Life of Diana Frances Spencer

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The second chapter has very complex structure of four paragraphs as it concerns that tragic event which still after more than eleven years has no clear explanation and lots of mystery around – car crush on 30 August 1997 that cut Lady Di's life short. The first paragraph gives brief overview of those fatal events. When Diana, Princess of Wales tragically died in that senseless accident, the world lost one of the most important and respected public figures in the world. So, in the second paragraph public mourning is depicted. The third paragraph deals with those conspiracy theories that arose right after Diana's death. And the last fourth paragraph rises the questions that were under discussion during the inquest of this case.


Introduction 3
Chapter 1. Life of Diana Frances Spencer 6
1.1 Сhildhood and teenage years 6
1.2 Education 7
1.3 Marriage: engagement, wedding and divorce 8
Chapter 2. Death of Diana, Princess of Wales 12
2.1 Circumstances of the car crush 12
2.2 Funeral and public reaction 14
2.3 Conspiracy theories 17
2.4 2007 inquest 19
Chapter 3. Princess Diana in public 22
3.1 Charity work, AIDS awareness 22
3.2 Landmines conclusion 26
3.3 Legacy 27
Chapter 4. Diana, Princess of Wales as a symbol of British culture 29
4.1 Diana in Contemporary Art 29
4.2 The Queen of Hearts – Diana, Princess of Wales 31
Conclusion 34
Bibliography 36
Appendix 39

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Later that morning, Chevènement, together with Lionel Jospin (the French Prime Minister), Bernadette Chirac (the wife of the then French President, Jacques Chirac) and Bernard Kouchner (French Health Minister), visited the hospital room where Diana's body lay and paid their last respects. After their visits, the Anglican Archdeacon of France, Father Martin Draper, said commendatory prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

At around 2:00 p.m., Prince Charles and Diana's two older sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, arrived in Paris; they left with her body ninety minutes later.

2.2 Funeral and public reaction


The sudden death of Diana Princess of Wales at the end of August 1997 sparked off a massive display of emotion in the world, especially in Britain. The event provided the opportunity for the expression of what appeared to be a short-term and superficial, but undoubtedly sincere, manner by a large number of people. “An emotion felt throughout the countryside was that many people saw themselves in some way connected to this public figure and able to grieve for her as if she were an acquaintance” [16]. However, there remained clear borderlines between what the public, who thought they knew her, and the immediate family who did.

The sudden and unexpected death of a very popular royal figure brought statements from senior figures worldwide and many tributes by members of the public. In reaction to the death people left public offerings of flowers, candles, cards and personal messages. By 10 September, the pile of flowers outside Kensington Gardens was five foot deep in places and the bottom layer had started to compost [45; 36].

The reaction to Diana's death was criticised at the time as being "hysterical", "credulous" and "irrational" [45; 38], criticisms that were repeated on the 10th anniversary, when Jonathan Freedland expressed the opinion that "It has become an embarrassing memory, like a mawkish, self-pitying teenage entry in a diary... we cringe to think about it" [16]. Other media experts spoke of `a world in mourning', of `seven long days of tragedy when Britain, and the world, lost and found its heart', and of a `great, yawning, black hole of grief that has opened around all of us after the death of Diana' (Hamilton; Olsson) [28].

The Princess’s funeral brought together a gathering of the powerful (English royalty) and the beautiful (Hollywood’s finest), and the poor. More than a million mourners crowded the streets of London to toss flowers upon her casket. Even as it was happening before their eyes, no one could believe it was real. In the days and weeks that followed her death, everyone was trying to figure out what she had meant and why the world was responding to her death with such grief. Was it her flaws, her failures, her struggles with her weight and her self-esteem, and her refusal to be inhibited by them? Was it her good works and the way she touched the common people, the handicapped, drug addicts, and lepers. Could it have been the way she broke away from her failing marriage and reinvented herself as a single mother but still the “Queen of Hearts” [16]?

