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Diana, Princess of Wales, (Diana Frances; née Spencer; 1 July 1961 31 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Their sons, Princes William and Harry, are second and third in line to the thrones of the United Kingdom and fifteen other Commonwealth Realms.

A public figure from the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles, Diana remained the focus of near-constant media scrutiny in the United Kingdom and around the world before, during and after her marriage, even in the years following her sudden death in a car crashmarker, which was followed by a spontaneous and prolonged show of public mourning. Contemporary responses to Diana's life and legacy were mixed but a popular fascination with the Princess endures. The long-awaited Coroner's Inquest concluded in 7 April 2008 that Diana had been unlawfully killed by the negligent driving of the following vehicles and the driver of the Mercedes in which she was travelling.

Early life

Diana was the youngest daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (later the 8th Earl Spencer) and Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche, and later Frances Shand Kydd). She was born at Park House, Sandringhammarker in Norfolk, England on 1 July 1961, and was baptised on 30 August 1961 at St. Mary Magdalene Church by the Rt. Rev. Percy Herbert (rector of the church and former Bishop of Norwich and Blackburn), with godparents that included John Floyd (the chairman of Christie's). She was the fourth child to the couple, with older sisters Sarah (born 19 March 1955) and Jane (born 11 February 1957), as well as an infant brother, The Honourable John Spencer (born and died on 12 January 1960). The heir to the Spencer titles and estates, her younger brother, Charles, was born three years after her on 20 May 1964.

Following her parents' acrimonious divorce in 1969 (over Lady Althorp's affair with wallpaper heir Peter Shand Kydd), Diana's mother took her and her younger brother to live in an apartment in London's Knightsbridgemarker, where Diana attended a local day school. At Christmas the children returned to Norfolk with their mother, and Lord Althorp subsequently refused to allow them to return to London. Lady Althorp sued for custody, but her mother's testimony during the trial against her contributed to the court awarding custody of Diana and her brother to their father. On 14 July 1976, Lord Spencer married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, the only daughter of romantic novelist Barbara Cartland, after he was named as the "other party" in the Dartmouths' divorce. During this time Diana travelled between her parents' homes. Her father inherited the earldom and Spencer seat in Althorpmarker, Northamptonshiremarker on 9 June 1975, and her mother moved to the Island of Seilmarker on the west coast of Scotland. Diana, like her siblings, did not get along with her stepmother.

Royal descent

On her father's side, she was a descendant of King Charles II of England through four illegitimate sons:

She was also a descendant of King James II of England through an illegitimate daughter, Henrietta FitzJames, by his mistress Arabella Churchill.

On her mother's side, Diana was Irish and Scottish, as well as a descendant of American heiress Frances Work, her mother's grandmother and namesake, from whom the considerable Roche fortune was derived.

The Spencers had been close to the British Royal Family for centuries, rising in royal favour during the 1600s. Diana's maternal grandmother, Ruth, Lady Fermoy, was a long-time friend and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her father had served as an equerry to King George VI and to Queen Elizabeth II.

In August 2007, the New England Historic Genealogical Society published Richard K. Evans's The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations.


Diana was first educated at Silfield School, Kings Lynn, Norfolkmarker, then at Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk, and at West Heath Girls' School (later reorganised as the The New School at West Heath) in Sevenoaksmarker, Kentmarker, where she was regarded as a poor student, having attempted and failed all of her O-levels twice. Her outstanding community spirit was recognised with an award from West Heath. In 1977, at the age of 16, she left West Heath and briefly attended Institut Alpin Videmanette, a finishing school in Rougemont, Switzerlandmarker. At about that time, she first met her future husband, who was dating her eldest sister, Lady Sarah. Diana reportedly excelled in swimming and diving, and longed to be a professional ballerina with the Royal Ballet. She studied ballet for a time, but then grew to 5'10", far too tall to become a professional.

