Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about her!
1.Diana was born on 1 July 1961, in Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk.
2. She was the fourth of five children of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (1924–1992) and his first wife, Frances.
3. The Spencer family has been closely allied with the British Royal Family for several generations.
4. Both of Diana’s grandmothers had served as ladies in waiting to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
5. The Spencers were hoping for a boy to carry on the family line, and no name was chosen for a week, until they settled on Diana Frances, after her mother and Diana Russell, Duchess of Bedford, her distant relative who was also known as “Lady Diana Spencer” before marriage and was a prospective Princess of Wales.
6. Diana was baptised at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.
7. Diana had three siblings: Sarah, Jane, and Charles.
8. She had also an infant brother, John, died shortly after his birth in 1960.
9. The desire for an heir added strain to the Spencers’ marriage, and Lady Althorp was reportedly sent to Harley Street clinics in London to determine the cause of the “problem”.
10. The experience was described as “humiliating” by Diana’s younger brother, Charles: “It was a dreadful time for my parents and probably the root of their divorce because I don’t think they ever got over it.
11. Diana grew up in Park House, situated on the Sandringham estate.
12. The Spencers leased the house from its owner, Queen Elizabeth II.
13. The Royal Family frequently holidayed at the neighbouring Sandringham House, and Diana played with Princes Andrew and Edward as a child.
14. Diana became known as Lady Diana after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, at which point her father moved the family from Park House toAlthorp, the Spencer seat in Northampton.
15. Diana began her education at Silfield Private School in Gayton, Norfolk, and moved to Riddlesworth Hall School, an all-girls boarding school near Diss, when she was nine.
16. She joined her sisters at West Heath Girls’ School in Sevenoaks, Kent, in 1973.
17. She went at the same school with the actress Tilda Swinton and they were pretty close friends!
18. She did not shine academically, failing her O-levels twice.
19. Her outstanding community spirit was recognised with an award from West Heath.
20. She showed a talent for music as an accomplished pianist.
21. Diana also excelled in swimming and diving, and studied ballet and tap dance.
22. In London, she took an advanced cooking course, but seldom cooked for her roommates.
23. She took a series of low-paying jobs; she worked as a dance instructor for youth until a skiing accident caused her to miss three months of work.
24. In July 1979, her mother bought her a flat at Coleherne Court in Earls Court as an 18th birthday present. She lived there with three flatmates until February 25, 1981.
25. Diana first met Charles, Prince of Wales, in November 1977 when he and Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah, were dating.
26. He 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.
27. The relationship developed as he invited her for a sailing weekend to Cowes aboard the royal yacht Britannia.
28. This was followed by an invitation to Balmoral (the Royal Family’s Scottish residence) to meet his family a weekend in November 1980.
29. The prince proposed on 6 February 1981, and Lady Diana accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks.
30. Their engagement became official on 24 February 1981.
31. Lady Diana selected a large engagement ring consisting of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-carat white gold, similar to her mother’s engagement ring. The ring was made by the then Crown jewellers Garrard but, unusually for a ring for a member of the Royal Family, it was not unique; it was featured in Garrard’s jewellery collection.
32. In 2010 the ring became the engagement ring of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
33. It was copied by jewellers all over the world.
34. The Queen Mother gave Lady Diana a sapphire and diamond brooch as an engagement present.
35. Her first public appearance with Prince Charles was in a charity ball in March 1981 at Goldsmiths’ Hall, where she met Princess Grace of Monaco.
36. Twenty-year-old Diana became Princess of Wales when she married the Prince of Wales on 29 July 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral, which offered more seating than Westminster Abbey, generally used for royal nuptials.
37. Widely described as a “fairytale wedding”, it was watched by a global television audience of 750 million while 600,000 people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple en route to the ceremony.
38. At the altar, Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles’s first two names, saying “Philip Charles” Arthur George instead.
39. She did not say that she would “obey” him; that traditional vow was left out at the couple’s request, which caused some comment at the time.
40. Diana wore a dress valued at £9,000 with a 25-foot (7.62-metre) train.
41. Music and songs used during the wedding included the “Prince of Denmark’s March”, “I Vow to Thee, My Country”, “Pomp and Circumstance No.4”, and “God Save the Queen”.
42. After becoming Princess of Wales, Diana automatically acquired rank as the third-highest female in the United Kingdom Order of Precedence (after the Queen and the Queen Mother), and was fifth or sixth in the orders of precedence of her other realms, following the Queen, the relevant viceroy, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales.
