Last July marked what would have been Princess Diana’s 56th birthday and we can’t help but wonder what the world would be like today if she hadn’t passed away in 1997.
- Princess Diana was born on July 1st, 1961
- She died on August 31st, 1997
The famous down-to-earth Princess brought a fresh air to the castle and to people’s hearts. Since she married Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the summer of 1981, people couldn’t seem to look away.
Here are some facts about this grandiose woman and what we think she’d be up to today if she were alive.
1. Diana’s older sister, Sarah, is the reason Prince Charles and Diana met, as she was the one dating him. However, their relationship hit a rough patch when she told a reporter, ‘I am not in love with Prince Charles.’
2. Diana, however, seemed to really like him and even had a picture of the Prince above her bed at boarding school.
3. Diana was 16-years-old when she met Charles, who was 28 at the time. According to Vogue magazine, she was thrilled and told her music teacher all about it.
4. However, they didn’t start dating until 2 years later, when Diana was 18-years-old and Charles, 30.
5. The prince proposed on February 6th, 1981 but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks.
6. When the secret was out, she picked an engagement ring consisting of 14 solitaire diamonds, that surrounded a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-carat white gold. This caused a major scandal since she picked it from a catalogue, instead of having one custom made.
7. Her wedding dress was adorned with over 10,000 tiny mother of pearl sequins and pearls, and included a 25-foot-long-train–the longest in royal history, as reported by Vogue.
8. This is what she would’ve looked like now if she hadn’t died. (Though we’re not sure where this picture came from, we think it’s as accurate as it gets.)
9. She changed the way children received their education in the royal family. Traditionally, it was conducted by private tutors and governesses, but she insisted Prince William attend nursery school in London.
10. She wanted her two boys to have the most normal upbringing possible. However, she would sometimes do things for them that were anything but ‘normal,’ like invite Cindy Crawford to the palace for dinner because 13-year-old Prince William had a crush on the supermodel.
11. According to her personal chef, Darren McGrady, Diana had a very casual approach to how she treated her staff. ‘She would say, Darren, I need a coffee. Oh, you’re busy. I’ll make it. Do you want one?’
12. She divorced Prince Charles on August 28th, 1996 and received a sum settlement of 17 million pounds, as well as 400,000 pounds per year.
13. Prince Charles and Diana were reportedly not on speaking terms by the time of Diana’s death.
14. However, Buckingham Palace stated that the Princess was still a member of the Royal Family, as she was the mother of the second and third in line for the throne.
15. On August 31, 1997, she died in a car crash in Paris. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and the driver, Henri Paul, died with her.
16. In 1999, Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.