Diana, the Princess of Wales was born as Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961 to John Spencer and Frances Spencer. Princess Diana had four siblings - Sarah, Jane, Charles and John, who died hours after his birth
Diana's parents, Frances and Edward John Spencer divorced when she was just seven years old. Diana's parents had a strained relationship, and she cited cheating and physical abuse as some of the reasons for their separatio
Diana was homeschooled until she was nine and then attended boarding school for the rest of her education. She failed her O-Level exams twice and dropped out of school when she was 16. Diana studied ballet and wanted to become a professional dancer. Diana did many odd jobs. She also worked as a kindergarten teacher part-time in London's Pimlico area
Diana met her future husband Prince Charles through her older sister, Sarah who was dating him. Charles saw Diana and took a serious interest her. He invited her aboard the royal yacht Britannia for a sailing weekend to Cowes followed by an invitation to Balmoral which is the royal family's Scottish residence. Before they were engaged in 1981, Charles and Diana had only met about a dozen times. At the time, Diana was just 19, and Charles was 32. The couple got married in 1981
Diana, Princess of Wales, in her wedding dress. Her wedding was made of ivory silk taffeta, decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls. It was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel and had a 25-foot train of ivory taffeta and antique lace
Princess Diana broke barriers when she omitted the tradition of saying she would "obey" her husband in her vows from the Book of Common Prayer. Instead, she promised to 'love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health.'
Princess Charles and Diana had two sons - Prince William and Prince Harry. It was a royal tradition for heirs to the throne to be born at home. However, Prince William and Prince Harry were born at the Lido Wing at St. Mary's Hospital
Princess Diana was determined to raise Prince William and Prince Harry as "normally" as possible. "She made sure that they experienced things like going to the cinema, queuing up to buy a McDonald's, going to amusement parks, the sort of things that were experiences that they could share with their friends
Diana called her eldest son William "wombat" starting from the time he was just two years old. Diana was famous for writing thank you cards to anyone that gave her a gift. She reportedly wrote thank you notes to the thousands of people who brought gifts to Prince William after he was born. Today, some of her handwritten letters have been auctioned off for a hefty price depending on the content and uniqueness of the note.
Princess Diana was so unhappy in the few weeks after her fairy tale wedding with Prince Charles that she tried to slash her wrists, according to the transcripts of secret tapes of the popular princess. The shock revelations were made in a book about her battles with depression, life with Charles and his lover Camilla
"I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades," The Princess of Wales is quoted as saying. The "suicide" tapes - are believed to have recorded in 1991 with the help of a friend - and have remained secret for 20 years, The Sun reported. But they are now being used in a republished version of Andrew Morton's book: Diana- Her True Story.
Diana in the tapes tells how life became a misery after life in Balmoral during their honeymoon. "I got terribly, terribly thin. People started commenting: 'Your bones are showing.' By October (1981) I was in a very bad way," she said. "I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades," she was quoted as saying. In the original book Morton had revealed the suicide attempts - but had quoted "friends". Now the new edition reveals that it was Diana who had spoken candidly about how quickly the marriage had fallen apart.
Princess Diana also revealed how she kept looking for Camilla Parker Bowles, her love rival, even as she walked down the aisle at her wedding. Diana said, "As I walked up the aisle, I was looking for Camilla. I knew she was in there. So walking back down the aisle, I spotted Camilla -- pale grey, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day, you know -- vivid memory."
Princess of Wales Lady Diana (L) shakes hand with actress Elizabeth Taylor at the end of the performance of The Little Foxes in London, on March 8, 1982. Pic/AFP
On her honeymoon she reveals she suffered "appalling dreams", adding: "At night, I dreamt of Camilla the whole time. "I was obsessed by Camilla totally. I didn't trust (Charles) -- thought every five minutes he was ringing her up, asking how to handle his marriage."
The Princess of Wales, patron of Headway,the National Head Injuries Association, attends a lunch hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce on December 10, 1992 in London. The Princess is flanked by British author and politician, Lord Jeffrey Archer(L) and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Denis Healey, both dressed as Santa Claus. Pic/AFP
Princess Diana supported many charities such as AIDS, leprosy. She took interest in serious illnesses and health-related matters. Princess Diana championed for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. This effort won a Nobel Peace Prize a few months after her death.
Diana made history in April 1987 when she was photographed shaking an HIV patient's hand without wearing gloves. The photo helped spread the message of HIV awareness and educate the public's perception of the illness. That day, the Princess opened the UK's first HIV/Aids unit at London Middlesex Hospital that specifically treated patients infected with the virus
Just a few months before she passed away, Diana held a Christie's auction of 79 of her most iconic dresses to raise money for AIDS and cancer charities. One of the most well-known dresses sold was the "Travolta dress," a velvet blue gown that Princess Diana wore at a gala at the White House, where she danced with John Travolta.
Talking to a patient at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta during a six-day visit to India on February 15, 1992. Pic/AFP
Diana remained the object of worldwide media scrutiny during and after her marriage, which ended in divorce on August 28, 1996. She was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997 at the age of 36 along with Dodi Fayed
After her tragic death in 1997, Diana was buried on Althorp Estate in Northampton. The estate has belonged to the Spencer family for over 500 years. A small island has been dedicated to her memory, with a temple on Oval Lake, where well-wishers can pay their respects. The site is surrounded with four black swans guarding the tomb and oak trees numbering 36, for the years of her life, are on the path to the grave
It is Diana, Princess of Wales's birth anniversary today. Princess Diana had a short but eventful life that makes people remember her fondly till today. Lovingly remembered as 'people's princess', here are glimpses into the life of 20th century's most celebrated Princess.
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