The world went silent, on August 31, 1997, when Princess Diana died. Though she never found her happily-ever-after with Prince Charles (the couple divorced in 1996, just a year before her death), Diana remains an icon of strength and independence to women around the world. Here are a few things you should know about the Late Princess.
She was the fourth of five children
Princess Diana had two sisters, Sarah (now Lady Sarah McCorquodale) and Jane (now Lady Jane Fellowes), and a younger brother, Charles Spencer (now the Earl Spencer). Her other brother, John Spencer, died in January 1960, hours after his birthday; a year and a half before Diana was born.
Her parents divorced when she was only seven
Diana’s parents; Frances Shand Kydd and Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, divorced when she was just seven years old. Her parents had a toxic relationship, and she cited cheating and physical abuse as some of the reasons for their divorce.
She was an aspiring Ballerina
When her height topped out at 5 feet 10 inches, however, she was declared too tall to make it to the professional heights she wanted to reach.
Her older sister, Sarah, Dated Prince Charles before Diana Did.
Sarah’s relationship with Charles was rumored to have ended when she blabbed some details to the press and then proudly showed Charles the resulting newspaper clipping. Charles chastised her and turned his attentions to Diana shortly thereafter. Lady Sarah gave Charles and Diana her blessing; when they announced their engagement, Sarah noted, “I introduced them. I’m Cupid.”
Her wedding dress was a work of Art
Princess Diana’s wedding dress was extravagant and it’s still one of the most famous and copied dresses in history.
It was Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the ivory dress was made of silk taffeta and antique lace, covered in 10,000 pearls (each one of them hand-sewn) and featured a 25-foot train.
She paid tribute to her mother-in-law at her wedding.
The princess loved the “Dancing Queen” band. To pay tribute to her late mother-in-law, Kate Middleton a.k.a. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge requested of the Swedish band’s biggest hits at her wedding to Prince William.
She was the first royal bride to have a paying job.
When she married Prince Charles in 1981, Diana became the the first royal bride ever to have had a paying job until becoming engaged to an heir. And the Duchess of Cambridge was the first royal bride to have a university degree.
She worked at a Nursery School
In 2015, Prince George began attending the Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk, England, continuing what has become a bit of a tradition with the current royal family. At Princess Diana’s insistence, both William and Harry attended Montessori schools. Before she became a princess, Diana worked as a nursery assistant at the Young England Kindergarten school in Pimlico, yet another school that embraces the Montessori curriculum.
She had Famous relatives
Diana’s stepmother, Raine, was the daughter of famous bodice-ripper writer Barbara Cartland. She was a second cousin once-removed to American actor Oliver Platt (they never met). She was also seventh cousins with Humphrey Bogart.
She in buried in island.
In order to maintain privacy, Diana was buried on an island on her family estate, which does not permit visitors. There are 36 oak trees leading to the lake, one for each of her 36 years. In 2016, it was announced that the princess’s burial place would get a multi-million dollar facelift. On July 1, 2017, princes William and Harry rededicated site during a private service on what would have been Diana’s 56th birthday.