Diana, Princess of Wales, formerly Lady Diana Frances Spencer, was born on 1 July 1961 in Norfolk, the youngest daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Althorp and the Hon. Mrs Shand-Kydd. She was educated first at a preparatory school, Riddlesworth Hall, in Norfolk, and then at 13 went as a boarder to West Heath, Kent. She showed a particular talent for music (as an accomplished pianist), dancing and domestic science. She finished her education in Switzerland, where she worked as a kindergarten teacher.

Diana married the Prince of Wales in London on 29 July 1981, the first Englishwoman to marry an heir to the throne for 300 years. They had two sons: Prince William Arthur Philip Louis was born in 1982 and Prince Henry (Harry) Charles Albert David in 1984.

After her marriage, the Princess soon became involved in the official duties of the Royal family. In 1983 she accompanied the Prince on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. They took the infant Prince William with them. They visited Australia again in 1988 to mark bicentenary celebrations. The Princess became renowned for her style and was closely associated with the fashion world. She was however, best known for her charitable work, and was president or patron of over 100 charities. The Princess worked for homeless and disabled people, children and people with HIV/AIDS.

Her marriage was unhappy, however, and in 1992 it was announced that The Prince and Princess of Wales had agreed to separate. After the separation, the Princess continued to appear with the Royal family on major national occasions. She resigned most of her charity and other patronages, and relinquished all her Service appointments with military units. In the year before her death, however, the Princess was an active campaigner for a ban on the manufacture and use of land mines.

The Princess was killed in a car accident in Paris, France, on 31 August 1997.

British Monarchy website http://www.royal.gov.uk

More Information