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Princess Diana was born on July 1, 1961. Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. Diana was a caring person. She’d do anything to help people. Her hard work pays off, so now she’s somewhere peace in heaven. Diana’s parents divorced in 1969. Her mother ran away with a wealthy heir, and her father gained custody of the children. Her father later married Raine Legge, whose mother was Barbara Cartland, a romance novelist. She was the third of four children. Her sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, married Neil McCorquodale. Diana’s sister Lady Jane married Robert Fellowes, an assistant secretary to Queen Elizabeth II. Their brother, Charles Spencer, Earl Spencer, was a godson of Queen Elizabeth II.
She grew up practically next door to Queen Elizabeth II and her family, at Park House, a mansion next to the Sandringham estate of the royal family. Prince Charles was 12 years older, but Prince Andrew was closer to her age and was a childhood playmate. Princess D. was educated at home until she was nine, then she was sent to Riddle Worth Hall until she was 12, and West Heath School Kent from ages 12 to 16. Diana did not get along well with her stepmother, but she did well in school, finding an interest in ballet and Prince Charles, whose picture she had on the wall of her room at school. When Diana was 16, she met Prince Charles again. He had dated her older sister Sarah. She made an impression on him, but she was still too young for him to date. After she dropped out of West Health School at 16, she attended a finishing school in Switzerland, Chateau d’Oex. She left after a few months. After Diana left school, she moved to London, and worked as a housekeeper, nanny, and kindergarten teacher’s aide.
She lived in a house purchased by her father, and had three roommates. In 1980, Diana and Charles met again when she visited her sister, whose husband worked for the queen. They began to date and six months later he proposed. They were married July 29, 1981, in a muchwatched wedding that’s been called the “Wedding of the Century.” She was the first British citizen to marry the heir to the British throne in almost 300 years.
Diana immediately began making public appearances, despite her awkwardness about being in the public eye. One of her first official visits was to the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco. Diana rather quickly became pregnant, giving birth to Prince William (William Arthur Philip Louis) on June 21, 1982, and then to Prince Harry on September 15, 1984. Dropping in weight by thirty pounds after the birth of Prince William, she began to struggle with bulimia, but also became more popular as a fashion figure. She was afraid that people will judge her by her look. She still wants to stay fit even after giving birth. Early in their marriage, Diana and Charles were seen to be publicly affectionate; however, by 1986, their time apart and coolness when together were obvious. The 1992 the publication of Andrew Morton’s biography of Diana revealed the story of Charles’ long affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and alleged that Diana had made suicide attempts. By December, the couple, obviously with the consent of the Queen and consultation with government officials, agreed to a legal separation, though disclaiming plans for a divorce.
By 1996, the dueling television interviews by Charles and then Diana, revealing photographs, and continuing scandal coverage by the press, all made clear that a divorce was imminent. Diana announced her agreement to a divorce in February, surprising the Queen whom she had not informed before making the announcement. Queen know that Diana and her husband are having trouble.
The divorce was final on August 28, 1996. Settlement terms reportedly included about $23 million for Diana, plus $600,000 per year. She and Charles would both be active in their sons’ lives. She continued to live at Kensington Palace, and was permitted to retain the title “Princess of Wales” but not the styling of “Her Royal Highness.” At her divorce, she also gave up most of the charities she’d been working with, limiting herself to only a few: working with homelessness, AIDS, leprosy, the ballet, a hospital for children, and a cancer hospital. She cares so much for the people who are suffering and she want to make them feel that they’re at least important to someone.
In 1996, Diana became involved in the campaign to ban landmines. She visited several nations in her involvement with the anti-landmine campaign, an activity more political than the norm for the British royal family. So, that she could plan something for the poor people. Like giving them foods to eat and clothes to wear. In early 1997, Diana was linked romantically with the 42-year-old playboy “Dodi” Fayed (Emad Mohammed al-Fayed). His father, Mohammed al-Fayed, owned Harrod’s department store and the Ritz Hotel in Paris, among other holdings. Both father and son had spotty ethical reputations.
Late on August 30, 1997, Diana and Fayed left the Ritz Hotel in Paris, accompanied in a car by midnight on August 31, 1997, in Paris, the car carrying Diana and Fayed, plus a bodyguard and a driver, went out of control in a Paris tunnel and crashed. Fayed and the driver were killed instantly; Diana died later in a hospital despite efforts to save her. The bodyguard survived despite critical injuries.
First, came horror and shock. Then blame: at first, the entire blame seemed directed at the paparazzi, photographers who were following the princess’ car, and from whom the driver was apparently trying to escape. Later tests showed the driver had been well over the legal alcohol limit, but immediate blame was on the photographers and their seemingly incessant quest to capture images of Diana that could be sold to the press. Then came an outpouring of sorrow and grief. At the time, princess Diana didn’t put her seatbelt on. Investigations carried out by both French and British authorities concluded that Mr Paul was responsible for the crash. He was drunk and on anti-depressants when he lost control of the Mercedes as it sped through the tunnel that lies next to the River Seine, while trying to shake off paparazzi photographers
The Spencers, Diana’s family, established a charitable fund in her name, and within a week. Tabloid newspapers with sensationalist headlines written about the Diana/Dodi affair just before her death were pulled from newsstands by request of the publishers. Princess Diana’s funeral, on September 6, drew worldwide attention. About half the people in the world saw it on television. Millions turned out to line the path of the funeral procession.
The day before Diana’s funeral, apparently influenced by criticism that her reaction was too controlled, Queen Elizabeth made a rare public statement about Diana’s death. Elizabeth also ordered the British flag on Buckingham Palace to fly at half-mast, an honor reserved over a millennium only for reigning monarchs. Diana had truly touched a human chord among the British people, contrasted to the other royals of the House of Windsor who seemed stand-offish, arrogant, and cold — and the grief was a recognition of the loss of what prime minister Blair termed “the people’s princess”.
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