Princess Diana: The People’s Princess


"Princess Diana at Accord Hospice" by paisleyorguk is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Princess Diana was considered by many to be the people’s princess.

Ava Bromley, Senior Staff Writer

Diana, Princess of Wales is one of the most kind-hearted yet powerful & influential people in Royal history. 

Diana, born Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales and humanitarian, was born on July 1st, 1961 in Sandringham, Norfolk. Diana quickly gained the title of Lady Diana Spencer when her father inherited his Earldom. In 1968, at the age of 7, Diana was sent to Riddlesworth Hall, an all-girls boarding school to get her early education. At the age of 13, from 1974 to 1977, Diana attended West Heath School and won the award as “The girl giving maximum help to the school and her schoolfellows.” Even as a teenager, Diana was recognized as a caring individual. The last schooling Diana attended was the finishing school of Chateau d’Oex in Switzerland, in order to learn manners and social skills. After finishing school, Diana returned to England and became an assistant at the fashionable Young England school in Pimlico. 

Growing up on Queen Elizabeth II’s estate, Diana had prior friendships with some members of the Royal Family, like Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. A little after she returned to England,  she rekindled relationships with the Royal Family. Prince Charles happened to be in a current relationship with Diana’s sister Sarah, and that’s how the pair met.

A couple of years later, in 1980, Diana and Charles met again which happened to spark a romantic relationship. Shortly after their rekindling, on February 24th, 1981, the couple announced their engagement. From an outside perspective, the couple looked like the perfect pair, both happy, and ready for their future, but Diana being only 19, had doubts. After about 5 months of being engaged, the couple made it official. On July 29th, 1981 Charles and Diana were married in an extravagant televised ceremony. People referred to this wedding ceremony as “the wedding of the century,” with roughly 750 million viewers from all over the world tuning in, plus around 600,000 spectators who were lined up on the streets of London. 

The relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana is one of the most talked about and captivating royal relationships, but in the end, they weren’t meant to last. Just about a year after their marriage, on June 21st, 1982, the couple had their first child, Prince William. Diana had always wanted children and was pleased when her first child was born. With that being said, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Diana after the pregnancy. Following the pregnancy, Diana suffered from postpartum depression. “You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself,” she told the BBC in 1995. Shortly after, a little over two years later, on September 15th, 1984, the couple had their second child, Prince Harry. Again, Diana was pleased to have another healthy baby, however, Charles felt differently. He was disappointed in the gender of the baby. “Charles always wanted a girl. Harry was a boy,” Diana says. 

To the public, they seemed like the picture-perfect family, but in reality, they were the complete opposite. In 1986, both Diana and Charles were actively having affairs. Prince Charles started his affair with his current Queen Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles, who he had pre-existing relations with. At this point in time, Charles and Diana began to live separate lives, and Diana began to participate in affairs of her own. After years of unhappiness and separation, on December 10th, 1992, the couple officially called it quits.

Following the divorce, in 1995, Diana sat down with a reporter for BBC and delved into her broken marriage. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she told BBC. During this interview, she also went into detail about other struggles like bulimia and dealing with depression. This interview prompted the Queen to give the couple permission to legally divorce. One month later on August 29th, 1996, the couple’s divorce was finalized. 

In the early hours of Sunday, August 31st, 1997, Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car accident. The funeral took place on September 6th, 1997 at 9:08 am in London. The worldwide television audience estimate was around 2.5 billion people. This result made the funeral one of the most watched live broadcasts to date. That day a stunned world mourned. Bouquets of flowers, personal notes, pictures, and many other things were left outside the grounds of Dian’s home in Kensington palace. 

Princess Diana left a grave legacy behind. She represented a vision of a Royal Family member that many people looked up to. One of Princess Diana’s biggest roles was as a humanitarian. Diana was known as a prodigious fundraiser, and at one point in time was linked to over 100 charities. One of the most known causes linked to Princess Diana is her advocacy against landmines. Shortly before her death, Diana visited Bosnia and Angola, where she made a visit to the Sarajevo Cemetery and comforted many civilians. The cause  Princess Diana is most known for is her advocacy for HIV and Aids. Throughout the 80s, the world was terrified of the Aids pandemic. People were fed with false news and ignorance to the point where people wouldn’t touch others because they thought they could contract Aids just from physical touch. Princess Diana became the first high-profile celebrity to work with Aids, and not be afraid to make physical contact with Aids patients. Diana’s son Harry has followed in his mother’s footsteps and made sure her legacy lives on by being involved with anti-landmine organizations like Trust, as well as advocating for HIV at a South African Aids conference in 2016. 

Princess Diana was not only a princess, but she was also a companion to each and every one of us. She would go out of her way to help those in need, without regard to her social status. Princess Diana was a renowned figure who was loved by many and forgotten by none.

The information in this article is from Vogue, Time, and