It is a bittersweet day today as we look back at the life of Princess Diana on what would have been her 54th birthday.
If she were alive today, she would be a doting grandmother to George and baby Charlotte. She may have continued on her philanthropic work, and she might have found a loving man.
What is for sure is that Diana is sorely missed and we would love to still have her here.
Diana was born to an aristocratic family on July 1, 1961 in Sandringham and grew up in the family home of Park House with her father after he and her mother divorced. She met Prince Charles after he dated her sister and in 1981, they married. She was 20 and he 33, and she revealed later in her life that they had only seen each other a handful of times before the ceremony that was broadcast across the world.
The public loved Diana – she was innocent, beautiful and caring. She gave birth to Prince William in 1982 and Harry in 1984, though by the mid 80s, her relationship with Charles was breaking down. It was highly publicised, with both Charles and Diana speaking out about their issues. In 1992, the couple announced their separation, which was part of the worst year of the British monarchy. The Queen famously gave her infamous ‘annus horribilis’ speech, saying “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis”. Three of her four children separated or divorced from their spouses, and Windsor Castle caught alight, among other things.
But the subsequent divorce did not blow out Diana’s candle in the wind, and she went on to do a large amount of charity work and was loved by many, affectionately called the ‘people’s princess’. In 1987, Princess Diana was one of the first well known celebrities to be photographed with a victim of AIDS. This was important in changing attitudes to the disease as at the time, many thought the disease could be contacted by touch alone. It highlights just how selfless and caring she was. Another of her high profile engagements was her involvement in the campaign to ban landmines. In January 1997, she visited mine fields in Angola to inspect the clearing of landmines. After her death, the Ottawa treaty, was signed banning the use of anti-personnel landmines. Many agree that her support and role in the campaign played an important role in influencing this decision.
Shortly before her death, Princess Diana met with Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa said “Diana is my daughter” and with utmost humility, Diana replied, “I am a very, very small Mother Teresa”.
Tragically, on the 31st of August, 1997, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. It was alleged she was being chased by paparazzi at the time and the news had a devastating affect on people around the world.
Over 1 million bouquets of flowers were laid at Buckingham Palace and her heartbreaking funeral was watched by countless millions around the world. Her final resting place was her family home of Althorp.
Here are some touching photographs of the princess that we all loved. Share your thoughts below.