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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Princess Diana's determination to help those charities rejected by many others also extended overseas causes. Shocked by the gruesome effects of leprosy on children, Diana agreed to become patron of the Leprosy Mission. In November

1989 Diana visited many young lepers in Indonesia. One of the hospital's doctor's

quoted the effects of her visits: "She did so much more than she had to. She need only shake their hand and move on, but she sat on their beds and listened and talked to them. Then she joined the children in a game of bowls, which they loved. She brought happiness and smiles to those children [21]."

Kate Dawson, a British doctor at the hospital, also stated, "The Princess has

helped so much. She has shown by being so open and natural with them that lepers are not a threat to anybody [22]."

After her separation from The Prince, the Princess continued to appear with the Royal family on major national occasions, such as the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) and VJ (Victory over Japan) Days in 1995.

Following her divorce, the Princess resigned most of her charity and other patronages, and relinquished all her Service appointments with military units. The Princess remained as patron of Centrepoint (homeless charity), English National Ballet, Leprosy Mission and National Aids Trust, and as President of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street and of the Royal Marsden Hospital. In June 1997, the Princess attended receptions in London and New York as previews of the sale of a number of dresses and suits worn by her on official engagements, with the proceeds going to charity.

At her divorce, she gave up most of the charities she'd been working with, limiting herself to five, working with homelessness, AIDS, leprosy, the ballet, a hospital for children, and a cancer hospital. So, Diana worked particularly for the Red Cross and campaigned to rid the world of land mines. Her work was on a humanitarian rather than a political level. She pursued her own interests in philanthropy, music, fashion and travel — although she still required royal consent to take her children on holiday or to represent the UK abroad. Without a holiday or weekend home, Diana spent most of her time in London, often without her sons, who were with Prince Charles or at boarding school.

The Princess spent her 36th and last birthday on 1 July 1997 attending the Tate Gallery's 100th Anniversary celebrations. Her last official engagement in Britain was on 21 July, when she visited Northwick Park Hospital, London (children's accident and emergency unit).

Diana was determined to keep up with her charity work, until her terrifying death on August 31, 1997. Diana especially wanted to reach out to those patients and victims who were shunned by the rest of the world.

Not only did Diana personally reach out to victims of terrifying diseases, but she also encouraged others to donate their time and money to these worthy causes.

Diana showed it wasn't necessary to be apprehensive towards the victims of the various diseases she worked with.

3.2 Landmines conclusion


In the year before her death, the Princess was an active supporter of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a campaign that went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 [22]. Her interest in landmines was focused on the injuries they create, often to children, long after a conflict is over.

In January 1997, she visited Angola as part of her campaign. In June, the Princess spoke at the landmines conference at the Royal Geographical Society in London, and this was followed by a visit to Washington DC in the United States on 17/18 June to promote the American Red Cross landmines campaign (separately, she also met Mother Teresa in The Bronx). Pictures of the Princess, touring an Angolan minefield in a ballistic helmet and flak jacket, were seen worldwide. It was during this campaign that some accused the Princess of meddling in politics and declared her a 'loose cannon' [48].

In August 1997, just days before her death, she visited Bosnia with the Landmine Survivors Network. It was her last public engagements, when she visited landmine projects in Travnic, Sarajevo and Zenezica.

She is believed to have influenced the signing, though only after her death, of the Ottawa Treaty, which created an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines [22]. Introducing the Second Reading of the Landmines Bill 1998 to the British House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, paid tribute to Diana's work on landmines: “All Honourable Members will be aware from their postbags of the immense contribution made by Diana, Princess of Wales to bringing home to many of our constituents the human costs of landmines. The best way in which to record our appreciation of her work, and the work of NGOs that have campaigned against landmines, is to pass the Bill, and to pave the way towards a global ban on landmines” [21].

The United Nations appealed to the nations which produced and stockpiled the largest numbers of landmines (China, India, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States) to sign the Ottawa Treaty forbidding their production and use, for which Diana had campaigned.

