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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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
There were 3,500 people in the congregation at
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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.'
After the divorce, Diana retained her double
apartment on the north side of
Diana dated respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan,
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
On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of
Henri Paul, the Acting Head of Security at the
Ritz Hotel, had been instructed to drive the hired black 1994 Mercedes-Benz
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
On the southern verge of the Round Oval sits the
Summerhouse, previously in the gardens of Admiralty House,
The first of two memorials to Diana,
'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
In addition, there are two memorials inside Harrods
department store, owned by Dodi Al-Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, in
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
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.
to this lawsuit, two
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
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
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'.
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.
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.
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.