Lady Diana: The People’s Princess

Remembering the life and charitable works of Diana

The most famous woman on the Planet Diana Frances Spencer was born on 1st July 1961 at Park House, Sandringham in Norfolk. Diana was the youngest daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and his first wife Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp. The wedding of John and Frances Spencer in 1954 had been the biggest social event of the year.

Diana’s infant brother had died a year before her birth therefore she was the fourth child of John and Frances Spencer with two elder sisters Sarah, Jane and a younger brother Charles. The Spencer’s had been close to the British Royal Family over a period of few centuries.  Lady Diana’s maternal grandmother, Ruth, Lady, Fermoy was a longtime friend besides being ‘a Lady in waiting to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.’ Park house where Diana grew up is next to the Royal’s Sandringham estate therefore the spencer children often played with princes. Diana and Prince Andrew were good playmates during their childhood.  Despite the fact that Diana was born into a life of privilege yet she had a disturbed childhood owing to the split among her parents. John and Frances had separated while Diana was only six and later got divorced when she was eight. Diana had ‘inherited the title of Lady ‘in 1975 as her father inherited the Spencer seat. Her father John had become the eight Earl Spencer therefore he moved to Althorpe close to Northampton. Diana worked in London after school as a nanny and later as an assistant at the Young England Kinder garden in Knightsbridge.

As soon as the rumors of Diana’s friendship with Prince of Wales surfaced she caught tremendous media attention. On 21st February 1981 their engagement was made official and she soon became one of the most admired faces in the world.  Diana’s wedding with Prince Charles was watched by a global audience of 750 million viewers besides this some 600,000 spectators had lined the wedding route.  Diana was globally admired for her tremendous philanthropic work.

In 1987 Dian’s photograph was taken holding the hand of an HIV patient. At that point in time it was generally believed that the virus could mere spread by touch. Diana said that “it was a shame that people with AIDS had to suffer the stigma and fear of others.”

 According the “The Biography “in 1993 Diana announced on 3rd December that she wanted to step aside from public life for a short period of time due to “overwhelming” media attention. From 1994 onwards she even voluntarily gave up her police protection. During this time the paparazzi took more photographs of Diana than ever before as she usually stepped out without her official bodyguards.

In 1995 during her famous interview for BBC Panorama she disclosed her troubled married life, depression and her eating disorders. According to “The Biography” Diana’s interview was watched by 23 million people in Britain on 20th November. The interview not only played a significant role in increasing her popularity but it also caused her “final exit” from the royal family. Both Charles and Diana had agreed to part ways in February 1996 after having received a letter from the Queen in December 1995 suggesting the option of divorce.  Consequently on 28th August 1996 the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana was dissolved.

It is obvious that Diana’s compassion for the suffering humanity also contributed in making her the most admired woman in the world. Charities across the globe used Diana’s fame to raise awareness on serious humanitarian issues. The princess at one point in her life was a patron for more than 100 charities therefore she visited many hospitals, fundraising galas and schools. During her visits she was witnessed talking and listening to stories of people for several hours. In addition to this Diana made tremendous efforts to raise awareness of leprosy by travelling to countries with a high leprosy rate.  She being the patron of leprosy mission visited hospitals in India, Nepal and Zimbabwe and spent hours with patients. Her contributions to the leprosy mission dispelled the fallacy that leprosy “can be passed on by touch.” Diana also visited Lahore to support the Shaukat Khanum memorial Cancer Hospital as a part of her good will mission in 1996.

In 1997 Diana visited Angola as a guest of the Red Cross International and became an anti-landmine activist. During her trip to Angola she walked through a land mine field that had been cleared not long ago putting her safety at risk. Diana’s memorable moments as an anti-landmine activist in Angola was captured by BBC for a documentary the “Heart of the Matter.” The photographers present in the cleared land mine field complained that they could not have the desired shots therefore Diana once again walked through the field.

On 31st August 1997 Diana died in fatal car crash in Paris she was accompanied by her companion Dodi Al Fayad.  According to BBC at least a million bouquets were placed outside Kensington Palace as a tribute to the late princess. As stated by BBC about “10 to 15 tons of bouquets including 60 million individual flowers were scattered” all over London to honour Diana. Her Funeral service was watched by millions of televisions viewers worldwide. Diana’s sons Prince William and Harry along with Prince Charles, Earl Spencer and Prince Philip walked after her coffin covered with flowers. Lady Diana will always be remembered for her enormous contributions for the global society as she was a true gem of the global society.

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