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20 Sept 2008

Unforgettable People (XXXIV): Lady Diana

Diana Frances Spencer was born as the youngest daughter of Edward Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and his first wife, Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche) at Park House on the Sandringham estate. Diana was educated at Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk and at West Heath Girls' School, where she was regarded as an academically below-average student, having failed all of her O-level examinations. Diana was a talented amateur singer, excelled in sports and reportedly longed to be a ballerina. Diana was working as an assistant at the Young England kindergarten in Pimlico when she met Prince Charles.

When Diana Spencer was introduced to the British public as the betrothed of the Prince of Wales, she was just 19, and seemed the epitome of the shy, pretty, slightly dim girls who spend a few years in London before returning to their natural environment among the landowning old money of the countryside. The wedding took place at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Wednesday 29 July 1981 before 3,500 invited guests (including Mrs. Parker Bowles and her husband, a godson of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) and an estimated 1 billion television viewers around the world.

Starting in the mid-to-late 1980s, the Princess of Wales became well known for her support of charity projects, and is credited with considerable influence for her campaigns against the use of landmines and helping the victims of AIDS.

On 31 August 1997 Diana was involved in a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, along with her friend and lover Dodi Al-Fayed, and their driver Henri Paul. "I always thought the people that really felt for her and really were true to her she just was a bit airy fairy towards in the end." said Elton about his friend. Rest in peace!!!

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