Diana moved to London before she turned seventeen, living in her mother's flat, as her mother then was living most of the year in Scotland. Soon afterward an apartment was purchased for £50,000 sterling, as an 18th birthday present, at Coleherne Court in the Earls Courtmarker area of the Kensington and Chelsea. She lived there until 1981 with three flatmates.

In London she took an advanced cooking course at her mother's suggestion, although she never became an adroit cook, and worked first as a dance instructor for youth, until a skiing accident caused her to miss three months of work. She then got a job as a kindergarten assistant, did some cleaning work for her sister Sarah and several of her friends, and worked as a hostess at parties.

Relationship with the Prince of Wales

Prince Charles's love life had often been the subject of press speculation, and he was linked to many glamorous and aristocratic women, including Diana's older sister Sarah. Charles had also dated Davina Sheffield, Scottish heiress Anna Wallace, the Honourable Amanda Knatchbull (granddaughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma), actress Susan George, Lady Jane Wellesley, heiress Sabrina Guinness and Camilla Shand, among others. In his early thirties, he was under increasing pressure to marry. Legally, his marriage required the Queen's formal consent. The only requirement was he could not marry a Roman Catholic or lose his place in the order of succession; a member of the Church of England was preferred. In order to gain the approval of his family and their advisers, any potential bride was expected to have a royal or aristocratic background, be a virgin, as well as be Protestant.

Prince Charles had known Diana for several years, but he first took a serious interest in her as a potential bride during the summer of 1980, when they were guests at a country weekend, where she watched him play polo. The relationship developed as he invited her for a sailing weekend to Cowesmarker, aboard the royal yacht Britanniamarker, followed by an invitation to Balmoral Castlemarker, the Windsor family's Scottish home, to meet his family. Diana was well received at Balmoral by Queen Elizabeth II, by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Mother. The couple then had several dates in London. The prince proposed on 6 February 1981, and Diana accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks..

Engagement and wedding

Their engagement became official on the 24th February, 1981, after Diana selected a large £30,000 ring consisting of 14 diamonds surrounding a sapphire, similar to her mother's engagement ring.

The 20-year-old became The Princess of Wales when she married Charles on 29 July 1981 at St Paul's Cathedralmarker, which offered more seating than Westminster Abbeymarker, generally used for royal nuptials. It was widely billed as a "fairytale wedding," watched by a global television audience of 750 million. At the altar Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles's names, saying Philip Charles Arthur George instead. She also did not say she would "obey," which caused a sensation at the time. The ceremony began at 11:20 A.M. BST, and Diana wore a dress valued at £9000 with 25 foot train. The couple's wedding cake was created by Belgianmarker pastry chef S. G. Sender, who was known as the "cakemaker to the kings."


On 5 November 1981, Diana's first pregnancy was officially announced, and she frankly discussed her pregnancy with members of the press corps. In the private Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddingtonmarker on 21 June 1982, Diana gave birth to her first son and heir, William. There was some controversy in the media when she decided to take William, still a baby, on her first major overseas visit to Australia and New Zealand, but which was popularly applauded. By her own admission, Diana had not initially thought to, or insisted upon, bringing William until it was suggested by the Australian Prime Minister.

A second son, Harry, was born a little over two years after William on 15 September 1984. According to Diana, she and Prince Charles were closest during her pregnancy with "Harry", as the younger prince became known. She was aware their second child was a boy, but did not share the knowledge with anyone else, including Prince Charles, who was hoping for a girl.

Even during her lifetime, when Diana underwent frequent and regular criticism for her choice of charities, her public image, relationship with the media, as well as her relationship with her husband and his family, Diana was universally regarded as a devoted mother who lavished her sons with attention and affection. Diana rarely deferred to Prince Charles or the royal family, and was often implacable when it came to her children. She chose their first given names, went against the royal custom of circumcision, dismissed a royal family nanny and hired one of her choosing, in addition to choosing their schools, clothes, planning their outings and taking them to school as often as her schedule permitted. She also negotiated her public duties around their time-tables.