In December 1993, the Princess announced that she would be reducing the extent of her public life in order to combine 'a meaningful public role with a more private life'.

It was in recognition of her charity work that representatives of the charities with which she worked during her life were invited to walk behind her coffin with her family from St James's Palace to Westminster Abbey on the day of her funeral.

Even after the sudden end of her privileged but imperfect life, Princess Diana's charity work still motivates many others to donate their own time in hopes to help the lives of others. Through the vigorous fund raising and campaigning, Princess Diana has greatly effected the lives of the patients she has reached out to.

3.3 Legacy


"Even though more than ten years has passed since her death, Diana still has an influence and impact through the Princess Diana charity work programs" [32].

Diana's interest in supporting and helping young people led to the establishment of the Diana Memorial Award, awarded to youths who have demonstrated the unselfish devotion and commitment to causes advocated by the Princess. In 2002, Diana was ranked 3rd in the 100 Greatest Britons poll, outranking Queen Elizabeth II and other British monarchs.

On 29 August 2007 Peruvian photographer Mario Testino announced that on 20 November he would auction a signed photo of Diana for the benefit of Peru earthquake (in London by Phillips de Pury & Co). The photo appeared in a 1997 Vanity Fair issue, and shows Diana wearing a black dress [22].

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground was erected in Kensington gardens at a cost of £1.7 million [22].

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk was dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, it stretches between Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Hyde Park and St James's Park.

On 6 July 2004 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. It is located in the south-west corner of Hyde Park in London.

In 1999 the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Inspirational Young People was established.


Chapter 4. Diana, Princess of Wales as a symbol of British culture


Respects have been paid,

Tributes expressed,

Eulogies spoken,

Memories cherished [39]

4.1 Diana in Contemporary Art


Immediately after her death, many sites around the world became briefly ad hoc memorials to Diana, where the public left flowers and other tributes. The largest was outside the gates of Kensington Palace. Permanent memorials include:

  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Gardens in Regent Centre Gardens Kirkintilloch;
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, London opened by Queen Elizabeth II;
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, London;
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, a circular path between Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Hyde Park and St James's Park, London.

In addition, there are two memorials inside Harrods department store, owned by Dodi Al-Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, in London. The first memorial consists of photos of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass still smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as an 'engagement' ring Dodi purchased the day before they died [22]. The second, unveiled in 2005 and titled "Innocent Victims"", is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross [22].

Following Diana's death, the Diana Memorial Fund was granted intellectual property rights over her image [22].

In the period between her death and her funeral, Diana was probably the most talked about person on earth--at least in Anglophone nations. According to objective press clipping indicators, coverage in print "exceeded that generated by any other event, anywhere in the world, at any time in history" (Jack 1997). In the subsequent months, books, videos and other memorabilia were consumed in vast quantities. For example, singer Elton John's tribute, "Candle in the Wind '97", sold 31.8 million copies worldwide in just 37 days, becoming in the process the biggest selling recording in history (Herd 1997) [28].

Diana has been depicted a number of times in contemporary art since her death. In July 1999, British artist Tracey Emin, at the height of her Turner Prize fame, created a number of monoprint drawings inspired by the public and private life of Diana for a themed exhibition called "Temple of Diana" held at The Blue Gallery, London. Works such as "They Wanted You To Be Destroyed" (1999) [22] related to Diana's bulimia eating disorder, while other monoprints included affectionate texts such as "Love Was On Your Side" and a description of Diana's dress with puffy sleeves. Other drawings highlighted "The things you did to help other people" written next to a drawing by Emin of Diana, Princess of Wales in protective clothing walking through a minefield in Angola. Another work was a delicate sketch of a rose drawn next to the phrase, "It makes perfect sence to know they killed you" (with Emin's trademark spelling mistakes) referring to the conspiracy theories surrounding Diana's death. Emin herself described the drawings saying they "could be considered quite scrappy, fresh, kind of naive looking drawings" and "It's pretty difficult for me to do drawings not about me and about someone else. But I have did have a lot of ideas. They're quite sentimental I think and there's nothing cynical about it whatsoever" [22].

