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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales was born on July 1, 1961, in Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk.

She was named after Diana Russell, an 18th century ancestor. Russell was born Lady Diana Spencer, was often called Di, and very nearly the married the then Prince of Wales.

Diana failed all her O-level school examinations twice, and described herself as being "as thick as a plank." She did win a school award for having the ‘best-kept guinea pig’ and a school cup for ‘helpfulness’.

Diana left school when she was 16 and moved to London when she was 18.

On July 29, 1982 Lady Diana Spencer became the first common Englishwoman in 300 years to marry an heir to the British throne when she wed Prince Charles. .

Wikipedia Commons

A worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watched the wedding, which took place at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Diana mixed up the Prince's names at the ceremony calling him Philip Charles Arthur George, rather than Charles Philip.

The wedding vows had only one omission. Diana was the first Royal bride not to promise to obey.

Princess Diana's wedding gown was embellished with 10,000 pearls and a 25-foot (7.6 m) train, which was badly crushed during the coach ride to the ceremony. It became one of the most famous outfits in the world.

It is estimated that between 1981 and 1994, Princess Diana spent $2 million dollars on clothes.

Diana suffered from a number of psychological and depressive conditions including the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. The princess attempted to cope with her poor mental state by experimenting with acupuncture, massage and a range of New Age therapies.

Princess Diana stated her bulimia started the week after she got engaged to Prince Charles.She later recalled: “My husband put his hand on my waistline and said: ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ and that triggered off something in me."

In 1996 Princess Diana agreed to a divorce from Prince Charles, ending a marriage that began in 1981. She said it was "the saddest day of her life."

When the legal clerk issued the divorce decree ending the 15-year marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana were 500 miles apart. The court action cost $31.00.

Diana's full title, once divorced, was Lady Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.

Diana raising money for cancer research in Chicago, Illinois, June 1996

On the night of August 31 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were both tragically killed in a motor accident when the car they were in collided with a beam on the Pont D'Alma near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

In Britain in unprecedented scenes of grieving, millions of mourners flocked to London to lay flowers and toys in her memory. This public outpouring of grief over the tragic death of ‘the people’s princess’ is to many commentators in the media an outbreak of hysteria. However in such tragedy mourners are turning to religious symbols such as offering up a candle and tying to railings written prayers as a way of expressing their emotions.

Flowers left outside Kensington Palace

Her funeral was held on September 6, 1997. Over a million people lined the streets and the world-wide TV audience for the funeral ceremonies was estimated at over two billion.

Elton John sung a new version of  his hit single "Candle In The Wind" at Princess Diana's funeral. The new version, which replaced "Goodbye Norma Jean" with "Goodbye England's Rose," became the best-selling single of all time.

Diana was buried on an island at her ancestral home at Althorp.

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