Have you ever heard of this woman named Princess Diana? I’m sure you have, and if you haven’t, you’ve been living under a rock. Princess Diana is one of the most relatable, down to earth and human-like members of the royal family to have ever lived. She has captured the world and all of our hearts based on her kindness, good heart and beauty. She truly is the people’s princess.
Princess Diana was always a little outside of the box, even since childhood. She did not really have the traditional royal upbringing and grew up quite ‘normal’. Not to say that Diana lived a sheltered, untouchable life, but she proved to follow her heart and her passion throughout her life. Lady Diana always did what she wanted, despite public opinion or backlash. This is proven in her later life in terms of the way she brought up her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. She didn’t feel the need to obey and mimic the traditional way of life for royals. She marched to the beat of her own drum, princess or not and we love it.
Being a member of the royal family, it is a sure thing that eyes are always on you. How annoying right? Diana did manage to keep her own little secrets from the public as well as fess up to anything she was called out on. Dive into the royal world and take a look into 10 things that are all about the late Lady Diana.
10. Her Sister Dated Prince Charles
Talk about an awkward family reunion! Before courting and marrying, Prince Charles briefly dated the sister of Princess Diana, Sarah Spencer. The romance was in the late 70’s and was short, but gave enough time to help Charles land his eyes on his future bride, his girlfriend’s sister. Lady Sarah Elizabeth Lavinia McCorquodale went on to say, “I introduced them. I’m cupid.” Although the ex-girlfriend shares humor in the scenario, reports have been made that there is plenty of resentment chipping away at the ex. The relationship ended with Charles when he got wind that Sarah had leaked royal information to reporters outing private information. Charles felt betrayed and was quick to end it all. The reporters felt that Sarah had a big eye on the fame element of becoming a royal and behaved like no princess indeed. Although things did not pan out between Charles and Sarah, the sisters went on to travel the world together as Sarah accompanied the royal wife on her duties.
9. Diana Was No Grade A Student
Until the age of 9, the princess underwent home schooling . This was common for the upper middle class to be tutored at home during this time. She later transferred to boarding school from the ages of 9 until 12 at Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk. She went on to attend West Health Girl’s School in Kent until the age of 16. She was regarded as poor during her stay there. She also chose to drop out, ending her schooling days. While she attended all these schools, she never achieved outstanding marks and failed all her O-levels. Although she was not brainy, she was very popular and stood out in the athletic world. She excelled in swimming, diving, hockey. She won a numerous amount of swimming competitions and followed her passion of ballet. Not achieving straight A’s did not seem to damage the princess’ life too much as she sat comfortably in one of the wealthiest homes in the UK for a great part of her life.
8. She Wanted To Be A Ballerina
A major dream of Diana’s throughout her whole life was to be a professional ballerina. She danced her whole life, but her professional chances ended as she grew too tall (5’10”) and did not have the classic dancer’s body to fulfill the requirements of a ballerina. She continued to support the ballet world by attending fundraisers, visiting dance schools and watching the shows. Whenever Diana would attend a fundraiser, she would increase the donations by roughly $75,000. She knew many dancers personally and provided any type of help when needed. She was especially concerned for dancers who had eating disorders trying to upkeep the ballerina weight. Even after her marriage, Diana continued to take classes. She was simply immersed in the world of dancing and felt great joy through association.
7. She Selected Her Engagement Ring From A Catalog
This is one of the most recognizable rings in the world and the amount of times it was recreated is countless. Diana broke the mold while opting out of having her engagement ring custom made. She flipped the jewelry catalog of the famous Garrad company and chose the shiny blue sapphire ring. The company is famous for making many royal jewels and still sells the replica of the famous ring today. The ring contains 14 solitaire diamonds around a 12 carat sapphire that is set in white gold. It is worth roughly $500,000 today. There was speculation that Diana only chose this particular ring because it was the biggest. When asked about her decision, she remarked that it was chosen because she always wanted a sapphire and that it definitely was not the biggest of her selection. She had chosen it because she thought it was just simply beautiful. Today, her daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, sports the incredible ring. She had it resized to fit her delicate finger. It has also since been dubbed ‘the commoner’s ring’ referencing Kate’s commoner status before marriage.
6. Her Wedding Dress Train Was The Longest In Royal History
This dress is known as the dress of the century and it is easy to see why. It is covered in sequins, embroidery and 10,000 pearls. The 25-foot-long train is on record as the longest in royal history. The princess even had to undergo practice walking sessions in the dress because it was so huge. The dress took over 5 months to make as well as 5 months for fittings and was one of the most guarded dresses of the century. While being made, the dress shop boarded up their windows shielding any public eye from seeing the marvel. The store also hired security guards in order to protect any break ins or thefts stealing the designs that were worth millions of dollars. The gown consists of 100 yards of tulle, 25 yards of silk and 150 yards of netting for the veil. Diana followed the tradition of ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’. She had old antique lace, new silk, borrowed tiara and a small blue bow sewn into her waistband. She also decided to sew an 18-carat gold horse shoe with white diamonds into her dress for good luck.