Charity work

Starting in the mid - to late 1980s, the Princess of Wales became increasingly known for her support of numerous charities. This stemmed naturally from her role as Princess of Wales—she was expected to visit hospitals and other state agencies in the 20th century model of royal patronage. Diana, however, developed an interest in serious illnesses and health-related matters outside the purview of traditional royal involvement, including AIDS and leprosy. In addition, the Princess patronised charities and organisations working with the homeless, youth, drug addicts and the elderly. From 1989, she was President of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Diana was most famously, in the last year of her life, the most visible supporter of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a campaign that went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 after her death, which many believed was a posthumous tribute to the Princess.

Problems and separation

In the early 1990s, the marriage of Diana and Charles fell apart, an event at first suppressed, then sensationalised, by the world media. Both the Prince and Princess of Wales allegedly spoke to the press through friends, each blaming the other for the marriage's demise. Charles resumed his old, pre-marital affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Diana claimed Charles resumed his affair with Camilla as early as 1984, just three years after their marriage, while Charles later admitted to resuming it around 1986. Asked what part Camilla had played in the break-up of her marriage, Diana commented during the BBC programme Panorama, "Well there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

During the Panorama television interview, shown on 20 November 1995, Diana confirmed she had an affair with her riding instructor, James Hewitt. Charles had confirmed his own affair over a year earlier in a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby.The Prince and Princess of Wales were separated on 9 December 1992. Although her affair with Hewitt was the longest lived of her affairs, Diana also had relationships with other men after her affair with Hewitt ended when he was posted to Germany. According to some sources, but which Diana vehemently denied, she had an affair that preceded her affair with Hewitt, with her bodyguard, but after leaving the Royal Protection squad he was killed in a motorcycle accident.

While she blamed Camilla Parker-Bowles for her marital troubles, at some point Diana began to believe Charles had other affairs. In October 1993 Diana wrote to a friend that she believed her husband was now in love with Tiggy Legge-Bourke and wanted to marry her. Legge-Bourke had been hired by Prince Charles as a young companion for his sons while they were in his care, and Diana was extremely resentful of Legge-Bourke and her relationship with the young princes.

On 3 December 1993, Diana announced her withdrawal from public life.

In December 2007, witnesses at the inquest were questioned about a letter to Paul Burrell which Diana had written by hand in October 1993, of which only redacted versions had previously been public. In this letter, Diana said -


In December 1995, the Queen asked Charles and Diana for "an early divorce," as a direct result of Diana's Panorama interview. This followed shortly after Diana's accusation that Tiggy Legge-Bourke had aborted Charles's child, after which Legge-Bourke instructed Peter Carter-Ruck to demand an apology. Two days before this story broke, Diana's secretary Patrick Jephson resigned, later writing Diana had "exulted in accusing Legge-Bourke of having had an abortion".

On 20 December 1995, Buckingham Palace publicly announced the Queen had sent letters to Charles and Diana advising them to divorce. The Queen's move was backed by the Prime Minister and by senior Privy Councillors, and, according to the BBC, was decided after two weeks of talks. Prince Charles immediately agreed with the suggestion. In February Diana announced her agreement after negotiations with Prince Charles and representatives of Queen, irritating Buckingham Palace by issuing her own announcement of a divorce agreement and its terms.

The divorce was finalised on 28 August 1996.

Diana received a lump sum settlement of around £17 million along with a clause standard in royal divorces preventing her from discussing the details. Diana and her advisors shrewdly negotiated with Charles and his representatives, with Charles reportedly having to liquidate all of his personal holdings, as well as borrowing from the Queen, to meet her financial demands. The Royal Family would have preferred an alimony settlement, which would have provided some degree of control over the erstwhile Princess of Wales.

