Top Five Princess Diana Memories

Diana dancing with John Travolta at the White House (public domain)

Diana, Princess of Wales, was the most recognized woman of her era. From the time she burst onto the scene in 1980 until her untimely 1997 death, no woman on earth was more photographed. Here are five of Princess Diana’s most iconic moments.

  1. The Photo With No Slip

Most of us got to know Diana in the fall of 1980, as the shy, preppy nursery school teacher. The press loved her understated beauty, and immediately began snapping photo after photo of her.

They captured a shot of her with a few of her preschool students, standing against bright sunlight which shone through her thin floral skirt, revealing her legs. Diana’s demure response? “I forgot to wear a slip!”

Princes Charles was reportedly delighted, quipping to her, “I knew you had great legs – but did you have to show them to everyone?”

  1. The Wedding of the Century

So many weddings are now dubbed “wedding of the century,” but the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer truly was. Held July 29, 1981, in London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral (traditional royal wedding venue Westminster Abbey was deemed too small), the spectacle was planned for months and drew a television audience of 750 million.

Viewers in America woke in the middle of the night to tune in to the festivities, and memorable moments abounded: Diana posing with some of her nursery school students who were in the wedding; Diana’s frail father Earl Spencer (recovering from a stroke) accompanying her down the aisle; Diana’s fairy-tale gown, complete with a 25-foot train; Charles and Diana breaking from tradition by kissing on the Buckingham Palace balcony to a cheering audience.

  1. Birth of Prince William

Just 11 months after the royal wedding, 20-year-old Diana fulfilled her royal duty by providing an heir to the throne: first son, William Arthur Philip Louis.

As with the wedding, media coverage of Diana’s pregnancy and the baby’s birth was nonstop. From the breathless photos of Diana’s stylish maternity wear to the coverage throughout the day of William’s birth (June 21, 1982), no detail was spared to a wildly curious public.

When Diana and William returned home less than 24 hours later, the public was amazed at her stamina and thrilled at the sight of the tiny prince and his glamorous mother waving happily.

  1. BBC Panorama Interview

Although the public continued its love affair with Diana, the bloom was soon off the rose for the royal marriage. Charles and Diana separated, and in 1995 Diana participated in a revealing 1-hour BBC interview in which she famously stated “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded …” The third person was Charles’ old flame Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he married after Diana’s death.

In this interview, Diana also admitted her own infidelity and bulimia, and expressed the wish to be “queen of people’s hearts.”

  1. Death/Funeral

August 31, 1997: do you remember where you were when you heard that Princess Diana had died? I got a call from my aunt to turn on the TV. I heard that Diana had been in a car crash in Paris, and perhaps had a broken arm.

As the night went on, her injuries were reported more ominously. And then, it was announced that she was dead.

I, as well as much of the world, was shocked. How could such a vibrant life force be snuffed out so suddenly?

For the next week, London led the world in mourning the passing of the “people’s princess.” Diana’s Kensington Palace home was surrounded with bouquets, hand-written notes, stuffed animals, and other memorabilia.

People lined up for hours to sign remembrance books in Diana’s memory.

The day of the funeral, few will forget the small bouquet on Diana’s casket, inscribed simply “Mummy” by 12-year-old son Harry.

What is your favorite memory of Diana?


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8 thoughts on “Top Five Princess Diana Memories

  1. The thing I loved the most about the life of Lady Di was observing the joy that you derived from following her.

  2. I loved her dancing with Charles to “Isn’t she lovely” with the necklace worn as a headband. They both seemed happy and seemed to be enjoying dancing together. I also loved when William, future head of the Church of England, enrolled at Eton he, typical kid, had to ask Mum what his religion was. She quietly (but with a twinkle) said “C of E, darling….”

    I loved her bangs and got my hair cut like that, but I didn’t have a stylist so mine were usually not very good! I loved many of her clothes and adored that she wore flats since she was Charles’ height or just a tad taller. I loved that she did not find Harry’s antics on the balcony “cheeky-cute” but corrected him immediately like any mother should. She insisted on manners.

    I detested her on Panorama though–she was so smug and fake I wanted to slap her. Those heavily lined eyes, the fake tears–and she didn’t even warn the boys, just told poor William “You’ll be proud.” Like a 14 year old boy at boarding school would be proud to have all of that hashed out on national tv. UGH That his Mum was in love with so many men while married to his father? Who’d be proud??? Then there was the “somehow we had Harry” comment. And, you know I could go on!! lol”

    I also hate that poor Kate is constantly compared to her. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has an outstanding University degree, would have had a fabulous career as a very high paid executive if she had dated anyone else and is way more than what she wears. Let her be who SHE is, but the press never will be cause “the mother-in-law” sells even when dead.

  3. She was a beautiful young woman, and there were so many things I wanted to like about her, but mostly I felt/feel sorry for her. As I wrote in my review of the book regarding her life, “She looked for love in all the wrong places.”

  4. She was definitely an amazing woman. To still be talked about, and leaving the mark of raising great son’s is a blessing!! So wish that she could have lived longer.

  5. I was a little too young to get caught up in the whole Diana craze. I have an older friend who watched the wedding on television. There is something fascinating about royalty, but Diana, specifically, was never a big deal to me.

  6. Susan’s post initiated a lively discussion! I always enjoyed the way Diana was so beautiful and how she always wore stylish clothes, often in some of my favorite colors such as blue. Because she started out as a teacher, I could identify with that aspect. She definitely doted on her two sons, maybe more than most mothers do because of her sad marriage experience. Like Elaine said Diana was always looking for love! She would be so proud of her sons today and would love and enjoy her two grandchildren, George and Charlotte. That George is so photogenic and cute like his maternal grandmother! He has already had thousands of pictures taken which appear online and in many magazines. I believe that his mother Kate and little George himself will be photographed even more than Diana eventually. It will take quite awhile to catch up though.

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