Diana, princess of Wales

nameDiana frances
princess diana
HouseHouse of Windsor (by marriage)
Spencer family (by birth)
FatherJohn Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
MotherFrances Shand Kydd
BornLady Diana Spencer
1 July 1961
Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk,England
Died31 August 1997 (aged 36)
Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris,France
spouseCharles, Prince of Wales (marriage 1981; divorce 1996)
Burial6 September 1997
Althorp, Northamptonshire


24 February 1981, in the white and gold ballroom of Buckingham Palace as the notes of the National Anthem died away the Lord Chamberlain came center stage and said that the Queen had commanded him to make a special announcement.PRINCESS diana Lord Maclean in a manner that befits royalty, announced, "It is with great pleasure that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh announce the bethroal of their beloved son, the Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of Earl Spencer and the Honourable Mrs. Shand-Kydd". This was indeed an illustrious moment in the history of the British royalty as Lady Diana was chosen by the exclusive royal family of Britain to be the future Queen of England.
 On 29 July 1981 midst the pomp, glamour and much glitterati Lady Diana walked down the aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral with Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne. Lady Diana became Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales. It was a fairy tale wedding that struck the very picture of romance. The world applauded and cheered as the starry eyed nineteen year old princess with a warm style and stunning looks waved to them as her royal carriage passed the heavily packed London streets. She was an instant success.
Diana was the third daughter of 8th Earl. He held a position as Viscount Althrop, King George equerry between 1950 and 1952, and equerry to the Queen for two years after her accession in 1952. It was in 1954 he married the Honourable Frances Ruth Burke Roche, the younger daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. Diana was the couple’s third daughter. She was born at Park House, in a rambling Victorian mansion, in the grounds of the Sandringham Estate, the Royal Family’s house. It was only till the age of seven that Diana enjoyed a happy childhood. Matrimonial strife between her parents ended in a divorce at this time. She was then sent to a boarding school. In 1975 on the death of her grandfather her father inherited the title and became the 8th Earl Spencer. They moved to Althrop, in Northampton shire. Diana became ‘Lady’ Diana. Two years later her father remarried and Diana went off to a finishing school in Switzerland. She felt homesick and was back before the year was over. It was in 1977 at a shooting party that she met Prince Charles for the first time. Little did they know that destiny had more plans for them than was afforded by this casual meeting. It was two after this that Prince Charles started taking more than a casual interest in this unaffected 18 year old girl. She was a marked contrast to the more worldly girls in his circles.
At first their marriage seemed happy enough. Within a span of three years Diana gave birth to two sons, Prince William of Wales and Prince Harry. The four of thempresented a picture of a happy family. Princess Diana had all that the future Queen of England must possess. She became an obsession with the media. Her gorgeous good looks with a model figure matched by a warm elegance became a perfect story for the print world across the globe. She was always in the news, sometimes as ‘Shy Di', sometimes as ‘Disco Di' and other times as 'Caring Di' or 'Crusading Di'. So powerful was her appeal with the masses that many a time her charisma and charm overshadowed the more sober Prince Charles. Herfanfare was phenomenal and she gained a tremendous amount of applause when she associated herself with unfashionable and controversial issues like leprosy and AIDS. She soon gained the stature of a model lady of the 20th century. She became an icon.
Unfortunately this idyllic state did not last. Hints of a strenuous relation between the couple became apparent. In December 1990 separation of the royal couple was announced by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons and in 1996 they were divorced. Diana's title of Her Royal Highness was taken away and she came to addressed as merely Diana Princess of Wales. This move by the royal household earned them a poor reputation as the world opinion was with their very own Diana. In a candid BBC interview she said that what she wanted most was to be not the Queen of England but the Queen of Peoples Heart's. And that she definitely was.
            The divorce could not rob Diana of the charm that shewas endowed with. Her popularity never flagged, though there were articles every now and then about some clandestine romance that she was supposed to be having. But all was quelled when Prince Charles too confessed of having a relationship with his companion of many years, Camilla Parker-Bowles the public opinion as always was on her side. To the public she was a lone brave mother of the royal household trying desperately to bring the much needed contemporaries into the portals of the British monarchy. The people identified and sympathized with her.
Though no longer the wife of the heir apparent to the British Throne Diana had a significant role to play as the mother of the future heirs of the country. She decided to forge a new bond with the public that gave her so much adulation. She focused on causes that needed her attention. Her association with the AIDS trust, Leporsy Mission, cancer hospitals and the British Red Cross won her many laurels. She was a symbol of refreshing New Royalty that even shied away from wearing gloves when shaking hands!
Thus when on 30 August 1997 when the world heard of Diana's death in a car crash at Paris there was gloom that spread in all the corners of the world. There was a common outpouring of grief as people participated in what seemed a global loss. It was history in the making. They all mourned the snatching away of a one so young and irreplaceable. Ironically it was on this fateful day that Diana had truly found personal happiness. That evening her companion and friend Dodi al-Fayed, the eldest son of Harrods owner had presented Diana with a fabulous diamond studded ring that commemorated the start of a new life together. Diana put it on the third finger of her right hand. She had been on the threshold of a new life when both Dodi and she were killed in the car crash at Paris.
Diana's tragic death put an end to an era that had just started to take shape. It reinforced the finality of death and the contrasting elusiveness of People from all over thronged to the iron gates of the Kingston Palace, the official residence of the Princess and paid their heartfelt tribute in flowers and messages. Even 45 condolence books were a measure less for recording the monumental grief of these people who mourned her death as one does a close friend.
In her death Diana has been canonized with all the people who in their short but meaningful lives have left an unquenchable void. Diana's close friend and famous singer Elton John's first line of his song “A Candle in the Wind” poignantly captures the essence of Diana’s impact on the world when bidding farewell he says, “Goodbye England’s Rose.” With the death of Diana a contemporary icon faded away but from these ashes was a legend of a Princess that willlive on. . . . .

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