Diana's funeral saw a widespread outpouring of grief at her passing. It was attended by all members of the royal family. Her sons, William and Harry, walked behind her casket along with their father, Prince Charles, and grandfather, Prince Philip together with Diana's brother, Earl Spencer. During the service, Elton John sang a new version of "Candle In The Wind", his hit song initially dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. The title of the remake version was changed to "Candle in the Wind 1997" and the lyric to refer to Diana. The burial occurred privately, later the same day. The Prince of Wales, Diana's sons, her mother, siblings, a close friend, and a clergyman were present. Diana's body was clothed in a black long-sleeved dress designed by Catherine Walker, which she had chosen some weeks before. A set of rosary beads was placed in her hands, a gift she had received from Mother Teresa, who died the same week as Diana. Her grave is on an island within the grounds of Althorp Park, the Spencer family home [16].

The original plan was for Diana to be buried in the Spencer family vault at the local church in nearby Great Brington, but her younger brother, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, said that he was concerned about public safety and security and the onslaught of visitors that might overwhelm Great Brington. He decided that he wanted his older sister to be buried where her grave could be easily cared for and visited in privacy by her sons and other relations.

The island is in an ornamental lake known as The Round Oval within Althorp Park's gardens. A path with thirty-six oak trees, marking each year of her life, leads to the Oval. Four black swans swim in the lake. In the water there are water lilies, which, in addition to white roses, were Diana's favourite flowers.

On the southern verge of the Round Oval sits the Summerhouse, previously in the gardens of Admiralty House, London, and now adapted to serve as a memorial to Diana. An ancient arboretum stands nearby, which contains trees planted by Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales, other members of her family, and Diana herself.

Diana's death was met with extraordinary public expressions of grief, and her funeral at Westminster Abbey on 6 September drew an estimated 3 million mourners and onlookers in London [16], as well as worldwide television coverage, which overshadowed the news of the death the previous day of Mother Teresa in Calcutta.

Members of the public were invited to sign a book of condolence at St James Palace. Throughout the night members of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service and the Salvation Army combined to provide support for people queuing along the Mall [16]. More than one million bouquets were left at her London home, Kensington Palace, while at her family's estate of Althorp the public was asked to stop bringing flowers, as the volume of people and flowers in the surrounding roads was said to be causing a threat to public safety.

The reaction of the British Royal Family to the death of Diana caused unprecedented resentment and outcry. The Queen was in residence at Balmoral Castle. Her initial decision not to return to London or to mourn more publicly was much criticised at the time.

The Royal Family's rigid adherence to protocol, and their concern to care for the Princess's grieving sons, was interpreted by some as a lack of compassion.

2.3 Conspiracy theories


Famous people meeting strange ends is a phenomenon that always seems to bring out the conspiracy theorists [19]. The death of Diana, Princess of Wales is no exception.

Nowadays there exist “Big Three Conspiracy Theories”:

  • Faked Death
  • MI6 Killed Di
  • Target Dodi [35]

1. Faked Death

Fed up with the constant intrusions into her private life by the media, Diana, helped by the huge resources of Dodi, arranges a spectacular 'death' from which she can retreat into blissful isolation. One version of the theory claims that the crash was an attempt at a faked death that went horribly wrong.


a. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones still lives, but testimony from Mercedes auto experts says that it would have been almost impossible for anyone to have survived a crash in the tunnel in a car going at 121 mph. Maybe, as driver Henri Paul's lawyers claim, the car was not going that fast. Maybe the crash was faked by the army-trained Rees-Jones who had previously deposited Di and Dodi elsewhere.

b. Dodi's usual driver was not used. Mystery still surrounds Henri Paul, the security officer who stepped in at the last minute to drive the Mercedes S-280. It took a full two days for his name to be revealed, for instance. Co-workers at the Ritz Hotel say he kept himself to himself and never socialised with them. One version of this conspiracy has it that Paul simply did not exist, another that he was quickly whisked away from the hospital after being declared dead by doctors in cahoots with the Al Fayed family.

c. Just six hours before she died Di let slip to Daily Mail reporter Richard Kray that she was about to withdraw completely from public life.

