 11:20 BST ceremony. The carriage was too small to comfortably hold the two of them in her dress and train.

She made the three-and-a-half minute walk up the red-carpeted aisle with the sumptuous 25 ft (7.62 m) train of gown behind her.

At the altar Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles's names, saying Philip Charles Arthur George instead. She also did not say she would 'obey,' which caused a sensation at the time.

The couple's wedding cake was created by Belgian pastry chef S. G. Sender, who was known as the 'cakemaker to the kings'.

Diana's wedding dress, valued at £9000, was a puff ball meringue wedding dress, with huge puffed sleeves and a frilly neckline. The dress was made of silk taffeta, decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls. It was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, and had a 25-foot train of ivory taffeta and antique lace. Charles wore his full dress naval commander uniform. They had seven bridal attendants: Lord Nicholas Windsor (11)(son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent) and Master Edward van Cutsem (8) (both godsons of the Prince of Wales) were pageboys; the bridesmaids were Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (the Earl of Snowdon and Princess Margaret's daughter)(17); Miss India Hicks (13) granddaughter of the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and daughter of Mr David and Lady Pamela Hicks; Miss Catherine Cameron (6) daughter of Mr Donald and Lady Cecil Cameron, granddaughter of the Marquess of Lothian; Miss Sarah-Jane Gaselee (11) daughter of Mr and Mrs Nick Gaselee; and Miss Clementine Hambro,(5) daughter of Mr Rupert Hambro and Hon Mrs Hambro (now The Countess Peel), granddaughter of Lord and Lady Soames and great - granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill. HRH The Prince Andrew(21) and HRH The Prince Edward (17) were the Prince of Wales' supporters

After the ceremony, the couple went to Buckingham Palace for a dinner for 120. Appearing on a balcony at 1310 BST, Diana and Charles kissed for the crowd below.

Afterwards they enjoyed toasts and a wedding breakfast with 120 family guests. A 'just married' sign attached to the landau by Princes Andrew and Edward raised smiles as the married couple were driven over Westminster Bridge to get the train to Romsey in Hampshire to begin their honeymoon.



Princess Diana with William and Harry at Highgrove in 1988

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 first son and heir, William. Among some media, she decided to take William, still a baby, on her first major overseas visit to Australia and New Zealand, but the decision was popularly applauded. By her own admission, Diana had not initially intended to bring William until it was suggested by the Australian Prime Minister.

A second son, Henry, was born some 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 became known. She was aware their second child was a boy, but did not share the knowledge with anyone else, including Prince Charles, who was hoping for a girl.

She was universally regarded as a devoted and demonstrative mother. However, she rarely deferred to Prince Charles or the Royal Family, and was often intransigent when it came to her children. She chose their first given names, defied the royal custom of circumcision, dismissed a royal family nanny and engaged one of her own choosing, in addition to selecting their schools and clothing, planning their outings and taking them to school herself as often as her schedule permitted. She also negotiated her public duties around their timetables.

Charity work

From the mid-1980s, the Princess of Wales became increasingly associated with numerous charities. As Princess of Wales she was expected to visit hospitals, schools, etc., in the 20th-century model of royal patronage. Diana developed an intense interest in serious illnesses and health-related matters outside the purview of traditional royal involvement, including AIDS and leprosy. In addition, the Princess patronised charities and organisations working with the homeless, youth, drug addicts and the elderly. From 1989, she was President of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

During her final year, Diana lent highly visible support to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a campaign that went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 after her death. This award was interpreted by many as a posthumous tribute to the Princess.

Problems and separations

During the early 1990s, the marriage of Diana and Charles fell apart, an event at first suppressed, then sensationalised, by the world media. Both the Prince and Princess of Wales allegedly spoke to the press through friends, each blaming the other for the marriage's demise.