Days before the decree absolute of divorce, Letters Patent were issued with general rules to regulate royal titles after divorce. In accordance, as she was no longer married to the Prince of Wales, Diana lost the style Her Royal Highness and instead was styled Diana, Princess of Wales , the standard styling for divorced wives of nobility, where divorce had been common for decades. Buckingham Palace issued a press release on the day of the decree absolute of divorce was issued, announcing Diana's change of title.

Buckingham Palacemarker stated Diana was still a member of the Royal Family, as she was the mother of the second- and third-in-line to the throne, which was confirmed by the Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household, Baroness Butler-Sloss, after a pre-hearing on 8 January 2007: "I am satisfied that at her death, Diana, Princess of Wales continued to be considered as a member of the Royal Household." This appears to have been confirmed in the High Court judicial review matter of Al Fayed & Ors v Butler-Sloss. In that case, three High Court judges accepted submissions that the "very name ‘Coroner to the Queen’s Household’ gave the appearance of partiality in the context of inquests into the deaths of two people, one of whom was a member of the Family and the other was not."

Personal life after divorce

After the divorce, Diana retained her double apartment on the north side of Kensington Palacemarker, which she had shared with Prince Charles since the first year of their marriage, and it remained her home until her death.

Diana dated respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, from Jhelummarker, Pakistanmarker, who was called "the love of her life" after her death by many of her closest friends, for almost two years, before Khan ended the relationship. Khan was intensely private and the relationship was conducted in secrecy, with Diana lying to members of the press who questioned her about it. Khan was from a traditional Pakistani family who expected him to marry from a related Muslim clan, and although Diana expressed willingness to convert to Islam, their differences, not only religion, became too much for Khan. He reportedly ended the relationship in a late-night meeting in Hyde Parkmarker, which adjoins the grounds of Kensington Palace, in June 1997.

Within a month Diana had begun seeing Dodi Al-Fayed, son of her host that summer, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Diana had considered taking her sons that summer on a holiday to the Hamptonsmarker on Long Island, New York, but security officials had prevented it. After deciding against a trip to Thailand, she accepted Fayed's invitation to join his family on the south of France, where his compound and large security detail would not cause concern with Royal Protection squad. Mohamed Al-Fayed bought a multi-million pound yacht on which to entertain the princess and her sons.


In January 1997, pictures of the Princess touring an Angolan minefield in a ballistic helmet and flak jacket were seen worldwide. It was during this campaign that some accused the Princess of meddling in politics and declared her a 'loose cannon.' In August 1997, just days before her death, she visited Bosnia with the Landmine Survivors Network. Her interest in landmines was focused on the injuries they create, often to children, long after a conflict is over.

She is believed to have influenced the signing, though only after her death, of the Ottawa Treaty, which created an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. Introducing the Second Reading of the Landmines Bill 1998 to the British House of Commonsmarker, the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, paid tribute to Diana's work on landmines:

All Honourable Members will be aware from their postbags of the immense contribution made by Diana, Princess of Wales to bringing home to many of our constituents the human costs of landmines.
The best way in which to record our appreciation of her work, and the work of NGOs that have campaigned against landmines, is to pass the Bill, and to pave the way towards a global ban on landmines.

The United Nations appealed to the nations which produced and stockpiled the largest numbers of landmines (United States, China, India, North Koreamarker, Pakistanmarker, and Russia) to sign the Ottawa Treaty forbidding their production and use, for which Diana had campaigned. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said that landmines remained "a deadly attraction for children, whose innate curiosity and need for play often lure them directly into harm's way".


The entrance to the Pont de l'Alma tunnel, the site of Diana's fatal car accident.
On 31 August 1997, Diana died after a car wreck in the Pont de l'Almamarker road tunnel in Parismarker along with Dodi Al-Fayed and the acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Parismarker, Henri Paul, who was instructed to drive the hired Mercedes-Benz through Paris in order to elude the paparazzi. Their black 1994 Mercedes-Benz S280 crashed into the thirteenth pillar of the tunnel. The two-lane tunnel was built without metal barriers in front of the pillars. None of the four occupants wore a seat belt

Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4 a.m. local time. Her funeral on 6 September 1997 was broadcast and watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide.