Parts of it sound feasible but what about Di's two children? It is almost inconceivable that she would want to miss out on the rest of their lives. The chances of her coming back to see them without being noticed are surely slim, though plastic surgery permitting it might be prudent to look out for a similarly built 'nanny' appearing on the scene in the future.

2. MI6 Killed Di

Rogue elements in the British secret service decide that Di is a threat to the throne, and therefore the stability of the state. They take her out.


a. Recent revelations have shown that there are rogue elements in the secret service who act as more or less autonomous cells. Some of these have been revealed to have a pretty strange view of what constitutes a threat to the state. For instance, they have files on John Lennon, current British Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Jack Straw and they once tried to destabilise the 1970s Labour government. It is not inconceivable that the same agents who believed Lennon was capable of leading revolution also believed Diana was capable of fomenting popular unrest.

b. MI6 is suspected of bugging Diana throughout her years in the Royal limelight, and many believe they were behind the leaking of the 'Squidgygate' phone tapping tapes which damaged her image during the break up with Charles.

c. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was a former member of the crack Parachute Regiment, one of the most toughest in the British army. He also completed two stints in Northern Ireland and served in the Royal Military Police, just the kind of background that would have seen him come into contact with members of the secret service. Theorists cite the fact Rees-Jones survived the crash as evidence that he was in on the plot to snuff out the Diana threat.

Few doubt that the nutters at MI6 are capable of anything but surely even they would have had qualms about bumping off Diana, if only for the reason that her death might bring on the very things they most fear, the drift toward a republican state in the UK, as Charles loses still more popularity.

3. Target Dodi

Business enemies of Dodi and his father Mohammed Al Fayed assassinate Dodi, with the death of Di a magnificent cover for their operation.


Al Fayed has not got to the top without making some serious enemies along the way. The owner of Harrods fought a bitter battle for the top London store some years ago and has also been denied British nationality after question marks were raised about his business practise. His activities have included under the counter payments to Conservative MPs. as his oldest son and heir, Dodi would be an obvious target for anyone wanting to settle a score with Al Fayed.

With Di involved, the police operation is likely to be one of the biggest in Paris history so any assassin would be taking one hell of a risk by cutting the break cable, say, of Dodi's car. Then again, the day of the Jackal is a Paris story.

2.4 2007 inquest


An inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi started on 8 January 2007 under Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, largely prompted by theories of conspiracy and involvement of the British Royal Family and the SIS promulgated by the Al Fayed family and supposed inadequacies in the original French inquest.

On 24 April 2007, she stepped down, saying she lacked the experience required to deal with an inquest with a jury. The role of coroner for the inquests was to be transferred to Lord Justice Scott Baker. Lord Justice Scott Baker formally took up the role on 11 June [35].

On 27 July 2007, Lord Justice Scott Baker, following representations for the lawyers of the interested parties, issued a list of issues likely to be raised at the Inquest, many of which have been dealt with in great detail by Operation Paget.

The issues identified were:

  • "Whether driver error on the part of Henri Paul caused or contributed to the cause of the collision
  • Whether Henri Paul's ability to drive was impaired through drink or drugs
  • Whether any other vehicle caused or contributed to the collision
  • Whether the actions of the Paparazzi caused or contributed to the cause of the collision
  • Whether the road/tunnel layout and construction were inherently dangerous and if so whether this contributed to the collision
  • Whether any bright/flashing lights contributed to or caused the collision and, if so, their source
  • Whose decision it was that the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed should leave from the rear entrance to the Ritz and that Henri Paul should drive the vehicle
  • Henri Paul's movements between 7 and 10 pm on 30 August 1997
  • The explanation for the money in Henri Paul's possession on 30 August 1997 and in his bank account
  • Whether Andanson was in Paris on the night of the collision
  • Whether Diana's life would have been saved if she had reached hospital sooner or if her medical treatment had been different
  • Whether Diana was pregnant
  • Whether Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were about to announce their engagement
  • Whether and, if so in what circumstances, the Princess of Wales feared for her life
  • The circumstances relating to the purchase of the ring
  • The circumstances in which Diana's body was embalmed
  • Whether the evidence of Tomlinson throws any light on the collision
  • Whether the British or any other security services had any involvement in the collision
  • Whether there was anything sinister about (i) the Cherruault burglary or (ii) the disturbance at the Big Pictures agency
  • Whether correspondence belonging to the Princess of Wales (including some from Prince Philip) has disappeared, and if so the circumstances" [16].

