32 Interesting Facts About Princess Diana
Diana, Princess of Wales, was 5'10" tall.
Diana was a commoner and not royal at her marriage. She was, however, part of the British aristocracy, descended from King Charles II.
Diana's traces her lineage to King Charles II through her father. Diana was related to Winston Churchill and 10 U.S. presidents: George Washington, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, Millard Fillmore, Rutherford B. Hayes, Grover Cleveland, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and both Bush presidents. She was also related to the actor Humphrey Bogart.
Her stepmother was the daughter of famous romance novelist Barbara Cartland.
She grew up with two sisters and two brothers. The siblings were close in childhood.
Charles dated one of Diana's older sisters before he dated Diana.
Diana won an award at school for taking good care of her guinea pig.
At school, she was talented in music and especially on the piano.
After graduation, she took a course in cooking on the advice of her mother.
Queen Elizabeth II is the godmother of Diana's brother.
Four of Diana's ancestors were mistresses to British kings.
Diana was the first British citizen to marry an heir to the British throne since 1659 when the future James II married Anne Hyde. Queen Elizabeth II's mother was a British citizen, but when she married the future King George VI, he was not the heir apparent to the throne; his brother was.
Prince Charles proposed at Buckingham Palace on February 3, 1981.
At the time of her engagement, Diana was working in a preschool playgroup as an assistant.
Diana's ring, with 14 solitaire diamonds and a 12-carat sapphire, is worn today by her son's wife, Kate Middleton.
Diana was 12 years younger than Charles.
Her wedding had a television audience of 750 million.
Diana met several times with Mother Teresa, including in the Bronx, New York, in June of 1997. Ironically, Mother Teresa's death on September 6, 1997, was practically eclipsed by the news surrounding Diana's funeral. Diana was buried with a set of rosary beads given to her by Mother Teresa.
Prince Charles' 1994 television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby drew a British audience of 14 million viewers. Diana's 1994 television interview on BBC drew 21 million viewers.
Diana's tragic death has been compared to that of Marilyn Monroe and Princess Grace of Monaco. Diana attended Princess Grace's funeral as her first official state visit abroad. Elton John adapted his tribute to Marilyn Monroe, "Candle in the Wind," for Diana's funeral, and recorded the new version to raise money for causes Diana had supported.
Some 2.5 billion people around the world saw at least some part of her funeral via television or in person.
Her grave is on an island in an ornamental lake on her family's estate, Althorp Park. The site is surrounded with four black swans guarding the tomb and oak trees numbering 36, for the years of her life, are on the path to the grave.
$150 million in donations were received in the week following the creation of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund right after her death. This fund continues to support many causes that were important to her during her lifetime.
Among many charities supported by Princess Diana was the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. This effort won a Nobel Peace Prize a few months after her death.
Another issue important to Diana was HIV/AIDS. She worked to end the stigma against people with the illness and for equality and compassion for those affected.
In 1977, Diana taught Charles to tap-dance. They did not start dating until 1980.
While Charles loved polo and horses, Diana had little interest in horses after a fall from a horse. However, she developed an interest in her riding instructor, Major James Hewitt.
In a 1995 BBC interview, during her separation from Charles and before their divorce, she admitted that she had committed adultery during her marriage. This was after it was revealed that Charles had had an affair.
Her autobiography details mental health issues including eating disorders and suicide attempts.
Her divorce settlement included a lump sum of $22.5 million and an annual income of $600,000 per year to continue funding her office.
Diana was on the cover of Time magazine eight times, Newsweek seven times, and People magazine more than 50 times. When she was on the cover of a magazine, sales soared.
Camilla Parker-Bowles, after her marriage to Prince Charles, could have used the title "Princess of Wales" but chose to use "Duchess of Cornwall" instead, deferring to the public association of the former title with Diana.
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