An eighteen-month French judicial investigation concluded in 1999 that the car crash that killed Diana was caused by Paul, who lost control of the car at high speed while intoxicated.

Since February 1999, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (the owner of the Hôtel Ritzmarker, for which Paul worked) has claimed that the crash was a result of a conspiracy, and has since contended that the crash was orchestrated by MI6marker on the instructions of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

An inquest headed by Lord Justice Scott Baker into the deaths of Diana and Dodi Fayed began at the Royal Courts of Justicemarker, London on 2 October 2007 and was a continuation of the original inquest that began in 2004. A jury decided on 7 April 2008 that Diana had been unlawfully killed by the grossly negligent driving of chauffeur Henri Paul and press photographers. The following day Mr. Fayed announced he would end his 10 year campaign for the sake of the late Princess of Wales' children.

Conspiracy theories

Tribute, funeral, and burial

Diana's funeral took place in Westminster Abbeymarker on 6 September 1997. The previous day, following a week long absence from the public eye, Queen Elizabeth II paid tribute to her former daughter-in-law in a live television broadcast.
The funeral procession of Diana passing St. James' Park, London.
The sudden and unexpected death of a very popular royal figure brought statements from senior figures worldwide and many tributes by members of the public. In reaction to the death people left public offerings of flowers, candles, cards and personal messages. By 10 September, the pile of flowers outside Kensington Gardens was five feet deep in places and the bottom layer had started to compost. The same day, Fabio Piras, a Sardinian tourist, was given a one week prison sentence for having taken a teddy bear that a member of the public had put down among the flowers at St James's Palace as a tribute to Diana (this was later reduced to a £100 fine, a reduction that led to him being punched in the face by a member of the public when he left the court.) The next day, Maria Rigociova, a 54-year-old secondary school teacher, and Agnesa Sihelska, a 50 year old communications technician, were each given a 28 day jail sentence for having taken eleven teddy bears and a number of flowers from the pile outside St. James' Palace. This, too was later reduced to a fine (of £200 each) after they had spent two nights in jail.

Diana's funeral was attended by all members of the Royal Family. Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, walked in the funeral procession behind her coffin, along with their father, Prince Charles, and grandfather, Prince Philip together with Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer. During the service, Elton John sang a new version of "Candle in the Wind", his hit song initially dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. The title of the remake version was changed to "Candle in the Wind 1997" and the lyrics to refer to Diana. The burial occurred privately, later the same day. The Prince of Wales, Diana's sons, her mother, siblings, a close friend, and a clergyman were present. Diana's body was clothed in a black long-sleeved dress designed by Catherine Walker, which she had chosen some weeks before. A set of rosary beads was placed in her hands, a gift she had received from Mother Teresa, who died the same week as Diana. Her grave is on an island within the grounds of Althorpmarker Park, the Spencer family home.

The original plan was for Diana to be buried in the Spencer family vault at the local church in nearby Great Bringtonmarker, but Earl Spencer said that he was concerned about public safety and security and the onslaught of visitors that might overwhelm Great Brington. He decided that he wanted his older sister to be buried where her grave could be easily cared for and visited in privacy by her sons and other relations.

The island is in an ornamental lake known as The Round Oval within Althorp Park's gardens. A path with thirty-six oak trees, marking each year of her life, leads to the Oval. Four black swans swim in the lake. In the water there are water lilies, which, in addition to white roses, were Diana's favourite flowers.

On the southern verge of the Round Oval sits the Summerhouse, previously in the gardens of Admiralty Housemarker, London, and now adapted to serve as a memorial to Diana. An ancient arboretum stands nearby, which contains trees planted by Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales, other members of her family, and Diana herself.