5. She Didn’t Bring Up Her Kids In The Traditional Royal Manner
Princess William and Prince Harry are known as some of the biggest heartthrobs in royal history. They are charismatic, polite and good looking. The way they were raised definitely had an impact of the character they hold and they have their mother to thank. Diana made a point of doing activities with her boys that were as ‘normal’ as possible. They frequented Disneyland and McDonalds, but they also accompanied their mother to homeless shelters and AIDS clinics. She stated that, “I want them to have an understanding of people’s emotions, of people’s insecurities, of people’s distress, of their hopes and dreams”. This upbringing definitely landed both boys into the ‘mama’s boy’ club. Eight-year-old William was even reported to have slipped tissue underneath the bathroom door as he heard his mother crying after an argument with Charles. Although her marriage went to shambles and her life ended early, she instilled amazing memories for both her boys to carry throughout their lives.
4. She Auctioned Off 79 Of Her Own Dresses
Prince William had a great idea for Diana and she could not resist. He suggested that she auction of an array of her gowns and dresses to the public to raise money for a good cause. That she did, resulting in a $5.76 million donations towards breast cancer and aids charities. The auction was held at Christie’s New York. The dresses included in the auction were worn between the years of 1981 and 1996. On this day, a whopping 1100 people showed up to bid. Of course, some probably were motivated to see the princess up close and personal and not officially buy one of the gowns. It was a great opportunity. The highest bid at the time reached $222, 500 for the dress Diana wore to a White House dinner. She also danced with actor John Travolta famously in this dress adding to its appeal. It was an overall historic success.
3. She Is Buried On An Island
Diana’s death was one of the most shocking in royal history, it caught the world by surprise and devastated many. Her funeral even racked in more than a billion viewers when broadcast. It was important that Diana had a proper burial, especially considering the murky details of how exactly she died. Diana’s family agreed adamantly in holding a proper funeral for the princess at Westminster Abbey for the public. After this, they chose a more private area for the princess to rest in peace. Most of Diana’s family is buried in a family vault at a church in Great Brighton. At the last minute, Diana’s brother Earl decided that Diana should be buried in an area that is more private and secure given her status. She is buried on the grounds of Althorp Park within a garden known as The Oval. Her family home is roughly a mile away from the grounds. This also gives privacy to her sons to visit at any time. Next to her burial lays an arboretum consisting of trees both her sons and her planted throughout their lives.
2. Diana ‘Will Not Obey’
When getting married, Diana decided to twist her words a little bit resulting in a lot of talk and controversy. The traditional vows include words of obeying your husband, which Diana chose not to say. She, as well as her daughter in law following in Diana’s footsteps, chose “to love, comfort, honor and keep” instead. At 20 years old, the bride differed greatly from all the other ladies getting married and obeying all the traditional laws. Reverend Rowan Williams, who married William and Kate believes the term is archaic and that, “A promise to obey was in the past, part of different standards and expectations of women and men within marriage for example the fact that women had no standing in law until 1926.” Not all the reverends feel the same, as Reverend Peter Nutt feels that obeying means to trust, to listen and to recognize different functions within the family. He says, “There are times when the husband will rightly obey the wife because she knows better and is lead in that area.” It is obvious based on her actions, where Diana stood regarding this issue.
1. She Struggled With Depression And Bulimia
Diana held many personal issues throughout her whole life and they seemed to intensify as she got married. She remembers that her insecurities started right around when she got engaged. Diana said, “My husband put his hand on my waistline and said, ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ That triggered something off in me.” Diana was scrutinized for being chubby when she first started to be in the spotlight. She would turn to food for comfort because of all the judgement she was receiving both inside and outside her home towards her appearance. The news of Diana’s bulimia became public in the 1990’s and triggered a huge affect through the world. Bulimia cases began to skyrocket once the news broke of the princess’ problem. It is unclear whether Diana was influencing others to replicate the disease or her courage of public admission caused others to report their secret disease as well. Either way, this news caused many to receive treatment for the illness and was later dubbed “The Diana Effect”. Diana admitted that her bulimia was a symptom of her depression and the emptiness that she already was feeling. For her brutal honesty, even considering personal issues, Diana was able to help the people. Actions like these continue to make her the beloved people’s princess.