The chronology of the break-up identifies reported difficulties between Charles and Diana as early as 1985. During 1986, Prince Charles turned again to his former girlfriend, Camilla Shand, who had become Camilla Parker-Bowles, wife of Andrew Parker-Bowles. This affair was exposed in May 1992 with the publication of Diana: Her True Story, by Andrew Morton. The book, which also laid bare Diana's allegedly suicidal unhappiness, caused a media storm. This publication was followed during 1992 and 1993 by leaked tapes of telephone conversations which negatively reflected on both the royal antagonists. Transcripts of taped intimate conversations between Diana and James Gilbey were published by the Sun newspaper in Britain in August 1992. The article's title, 'Squidgygate', referenced Gilbey's affectionate nickname for Diana. Next to surface, in November 1992, were the leaked 'Camillagate' tapes, intimate exchanges between Charles and Camilla, published in Today and the Mirror newspapers.

In the meantime, rumours had begun to surface about Diana's relationship with Major James Hewitt, her former riding instructor. These would be brought into the open by the publication in 1994 of Princess in Love.

In December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced the Wales's 'amicable separation' to the House of Commons, and the full Camillagate transcript was published a month later in the newspapers, in January 1993. On 3 December 1993, Diana announced her withdrawal from public life. Charles sought public understanding via a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby on 29 June 1994. In this he confirmed his own extramarital affair with Camilla, saying that he had only rekindled their association in 1986, after his marriage to the Princess of Wales had 'irretrievably broken down.' Although her affair with Hewitt was the longest of her affairs, Diana also had relationships with other men. According to some sources, but which Diana vehemently denied, she had an affair that preceded her affair with Hewitt, with her bodyguard, but after leaving the Royal Protection squad he was killed in a motorcycle accident.

While she blamed Camilla Parker-Bowles for her marital troubles, Diana at some point began to believe Charles had other affairs. In October 1993 Diana wrote to a friend that she be. Legge-Bourke had been hired by Prince Charles as a young companion for his sons while they were in his care, and Diana was extremely resentful of Legge-Bourke and her relationship with the young princes.

Diana's Panorama interview, aired in November 1995, was widely regarded as the final cause of the marriage's disintegration.


       The BBC Panorama interview with journalist Martin Bashir, broadcast on 20 November 1995, was generally deemed to be explosive. 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'.

On the 20 December 1995, Buckingham Palace publicly announced the Queen had sent letters to Charles and Diana advising them to divorce. The Queen's move was backed by the Prime Minister and by senior Privy Councillors, and, according to the BBC, was decided after two weeks of talks. Prince Charles immediately agreed with the suggestion. In February Diana announced her agreement after negotiations with Prince Charles and representatives of Queen, irritating Buckingham Palace by issuing her own announcement of a divorce agreement and its terms.The divorce was finalised on 28 August 1996.

Diana received a lump sum settlement of around £17 million along with a clause standard in royal divorces preventing her from discussing the details. Diana and her advisers negotiated with Charles and his representatives, with Charles reportedly having to liquidate all of his personal holdings, as well as borrowing from the Queen, to meet her financial demands. The Royal Family would have preferred an alimony settlement, which would have provided some degree of control over the erstwhile Princess of Wales.

Days before the decree absolute of divorce, Letters Patent were issued with general rules to regulate royal titles after divorce. In accordance, as she was no longer married to the Prince of Wales, Diana lost the style Her Royal Highness and instead was styled Diana, Princess of Wales. Buckingham Palace issued a press release on the day of the decree absolute of divorce was issued, announcing Diana's change of title.

Buckingham Palace stated Diana was still a member of the Royal Family, as she was the mother of the second- and third-in-line to the throne, which was confirmed by the Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household, Baroness Butler-Sloss, after a pre-hearing on 8 January 2007: 'I am satisfied that at her death, Diana, Princess of Wales continued to be considered as a member of the Royal Household.' This appears to have been confirmed in the High Court judicial review matter of Al Fayed & Ors v Butler-Sloss. In that case, three High Court judges accepted submissions that the 'very name 'Coroner to the Queen's Household' gave the appearance of partiality in the context of inquests into the deaths of two people, one of whom was a member of the Family and the other was not.'

Personal live 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 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 although Diana expressed willingness to convert to Islam, 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.

