Diana, Princess of Wales
- Category : Notable-Famous-Royal-family
- Type : PE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
British royalty, daughter of the 8th Earl of Spencer with excellent lineage that dates back to the 15th century, the 11th cousin once removed to Prince Charles, heir to the throne of the U.K.
She was seven when her parents separated in 1969 and she and her brother Charles stayed with their father after a bitter custody battle. Though the family was not demonstrative, she adored her dad. A shy, insecure child, she was raised largely by nannies. When she was nine, Mary Clarke became her governess and they remained friends for the rest of her life. She loved to swim and ride.
When her dad met Raine Cartland, it was a major blow to her security; the family nicknamed their stepmother Acid Raine. Diana was already in boarding school in Kent when her dad married Raine in 1975.
Not a scholar, she did well in ballet and piano, and was exceptional when visiting the handicapped in the hospital with an innate sense of sympathy and care.
In November 1980, she met Prince Charles, whom she already idolized. After going to finishing school in Switzerland, she was living in a flat in London that she had bought with a trust fund which had matured when she turned 18. She was working at a nursery, showing a natural skill with kids. Her older sister, Sarah, dated Charles but when they did not connect and Diana was an appropriate choice. Charles was being pressured by the palace to find a bride who had suitable lineage and qualifications to sit on the throne of England as his queen. She had to be able to handle the constant public scrutiny, have an aristocratic background, and be a virgin. Diana qualified on all counts.
After five months engagement, they married at St. Paul's Cathedral on 29 July 1981, 11:17:30 AM GDT. The London procession was hailed by 600,000 people, prior to their two-week cruise on the Mediterranean.
The first of their two sons was born 11 months later on 21 June 1982, Prince William , followed by Prince Henry on 15 September 1984.
The marriage that appeared to be a story-book-romance was stressed from the beginning. The public was obsessed with her and the media put unrelieved attention on her every move. Not strongly secure in herself, she leaned on Charles for continual reassurance, a role to which he was unaccustomed and indifferent. He either resumed, or continued, his relationship with his mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles, while Diana twisted in the net. She had begun a pattern of bulimia before the marriage, and was emotional and unstable. She took tranquilizers and was often depressed to the point of feeling suicidal. Her anorexia increased with a spiral of nerves, shaking and in the grip of ferocious mood swings. Her biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, argues that Diana suffered from a fairly common, but often elusive, mental illness called borderline personality disorder, the symptoms of which include impulsiveness, feelings of abandonment and an inability to sustain relationships.
Nonetheless, Diana stepped up to her public duty of presenting an immaculate image. She was introduced to the world of fashion and began to develop her own sense of glamour. She had a gift of reaching people, especially kids and the sick and dying, with a genuine empathy for those in pain. She knew instinctively how to turn to the one in need, and how to relate to the wounded. Though she was often seen in tears in her private life, in public she was poised as she learned her role of attending charities, openings, polo matches, operas, foundations, lectures and a variety of events. Her popularity began to eclipse Charles. By 1984, he had the perfect wife in public while their marriage was falling apart in private.
After Harry's birth, Diana knew that Charles was seeing Camilla. She felt rejected and betrayed and was tormented, in despair. She looked for help from psychics, mediums, astrologers. The media noted that she saw astrologer Penny Thornton and medium Betty Falko. Angry and rebellious, she saw her marriage as a sham.
Friends with her sister-in-law, Duchess Sarah of York, they played rowdy jokes, skied and went to the races and night clubs together. Diana later broke off their friendship when she found Sarah's memoir to be hurtful and would not speak to Sarah or answer her phone calls. By 1987, she and Charles were separated much of the year.
In 1988, Diana began a physical and psychological make over. She began a physical fitness regime, hired a voice coach, had her hair styled and became world known for her fashion sense.
