Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess of Wales; Duchess of Rothesay
File:Diana, Princess of Wales 1997 (2).jpg
Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997
BornTemplate:Birth date
Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died31 August 1997(1997-08-31) (aged 36)
Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, in Paris, France
Burial6 September 1997
Althorp, Northamptonshire
SpouseCharles, Prince of Wales
(m. 1981, div. 1996)[1]
IssuePrince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Full name
Diana Frances
HouseHouse of Windsor
FatherJohn Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
MotherThe Honourable Frances Shand Kydd
ReligionAnglican (Church of England)
SignatureDiana's signature

Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances; née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. She was one of the most famous women in the world.

Early life

Diana was born on 1 July 1961 as Diana Frances Spencer. Her father was Earl Spencer. She left school when she was 16 and moved to London when she was 18.

Marriage, family and divorce

In 1981, Diana married Prince Charles at St. Paul's Cathedral. They had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Charles and Diana separated in 1992, and divorced in 1996. Diana said Camilla Parker-Bowles was responsible for the problems with her marriage. Diana was the first Englishwoman to marry an heir to the British throne in 300 years. Charles' brothers married commoners: Andrew, Duke of York, married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, and his youngest brother, Edward, Earl of Wessex, married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999.

Diana's great-grandmother was an American heiress.[2]


Throughout her life, Diana was something of a rebel. Her work with victims of AIDS could in some ways be seen in this regard. She was one of the first very high profile people to be pictured touching those afflicted with AIDS this had a significant impact in changing people’s opinions and attitudes to the disease it was certainly a charity not following the protocol and tradition of the Royal family. AS Princess Diana said:

“HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them hug heaven knows they need it”

Diana had a very personable touch. She was very at ease in meeting people from any background and even if they were ill or in hospices. The patients would react very favourably to her meetings, they warmed to her life energy and heartfelt sympathy. Part of her appeal was her sympathy and natural compassion. She could empathise with people’s suffering, having suffered much herself.

To the media, Diana often portrayed a very stoic and positive energy, but an aide suggested that at the same time these engagements often drained Diana emotionally at the end of some engagements she felt depleted.

As well as working on charities such as AIDS she lent her name to the campaign to ban landmines. Her personal support is said to have been a significant factor in encouraging Britain and then other countries to support the Ottawa Treaty which sought to introduce a ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. When Robin Cook brought the second reading of the landmines bill to the house in 1998 he made a point of paying tribute to the contribution of Princess Diana.


Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, died in a car crash in Paris, in the early morning of 31 August 1997. Many people left flowers, candles, cards and personal messages for her in public places. She had a big funeral in London on the 6th September.

Concerts for Diana took place shortly after her death. The concerts involved Elton John and numerous others. Elton John released a remake of his song, "Candle in the Wind" in memory of Diana.


  • 1961–1975: The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer
  • 1975–1981: Lady Diana Frances Spencer
  • 1981–1996: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales
    • in Scotland: 1981–1996: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay
  • 1996–1997: Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana's full title, once married, was Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.[3] Legally, she was still entitled to use her previous royal courtesy titles after her divorce as long as she remained unmarried.


  1. "The Life of Diana, Princess of Wales 1961–1997".
  2. Williamson, D. (1981) The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) pp. 281–282.
  3. Prince of Wales - Titles

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