Cap. II The Death


          On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales arrived in Paris, France with Dodi Fayed, the son of Mohamed al-Fayed. They had stopped there en route to London, having spent the preceding nine days together on board Mohamed Fayed's yacht, the 'Jonikal', on the French and Italian Riviera. They had intended to stay overnight. Mohamed Fayed was and is the owner of the Hôtel Ritz in Place Vendôme, Paris. He also owned an apartment in rue Arsène Houssaye, a short distance from the hotel and located just off the Avenue des Champs Elysées.

Henri Paul, the Acting Head of Security at the Ritz Hotel, had been instructed to drive the hired black 1994 Mercedes-Benz S280 through Paris in order to elude the paparazzi. A decoy vehicle left the Ritz first, attracting a throng of photographers. The Princess and Dodi Fayed would then depart from the hotel's rear entrance.

At around 12:20 a.m. on 31 August 1997, the Princess and Dodi Fayed left the Ritz to return to the apartment in rue Arsène Houssaye. They were the rear passengers in a black Mercedes-Benz S280 W140, registration number '688LTV75', driven by Paul. Trevor Rees-Jones, a member of the Fayed family's personal protection team, was in the front passenger seat.

They left from the rear of the hotel, the Rue Cambon exit. After crossing the Place de la Concorde they drove along Cours la Reine and Cours Albert 1er (the embankment road running parallel to the River Seine) into the Place de l'Alma underpass. At around 12:23 a.m. at the entrance to the tunnel, their driver lost control; the car swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway before colliding head-on with the thirteenth pillar supporting the roof at an estimated speed of 105 km/h (65 mph). It then spun and hit the stone wall of the tunnel backwards, finally coming to a stop. The impact of the crash reduced the car to a pile of wreckage. There was no guard rail between the pillars to prevent this.

As the casualties and fatalities lay in their wrecked car, the photographers continued to take pictures. Critically injured, Diana was reported to repeatedly murmur 'oh my God,' and, after the photographers were pushed away by emergency teams, 'leave me alone'.

Dodi Fayed had been sitting in the left rear passenger seat and appeared to be dead. Nevertheless, fire officers were still trying to resuscitate him when he was pronounced dead by a doctor at 1:32 a.m. Henri Paul was declared dead on removal from the wreckage. Both were taken directly to the Institut Médico-Légal (IML), the Paris mortuary, not to a hospital. Autopsy examination concluded that Henri Paul and Dodi Fayed had both suffered a rupture in the isthmus of the aorta and a fractured spine, with, in the case of Henri Paul, a medullar section in the dorsal region and in the case of Dodi Fayed a medullar section in the cervical region.

Still conscious, Trevor Rees-Jones had suffered multiple serious facial injuries. The two forward passengers' airbags had functioned normally. None of the car's occupants were wearing seat belts, according to several reports, although some reports later claimed that Rees-Jones had worn his.

The Princess, who had been sitting in the rear right passenger seat, was still conscious. It was first reported that she was crouched on the floor of the vehicle with her back to the road. It was also first reported that a paparazzo who saw Diana described her as bleeding from the nose and ears with her head rested on the back of the front passenger's seat; he tried to remove her from the car but her feet were stuck. Then he told her that help was on the way and to stay awake; there was no answer from the princess, just blinking.

In June 2007 the Channel 4 documentary Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel claimed that the first person to touch Diana was Dr. Maillez, who chanced upon the scene. He reported that Diana had no visible injuries but was in shock and he supplied her with oxygen.

The first police patrol officers arrived at the scene at 12.30. Shortly afterwards, the seven paparazzi on the scene were arrested. The Princess was removed from the car at 1:00 a.m. She then went into cardiac arrest. Following external cardiopulmonary resuscitation the Princess of Wales' heart started beating again. She was moved to the SAMU ambulance at 1:18 a.m. The ambulance departed the crash scene at 1:41 a.m. and arrived at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital at 2:06 a.m. Despite attempts to save her, her internal injuries were too extensive: her heart had been displaced from the left to the right side of the chest, which tore the pulmonary vein and the pericardium. Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4 a.m. At 5:30, her death was announced at a press conference held by a hospital doctor, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, France's Interior Minister, and Sir Michael Jay, Britain's ambassador to France.