44. The Princess began her work with AIDS victims in the 1980s. Diana noted: “HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it.” To Diana’s disappointment, the Queen did not support this type of charity work, suggesting she get involved in “something more pleasant
45. In October 1990, Diana opened Grandma’s House, a home for young AIDS victims in Washington, D.C. As the patron of Turning Point, a health and social care organization, Diana visited its project in London for people with HIV/AIDS in 1992.
46. Diana was the patron of HALO Trust.
47. Diana was a long-standing and active supporter of Centrepoint, a charity which provides accommodation and support to homeless people, and became patron in 1992. She supported organisations that battle poverty and homelessness. “We, as a part of society, must ensure that young people – who are our future – are given the chance they deserve,” she said
48. She supported over 100 charities, including the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the Nobel Peace Prize a few months after her death.
49. After Diana fell down a staircase at Sandringham in January 1982, 12 weeks into her first pregnancy, the royal gynaecologist Sir George Pinker was summoned from London. He found that although she had suffered severe bruising, the foetus was uninjured.
50. Diana gave her sons wider experiences than are usual for royal children .She rarely deferred to the Prince or to the Royal Family, and was often intransigent when it came to the children. She chose their first given names, dismissed a royal family nanny and engaged one of her own choosing, selected their schools and clothing, planned their outings, and took them to school herself as often as her schedule permitted. She also organised her public duties around their timetables
51. Within five years of her marriage, the couple’s incompatibility and age difference (almost 13 years), as well as Diana’s concern about Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, became visible and damaging to their marriage.
52. During the early 1990s, the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales fell apart, an event at first suppressed, then sensationalised, by the world media. Both the Princess and Prince spoke to the press through friends, each blaming the other for the marriage’s demise.
53. Rumours had begun to surface about the Princess of Wales’s relationship with Hewitt, her and her children’s former riding instructor.
54. These would be brought into the open by the publication in 1994 of a 1994 book by Anna Pasternak titled Princess in Love, which was filmed under the same title in a movie directed by David Greene in 1996.
55. The Prince of Wales sought public understanding via a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby on 29 June 1994. In this he confirmed his own extramarital affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, saying that he had rekindled their association in 1986, only after his marriage to the Princess had “irretrievably broken dow.
56. The divorce was finalised on 28 August 1996.
57. Diana received a lump sum settlement of £17 million as well as £400,000 per year. The couple signed a confidentiality agreement that prohibited them from discussing the details of the divorce or of their married life
58. On 31 August 1997, Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, which also caused the deaths of her companion Dodi Fayed and the driver, Henri Paul, acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Paris.
59. The funeral saw the British television audience peak at 32.10 million, one of the United Kingdom’s highest viewing figures ever, while millions more watched the event around the world.
60. The initial French judicial investigation concluded the accident was caused by Paul’s drunken loss of control.
61. In February 1998, Mohamed Al-Fayed, owner of the Paris Ritz where Paul had worked, publicly maintained that the crash had been planned, accusing MI6 and the Duke of Edinburgh.
62. An inquest in London starting in 2004 and continued in 2007–08 attributed the accident to grossly negligent driving by Paul and to the pursuing paparazzi.
63. On 7 April 2008, the jury returned a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.
64. The day following the final verdict of the inquest, Al-Fayed announced he would end his 10-year campaign to establish that it was murder rather than an accident, stating that he did so for the sake of the princess’s children.
65. Following Diana’s death, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund was granted intellectual property rights over her image.
66. From her engagement to the Prince of Wales in 1981 until her death in 1997, Diana was a major presence on the world stage, often described as the “world’s most photographed woman”
67. Prince William continues to generate his mother’s particular brand of magic in support of her charities, aided by his wife Kate Middleton and brother Harry. The Duke and Duchess have also just delighted the nation by welcoming the child who would have been her grandson.’
68. The Princess counted Gianni Versace, George Michael, Bryan Adams and Elton John among her close friends.
69. Diana once invited the supermodel Cindy Crawford to Buckingham Palace for dinner when a young Prince William had a secret crush on the model.
70. During her lifetime, she was featured on the cover of People magazine more than 50 times, Time magazine featured her eight times and Newsweek featured her on the cover seven times, according to the Asia-Pacific Economics Blog.