Princess Diana

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, was born The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer in Norfolk on July 1, 1961. She received the style Lady Diana Spencer in 1975, when her father inherited his county.
Lady Diana Spencer married the Prince of Wales on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London
During her marriage, the princess took on a variety of royal duties. Family was very important to the Princess, who had two sons, Prince William and Prince Henry (Harry). After her divorce from the Prince of Wales, the Princess continued to be considered a member of the royal family.
Diana, Princess of Wales, died on Sunday, August 31, 1997, after a car accident in Paris.
There was widespread public mourning for the death of this popular figure, culminating in her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, September 6, 1997.
Even after her death, the Princess’ work lives on in the form of memorial organizations and projects set up to help those in need.

Childhood and youth

Diana, Princess of Wales, formerly Lady Diana Frances Spencer, was born on July 1, 1961, at Park House near Sandringham, Norfolk. She was the youngest daughter of the then Viscount and Viscountess Althorp, now the late (8th) Earl Spencer and the late Hon. Mrs. Shand-Kydd, daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. Until her father inherited the earldom, she was called The Honourable Diana Spencer.

Viscount Althorp was Equerry to George VI from 1950 to 1952 and to The Queen from 1952 to 1954. Lady Diana’s parents, who had married in 1954, separated in 1967 and the marriage was dissolved in 1969. Earl Spencer later married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth in 1976.
Along with her two older sisters Sarah (b. 1955), Jane (b. 1957) and her brother Charles (b. 1964), Diana continued to live with her father at Park House, Sandringham until the death of her grandfather, the 7th Earl Spencer . In 1975, the family moved to the Spencer residence at Althorp (a stately home dating back to 1508) in Northamptonshire in the English Midlands.

Marriage and family

On February 24, 1981, it was officially announced that Lady Diana would marry the Prince of Wales. As neighbors at Sandringham until 1975, their families had known each other for many years, and Lady Diana and The Prince had met again when he was invited to spend a weekend at Althorp in November 1977.
They married on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in a ceremony that drew a worldwide television and radio audience estimated at about 1,000 million people, and hundreds of thousands of people lined the path from Buckingham Palace to the cathedral. The wedding ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace.
The wedding was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Runcie, along with the Dean of St. Paul’s; clergy from other denominations read prayers. Music included the hymns “Christ is Made a Sure Foundation,” “I Pledge Thee My Country,” the hymn “I Was Glad” (by Sir Hubert Parry), a specially composed hymn “Let the People Praise Thee” by Professor Mathias , and Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim,” performed by Dame Kiri te Kanawa. The lesson was read by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr. George Thomas (the late Lord Tonypandy).

The princess was the first Englishwoman to marry an heir to the throne in 300 years (when Anne Hyde married the future James II, from whom the princess was descended). The bride wore a silk taffeta gown with a 25-foot train designed by the Emanuels, her veil was held up by the Spencer family’s diamond tiara, and she carried a bouquet of gardenias, lilies of the valley, white freesias, golden roses, white orchids and stephanotis. She was accompanied by five bridesmaids, including Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (now Lady Sarah Chatto). Prince Andrew (now the Duke of York) and Prince Edward (now the Earl of Wessex) were the Prince of Wales’s attendants (a royal custom in lieu of a best man).

Public role

After her marriage, the Princess of Wales quickly became involved in the official duties of the royal family.
Her first tour with the Prince of Wales was a three-day visit to Wales in October 1981, and in 1983 she accompanied the Prince on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, and they took little Prince William with them. Prince William and Prince Harry joined the Prince and Princess of Wales again at the end of their trip to Italy in 1985.
Other official foreign visits with the Prince included Australia (on the occasion of the Bicentennial in 1988), Brazil, India, Canada, Nigeria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, and Japan (on the occasion of the enthronement of Emperor Akihito). Their last joint visit abroad was to South Korea in 1992.
The Princess’ first official visit abroad was in September 1982, when she represented the Queen at the state funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco. The Princess’ first overseas solo tour took place in February 1984, when she travelled to Norway to attend a performance of Carmen by the London City Ballet, of which she was a patron. Subsequently, the princess visited many countries

including Germany, the United States, Pakistan, Switzerland, Hungary, Egypt, Belgium, France, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nepal.
Although the Princess was known for her style and closely associated with the fashion world, promoting and raising the profile of younger British designers, she was best known for her charitable work.
During her marriage, the Princess was president or patron of over 100 charities. The Princess did much to publicize the work done on behalf of the homeless and also the disabled, children and people with HIV/AIDS.
In December 1993, the Princess announced that she would reduce the scope of her public life to combine “a significant public role with a more private life.”
After her separation from the Prince of Wales, the Princess continued to appear with the royal family at important national occasions, such as the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) and VJ (Victory over Japan) Days in 1995.
After her divorce, the princess resigned from most of her charity and other patronages and renounced all her service appointments with military units. The Princess remained patron of Centrepoint (charity for the homeless), the English National Ballet, the Leprosy Mission, and the National Aids Trust, and president of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, and the Royal Marsden Hospital.
In June 1997, the princess attended receptions in London and New York to preview the sale of a range of dresses and suits she wore at formal engagements. The proceeds went to charity.
The princess spent her 36th and final birthday on July 1, 1997, attending the Tate Gallery’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Her last official engagement in the UK was on July 21, when she visited Northwick Park Hospital in London (accident and emergency department for children).

In the year before her death, the Princess was an active campaigner for a ban on the production and use of landmines. In January 1997, she visited Angola as part of her campaign. in June, the Princess spoke at the Royal Geographical Society’s Landmine Conference in London, followed by a visit to Washington DC in the United States on 17/18 met Mother Teresa in the Bronx, New York). The Princess’ most recent public engagements took place during her August 7-10 visit to Bosnia, when she visited landmine projects in Travnic, Sarajevo and Zenezica.
In recognition of her charity work, representatives of the charities for which she had worked during her life were invited to walk with her family behind her coffin from St. James’s Palace to Westminster Abbey on the day of her funeral.

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