In the early hours of 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died from the injuries she sustained in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris, France.
I remember waking up to the news, it was a terrible shock and many couldn't understand how it had happened. At that time I was living in Walton-on Thames in a small flat. It was incredibly shocking news for John and I.
I took a few minutes today to create this blog and remember Diana ....read on to learn more and there is an online quizz at the end if you have time. (Thanks to Encyclopedia Britannica for this information)
Early life and education
Diana was born at Park House, the home that her parents rented on Queen Elizabeth II’s estate at Sandringham and where Diana’s childhood playmates were the queen’s younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. She was the third child and youngest daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, heir to the 7th Earl Spencer, and his first wife, Frances Ruth Burke Roche (daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy). Her parents’ troubled marriage ended in divorce when Diana was a child, and she, along with her brother and two sisters, remained with her father. She became Lady Diana Spencer when her father succeeded to the earldom in 1975. Riddlesworth Hall (near Thetford, Norfolk) and West Heath School (Sevenoaks, Kent) provided the young Diana’s schooling. After attendingthe finishing school of Chateau d’Oex at Montreux, Switzerland, Diana returned to England and became a kindergarten assistant at the fashionable Young England school in Pimlico.
Marriage and divorce
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer . On February 24, 1981, their engagement was announced, and her beauty and shy demeanour—which earned her the nickname “Shy Di”—made her an instant sensation with the media and the public. The couple married in St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981, in a globally televised ceremony watched by an audience numbering in the hundreds of millions. Their first child, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, was born on June 21, 1982, and their second, Prince Henry (“Harry”) Charles Albert David, on September 15, 1984.
“Princess Di” rapidly evolved into an icon of grace, elegance, and glamour. Exuding natural charm and charisma, she used her celebrity status to aid numerous charitable causes, and her changing hairstyles and wardrobe made her a fashion trendsetter. Behind the scenes, however, marital difficulties between the princess and prince were growing. Diana struggled with severe postnatal depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and the mounting strain of being constantly pursued by both the official media royal-watchers and the tabloid press, particularly the paparazzi. The marital breakdown became increasingly apparent amid mutual recriminations, tell-all biographies, and admissions of infidelity on both sides, and the couple formally separated in 1992. Diana presented her side in Andrew Morton’s controversial book Diana: Her True Story (1992) and in an unusually candid television interview in 1995. After prolonged negotiations that left Diana with a substantial financial settlement but without the title Her Royal Highness, the couple’s divorce became final on August 28, 1996.
“The People’s Princess” and charity work
Find out how Princess Diana earned the nickname “the People's Princess” See all videos for this article Princess Diana: land-mine victims Witness the efforts for an international campaign to ban landmines and the signing of the Ottawa Treaty See all videos for this article
After the divorce, Diana maintained her high public profile and continued many of the activities she had earlier undertaken on behalf of charities, supporting causes as diverse as the arts, children’s issues, and AIDS patients. She also was involved in efforts to ban land mines. To ensure that William and Harry had “an understanding of people’s emotions, their insecurities, people’s distress, and their hopes and dreams,” Diana brought her sons with her to hospitals, homeless shelters, and orphanages. To acquaint them with the world outside royal privilege, she took them to fast food restaurants and on public transportation. Her compassion, personal warmth, humility, and accessibility earned her the sobriquet “the People’s Princess.”
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