Diana, Princess of Wales

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I am finding it very difficult to cope with the pressures of being Princess of Wales, but I am learning to cope with it. ~ Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances; née Spencer; 1 July 196131 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Her youth and beauty made her an icon of femininity when the couple's engagement was announced; however their marriage was not a success and she despised the media's intrusion which royal life brought. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996; she was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year. She had two sons with Charles: Prince William of Wales and Prince Harry of Wales, born in 1982 and 1984 respectively.


  • When I started my public life, twelve years ago, I understood the media might be interested in what I did. I realized then their attention would inevitably focus on both our private and public lives. But I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become. Nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and my personal life, in a manner, that's been hard to bear. At the end of this year, when I've completed my diary of official engagements, I will be reducing the extent of the public life I've lead so far.
  • Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.
  • She won't go quietly, that's the problem. I'll fight to the end, because I believe that I have a role to fulfill, and I've got two children to bring up.
    • ibid.
  • I always knew I'd never be the next queen. I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, in people's hearts, but I don't see myself being queen of this country. I don't think many people will want me to be queen.
    • ibid.
  • I do things differently, because I don't go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head, and albeit that's got me into trouble in my work, I understand that.
    • ibid.
  • Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.
    • The Guardian, December 9, 1995, p. 2.
  • Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can.
    • Attributed to Diana by her biographer Andrew Morton, The Sun, September 1, 1997, p. 18.
  • HIV doesn't make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it.
  • The worst illness of our time is that so many people have to suffer from never being loved.
    • ibid.
  • Two things stand like stone: kindness in anothers trouble, courage in your own.
    • ibid.
  • Family is the most important thing in the world. I live with my sons and I would be lost without them.
    • OK Magazine's special Princess Diana 50th birthday tribute issue, p. 67. [1]
  • Being a princess isn't all it's cracked to be. They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?
    • ibid.
  • Call me Diana, not Princess Diana. Don't call me an icon. I'm just a mother trying to help.
    • ibid.
  • I found myself being more and more involved with people who were rejected by society - with drug addicts, alcoholism, battered this, battered that - and I found an affinity there.
    • ibid.
  • My husband asked for the separation and I supported it. We had struggled to keep it going, but obviously we'd both run out of steam.
    • ibid.
  • Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are.
    • ibid.
  • I've got what my mother's got - however bloody you are feeling you can put on the most amazing show of happiness.
    • ibid.
  • I was portrayed in the media as someone - because I hadn't pass any O-levels - stupid. I've always been the 18-year-old girl he got engaged to. I don't think I've been given any credit for growth. And, my goodness, I've had to grow.
    • ibid.
  • Charles came in with his Labrador. My sister [then Charles's girlfriend] was all over him like a bad rash.
    • OK Magazine's special Princess Diana 50th birthday tribute issue, p. 65. [2]
  • I'm a free spirit - unfortunately for some.
    • ibid.
  • I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. I had tremendous hope in me.
    • ibid.
  • I desperately loved my husband and I wanted to share everything together, and I thought that we were a very good team.
    • ibid.
  • The public wanted a fairy princess to come and touch them and everything would turn to gold. Little did they realise that the individual is crucifying herself inside because she didn't think she was good enough.
    • ibid.
  • I hug my children to death, I get in bed with them at night and hug them. And I always say: "Who loves you most in the whole wide world?" And they always say: "Mummy".
    • OK Magazine's special Princess Diana 50th birthday tribute issue, [3]

Quotes about her[edit]

  • Caring for people who are dying and helping the bereaved was something for which Diana had passion and commitment. When she stroked the limbs of someone with leprosy, or sat on the bed of a man with HIV/AIDS and held his hand, she transformed public attitudes and improved the life chances of such people. People felt if a British princess can go to a ward with HIV patients, then there's nothing to be superstitious about.
  • In the aftermath of her untimely death, which has thrown up a smog of irrelevant questions, -- like, did the media do it? -- we will soon be facing the only essential one: Will she be, posthumously, as much a destabilizer of the House of Windsor as she was when she was living?
    • Christopher Hitchens, The Haunting of the House of Windsor: In death, Diana will cause more problems for Britain's royal family than she ever did in life, Salon, September 2, 1997
  • Delighted and frankly amazed that Diana is prepared to take me on.
  • Anthony Carthew (ITN): And, I suppose, in love?
    Lady Diana Spencer: Of course!
    Charles, Prince of Wales: Whatever 'in love' means.
    • "Anthony Carthew" (Obituary), The Times, 22 January 2007.
    • On announcing his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer.
  • Her genuine concern for the plight of others and her ability to talk to anybody and make them feel special were her remarkable qualities. Her loss has been felt here very deeply because of the wonderful work she did here with patients. She will be very deeply missed.
    • Rebecca Mosley, The Royal Marsden NHS Trustt's communications manager, "BBC"
  • In our opinion she was the foremost ambassador for Aids awareness on the planet and no one can fill her shoes in terms of the work she did.
    • Gavin Hart of the National Aids Trust, "BBC"
  • I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all - this was my way of keeping close to it all.
    • OK Magazine's special Princess Diana 50th birthday tribute issue, [4]
    • Prince William on proposing with Diana's ring.
  • My mother used her position very well to help other people, as does my father, and I hope to do the same.
  • I always think of my mother in everything I do. I hope she would be proud of my work. My brother and I often ask ourselves: what would our mother have done in this situation? My mother was to me, like my brother, a role model. And also to many people worldwide. I believe people took to her so warmly because she possessed the ability to take away their embarrassment in whatever situation she met them in. She was immediately sympathetic. Exactly like her, I know that I enjoy a privileged position as a member of the royal family and I must use what was given to me to try to make a difference in important topics.
  • Losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure. My mother Diana was present at your launch 15 years ago, and today I am incredibly proud to be able to continue her support for your fantastic charity, by becoming your royal patron. Never being able to say the word 'Mummy' again in your life sounds like a small thing. However, for many, including me, it's now really just a word – hollow and evoking only memories.
  • She was our guardian, friend and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or undemonstrated. She will always be remembered for her amazing public work. But behind the media glare, to us, just two loving children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world. We would say that wouldn't we. But we miss her. She kissed us last thing at night. Her beaming smile greeted us from school. She laughed hysterically and uncontrollably when sharing something silly she might have said or done that day. She encouraged us when we were nervous or unsure. She - like our father - was determined to provide us with a stable and secure childhood.
  • I think she'd be happy in the way that we're going about it but slightly unhappy about the way the other people were going about it as in saying, 'Look: you're not normal, so stop trying to be normal,' which is very much what we get a lot.

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