The Inquests officially began on 2 October 2007 with the swearing of a jury of six women and five men. Lord Justice Scott Baker delivered a lengthy opening statement giving general instructions to the jury and introducing the evidence. The BBC reported that Mohammed Fayed, having earlier reiterated his claim that his son and Diana were murdered by the Royal Family, immediately criticised the opening statement as biased [35].

The inquest heard evidence from people connected with Diana and the events leading to her death, including Paul Burrell, Mohamed Al-Fayed, her stepmother, the survivor of the crash, and the former head of MI6 [16].

Lord Justice Scott Baker began his summing up to the jury on 31 March 2008 . He stated there was "not a shred of evidence" that the Duke of Edinburgh ordered the death of Diana, Princess of Wales or that the security services organized it [35]. After summing up, the jury retired to consider five verdicts, namely unlawful killing by the negligence of either or both the following vehicles or Henri Paul; accidental death or an open verdict. Lord Justice Scott Baker expected his summing up to conclude on Wednesday 2 April 2008. The jury decided on 7 April 2008 that Diana had been unlawfully killed by the grossly negligent driving of chauffeur Henri Paul and following vehicle. The cost of the death inquiry exceeded £12.5 million, with the coroner's inquest at £4.5 million, and a further £8 million spent on the Metropolitan Police investigation. It lasted 6 months and heard 250 witnesses, with the cost heavily criticised in the media [16].


Chapter 3. Princess Diana in public


After her marriage, The Princess of Wales quickly became involved in the official duties of the Royal family. She immediately began making public appearances, despite her awkwardness with being in the public eye. Her first tour with The Prince was a three-day visit to Wales in October 1981. The Princess's first official visit overseas on her own was in September 1982, when she represented The Queen at the state funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco. In 1983 she accompanied The Prince on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, and they took the infant Prince William with them. Prince William, with Prince Harry, again joined The Prince and Princess at the end of their tour to Italy in 1985. Other official overseas visits undertaken with The Prince included Australia (for the bicentenary celebrations in 1988), Brazil, India, Canada, Nigeria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Japan (for the enthronement of Emperor Akihito). Their last joint overseas visit was to South Korea in 1992.

Early in their marriage, Diana and Charles were seen to be publicly affectionate; by 1986, their time apart and coolness when together were obvious.

The Princess's first solo overseas tour was in February 1984 when she travelled to Norway to attend a performance of Carmen by the London City Ballet, of which she was patron. The Princess subsequently visited many countries including Germany, the United States, Pakistan, Switzerland, Hungary, Egypt, Belgium, France, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nepal.

3.1 Charity work, AIDS awareness


Diana became pregnant, giving birth to Prince William in 1982 and then to Prince Henry in 1984. Dropping in weight by thirty pounds after the birth of Prince William, she began to struggle with bulimia, but also became more popular as a fashion figure. Although the Princess was renowned for her style and was closely associated with the fashion world, patronising and raising the profile of younger British designers, she was best known for her charitable work.

Starting in the mid- to late 1980s, the Princess of Wales became very well known for her support of several charity projects. This stemmed naturally from her role as Princess of Wales—she was expected to engage in hospital visits where she comforted the sick and in so doing, assumed the patronage of various charitable organisations - and form an interest in certain illnesses and health-related matters. Initially, charities devoted to babies and child welfare were singled out for her attention, but soon Diana discovered other opportunities. She decided she wanted to help young people-closer to her own age-with drug and alcohol problems, then later the unprivileged, and the young homeless.

