PRINCESS DIANA’S LEGACY is far from being forgotten.
Since garnering a global spotlight in 1981—when the former Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles—the Princess of Wales has remained a popular public figure. Even after her untimely death in 1997, iconic images from her wedding gown to tender moments with her boys, Princes William and Harry, continue to win over hearts of millions around the world.
Affectionately remembered as the “People’s Princess,” her humanitarian work is also an important part of her legacy. Working extensively with charities around the world, the Princess of Wales used her fame to bring attention to numerous causes, including awareness efforts for HIV/AIDS, homelessness and landmine blight.
Look back at some of Diana’s notable moments captured on camera. From her days as a girl spent at Althorp to her groundbreaking visit to an Angolan minefield in 1997, these pictures look back at the life fo Princess Diana, one of the most photographed women in the world.
Diana sits on her suitcases as she prepares to go to boarding school at Riddlesworth Hall in the fall of 1970. Distraught over the separation from her home, she told her father, “If you love me, you won’t leave me here.” PHOTOGRAPH BY (SPEN/AL), CAMERA PRESS, REDUX
Diana grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, and horses. “She loved animals when she was a child,” her mother said.“She loved everything that was small and furry or had feathers.”Diana learned to ride horses before she was four, but after she broke her arm in a riding accident, her love faded. Still, her empathy for all living creatures would be a hallmark of her life. Here she holds her pet guinea pig during a 1972 pet show in Sandringham.She brought her guinea pig to her ?rst boarding school, Riddlesworth Hall, where she was made head of “Pets’ Corner,” where the students’ pets were housed. PHOTOGRAPH BY (SPEN/AL), CAMERA PRESS, REDUX
Always poised, even when jumping o? a slide into the family’s pool at Park House, a youthful Diana shows o? her fun side. Her red swimming badges can be seen at the bottom of her bathing suit. PHOTOGRAPH BY (SPEN/AL), CAMERA PRESS, REDUX
A photo from a private family album dated 1967–69 shows Diana posing cheekily as a young girl. Obviously a natural in front of the camera, she also had a keen sense of fashion from an early age. PHOTOGRAPH BY (SPEN/AL), CAMERA PRESS, REDUX
As her star grew, Diana’s admirers became taken with the princess's eye for fashion, as well as her charm. Here, she dresses in plaid at the Braemar Highland Games in Scotland. September 1982 PHOTOGRAPH BY ANWAR HUSSEIN, GETTY IMAGES
Days before their wedding, Prince Charles and Lady Di pose together. July 1981 PHOTOGRAPH BY KEYSTONE-FRANCE, GETTY IMAGES
A royal wedding portrait in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace. The former Lady Diana Spencer, now the Princess of Wales, stands at center with her prince. The Queen (wearing a blue dress) stands next to the Queen Mother (ina teal dress) on the left. Diana’s mother, Frances(in green), is next to her father, Earl Spencer, on the right. The wedding brought together two families and ended the speculation over the bachelorhood of Prince Charles. PHOTOGRAPH BY LICHFIELD, GETTY IMAGES
To promote her message on behalf of the charity HALO Trust, Diana walked through an activemine?eld in Huambo, Angola, in front of the press. The cause was more important than the inherent danger she faced. January 15,1997. PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM GRAHAM, GETTY
Diana sits in front of the Taj Mahal in the famous “princess alone” photo. Charles was meeting with business leaders in Bangalore at the time—a not-uncommon occurrence on state visits. Diana, however, knew that with the press analyzing their every move, this image would cast wide-ranging ripples. And it de?nitely did. The press recalled how Charles had sat on the same bench 12 years earlier and said, “One day I would like to bring my wife here.” She came, but by that time in their marriage, the end was already in sight. February 1992. PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM GRAHAM, GETTY IMAGES
DIANA: IN HER OWN WORDS
Watch the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, by award-winning filmmaker Tom Jennings, for an intimate story told in her own voice through recordings, most of which have not been heard before. Or celebrate Princess Diana's life and legacy through the book Remembering Diana. National Geographic Features presents Diana: In Her Own Words Sunday 7.30pm AEST/NZST on National Geographic.
This piece was originally published on August 8, 2017 and updated on August 29, 2019.