"Innocent Victims", the second of two memorials in Harrods.
Immediately after her death, many sites around the world became briefly ad hoc memorials to Diana, where the public left flowers and other tributes. The largest was outside the gates of Kensington Palacemarker. Permanent memorials include: In addition, there are two memorials inside Harrodsmarker department store, owned by Dodi Al-Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, in London. The first memorial consists of photos of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass still smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as an 'engagement' ring Dodi purchased the day before they died. The second, unveiled in 2005 and titled "Innocent Victims", is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross.There is an unofficial memorial in Paris, Place de l'Alma: it is the flame of liberty, erected here in 1989.


Following Diana's death, the Diana Memorial Fund was granted intellectual property rights over her image. In 1998, after refusing the Franklin Mint an official license to produce Diana merchandise, the fund sued the company, accusing it of illegally selling Diana dolls, plates and jewellery. In California, where the initial case was tried, a suit to preserve the right of publicity may be filed on behalf of a dead person, but only if that person is a Californian. The Memorial Fund therefore filed the lawsuit on behalf of the estate, and upon losing the case were required to pay the Franklin Mint's legal costs of £3 million which, combined with other fees, caused the Memorial Fund to freeze their grants to charities.

In 1998 Azermarka issued the postage stamps with both Azeri and English captions, commemorating Diana. The English text reads "Diana, Princess of Wales. The Princess that captured people's hearts".

In 2003 the Franklin Mint counter-sued; the case was eventually settled in 2004, with the fund agreeing to an out-of-court settlement, which was donated to mutually agreed charitable causes.

Today, pursuant to this lawsuit, two Californiamarker companies continue to sell Diana memorabilia without the need for any permission from Diana's estate: the Franklin Mint and Princess Ring LLC.

Diana in contemporary art

Diana has been depicted a number of times in contemporary art since her death.

In July 1999, British artist Tracey Emin, at the height of her Turner Prize fame, created a number of monoprint drawings inspired by the public and private life of Diana for a themed exhibition called Temple of Diana held at The Blue Gallery, London. Works such as They Wanted You To Be Destroyed (1999) related to Diana's bulimia eating disorder, while other monoprints included affectionate texts such as Love Was On Your Side and a description of Diana's dress with puffy sleeves. Other drawings highlighted The things you did to help other people written next to a drawing by Emin of Diana, Princess of Wales in protective clothing walking through a minefield in Angola. Another work was a delicate sketch of a rose drawn next to the phrase, It makes perfect sense to know they killed you (with Emin's trademark spelling mistakes) referring to the conspiracy theories surrounding Diana's death. Emin herself described the drawings saying they "could be considered quite scrappy, fresh, kind of naive looking drawings" and "It's pretty difficult for me to do drawings not about me and about someone else. But I have did have a lot of ideas. They're quite sentimental I think and there's nothing cynical about it whatsoever."

British artist Stella Vine provoked media controversy in 2004 when Charles Saatchi bought Hi Paul can you come over I'm really frightened (2003), a painting by her of Diana, Princess of Wales. The work's title came from the thick red text painted across the canvas, a reference to Diana's butler Paul Burrell. Vine painted as many as 30 paintings of Diana, having become fascinated by conspiracy theories into the Princess' tragic car crash which she had read on the Internet. Vine destroyed many of these paintings soon after they were created. She put them in a skip as she didn't have enough space to dry nor store the wet paintings. The only one she kept was later added to Saatchi's collection.

Vine said she was upset that some people, including her relatives, didn't like her image of Diana, as she believe it was not a disrespectful picture but it was in fact a self portrait as much as depiction of Diana: "The picture is about two women. One who lived in Kensington Palace. And the other who lives down the Whitecross Street. "I look at the picture," says Vine, "and I also see myself."" In 2005, a new Vine painting of Diana, Murdered, pregnant and embalmed (2005), was bought by George Michael for £25,000, reported in The Sun newspaper which condemned it as "sick".

