Zaiba Shekh

Diana, Princess of Wales

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"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."
-Princess Diana

Acknowledged by the whole world and known as the woman who brought a smile when in need, Princess Diana showed the world that she can be independent and achieve numberless of accomplishments from who she is and what she stands for. The Princess was once a shy soul who hid behind herself, but grew into a leader (Chidley). She brought happiness to her family and brought joy to those who need it most. Princess Diana proved a person can use their fame for promotion of good deeds rather than promotion of oneself. She was loved and missed when the unfortunate happened, but her actions brought inspiration to the world ("Life of Diana").


Diana, Princess of Wales, née Spencer was born on the 1st of July 1961, in Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk. She was the fourth of five children of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd, they were known as the Viscount and Viscountess Althorp. Although, they divorced when Diana was the age of eight, after her mother had an affair. She had suffered through a battle of custody along with her siblings and her father won custody of Diana with the support of his former mother-in-law ("The Life of Diana"). Diana became known as Lady Diana when her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer. In 1968, Diana began her education at Riddlesworth Hall School, an all girls school, near Diss, Norfolk and later attended boarding school at The New School at West Heath in Sevenoaks, Kent. Diana was regraded to be a poor student, having attempted and fail all of her O-Levels twice, known as one of the levels of the General Certificate of Education in the United Kingdom. However, she had an interest in music and dancing rather than her academics. In 1977, she left West Heath and attended Institut Alpin Videmanette, a finishing school in Switzerland (Cunningham). Also, Diana longed for a future as a professional ballerina with the Royal Ballet, but then grew too mature for the profession. Her first jobs, at the age of seventeen, was as a nanny, then a dance instructor for the youth, until a skiing accident caused her to miss a few months of classes, and lastly as an preschool teacher's assistant, but also worked as a hostess at parties and had another job as a nanny (Chidley).

On February 6 1981, Diana was engaged to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; and before long, their engagement was official on February 24, 1981, after weeks of secrecy. Diana left her job as an preschool assistant and lived at the Buckingham Palace until the wedding. She made her first of plenty of appearances with her newly engaged finance, the Prince of Wales, at a charity ball at Goldsmiths' Hall. Finally, at the age of twenty-one, Lady Diana married the Prince Charles on July 29, 1981 at the St. Paul's Cathedral.
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Their wedding was known as a "fairy-tale wedding", which was globally televised with an audience of 750 million while 600 thousand people lined up in the streets to get a glimpse of the bride and groom. At the altar, Diana had a few nerves and reversed the order of Prince Charles's name. The newlyweds spent part their honeymoon at the Mountbatten family home in Broadlands, Hampshire before spending the rest on the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia for a 12-day cruise through the Mediterranean to Egypt, Tunisia, Sardinia, and lastly Greece (Chidley). Although, they ended their honeymoon with a stay at Balmoral. As Princess of Wales now, Diana had to make multiple public appearances and she upheld her appearances with the Prince of Wales("Royal Rebel"). On November 5th, the Princess' first pregnancy was announced, but had a few complications along with it. Diana had a misfortune accident falling down a staircase in Sandringham in January 1982, three months into her pregnancy. Shortly after, the royal gynaecologist was summoned and he discovered that the baby was uninjured. She finally gave birth to her and the Prince's first son, William Arthur Philip Louis, on June 21, 1982. Two years later, on September 15, 1984, a second son, Henry Charles Albert David, known as Prince Harry of Wales, was born. He was said to not be the child of Prince Charles, but James Hewitt's, whom Diana had an affair with. Although, it was discovered he had been born before the affair had occurred (Cunningham). The Princess of Wales was known as a devoted, imaginative, and demonstrative mother to her children. Unfortunately, the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales fell apart. Both agreed the separation and the Princess began a relationship with Major James Hewitt and the Prince went back to former girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles. Their separation was heavily thrown into the media's eyes and was part of every story. They went through complications through the divorce and it was finally finalized on August 28, 1996. Since she was no longer married to Prince of Wales, Diana lost her title as Her Royal Highness and became known as Diana, Princess of Wales because she was the mother of the prince expected to take the throne one day ("Royal Rebel").

