Powerful Ladies of the 80's: Princess Diana

12th September 2017

Princess Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales formerly Lady Diana Frances Spencer, was an iconic figure of the late 20th Century. She was born on July 1, 1961, at Park House, Sandringham, England. Her father was Edward Spencer, Viscount Althorp. Edward Spencer was a direct descendant of Charles II. Her mother was Frances Viscountess Althorp and was distantly related with the Queen Mother; she was also of American descent.

Diana had talent for music as an accomplished pianist. She also excelled in swimming and diving and studied ballet and tap dance.

In 1981, Diana married Prince Charles. She received the title of “Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Wales.” Diana was 13 years the junior, aged just 20 – Charles, by contrast, and was 33 at the time of the wedding. The general public soon warmed to the innocence and beauty of Princess Diana, and the wedding was watched by over 1 billion people worldwide. During their marriage, they had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Five years into the marriage, the couple's incompatibility and age difference of almost 13 years became visible and damaging. The Prince and Princess of Wales were separated on 9 December 1992; their divorce was finalized on 28 August 1996. The Princess lost the style Her Royal Highness and instead was styled as Diana, Princess of Wales. However, since the divorce, Buckingham Palace has maintained that Diana was officially a member of the Royal Family since she was the mother of the second and third in line to the throne.

On 31 August 1997, Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris. The accident also resulted in the deaths of her companion Dodi Fayed and the driver, Henri Paul, who was the acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Paris; Trevor Rees-Jones (Diana's bodyguard) survived the crash.

While remaining a loving and supportive mother to her two sons, William and Harry, Diana championed a number of charitable causes, including AIDS awareness and homelessness. She focused attention on the worldwide menace of land mines. The 1980s realization of the AIDS crisis was one in which Diana played a part. Her willingness to touch and hug AIDS sufferers, at a time when many in the public wanted to quarantine those with AIDS based on irrational and uneducated fears of easy communicability of the disease, helped change how AIDS patients were treated. She had even become involved in a very 1990s issue, that of banning landmines, about a year before she died -- the same issue that attracted a Nobel Peace Prize that year.

We should take inspiration from Diana's commitment and compassion to pursuing her own education on AIDS to better understand the issue so that she could support those with the disease rather than following the herd and fearfully shunning those affected because they didn't understand how it.

Diana also spoke with surprising candor about her own personal struggles with bulimia and suicide, giving individuals struggling with these issues a role model of openness and honesty. Princess Diana used her media popularity to bring attention to the needs of the forgotten and needy of the world.

Diana is reminder to always be educated with the correct information to form your own opinions and to act with kindness and compassion

 

References:

Diana, Princess of Wales Wikipedia, ThoughtCo. Princess Diana Biography, Diana, Princess of Wales-Royal Encyclopaedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana,_Princess_of_Wales
https://www.thoughtco.com/princess-diana-biography-3528743
https://www.royal.uk/diana-princess-wales
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Diana-princess-of-Wales