In 2005 Uruguayan artist Martin Sastre premiered during the Venice Biennial the film Diana: The Rose Conspiracy, a fiction starting the day the World discovers Lady Di alive having a happy undercover new life in a dangerous favela in the outskirts of Montevideomarker, Uruguaymarker. The film was shoot on a real Uruguayan slum with a Lady Di impersonator from Sao Paulomarker, Brazilmarker and was selected between the Venice Biennial best works by the Italian Art Critics Association.

In 2007, Vine made a new series of Diana paintings for her first major solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxfordmarker gallery. Vine said she hoped the new paintings would show Diana's combined strength and vulnerability as well as her close relationship with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The new paintings included Diana branches (2007), Diana family picnic (2007), Diana veil (2007) and Diana pram (2007) which included the slogan I vow to thee my country. In September 2007, Immodesty Blaize said she had been entranced by Vine's painting Diana crash (2007) at Modern Art Oxfordmarker finding it "by turns horrifying, bemusing and funny". Vine said herself in 2007 that she had always been drawn to "the beauty and the tragedy of Diana’s life".

Recent events

On 13 July 2006 Italian magazine Chi published photographs showing the princess receiving oxygen in the wreckage of the car crash, despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published. The photographs were taken minutes after the accident, and show the Princess slumped in the back seat while a paramedic attempts to fit an oxygen mask over her face. The editor of Chi defended his decision by saying that he published the photographs for the very simple reason that they had not been seen before, and that he felt the images do not disrespect the memory of the Princess.

Fresh controversy arose over the issue of these photographs when Britain's Channel 4 broadcast them during a documentary in June 2007.

1 July 2007 marked a concert held by her two sons celebrating the 46th anniversary of her birth. The concert was held at Wembley Stadiummarker and featured many well known and popular acts on the bill.

The 2007 docudrama Diana: Last Days of a Princess details the final two months of her life.

On an October 2007 episode of The Chaser's War on Everything, Andrew Hansen mocked Diana in his "Eulogy Song", which immediately created considerable controversy in the Australian media.

Contemporary opinions

An iconic presence on the world stage, Diana was noted for her sense of compassion, style, charisma, and high-profile charity work, as well as her difficult marriage to Prince Charles.

From the time of her engagement to the Prince of Wales in 1981 until her death after a car accident in 1997, Diana was one of the most famous women in the world—a pre-eminent celebrity of her generation. During her lifetime, she was often described as the world's most photographed woman. One biographer suggested that Diana was possibly suffering from Borderline personality disorder. Diana admitted to struggling with depression, self injury, and the eating disorder bulimia, which recurred throughout her adult life.

Royal biographer Sarah Bradford commented, "The only cure for her (Diana's) suffering would have been the love of the Prince of Wales which she so passionately desired, something which would always be denied her. His was the final rejection; the way in which he consistently denigrated her reduced her to despair." Diana herself commented, "My husband made me feel inadequate in every possible way that each time I came up for air he pushed me down again ..."

Titles, styles, honours, and arms

Titles and styles

  • 1 July 1961 – 9 June 1975: The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer
  • 9 June 1975 – 29 July 1981: The Lady Diana Frances Spencer
  • 29 July 1981 – 28 August 1996: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales
  • 28 August 1996 – 31 August 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales

Posthumously, as in life, she is most popularly referred to as "Princess Diana", a title she never held. Still, she is sometimes referred to (according to the tradition of using maiden names after death) in the media as "Lady Diana Spencer", or simply as "Lady Di". After Tony Blair's famous speech she is also often referred to as the People's Princess.

Diana's full style, while married, was Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales, Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.


British honours

Foreign honours



A message of condolence at Piccadilly Circus following her death (note that "Memoriam" is incorrectly spelled as "Memorium")


See also




External links

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