For the first time since Prince Philip's funeral, Prince William and Prince Harry reunited to unveil a statue of their beloved mother, Princess Diana. It's high time to reflect on the philanthropic lady's legacy and her life before the royal marriage.
Diana Frances Spencer was born on July 1, 1961. She was the daughter of Viscount Althorp and was brought up in the Sandringham Estate, which is Queen Elizabeth's property. Her noble background enabled her to make the acquaintance of posh people at a young age.
Biographer Sarah Bradford concluded her early ambitions, "From her childhood, Diana had had the feeling that she was destined for something special… There was never a chance that she would have, as people have surmised, settled down and led the life of a country gentleman's wife."
3. The Late 1960s
A photo from a private family album shows little Diana grinning and posing like a supermodel. But soon, an accident would cast a shadow on her carefree childhood.
Diana (in the center) took the picture with her family on her grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. In the same year, her parents broke up because of her mother's affair with an Australian wallpaper mogul. She had since lived with her father, but she had to leave him a year later.
Here Diana sits on her luggage and takes a picture before she leaves home to a boarding school in the fall of 1970. At that time, the shy girl unusually revealed her inner feelings to her father, "If you love me, you won't leave me here."
Though Diana wasn't academically inclined, she excelled at piano and ballet and won a special award for community service. She was also the head of Pets' corner at school. Guess what her favorite pet was?
Diana loved all furry and small animals since she was a little girl. Here she holds her favorite guinea pig at a 1972 pet show in Sandringham. She even developed a passion for a sport because of liking animals.
The teen Diana wears denim, typical of '70s, and poses for a picture with her pony "Scuffle." She learned to ride horses when she was four years old. A year later, she became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer.
In 1980, Prince Charles began dating the 19-year-old and regarded her as a potential match. She worked as a dance instructor, nanny, and nursery assistant then at Young England Kindergarten school in Pimlico.
The tabloids soon sought out the new girlfriend of Prince Charles by the fall of that year. In September, Lady Diana reversed her car into a tree while hiding her face from the paparazzi. Apparently, her attempt was in vain.
By November, the Queen invited Diana to her own house at Sandringham, triggering more engagement rumors. The photographer caught the moment she got into a car, leaving her London apartment the week before.
Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana watched the Amateur Riders Handicap Steeplechase in October 1980. Prince Charles was competing on the course while the women's silent battle was going on.
In December, Lady Diana was leaving her flat again. She was to marry the heir apparent, and therefore became the first Englishwoman in centuries to do so. Moreover, she would be the first royal by marriage to have a paying job before the engagement.
After Diana accepted Prince Charles's proposal in February 1981, the 19-year-old selected her engagement ring—an 18-carat sapphire with 14 diamonds around it. Now it has been passed to her daughter-in-law, Princess Kate.
This is the official engagement photo of Diana and Charles outside of Buckingham Palace, yet she still seems nervous in the spotlight.
With a set wedding date in July, the pair chills out in casual sweaters at the Scottish royal residence Balmoral.
During Diana's visit to Tetbury on May 22, 1981, well-wishers flocked to see the gorgeous future princess.
Since their engagement, the media followed the bride-to-be closely. Here she wears elegant purple outfits in Windsor after the Ascot races on June 16, 1981.
When Diana reached 20 years old, it was still hard for her to tolerate the persistence of the paparazzi. At a polo match that July, she burst into crying when the place swarmed with photographers. That's when her wedding was just a few days away.
Lady Diana's royal life officially started when she and Prince Charles wed at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981.