Princess Diana Biography

Princess Diana

Philosophy

?Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.? ? Princess Diana

Princess Diana captured the hearts of a generation. Those who followed her climb from humble nanny (although royalty) to wife of the Queen of England?s eldest son can admit of her indelible mark on the psyche of the world.

Apart from being the most photographed woman in the world, she was also one of the most promising champions of the plight of the poor. Her glamour and beauty were matched only by her compassion and selflessness.

Diana?s love for people spread from family and friends to those, whom she described, as truly needy for love ? AIDS patients, landmine victims, orphans ? who reciprocated her love to such a degree that she dedicated her entire life to their fulfillment.

To say that Diana?s passing was a shock to the world is an understatement at the least. There have been very few mass expressions of grief and gratitude as great in magnitude as the outpouring of sorrow about her death.

Diana?s legacy lives on not only in the charitable foundations she represented but in the lives and souls of the hundreds of millions she inspired.

Early Days

Diana was born at Park House, the home that her parents rented on Queen Elizabeth II’s estate at Sandringham and where her 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). 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 attending the finishing school of Chateau d’Oex at Montreux, Switzerland, Diana returned to England and became a kindergarten teacher at the fashionable Young England school in Pimlico.

From Princess to Icon

She renewed her contacts with the royal family, and her friendship with Charles grew in 1980. On February 24, 1981, their engagement was announced, and on July 29, 1981, they were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral 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 Charles Albert David, on September 15, 1984. Marital difficulties led to a separation between Diana and Charles in 1992, though they continued to carry out their royal duties and jointly participate in raising their two children. They divorced on August 28, 1996, with Diana receiving a substantial settlement.

Diana of the Cause

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. See: Charity Work of Princess Diana. Her unprecedented popularity as a member of the royal family, both in Britain and throughout the world, attracted considerable attention from the press, and she became one of the most photographed women in the world. Although she used that celebrity to great effect in promoting her charitable work, the media, and in particular the aggressive freelance photographers known as paparazzi, were often intrusive. It was while attempting to evade journalists that Diana, as well as her companion, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, were killed in an automobile accident in a tunnel under the streets of Paris.

From “Diana,” Encyclopædia Britannica

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