04 Sep Princess Diana – 20 Years On
Twenty years ago, on 31 August, the world woke to the shocking news that Diana, Princess of Wales, had been killed in a car crash. On Wednesday, on the eve of the 20th anniversary, the Princes visited one of the four memorials to her in London.
Some facts about Diana
Princess Diana was Princess of Wales while married to Prince Charles. One of the most adored members of the British royal family
Who Was Princess Diana?
Born Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961, Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons and later divorced in 1996. Diana died on August 31, 1997, from injuries she sustained in a car crash in Paris. She is remembered as the “People’s Princess” because of her widespread popularity and global humanitarian efforts.
Marriage to Prince Charles
Diana was no stranger to the British royal family, having reportedly played with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as a child while her family rented Park House, an estate owned by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1977, she became reacquainted with their older brother, Prince Charles, who was 13 years her senior.
As the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles was usually the subject of media attention, and his courtship of Diana was no exception. The press and the public were fascinated by this seemingly odd couple—the reserved, garden-loving prince and the shy young woman with an interest in fashion and popular culture. When the couple married on July 29, 1981, the ceremony was broadcast on television around the world, with millions of people tuning in to see what many considered to be the wedding of the century.
Achievements of Princess Diana
Diana had a sincere and genuine interest in other people. Her heart of sympathy extended to many people, in whatever situation they were in. She often spent time visiting the homeless, or terminally ill patients in various hospices. True these were often photographed, but this wasn’t her motivation for seeing patients. It is said by some hospital staff that, Diana would sometimes visit in the evening, away from the glare of the media. When she did meet patients they responded very positively to her. Princess Diana had a great capacity to get on with people, whatever their social status. Friends and nurses tell how she had very positive life energy, which was infectious in its capacity to uplift people.
Some Charities that honor her legacy:
- The English National Ballet,
- Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital,
- The Leprosy Mission,
- The National Aids Trust
- and The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust
The Princess spoke out on a wide range of issues and used her high profile to raise awareness as well as funds for charitable causes. She is rightly recognized and respected today as a true humanitarian.
The Princess is remembered by everyone she met for her warmth and genuine interest in their situation and difficulties. She threw herself into her charity work in a very personal way, spending countless hours listening to the individual stories and problems of the people she visited.
She had the ability to make everybody feel special, in particular vulnerable young people who were touched by her warmth and affection. In 1984, she became President of Barnardo’s, a British charity which helps the most vulnerable children and young people transform their lives and fulfil their potential.
She also had a natural empathy with people who were close to death or those who had lost a loved one – something which was clear through her visits to hospitals and hospices in the UK and abroad.
She was not afraid to speak out and show her support of those marginalised by society by becoming actively involved in highlighting their plight.
The image of the Princess standing in a minefield in Angola in January 1997 put the issue of landmines in the headlines the world over.