After her divorce, Lady Diana went on her own. She had relationship with another as her marriage ended, but also ended it within two years time. She started another one with Mohamed Al-Fayed and became to trust him enough to allow herself and her sons to be entertained by him (Chidley). In January 1997, Diana began her charity work and helping the injured. She visited cities and countries on the behalf of her charities. Diana focused mostly on landmines because they caused constant injuries (Ramidden). Many paid tributes to her work on landmines and respected her actions. She is believed to have influenced many as well (Arnett).

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On August 31, 1997, Lady Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver, Henri Paul. The only survivor of the crash was her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones. There were many conspiracy theories to her death and an 18-month judicial investigation took place in 1999 to discover the truth (Guy Jr.). On September 6, Lady Diana's funeral took place where millions of people viewed her funeral as her family mourned and grieved for her. Soon after, many left flowers and tributes to her at the gates of the Kensington Palace for many months. Diana, Princess of Wales ended her life in the memories of millions and ended as a legacy ("Death of Diana").

Personality Traits
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Kindness came to Princess Diana easily. When she was younger, Princess Diana was known to be utterly shy and pretty quiet among her fellow students at her schools. Diana never shined academically and moved schools, making her a shy new student every time. She was not an excellent student academically, but her determination and caring nature allowed her to get through it. Although she had an endearing passion for music and dancing. She was, at one point in her life, determined to pursue a career in dancing but soon realized she had outgrown the idea. When Diana attended school in Switzerland, many things abruptly changed for her. She came back as a new standing women. She began to blossom from a dowdy, slightly overweight girl to pretty and composed sixteen year old in 1977 (Chidley). However on her wedding day, her shyness got the best of her. She became nervous and had many nerves within her. She knew she was being watched by millions and her shyness got the best of her, she reversed the order of Prince Charles' name. Years passed and soon she became a loving mother of Prince William and Prince Henry. To everyone, she was known as a devoted mother and wife who was caring and selfless. But when Prince Charles and she divorced, she suffered through a stage of depression and confusion. She was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa as well. Princess Diana was deeply depressed and turned to suicide as a way to grab the attention of Prince Charles. Despite her suffering, her kindness and selflessness brought happiness to others ("Life of Diana"). When Diana began her charity work, she had grown comfortable with her role as a humanitarian and celebrity. She used her fame to introduce her charity work to the world and get it own. She became utterly devoted to her charity work as well. She visited the injured patients in hospitals and had individual meetings with each and every one of them. Diana was deeply involved with the patients she visited. Her charity work proved her tireless, sincere, kind, and devoted personality (Arnett). Though, paparazzi came into her way all the time. She was literally hunted down by them and they made her feel self conscious. She, however, always kept a smile on her face to show her true self to the media. Diana began to form friendships with a few photographers and began to trust them to take the best picture of her. Throughout everything, she brought her kindness in the situations. She brought happiness from her selflessness. Her personality brought influence to many and it still does nowadays (Cunningham).


Princess Diana faced many obstacles during her time, especially during her youth. Diana was the unwanted third daughter of the Viscount and Viscountess. Her father was anxious for a male heir for the Spencer title, nonetheless he did receive what he had desired (Cunningham). But the complications rose in the Spencers' family. The Viscount and Viscountess divorced due to the Viscountess having an affair with a married man. The children were left in despair and faced a brutal battle of custody. Diana and her siblings roamed,
external image 679295-princess-diana.jpgjumped, and lived from one house to the other; her parents were taking the separation to a high. If Diana or her siblings wanted to visit their other parent, the other would refuse to join or was not allowed to join. She was hurt by her parents divorce, but soon earned the courage to let her past go (Chidley). Although, her own divorce with Prince Charles hurt her the most. After her divorce, she became miserable. She was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, where one feels a loss of control. Diana became a hazard to herself; she was confused and hurt and went into deep depression. Princess Diana did the worst to attract the attention to her lost loved one. She attempted to commit suicide, but stopped herself ("Life of Diana"). However, Princess Diana's biggest obstacle was the media. They were literally everywhere she looked. The media followed her every move. If she were to leave the house hundreds would be herded in her front yard. Photographers would come running from every direction to get a shot of the Princess (Chidley). She was hunted down by the media and became the most photographed women of the world. When her children were born, she became overprotective to shield them as well as herself. Diana had no choice of privacy, cameras constantly succeeded in getting pictures of her. The media accomplished at making her the face of every tabloid and magazine. The media began to bring her insecurities back after she had rid of them. Diana's insecurities started to come alive whenever she was photographed. She was constantly afraid of them taking a horrid picture of her and she sometime felt threatened by the herds of photographers. Diana received much unwanted attention from the media, but kept herself from giving in to their words ("Life of Diana"). Although, throughout all the insecurities, she always had a smile on her face. Through everything, Diana always smiled, it was her way of staying calm. She went through so much in her childhood with shyness and her parents divorce and in adulthood, she suffered through her own divorce and the media. But she kept herself happy through it with her family, friends, and herself (Cunningham).

