In 1981, Diana married Prince Charles. Diana was 13 years the junior, at an age of just 20, Charles by contrast was 33 at the time of the wedding. The general public soon warmed to the innocence and beauty of Princess Diana, and the wedding was watched by over 1 billion people world wide. During their marriage they had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. However, in the mid 1980s, strains started to appear in the marriage, and under much publicity the marriage broke up leading to a divorce in 1992. During this period Diana is said to have suffered various health problems such as bulimia and depression.
As Princess of Wales, Diana was expected to take part in various official engagements, such as, opening of hospitals. This provided a natural outlet for her to become involved in various types of charitable work. Her natural sympathy and oneness with patients was much admired. In 1987, Princess Diana was one of the first well known celebrities to be photographed with a victim of AIDS. This was important in changing attitudes to the disease. At the time, many thought the disease could be contacted by touch alone. Another of her high profile charities, was her involvement in the campaign to ban landmines. In January 1997, she visited mine fields in Angola to inspect the clearing of landmines. After her death, the Ottawa treaty, was signed banning the use of anti-personnel landmines. Many agree that her support and role in the campaign played an important role in influencing this decision.
Shortly before her death, June 18th Princess Diana met with Mother Teresa. Both admired each other. Mother Teresa always said “Diana is my daughter.” With utmost humility Diana said “I am a very, very small Mother Teresa.
Despite the pervasive press intrusions into her private life, Diana remained very popular because people could identify with her. Her hands on approach to charity work gave the impression of a new type of Royal, who was no longer so remote.
“Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back if only they had the chance.”
Diana died on 31st August, 1997, in a car crash involving Dodi Al-Fayed. (see last moments of Princess Diana) It was said they were being chased by paparazzi at the time the fatal accident. Although, the inquest noted that the driver was also under the influence of drugs and drink. Controversy still surrounds her death, with a further inquest still underway.(3) The death of Diana had a profound impact on the British public and those in other countries. It led to an unprecedented outpouring of grief and sympathy, for a person people had taken into their hearts. Over 1 million bouquets of flowers were laid at Buckingham Palace. Her funeral was watched by countless millions around the world. Her final resting place was her family home of Althorp.