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Princess Diana of Whales

Princess Diana of Whales was a very wonderful person. She touched many lives and went through many turmoils herself. I decided to do my paper on Princess Diana of Wales, not only because I am named after her, but of my interest in such a wonderful role model. Lady Diana Frances Spencer, was born on 1 July 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 Hon Mrs. Shand-Kydd, daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy.

Lady Diana’s parents were married in 1954 and separated in 1967. The marriage was dissolved in 1969. Together with her two elder sisters Sarah (born 1955), Jane (born 1957) and her younger brother Charles (born 1964), Lady 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 family seat at Althorp in Northamptonshire. Lady Diana first went to a preparatory school, Riddlesworth Hall at Diss, in Norfolk.

Then in 1974 went as a boarder student to West Heath, near Sevenoaks, Kent. At school she had a particular talent for music (as an accomplished pianist), dancing and domestic science, which she gained the school’s award for the girl giving maximum help to the school and her schoolfellows. She left West Heath in 1977 and went to finishing school at the Institute Alpin Videmanette in Rougemont, Switzerland, which she left in 1978. For a while she looked after the child of an American couple, and she worked as a kindergarten teacher at the Young England School in Pimlico.

On 24 February 1981 it was officially announced that Lady Diana was to marry The Prince of Wales. As neighbors at Sandringham until 1975, their families had known each other for many years. Lady Diana and the The Prince had met again when he was invited to a weekend at Althorp in November 1977. They were married at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on 29 July 1981, in a ceremony which drew a global television and radio audience estimated at around 1,000 million people, and hundreds of thousands of people lining the route from Buckingham Palace to the Cathedral.

The couple was married by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Runcie. The Princess was the first Englishwoman to marry an heir to the throne for an incredible 300 years. The Prince and Princess made their principal home at Highgrove House near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, and shared an apartment in Kensington Palace. The Princess of Wales had two sons. Prince William Arthur Philip Louis was born on 21 June 1982 and Prince Henry (Harry) Charles Albert David on 15 September 1984. In After her marriage, The Princess of Wales quickly became involved in the official duties of the Royal family.

Her first tour with The Prince was a three-day visit to Wales in October 1981. In 1983 she accompanied The Prince on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, and they took the infant Prince William with them. Prince William, with Prince Harry, again joined The Prince and Princess at the end of their tour to Italy in 1985. Other official overseas visits undertaken with The Prince included Australia, Brazil, India, Canada, Nigeria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Japan. Their last joint overseas visit was to South Korea in 1992.

December 1992 the horrific announcement of Princess Di’s and Prince Charles separation happened. In November 1995, the Princess gave a television interview talking about her unhappiness in her personal life and the pressures of her public role, which we could only imagine to be stressful. The Prince and Princess were divorce on 28 August 1996. One long divorce if you ask me… The Prince and Princess decided to share custody of their children. The Princess, as the mother of Prince William (second in line to the throne), still remained a member of the Royal family.

During her marriage, the Princess was president or patron of over 100 charities. The Princess did much to publicize work on behalf of homeless and also disabled people, children and people with HIV/Aids. In December 1993, the Princess announced that she would be reducing the extent of her public life in order to combine a meaningful public role with a more private life. After her separation from The Prince, the Princess continued to appear with the Royal family on major national occasions.

Following her divorce, the Princess resigned most of her charity and other patronages, and relinquished all her service appointments with military units. The Princess remained as patron of Centrepoint a homeless charity, English National Ballet, Leprosy Mission and National Aids Trust, and as President of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street and of the Royal Marsden Hospital. The Princess spent her 36th and last birthday on 1 July 1997 attending the Tate Gallery’s 100th Anniversary celebrations.

Her last official engagement in Britain was on 21 July, when she visited Northwick Park Hospital in London which was a children’s accident and emergency unit. The tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales occurred on Sunday, 31 August 1997 following a car accident in Paris, France. The Princess was in a high-speed accident in the Place del’ Alma underpass in central Paris shortly before midnight on Saturday, 30 August. The Princess was taken to the La Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, where she was in two hours of emergency surgery.

Lady Di was declared dead at 3:00am BST. The Princess’ companion, Mr Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the vehicle died in the accident. Di’s bodyguard was seriously injured and the only survivor. The service held for the Princess of Whales was attended by many. Even admirers from other countries were able to attend through television. It was a great loss as well as a great gain in the long run. Her name will always live on and it is a name that I am glad I share with such a wonderful human being.

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