British artist Stella Vine provoked media controversy in 2004 when Charles Saatchi bought "Hi Paul can you come over I'm really frightened" (2003), a painting by her of Diana, Princess of Wales. The work's title came from the thick red text painted across the canvas, a reference to Diana's butler Paul Burrell. Vine painted as many as 30 paintings of Diana, having become fascinated by conspiracy theories into the Princess' tragic car crash which she had read on the Internet [21]. Vine destroyed many of these paintings soon after they were created. She put them in a skip as she didn't have enough space to dry nor store the wet paintings. The only one she kept was later added to Saatchi's collection. In 2005, a new Vine painting of Diana "Murdered, pregnant and embalmed" (2005), was bought by George Michael for £25,000, reported in The Sun newspaper which condemned it as "sick" [22].

In 2005 Uruguayan artist Martin Sastre premiered during the Venice Biennial the film "Diana: The Rose Conspiracy", a fiction starting the day the World discovers Lady Di alive having a happy undercover new life in a dangerous favela in the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay. The film was shoot on a real Uruguayan slum with a Lady Di impersonator from Sao Paulo, Brazil and was selected between the Venice Biennial best works by the Italian Art Critics Association [22].

In 2007, Stella Vine made a new series of Diana paintings for her first major solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford gallery. Vine said she hoped the new paintings would show Diana's combined strength and vulnerability as well as her close relationship with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry [21]. The new paintings included "Diana branches" (2007), "Diana family picnic" (2007), "Diana veil" (2007) and "Diana pram" (2007) which included the slogan "I vow to thee my country" . Vine said in 2007 that she had always been drawn to "the beauty and the tragedy of Diana’s life" [22].

1 July 2007 marked a concert held by her two sons celebrating the 46th anniversary of her birth. The concert was held at Wembley Stadium and featured many well known and popular acts on the bill.

The 2007 docudrama "Diana: Last Days of a Princess" details the final two months of her life.

On an October 2007 episode of "The Chaser's War on Everything", Andrew Hansen mocked Diana in his "Eulogy Song", which immediately created considerable controversy in the Australian media [21].

Even 10 years since Princess died "publishers are hitting the princess pedal like billy-o" [17]: Tina Brown’s "Diana Chronicles", "Diana" by royal biographer Sarah Bradford; "Diana Style", in which Colin McDowell (author of "Audrey Style") examines her influence on society and fashion; and "The People’s Princess", in which Larry King asks people for their favourite memories of the PP.

4.2 The Queen of Hearts – Diana, Princess of Wales


Younger brother of the Princess Earl Charles Spencer in his eulogy of Diana said, "Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic".

"Affectionately labeled "The Queen of Hearts", Princess Diana is revered for the compassion which thrived in her heart" [39]. Princess Diana was a symbol of goodness. Her goodness was molded from caring, kindness, responsiveness, generosity, and charity.

Princess Diana's humanitarian causes channeled her energy into helping people around the world. She was blessed with intelligence, beauty, poise, and sensitivity. Compounded by marrying royalty, the world became Princess Diana's stage. She used her position to bring about change, to provoke awareness, and to extend her tenderness.

People were in awe of how much Princess Diana gave of herself to others. In an age when selfishness seems sometimes to be the norm, and selflessness the exception, Princess Diana's spirit appeared heroic. Fame and recognition allowed Princess Diana's altruistic efforts to be prominent. Most people lack the celebrity and luminary quality of Princess Diana, yet what is to prevent benevolence on a smaller scale or a smaller stage for any person? "By lending time and enthusiasm to humanitarian and charitable causes, we can find in our own hearts what we found to be so inspiring in Princess Diana's heart. We can take the legacy she left us and entwine it with our own lives" [39]. Since life can be extinguished quickly, we must maximize our happiness, our goodness, and our generosity. We must look within our own hearts and find the same warmth which we saw in Princess Diana's exemplary heart [39].

