26 little-known facts from the biography of Princess Diana

July 1, Diana would have turned 55 years old. The famous princess in her open manner of behavior became a breath of fresh air in the royal palace.

When she married Prince Charles in St. Paul's Cathedral, a wedding ceremony (according to Wikipedia information) was watched by 750 million viewers around the world. Diana was in the center of public attention throughout her life. Everything connected with it, from clothes to hair, immediately became an international trend. And even after almost two decades from the moment of her tragic death, the public interest in the personality of the Princess of Wales is not quenched. In memory of the popularly beloved princess, we give twenty-six little-known facts about her life.

1. Study at school

Diane was not strong in the sciences, and after she failed two exams at the West Heath girls' school at the age of 16, her studies ended. My father intended to send her to study in Sweden, but she insisted on returning home.

2. Getting to know Charles and betrothal

Prince Charles and Diana met when he met Sarah, Diana's elder sister. The relationship between Sarah and Charles was at an impasse after she announced publicly that she did not like the prince. Diana, on the other hand, liked Charles very much, and she even hung his photo over her bed in a boarding school. "I want to become a dancer or a Princess of Wales," she once confessed to her classmate.

Diana was only 16 when she first saw Charles (who was then 28) on a hunt in Norfolk. According to the memories of her former music teacher, Diana was very excited and could not talk about anything else: "Finally, I met him!" Two years later their engagement was officially announced, then Sarah proudly declared: "I introduced them, I'm Cupid. "

3. Work as a teacher

After graduation and until the official announcement of the engagement, the young aristocrat worked first as a nanny, and then as a kindergarten teacher in Knightsbridge, one of London's most prestigious districts.

4. An Englishwoman among royal women

As surprising as it may sound, but for the last 300 years, Lady Diana Francis Spencer was the first Englishwoman to become the wife of the heir to the British throne. Before her, the wives of English kings were mostly representatives of the German royal dynasties, there was also a Dane (Alexandra of Denmark, wife of Edward VII), and even the queen mother, the wife of George VI and the grandmother of Charles, was a Scot.

5. Wedding dress

The wedding dress of Princess Diana was decorated with 10,000 pearls and ended with an 8-meter train - the longest in the history of royal weddings. To support the English fashion industry, Diana turned to young designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who accidentally met through the editor of Vogue. "We knew that the dress should go down in history and at the same time like Diana. The ceremony was appointed in the Cathedral of St. Paul, so it was necessary to do something that would fill the central passage and looked impressive. " Within five months of the window Emmanuel boutique in central London, the blinds were tightly closed, and the boutique itself was carefully guarded so that no one could see the creation of silk taffeta before the time. On his wedding day, he was taken in a sealed envelope. But, just in case, a spare dress was sewn. "We did not try it on Diana, we did not even discuss it," Elizabeth admitted in 2011, when the second dress became known.

6. "Sapphire commoner"

Diana chose an engagement ring with a sapphire from the Garrard catalog, instead of ordering it, as was the custom in the royal environment. 12-carat sapphire, surrounded by 14 diamonds in white gold, was called "sapphire commoner", since, despite the price of $ 60,000, it was available to everyone. "The ring, like Diana, wanted to have many," said a Cartier spokesman in an interview with The New York Times. Since then, the "sapphire commoner" has become associated with Princess Diana. After her death, Prince Harry inherited the ring, but gave it to Prince William before his engagement with Keith Middleton in 2010. According to rumors, William took the sapphire from the royal safe and wore it in his backpack on a three-week trip to Africa before giving it to Kate. Now the ring is estimated ten times more expensive than its original cost.

7. The oath at the altar

Diana for the first time in her history arbitrarily changed the words of the wedding vow, deliberately omitting the phrase "obey her husband." After thirty years, this oath was repeated by William and Kate.

8. Your favorite meal

Personal chef Diana Darren McGrady recalls that one of her favorite dishes was a creamy pudding, and when he cooked it, she often went into the kitchen and took off raisins from the top. Diana liked stuffed peppers and eggplants; eating alone, she preferred lean meat, a large bowl of salad and yogurt for dessert.

9. Favorite color

Some biographers say that Diana's favorite color was pink, and she often wore outfits of various shades from pale pink to rich raspberry.

10. Favorite perfume

Her favorite perfume after the divorce became the French perfume 24 Faubourg from Hermès - a delicate solemn aroma with a bouquet of jasmine and gardenia, iris and vanilla, giving off a peach, bergamot, sandalwood and patchouli.

11. A caring mother

Diana herself chose names for her children and insisted that the eldest son be called William, despite the fact that Charles chose the name Arthur, and the younger one - Henry (so he was baptized, although everyone calls him Harry), while the father wanted to call his son Albert. Diana nursed the children, although this is not accepted in the royal family. Diana and Charles were the first royal parents who, contrary to the established tradition, traveled with their young children. During their six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, they took with them a nine-month-old William. Royal biographer Christopher Warwick claims that William and Harry were very happy with Diana, as her approach to parenting was radically different from that adopted at court.