Historical Significance

"Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back if only they had the chance."
-Princess Diana
Princess Diana played a unique role in history. She balanced a life of being the most photographed woman in the whole world from her engagement to Princes Charles to her death. But mostly balanced a life of being a huge influence and effect on people. Princess Diana became thoroughly involved in charities by the mid-1980s (Cunningham). As the Princess of Wales, she was expected to make public appearances at schools, hospitals and other facilities. She developed interests in illnesses and health related matters outside the traditional purview of royal involvement. She was apart of various charity works including visiting terminally ill people around the world, leading campaigns for animal protection, AIDS awareness, and against the use of inhumane weapons (Chidley). Diana became the patroness of the charities and organizations involving the homeless, elderly, youth, and drug addicts. From 1989, Diana became the president of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children; and in the same year, she became president of the British martial advice organization. Also, in 1991, she was the
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSGQJn5diyqFJBDUdGeEymvauL97mQO7s7IXsZEliElFEu4OtEAadvocate for Headway, the brain injury association, the Natural History Museum, and the Royal Academy of Music, which are currently patronages by the Duchess of Cambridge. Her other patronages included British Red Cross and the British Deaf Association, for which she learned sign language (Cunningham). In June 1995, Diana traveled to Moscow, where she visited a children's hospital she had supported. She gifted the hospital with new medical equipment on her trip as well. Later on in Moscow, the princess was awarded with the International Leonardo Prize, which is given to the most distinguished patrons. Although, after her divorce with Prince Charles, she resigned from over 100 charities. She remained with six charities, Centrepoint, the homeless charity, English National Ballet, Leprosy Mission, National AIDS Trust, President of Great Ormond Street Hospital, and lastly the Royal Marsden Hospital ("Life of Diana"). After her divorce, in January 1997, Diana started her work by visiting countries and cities with those who are in need or injured. She loved to talk to the people and hear what they believed about their situations. She gave most of her time visiting to mostly converse and develop a way to help. Her main focus, however, were landmines due to the injuries they caused innocents all around the world. Diana believed landmines were severely dangerous and caused a terrible number of injuries to the workers. She tried her best to visit each and every child or man who was injured in the landmines (Arnett). She spoke with patients for hours a day and helped them if they acquired it. Diana wanted to make a difference in these landmines. Therefore, she spoke at the landmines conference at the Royal Geographical Society and went to Washington D.C to promote the American Red Cross landmine campaign in June 1997 (Rammidden). Diana became part of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won a Nobel Peace Prize only months after her death. She was believed to be the influence of the Ottawa Treaty, which states the international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. The United Nations convinced nations all around the world, which produced large numbers of landmines, to sign the Ottawa Treaty as well. They were also forbidden to the production of anti-personnel landmines ("Death of Diana of Wales"). Her influence floated around the world and many heard her voice clearly. To this day, Princess Diana left a legacy and is remembered for her work everyday (Guy Jr.).


Arnett, Peter "Princess Diana's Ant-Mine Legacy." eLibrary. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.

Cunningham, John M. "Diana, Princess of Wales (British Princess)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

Chidley, Joe "Cover, THE TABLOID PRINCESS: Diana was more complex than either her friends or her foes acknowledged." Maclean's. 08 Sep. 1997: 34. eLibrary. Web. 12 Sept. 2013

"Death of Diana of Wales" Wikipedia Foundation, 11 Oct. 2013 Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Guy Jr., Andrew. Houston Chronicle. "She died 10 years ago today, but her celebrity still undiminished: Princess Diana." Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News. 31 Aug. 2007 eLibrary. Web 05 Dec. 2013.

"The Life of Diana, Princess of Wales." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web 15 Oct. 2013

Ramidden, Mike. "Princess Diana Charity Work Has Not Been Forgotten." Ezine Articles. N.p., 03 Sept. 2008. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.

"Royal Rebel: The Legacy of Diana." The Guardian. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013