She began a series of doomed affairs, looking for love in the arms of single and married men, affairs carried out with the utmost secrecy. She was obsessive in her relationships, wanting the man's entire attention and acceptance. According to James Hewitt in his autobiography, released in 1994, he and Diana started their affair in 1986 and continued for five years. He was originally hired as her riding coach and they spent a great deal of time at Windsor Great Parks. Hewitt claims that Diana made the first move for the affair with a kiss in the officers' mess at Windsor, becoming more bold by inviting him to the family's country home in Highgrove. He claims to have given Diana a lot emotionally, stating the affair with him increased her confidence.
In March 1992, her beloved father died of a heart attack at 68. That year her relationship with both Charles and the royal family was at an all-time low. There was bad press, and hostility from the palace.
Andre Morton's book came out in June 1992, a book that she had helped create with private interviews. She deeply regretted her indiscretion as she had told too much and betrayed her world. The book was scandalous, and Diana denied her involvement. Her reputation was further damaged by a series of tapes of intimate phone calls she had made with a lover. Both she and Charles publicly announced their infidelities and the question of whether or not the heir to the throne of England might divorce became an international discussion.
They did divorce. It was declared final on 28 August 1996, 10:27 AM GDT* with Diana relinquishing her claim to royal status but retaining the title of Diana, Princess of Wales, as she is the mother of the next heir to the throne after Charles. She was given a settlement of more than $26 million and $600,000 a year for her private staff and expenses. She kept the flat in Kensington Palace.
Diana withdrew from public life for a while, cutting down on the hundreds of public appointments and causes in which she was involved. Always a devoted mother to her boys, she took them on trips as well as building a private life for herself. With the stress relieved of having the marriage over, it became easier for her and Charles to meet in public functions and for occasions that featured the welfare of their sons.
In September 1995 Diana met 39-year-old Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan while visiting one of his patients at the Boy Brompton Hospital. She took to wearing disguises to go undetected with him to clubs and restaurants, but they spent most of their time together at Kensington Palace. He added emotional stability to her life and she confessed to a friend, "I found my peace. He has given me all the things I need." However her love was accompanied by her characteristic possessiveness and she tried to control Khan, bidding for his undivided attention. For close to 18 months, she was able to smokescreen the press. In May 1997 she made a trip to Pakistan to meet Khan's family - unfortunately without his agreement. The following month he broke off the relationship, on 11 July 1997.
The following morning, Diana left for a vacation at the Saint-Tropez home of Egyptian multi-millionaire owner of a London department store, Mohamed Al Fayed, sobbing her heart out. On 14 July 1997, Al Fayed's son Dodi arrived. A full-time playboy with interests in the film industry, Dodi Al Fayed was enraptured by the princess, and they soon began their ill-fated affair. On 31 July 1997, the couple stole away for a six-day cruise off Sardinia and Corsica. The press broke the story on August 7th. Diana's life was soon consumed with Dodi (born on 15 April 1955).
On 31 August 1997, 00:25 AM, Diana and Dodi were in a car accident in a tunnel along the river Seine in Paris. When French emergency services arrived, they pronounced Al Fayad dead. Doctors attempted to revive Diana at 00:35 AM. It took 52 minutes to extricate her from the mangled car and transport her the four miles to Pitie-Saletriere Hospital, where they arrived at 2:05 AM. Diana's heart had stopped beating at 1:50 AM. Doctors stopped their efforts to revive her at 3:45 AM and she was officially pronounced dead at 4:07AM. Had she and Dodi been wearing their seat belts, they would have survived. The outpouring of grief from every corner of the world was astounding. Princess Diana had touched every heart, leaving an image and a title of "the People's Princess."
An official inquest into her death began on 6 January 2004 and nearly immediately was adjourned until 2005 to allow Britain's most senior police officer to investigate. The inquest was ordered amid rumors that Diana was pregnant at the time of her death. In addition, a letter came to the public attention that she had written to her butler, Paul Burrell, expressing her belief that there was a plot afoot to kill her perhaps by tampering with the brakes of her car; she worried that Prince Charles or other members of the Royal family might be behind the plot. In December 2006 a report was issued by the BBC saying that her chauffer that night was drunk, with a blood alcohol level of three times the French legal limit and that the US had been bugging her phone. The US Secret Service denied bugging her phone.