Many have speculated that if Diana had worn a seat belt, her injuries would have been less severe. This speculation was probably fueled by initial media reports stating that Trevor Rees-Jones was the only car occupant to have worn a seat belt. However, these reports proved incorrect: both the French and the British investigations concluded that none of the occupants of the car was wearing a seat belt at the time of the impact.

Later that morning, Chevènement, together with Lionel Jospin (the French Prime Minister), Bernadette Chirac (the wife of the then French President, Jacques Chirac) and Bernard Kouchner (French Health Minister), visited the hospital room where Diana's body lay and paid their last respects. After their visits, the Anglican Archdeacon of France, Father Martin Draper, said commendatory prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

At around 2:00 p.m., Diana's former husband Prince Charles and two older sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, arrived in Paris; they left with her body ninety minutes later.

          Subsequent events

Initial media reports stated Diana's car had collided with the pillar at 190 km/h (120mph), and that the speedometer's needle had jammed at that position. It was later announced the car's actual speed on collision was about 95-110 km/h (60-70 mph), and that the speedometer had no needle as it was digital; this conflicts with the list of available equipment and features of the Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class, which used a computer-controlled analogue speedometer, with no digital readout for speed. The car was certainly travelling much faster than the legal speed limit of 50 km/h (30 mph), and faster than was prudent for the Alma underpass. In 1999, a French investigation concluded the Mercedes had come into contact with another vehicle (a white Fiat Uno) in the tunnel. The driver of that vehicle has never come forward, and the vehicle itself has not been found.

An eighteen-month French judicial investigation concluded in 1999 that the car crash that killed Diana was caused by Paul, who lost control of the car at high speed while intoxicated.

In October 2003, the Daily Mirror published a letter from Diana in which, ten months before her death, she wrote about a possible plot to kill her by tampering with the brakes of her car. "This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous." She said "my husband is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry".

On 6 January 2004, six years after her death, an inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi Al Fayed opened in London held by Michael Burgess, the coroner of The Queen's Household. The coroner asked the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens (now Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington), to make inquiries, in response to speculation (see below) that the deaths were not an accident. The Metropolitan Police investigation reported their findings in Operation Paget in December 2006 (see below).

Later in 2004, US TV network CBS showed pictures of the crash scene showing an intact rear side and an intact centre section of the Mercedes, including one of an unbloodied Diana with no outward injuries, crouched on the rear floor of the vehicle with her back to the right passenger seat - the right rear car door is completely opened. The release of these pictures caused uproar in the UK, where it was widely felt that the privacy of Diana was being infringed, and spurred another lawsuit by Mohammed Fayed.

In January 2006, Lord Stevens explained in an interview on GMTV that the case is substantially more complex than once thought. The Sunday Times wrote on 29 January 2006 that agents of the British secret service were cross-examined, because they were in Paris at the time of the accident. It was suggested in many journals that these agents might have exchanged the blood test of the driver with another blood sample (although no evidence for this has ever been forthcoming).

On 13 July 2006, the Italian magazine Chi published a photograph showing Diana in her 'last moments' despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published. The photograph was taken shortly after the crash, and shows the Princess slumped in the back seat while a paramedic attempts to fit an oxygen mask over her face. This photograph was also published in other Italian and Spanish magazines and newspapers.

The editor of Chi defended his decision by saying he published the photographs for the 'simple reason that they haven't been seen before' and that he felt the images do not disrespect the memory of the former Princess.These photographs were taken from the French investigation dossier.

          The funerar

          The event was not a state funeral in the strict sense, but a national public funeral that included royal pageantry and Anglican funeral liturgy. A large pile of flowers was installed at the gates of Kensington Palace. Eight members of the Welsh Guards accompanied Diana's body, draped in the royal standard, on the one-hour-forty-seven-minute ride through London streets. At St. James' Palace, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, and Earl Spencer joined to walk behind.

The ceremony at the Westminster Abbey opened at 11:00 BST and lasted one hour and ten minutes. The royal family placed wreaths alongside Diana's coffin in the presence of Princess Michael of Kent, former UK Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Edward Heath, and former Conservative MP Winston Churchill, the grandson of World War II-era Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. The honorable guests included Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, William Crowe, Bernadette Chirac, Queen Noor of Jordan. The Prime Minister Tony Blair had read an excerpt from the First Epistle to the Corinthians: 'And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love'. Among other invitees were Juan Carlos I of Spain, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Constantine II of Greece, Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan with Crown Princess Masako and Nelson Mandela.

The Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and the Dean of Westminster Wesley Carr were also present in the abbey. The Anglican service opened with the traditional singing of 'God Save the Queen'. The pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonin Dvorak, Camille Saint-Saens and other composers were played throughout the ceremony. Diana was to have been interred in the hamlet of Great Brington at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, along with her ancestors, but the Spencer family shifted the place to Althorp for private reasons.

London's Foreign Press Association said it had received more than five hundred requests for credentials to cover the event.

During the service, Elton John sang a new version of 'Candle in the Wind', his hit song initially dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. The title of the remake version was changed to 'Candle in the Wind 1997' and the lyrics to refer to Diana.

          The burial

          The burial occurred privately, later the same day. The Prince of Wales, Diana's sons, her mother, siblings, a close friend, and a clergyman were present. Diana's body was clothed in a black long-sleeved dress designed by Catherine Walker, which she had chosen some weeks before. A set of rosary beads was placed in her hands, a gift she had received from Mother Teresa, who died the same week as Diana. Her grave is on an island within the grounds of Althorp Park, the Spencer family home.

The original plan was for Diana to be buried in the Spencer family vault at the local church in nearby Great Brington, but Earl Spencer said that he was concerned about public safety and security and the onslaught of visitors that might overwhelm Great Brington. He decided that he wanted his older sister to be buried where her grave could be easily cared for and visited in privacy by her sons and other relations.

The island is in an ornamental lake known as The Round Oval within Althorp Park's gardens. A path with thirty-six oak trees, marking each year of her life, leads to the Oval. Four black swans swim in the lake. In the water there are water lilies, which, in addition to white roses, were Diana's favourite flowers.

On the southern verge of the Round Oval sits the Summerhouse, previously in the gardens of Admiralty House, London, and now adapted to serve as a memorial to Diana. An ancient arboretum stands nearby, which contains trees planted by Prince William and Prince Henry, other members of her family, and Diana herself.



The first of two memorials to Diana,

Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al-Fayed in Harrods.

'Innocent Victims', the second of

                                                                                                                                    two memorials in Haroods.

Immediately after her death, many sites around the world became briefly ad hoc memorials to Diana, where the public left flowers and other tributes. The largest was outside the gates of Kensington Palace. Permanent memorials include:

  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Gardens in Regent Centre Gardens Kirkintilloch
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, London opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, London.
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, a circular path between Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Hyde Park and St James's Park, London

In addition, there are two memorials inside Harrods department store, owned by Dodi Al-Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, in London. The first memorial consists of photos of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass still smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as an 'engagement' ring Dodi purchased the day before they died. The second, unveiled in 2005 and titled 'Innocent Victims', is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross. There is an unofficial memorial in Paris, Place de l'Alma: it is the flame of liberty, erected here in 1989.


Following Diana's death, the Diana Memorial Fund was granted intellectual property rights over her image. In 1998, after refusing the Franklin Mint an official license to produce Diana merchandise, the fund sued the company, accusing it of illegally selling Diana dolls, plates and jewellery. In California, where the initial case was tried, a suit to preserve the right of publicity may be filed on behalf of a dead person, but only if that person is a Californian. The Memorial Fund therefore filed the lawsuit on behalf of the estate and, upon losing the case, were required to pay the Franklin Mint's legal costs of £3 million which, combined with other fees, caused the Memorial Fund to freeze their grants to charities.

In 1998, Azermarka issued the postage stamps with both Azeri and English captions, commemorating Diana. The English text reads 'Diana, Princess of Wales. The Princess that captured people's hearts'.

In 2003 the Franklin Mint counter-sued; the case was eventually settled in 2004, with the fund agreeing to an out-of-court settlement, which was donated to mutually agreed charitable causes.

Today, pursuant to this lawsuit, two California companies continue to sell Diana memorabilia without the need for any permission from Diana's estate: the Franklin Mint and Princess Ring LLC.