12. William - the first prince who attended kindergarten

Pre-school education of royal children was traditionally dealt with by private teachers and governesses. Princess Diana changed this order, insisting that Prince William was sent to a regular kindergarten. Thus, he became the first heir to the throne, who attended a pre-school outside the palace. And although Diana, extremely attached to children, considered it important to create the usual conditions for their upbringing, there were exceptions. Once, she invited Cindy Crawford to dinner at Buckingham Palace, because the 13-year-old Prince William was crazy about the model. "It was a little awkward, he was still very young, and I did not want to look too self-assured, but at the same time I had to be stylish, so that the child would feel that he was a supermodel," Cindy later confessed.

13. Ordinary childhood of heirs to the throne

Diana tried to show the children all the variety of life outside the palace. Together they ate burgers in McDonald's, went by metro and bus, wore jeans and baseball caps, went down on inflatable boats along mountain rivers and rode bicycles. At Disneyland, as usual visitors, stood in line for tickets.

Diana showed the children the other side of life when she took them to hospitals and shelters for the homeless. "She really wanted to show us all the hardships of ordinary life, and I'm very grateful to her, it was a good lesson, that's when I realized how far many of us are from real life, especially myself," William said in an interview with ABC News in 2012 .

14. Not a royal manner of behavior

Diana preferred round tables to large royal banquets, so she could communicate more closely with her guests. Nevertheless, if she was alone, she often dined in the kitchen, which is completely uncharacteristic for royalty. "Nobody else did it", her personal chef Darren McGrady confessed in 2014. Elizabeth II visited the kitchen of Buckingham Palace once a year, to her solemn detour everything had to be scrubbed to shine, and cooks lined up to greet the queen. If someone else from the royal family entered the kitchen, everyone had to immediately stop work, put pots and pans on the stove, take three steps back and bow. Diana was simpler. "Darren, I want coffee. Ah, you are busy, then I myself. Do you? "True, she did not like to cook, and why should she? McGrady cooked for her all week, and at the weekend filled the refrigerator so she could warm up the dishes in the microwave.

15. Diana and the fashion

When Diana first met Charles, she was very shy, easily and often blushing. But gradually she got self-confidence, and in 1994 her photo in a tight-fitting decollete miniplayer at the exhibition in the Serpentine Gallery blew up the covers of the world tabloids, because this little black dress was a clear violation of the royal dressress.

16. Lady Dee v. Formalities

When Diane was talking with the children, she always crouched to be on par with their eyes (now her son and sister-in-law are doing the same). "Diana was the first of the royal family who communicated with children in this way," says Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine. "Usually the royal family considered themselves superior to the rest, but Diana said:" If someone is nervous in your presence, or if you are talking with a small child or a sick person, drop to their level. "

17. Changing the attitude of the queen to her daughter-in-law

Bright emotional Diana caused a lot of disturbance to the royal court, her manner of holding herself in public did not match the way the royal family behaved. This often aroused the queen's irritation. But today, crossing the threshold of her ninety years, looking at how people perceive her wonderful grandchildren, the sons of Diana - William and Harry - Elizabeth is forced to admit that they see in them Diana, her sincerity and love of life. Unlike their father and other members of the royal family, William and Harry always attract everyone's attention and are very popular. "Probably, in the end, it's all thanks to Diana," says the queen with a smile.

18. The role of Diana in the approach to AIDS

When Diana told the queen that she wants to tackle the problems of AIDS and asked her to help fund vaccine research, Elizabeth advised her to do something more appropriate. I must admit that in the mid-80s, when this conversation took place, the problem of AIDS was tried to be ignored and ignored, the infected were often treated as being plagued. Nevertheless, Diana did not give up, and in large part due to the fact that she was one of the first to draw attention to the AIDS problem by publicly shaking hands with HIV-infected people and calling for funding of research, the attitude to AIDS in society has changed, drugs have appeared that allow patients to lead normal life.

19. Fear of horses

In all the aristocratic families of England, and in the royal family especially, horseback riding is not only very popular, but also compulsory. The ability to stay in the saddle is taught from a young age, and this is part of the rules of good manners even for the most impoverished baronets. Lady Diana, of course, was properly trained in riding, but she was so clumsy a rider and was so afraid of horses that even the queen had to retreat and stop taking her on horseback trips to Sadringen.