The young Princess of Wales unofficially came of age when she was twenty- six years old, married for nearly six years, and the mother of two young sons. That moment was a turning point in her life because she decided to become involved with AIDS, a subject shunned by "the great and the good" of British society. Overnight, Princess Diana changed from a young mum who liked to shop or listen to pop songs on her Walkman, to a mature young woman who had created a role for herself [48].

During her marriage, the Princess was president or patron of over 100 charities. The Princess did much to publicise work on behalf of homeless and also disabled people, children and people with HIV/Aids.

The metamorphosis came the day in April 1987 when Diana opened Britain's first purpose-built ward for AIDS sufferers, at London's Middlesex Hospital. Many were shocked at the fact that she didn't wear any protective clothing [22]. At that time the average Briton knew very little about AIDS. Some believed it could be caught and passed on by touch, kissing, or even hugging someone who was infected. The revelation that a royal, like Princess Diana, the mother of two young sons, one the heir to the throne, had taken such an enormous risk with a deadly disease shocked many people. She was one of the first high-profile celebrities to be photographed touching a person infected with HIV at the 'chain of hope' organization. The Queen's advisors argued strongly that the public would be unsympathetic and warned that becoming associated with AIDS charities could harm her position as the future Queen. They also feared it could weaken public sympathy for the Royal Family. Despite much criticism, Diana was determined. She contacted many charities to produce studies showing how innocent babies and mothers who has nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality or drug addiction had caught the disease [21].

Five years later, in 1992, Buckingham Palace press spokesman Dickie Arbiter explained: "It's abundantly clear that Princess Diana is determined to break down prejudice about HIV. Nobody told her to adopt this cause. Everything she does is spontaneous and nothing is premeditated. It was her own decision to show someone infected with it [32]." This quote proves the kind heartiness of Princess Diana. It shows the only reason she did the community service was to help others. The point that must not be forgotten is that Diana does all this knowing that people are misjudging her, but she's got the sense and compassion to follow her own inner beliefs. Diana came far in helping others realize the truth about those with HIV and disproved the many stereotypes of the sick.

Her contribution to changing the public opinion of AIDS sufferers was summarised in December 2001 by Bill Clinton at the 'Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on AIDS': “In 1987, when so many still believed that AIDS could be contracted through casual contact, Princess Diana sat on the sickbed of a man with AIDS and held his hand. She showed the world that people with AIDS deserve not isolation, but compassion and kindness. It helped change the world's opinion, and gave hope to people with AIDS” – Bill Clinton.

After AIDS, the charity Diana is most closely related to is Birthright, of which she became a patron of in 1984. Birthright is the appeal arm of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and it's aim is to raise funds for research into problems of the un born child, including stillbirth, infant death, and infertility. Before her support, Birthright had struggled for funds, and it's valuable research had been largely ignored when it came to handing out money. Since Diana came aboard, all that had changed.

"Her involvement with the charity has attracted stars from the entertainment world. Big names equal big money: They managed to raise $5,000,000 for the charity, which has helped it improve the survival rate of some premature infants by up to seventy percent. Diana can feel quite proud that the turnabout is due primarily to her enthusiasm, persuasion, and patronage [48]."

Princess Diana did more than fund raise for different charities. She actually met with the people who her hard efforts were assisting. This is just as bit as valuable as fund raising. Meeting with the Princess brings new hope to the suffering patients. "There is something quite moving about the way she talks with patients. Not only is she concerned about their problems, but she knows she is. She understands the joy of having a baby and the anguish if something goes wrong. She felt very lucky and privileged to have had one healthy child, says Vivienne Parry, one of the group's national organizers [32].

Supporting charities concerned with drug addiction is another of Diana's concerns. She never smoked and hardly drank herself. In 1987, she became patron of Turning Point, the largest national charity in Britain helping drug addicts, alcoholics, and mental-health outpatients.

Diana has not only proved her compassion for sufferers, but has also shown the courage to take risks she believes are worthwhile. Without publicity coverage, Diana would visit clinics-some on her own without detective protcetion- to meet and chat with the patients in an effort to help them kick their addiction and encourage them back to health.

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