The most popular character of the British royal family in the recent history is undoubtedly Princess Diana. She entered the royal dynasty through her marriage with Prince Charles, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth. But within years distance started to grow between Diana and Charles, as well as the entire family. The once ‘Dream Marriage’ ended with a bitter divorce paving way for Diana to live her own independent life with dignity. However that didn’t last for long. In a tragic road accident in Paris took the life of the ‘People’s Princess’ Diana forever.
Diana Frances Spencer was born on 1 July 1961 in Sandringham, England. Her parents were separated in her childhood. She along with her two brothers and a sister were raised by their father.
Diana completed her initial education in Riddlesworth Hall School and then West Heath School. Shy in nature, Diana used to love singing and dancing. She also loved children a lot. She joined in a kindergarten as an assistant after finishing school.
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer started dating in 1977. Charles was 13 years older than Diana. However they knew each other from childhood. Diana happened to be Charles’ siblings Prince Andrew and Prince Edwards’ playmate.
On 6 February 1981, Prince Charles proposed Diana with golden ring placed with 14 diamonds on the top. Diana gave her consent. British royal family started preparation for the most celebrated wedding of the century.
On 29 July 1981, the grand wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer took place in the London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. 2650 invited guests attended the event. Diana and Charles entered the cathedral separately and leaved together in carriage. The newly wed couple were greeted by thousands along the streets of London.
At the wedding, Diana was wearing silk gaun 10,000 pearls placed in it and an 18th century Spencer family tiara. With the marriage, she officially became known as Princess Diana, with the formal royal title ‘Princess of Wales’.
The wedding ceremony in the St. Paul’s Cathedral was watched live on television by over 750 million people from around the world. Media described the event as the ‘Wedding of the Century’.
William and Harry
On 21 June 1982, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, the first child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was born. The couple had their second child Prince Henry Charles Albert David on 15 September 1984.
Within few years of their marriage, distances started to grow between Charles and Diana. The liberal minded princess also couldn’t adjust herself with the formal rules and regulations of the royal family. In 1992, the then British Prime Minister John Major read a statement in parliament on behalf of the royal family. There he officially announced the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The couple’s divorce procedures were completed in 1996.
After her separation with Prince Charles, Diana involved herself more in raising William and Harry, as well as in numerous social activities. She joined in various volunteer and charity organizations. She actively worked for the kids affected by HIV and for the homeless. Diana highly contributed on growing awareness about the risks of abandoned land mines in war-torn Angola. She visited from Asia to Africa to Middle-East and every corner of the world for all these noble purposes. And thus gained the honorary title ‘People’s Princess’.
Relationship with Dodi Fayed
Diana started dating with Egyptian film producer Dodi Fayed after her divorce with Prince Charles. She met Dodi in a polo match back in 1986. In that game Prince Charles and Dodi Fayed played in the opposite teams. After the royal separation, Diana used to frequently spend vacations in Dodi’s yacht in places from Britain and France.
It was heard that the British royal family including Queen Elizabeth had a huge disappointment on Diana’s relationship with Dodi Fayed. Prime Minister Tony Blare also was not happy with the relation.
Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed met a tragic road accident on 31 August 1997. They were in Paris. While trying to avoid paparazzis who were following them, Dodi’s car had a collision with the pillar of a tunnel. Dodi and the driver died in the spot. Seriously injured Diana was rushed to hospital, but doctors failed to save her. The People’s Princess took her last breath at the age of 36.
Princess Diana’s funeral was held on 5 September. From Kensington Palace, her body was take to Westminster Abbey a gun carriage drawn by six black horses. Thousands of men and women in teary eyes bade farewell to their princess along the road. Prince William and Prince Harry joined at the last phase of the four mile long procession.
The funeral service at the Westminster Abbey was attended by Royal members including Queen Elizabeth, the cabinet led by Prime Minister Tony Blair and other local and foreign guests. Diana’s brother Charles Spencer gave an emotional speech remembering her. Elton John performed the touching song ‘Goodbye England’s Rose’. The whole service was watched live through television by 2.5 billion people around the world.
Diana’s body was later taken to Spencer’s family estate Althorp. There in a tiny island inside a lake, Princess Diana was laid in rest.