20. "Advanced courses" for a young aristocrat

Despite the nobility of the Spencer family, to which Diana belonged, when she married Charles, she was still too young and inexperienced in the palace protocol. Therefore, Elizabeth asked her sister, Princess Margaret, Diane's neighbor in Kensington Palace, to take her daughter-in-law under her wing. Margaret enthusiastically accepted this request. She saw in the young creation of herself in her youth and enjoyed the fellowship, sharing with Diana the love of theater and ballet. Margaret said who to shake hands with and what to say. They got along well, although sometimes the mentor could quite reluctantly with her protege. One day, Diana turned to the driver by name, although the hard royal protocol implied an appeal to the servants exclusively by last name. Margaret hit her on the wrist and made a stern remark. And yet their warm relations lasted a long time and changed radically only after the official break with Charles, when Margaret unconditionally took the side of her nephew.

21. Intentional violation of the royal protocol

To celebrate the 67th anniversary of Queen Diana arrived in Windsor Castle with William and Harry, carrying in their hands balls and paper crowns. Everything would be fine, but Elizabeth does not tolerate the spirit, and after 12 years of close dialogue Diana should have known about it. However, she nevertheless decorated the hall with balls and distributed paper crowns to the guests.

22. Official break with Charles

Elizabeth tried to do everything in her power to preserve the marriage of Diana and Charles. This concerned, in the first place, her relationship to Camille Parker Bowles, Charles's mistress. By the unofficial order of the queen, Camille was excommunicated from the court, all the servants knew that "that woman" should not cross the threshold of the palace. Obviously, this did not change anything, the relationship between Charles and Camilla continued, and the marriage with Diana quickly collapsed.

Soon after, in December 1992, it was officially announced that the royal couple had parted, the princess asked for an audience with the queen. But on arrival at Buckingham Palace it turned out that the queen was busy, and Diana had to wait in the lobby. When Elizabeth finally accepted her, Diana was on the verge of collapse and burst into tears right before the queen. She complained that everyone is against her. The fact is that as far as Lady Di was popular among the masses, she was also an undesirable person in royal circles. After the break with Charles, the court unanimously took the side of the heir, and Diana was isolated. Unable to influence the attitude of the family to the former daughter-in-law, the queen could only promise that the divorce would not affect the status of William and Harry.

23. Diana and the Taj Mahal

During an official visit to India in 1992, when the royal couple was still considered a married couple, Diana was sealed, sitting alone beside the Taj Mahal, this majestic monument of husband's love for his wife. It was a visual message that, being officially together, Diane and Charles actually broke up.

24. Divorce

Despite all attempts by the queen to reconcile her son with her daughter-in-law, including her invitation to Diana for an official reception in honor of the Portuguese president in late 1992, or at Christmas 1993, the parties continued to uncritically speak out and publicly accuse each other of infidelity, so that there is no restoration of relations there could be no question. Therefore, in the end, Elizabeth wrote them letters asking them to consider the issue of divorce. Both knew that this was tantamount to an order. And if the princess in the reply letter asked for time to think, Charles immediately asked Diana for a divorce. In the summer of 1996, a year before the tragic death of Lady Dee, their marriage was dissolved.

25. "The Queen of the People's Hearts"

In an interview with the BBC in November 1995, Diana made several frank confessions about her post-natal depression, her broken marriage and strained relations with the royal family. About the constant presence of her marriage to Camilla, she said: "We were three. Too much for marriage, is not it? "But the most shocking statement was that Charles did not want to be king.

Developing her thought, she assumed that she would never become a queen, but instead she expressed the opportunity to become a queen "in the hearts of people." And she confirmed this fictitious status, conducting active public work and doing charity. In June 1997, two months before her death, Diane auctioned 79 ball gowns, which at one time appeared on the covers of glossy magazines around the world. Thus, it seemed to break with the past, and $ 5.76 million, received at the auction, were spent on funding research on AIDS and breast cancer.

26. Life after a divorce

Reliving the gap with Charles, Diana did not shut herself up and did not shut herself off from society, she began to enjoy the free life. Shortly before her tragic death, she met producer Dodi Al Fayed, the eldest son of an Egyptian billionaire, the owner of the Parisian hotel Ritz and the London department store Harrods. They spent several days together near Sardinia on his yacht, and then went to Paris, where on August 31, 1997 they got into a deadly car accident. There are still disputes over the true causes of the accident, from the race with the persecution of paparazzi and the alcohol in the driver's blood to a mysterious white car, the marks of which were found on the door of the Mercedes in which Diana died. The catastrophe allegedly resulted from a collision with this car. And it does not matter that this mysterious machine, which appeared from nowhere, disappeared into nowhere, and nobody saw it. But for fans of conspiracy theory this is not an argument. They insist that it was a murder planned by the British special services. This version is supported by Dodi's father, Mohammed Al Fayed, indicating as the basis of Dodi and Diana's plans to marry, which absolutely did not suit the royal family. As it was in reality, we are unlikely to ever find out. One thing is certain - the world has lost one of the best and brightest women of all time, forever changed the life of the royal family and the attitude towards the monarchy in society. The memory of the "queen of hearts" will always remain with us.