The life of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, continues to inspire the world today. Ever since she was a child, Diana put smiles on people's faces. As she grew older, began dating Prince Charles, celebrated her highly publicized wedding and participated in royal duties as part of the British monarchy, Diana always seemed to make everyone have a better outlook on themselves. Even in death, she continues to be a positive influence on people everywhere.

The most charismatic and publicly adored member of the British royal family, Diana, Princess of Wales not only imposed her own distinctly modern style and attitudes on Great Britain's traditionalist monarchy, but served to plunge that institution into its lowest level of public unpopularity, fueling support for Republicanism and, after her death, forcing the Royal family to moderate its aloof image. However, as a glamorous and sympathetic icon of an image-driven and media-fueled culture, Diana's celebrity status and considerable influence traveled across continents. Her fame, matched by only a handful of women during the twentieth century, notably Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly), made her a significant popular figure in the United States, where her visits were welcomed with the fervor once reserved for the most famous stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Diana was the most photographed woman in the world, and from the time of her marriage to her premature and appalling death in 1997, she forged a public persona that blended her various roles as princess, wife, mother, goodwill ambassador for England, and international humanitarian. Diana's fortuitous combination of beauty and glamour, her accessible, sympathetic, and vulnerable personality, and an ability to convey genuine concern for the affairs of ordinary people and the world's poor and downtrodden, set her apart decisively from the distant formality of the British monarchy. She became an object of near-worship, and her lasting fame was ensured. Ironically, the intense media attention and public adulation that came to define her life were widely blamed for the circumstances of her death. "Her untimely demise, however, served only to amplify the public's romantic perception of her as a modern goddess cruelly destroyed by a faithless husband, unsympathetic in-laws, and prying paparazzi. The life and death of the Princess of Wales, is, indeed, a monument to sad contradictions and ironies" [48].




The work above represents the life of one of the most prominent figures of the British royalty – Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales – in different aspects and from different points of view. Much prominence is given to her public activities, her influence and impact on people of Britain and the world, her ability to successfully combine diverse social and political roles (wife, mother, Princess, charity worker; celebrity etc).

The principal aim of the current paper to discover Diana, Princess of Wales as a symbol of British culture, who transcended it far away the British Isles, was successfully achieved. These observations have particular theoretical and even practical importance: the collected data can be used in English language learning, in country-specific studies etc.

In the Internet right after her death appeared hundreds and hundreds of websites in memory of the "People's Princess". People from all over the world left their condolences and expressed their deep tragedy and mourning as if they had lost a close relative. Some extracts from different internet-pages evidently prove the idea that Diana, Princess of Wales was a great woman who was, is and will be forever a significant figure of the modern British history and a beloved representative of the British Royal Court:

"We mess her a lot, but this is an unfortunate truth that she has closed her eyes for us, and the world and left us behind with her wonderful memory's for ever, unforgettable, and we will never forget her and, her glorious hearts on behalf of mankind. As she was the princess of peoples, and the princess of hearts. Which has  announced by ordinary peoples from the four corners of the world, that was an attribute has given her by us" [47]. 

"We the World residences as the princess of peoples and The princess of hearts as  she deserved. How? As and when she stood beside the poor, needy, disabled, blind and orphaned peoples at Africa Asia and many other places at the world.  She was there needy the disable and needy old peoples. And near to support the charity  organisations to give a recite to the world needy peoples she have a thorn at the middle of the heart's of the world peoples, this is the reason why she was, and she is the princess of the peoples hearts" [47].

"Diana had everything. She had glamour, she oozed style, she was on more front pages and more magazine covers than anyone in living memory. She was a rebel who broke every rule in the book and who yet managed to be a good, loving mother. She was a princess who gave love and wanted to be loved. It was just too good to last. Diana transcended royalty on that fateful Sunday in Paris. Six days later, she was canonised on the streets of London by popular acclaim. She is dead but the legend of England's rose will endure" [42].




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