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Princess Diana

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Princess Diana

Princess Diana Frances Spencer's life may have tragically been cut short, but she still managed to live a fulfilled life as a social activist. She captured the world with her beauty, grace, and compassion. She brought life to an old British society that had lost both an empire and its self-confidence, and she also had the power to change people's minds. She was a symbol for selfless humanity. Princess Diana was at one time the most famous woman in the world, due to her involvement in a vast number of different charities and causes.

Princess Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961, in Norfolk, England, the third of four children to Lord and Lady Althrop. Her father was a formal personal aide to both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. Diana grew up at Park House, a mansion located next door to the royal family's Sandringham estate. She lived a relatively happy life until her parents divorced when she was only eight years old. Diana and her siblings were in their father's custody, but still visited regularly with their mother. Diana was tutored at home until the age of nine. A year later she was sent to Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk. At age twelve she began attending Heath High School in Sevenoaks, Kent. Diana's childhood helped influence her decisions for the future.

Growing up one of Diana's playmates was her future brother-in-law, Prince Andrew. Princess Diana's family was extremely close to the royal family, and often attended social gatherings given by the royal family. Prince Charles had even dated Diana's sister, Lady Sarah. Lady Sarah reintroduced the pair in 1977. Prince Charles thought she was too young to be considered as a marriage prospect, and the couple went their separate ways. They were later reunited when Diana was a guest of the royal family at the Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Prince Charles proposed to Diana on February 3, 1981. She resigned from her job as a kindergarten teacher's aide. She moved in with the Queen Mother, and began to prepare to be the wife of the future king of Wales. On July 29, 1981, Diana rode in a glass coach to St. Paul's cathedral where the couple was wed. A congregation of two thousand five hundred and a worldwide audience of about seven hundred million watched the ceremony, while another two million spectators jammed the processional route. Needless to say their wedding was a very publicized event, and Diana would soon find out that her life would be very open to the public eye.

During the first year of marriage Princess Diana attended over one hundred and seventy different events, but the first seven years of marriage she was shielded from the press and could not make any statements unless otherwise approved by the palace. During the late 1980's she began to immerse herself in numerous charitable causes. In 1990 Diana was the patron of forty-four different charities and had attended more than one hundred and eighty events. Diana and Charles had two children together, Harry and William. She involved both of her sons in her work, and as they got older took them to visit homeless shelters and AID's patients to demonstrate to them there was more to life than "palaces and polo." Diana had to cope with life in the public eye and a loveless marriage. The two lead her to depression, bulimia, and attempted suicide. However, the suicide attempts were more of a cry for help. On December 9, 1992, a Buckingham palace spokes person announced that the royal couple was separating. Two years later prince Charles granted a television interview, and declared that he never really love Diana. He also admitted to an adulterous relationship with longtime friend, Camilla Parker Bowles, a woman who had once asked to marry him. Without being granted permission by the Queen, Diana responded with a revealing interview of her own on BBC. As usual her appearance drew more viewers than her husband. The same year the Queen suggested that they get a divorce, and so they did shortly after.

Charity had always been a large part of Princess Diana's life, but after the divorce she devoted herself to it. Throughout the rest of 1966 and into 1997, she worked on behalf of a half dozen of her favorite charities and causes. In June 1997, there was an auction of seventy-nine of Diana's evening gowns at Christies in New York. The auction brought in more than 5.7 million dollars for AID's and cancer charities. In the U.S. Diana was named International Humanitarian of the year.

Princess Diana showed the world that people with AID's



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