Diana in contemporary art

Diana has been depicted in contemporary art since her death. Some of the artworks have referenced the conspiracy theories, as well as paying tribute to Diana's compassion and acknowledging her perceived victimhood.

In July 1999, Tracey Emin created a number of monoprint drawings featuring textual references about Diana's public and private life, for Temple of Diana, a themed exhibition at The Blue Gallery, London. Works such as They Wanted You To Be Destroyed (1999) related to Diana's bulimia, while others included affectionate texts such as Love Was On Your Side and Diana's Dress with puffy sleeves. Another text praised her selflessness - The things you did to help other people, showing Diana in protective clothing walking through a minefield in Angola - while another referenced the conspiracy theories. Of her drawings, Emin maintained 'They're quite sentimental . . . and there's nothing cynical about it whatsoever.'

In 2005 Martin Sastre premiered during the Venice Biennial the film Diana: The Rose Conspiracy. This fictional work starts with the world discovering Diana alive and enjoying a happy undercover new life in a dangerous favela on the outskirts of Montevideo. Shot on a genuine Uruguayan slum and using a Diana impersonator from Sao Paulo, the film was selected among the Venice Biennial's best works by the Italian Art Critics Association.

In 2007, following an earlier series referencing the conspiracy theories, Stella Vine created a series of Diana paintings for her first major solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford gallery. Vine intended to portray Diana's combined strength and vulnerability as well as her closeness to her two sons. The works, all completed in 2007, included Diana branches, Diana family picnic, Diana veil and Diana pram, which incorporated the quotation 'I vow to thee my country'. Immodesty Blaize said she had been entranced by Diana crash, finding it 'by turns horrifying, bemusing and funny'. Vine asserted her own abiding attraction to 'the beauty and the tragedy of Diana's life'.

Recent events

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 with many popular stars at Wembley stadium. The event, organised by her sons the Princes William and Harry, celebrated the 46th anniversary of her birth and occurred a few weeks before 10th anniversary of her demise 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.

Contemporary opinions

   John Travolta and Diana dancing at the White House

From her engagement to the Prince of Wales in 1981 until her death in 1997, Diana was an iconic presence on the world stage, often described as the world's most photographed woman. She was noted for her compassion, style, charisma, and high-profile charity work, as well as her difficult marriage to Prince Charles.

Diana was revealed to be a major source behind Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story which had portrayed her as being wronged by the House of Windsor. Morton instanced Diana's claim that she attempted suicide while pregnant by falling down a series of stairs and that Charles had left her to go riding. Tina Brown opined that it was not a suicide attempt because she would not have intentionally tried to harm the unborn child. Brown cites an aide that says that Diana accidentally slipped and other sources claim it was an accident.

Royal biographer Sarah Bradford commented, 'The only cure for her (Diana's) suffering would have been the love of the Prince of Wales which she so passionately desired, something which would always be denied her. His was the final rejection; the way in which he consistently denigrated her reduced her to despair.' Diana herself commented, 'My husband made me feel inadequate in every possible way that each time I came up for air he pushed me down again '

These comments need to be balanced with the opposing view and complete context. Diana herself admitted to struggling with depression, self injury, and bulimia, which recurred throughout her adult life. One biographer suggested that Diana suffered from Borderline personality disorder.

In 2007, Tina Brown wrote a biography about Diana as a 'restless and demanding shopaholic who was obsessed with her public image' as well as being 'spiteful, manipulative, media-savvy neurotic.' Brown also says that Diana married Charles for his power and had a romantic relationship with Dodi Fayed to anger the royal family, with no intention of marrying him.

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 is also often referred to as the People's Princess.

Diana's full style, while married, was Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Arthur Philip 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.


Princess Diana , Lady Di, or  The Princess of Hearts whatever she was called, she was one name above all else, 'The People's Princess'. Unfortunately she didn't live to see how accurate this title was. It is hoped, however, that she realised that although the British Royal Family may have tried to downgrade her 'Royal' status, the people would not, and will not still, allow that to happen. Diana's influence was so great that even after her death the good work she started has been continued by others. She was a person that influenced many people and won't be forgotten.

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.



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