Princess of Wales – Diana: Biography, Marriage, and Death

Vrinda Gupta
Vrinda Gupta

Diana’s Early Life

Diana was Princess of Wales. Her original name was Diana Frances Spencer. She was born on July 1, 1961, in Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk, England.  Her parents were Edward John Spencer and Frances Ruth Burke Roche.  She was the third child and youngest daughter of her parents. Her three siblings were Sarah, Charles, and Jane. Edward John Spencer was heir to the 7th Earl Spencer. His first wife, Frances Ruth Burke Roche was the daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. Park House was the home that her parents rented on Queen Elizabeth II’s estate at Sandringham.  Diana spent her childhood playing with the queen’s younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They used to play together when they used to come for holidays to Sandringham.

Diana’s parents divorced when she was just 7 years old. At first, she used to live with her mother. But soon, her father won her custody and took Diana with him. When he remarried in 1976, Diana had a very strained relationship with her stepmother. Often, she had described her childhood as ‘very unstable‘.

At first, Diana was homeschooled. Later, she was enrolled in Silfield Private School for attaining formal education. When she was 9, she moved to an all-girls boarding school named  Riddlesworth Hall School. In 1973, she enrolled in West Heath School, where her sisters studied. However, Diana was not well academically, she was a girl who was driven for community service. She was also good at other activities like swimming, dancing, playing piano, and ballet.

Her Marriage and Interests

Prince of Wales, Charles, and Diana first met in November 1977. However, at that time Charles was dating her older sister Sarah. When Diana was 16, she started taking interest in Charles. He also invited her for a sailing weekend to get to know each other. On 6 February 1981, Charles proposed to Diana at Windsor Castle. She accepted. Charles and Diana got married on 29 July 1981. Diana became the Princess of Wales at the age of twenty. Their wedding was a ‘fairytale wedding‘ of those times. It had a  global television audience of 750 million people. Almost 600,000 spectators filled the streets to catch sight of the couple.

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The couple welcomed their first child on 21 June 1982. The couple’s first son was named Prince William. In September 1984, their second child Prince Harry was born. After being in wedlock for 5 years, Diana and Charles started having issues in their marriage. They were incompatible and their age difference of 12 years caused many problems. Moreover, Charles resumed his relationship with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles.

Diana was called ‘The People’s Princess‘. Her kindness, humility, and ability to connect with people made her loved by people. She supported causes as diverse as the arts, children’s issues, and Cancer and AIDS patients. She was also actively involved in efforts to ban land mines.

Diana’s Death

Diana died on August 31, 1997, in Paris, France. She died in a car crash when she was reportedly fleeing from the paparazzi. She was with her romantic interest Dodi Fayed. Her driver, Dodi, and her- three of them succumbed to the crash. Her sudden demise caused havoc in the Royal Family. Millions of people all over the world were affected by her death and paid their tributes to the Royal Princess.

If you wish to know more about Diana’s Life, you can watch “The Story of Diana” on Netflix.

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