5 Things You Didn't Know About Princess Diana

On Aug. 31, 1997, Britain's Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris at age 36. Her boyfriend, the Egyptian-born socialite Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died as well. Here are 5 things you didn't know about "The People’s Princess"...

ADVERTISEMENT

Diana Was Not the First Choice for Prince Charles Charles was heavy on the dating scene in the late 1970s, spending time with ladies such as Lady Jane Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington’s daughter, and brewery heiress Sabrina Guinness. He even proposed to the granddaughter of his mentor Lord Louis Mountbatten (she said no). He was also spending time with Sarah Spencer, Diana’s sister. Through it all, he had one very ineligible bachelorette on his mind: Camilla Shand, who had married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. Under pressure to tie the knot, Charles turned to the Queen—and to Camilla—for advice. Both agreed that Diana would be a good fit. Charles proposed on February 3, 1981 in the nursery at Windsor Castle.

Nearly 750 Million People Watched Di and Charles Get Married When Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, nearly 300 million viewers tuned in. Sounds like a lot of people right? Hardly. In 1981, when Diana married the Prince of Wales, over 750 million people around the world tuned in to watch the wedding.  To put that into perspective, that’s six and a half times the number of people who watched the most-viewed Super Bowl.

ADVERTISEMENT

She Was the First Royal to Omit "Obey" From Her Vows Diana was a trendsetter in more ways than one. Not only was she a breath of fresh air in what had seemed like a stodgy, traditional royal family, but she also changed royal wedding vows in a way that stuck. She omitted the part about obeying her husband, and while she likely wasn't the first woman to do that, she was the first royal. Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle omitted that part of the vows too.

Her Wedding Dress Had Nearly 10,000 Pearls Princess Diana’s iconic wedding dress was one of the biggest secrets in the world until her wedding day on July 29, 1981. The gown featured 10,000 pearls embroidered onto the dress. Diana reportedly had to be sewn into the dress because she had lost a lot of weight before her big day. The finished dress went down in history as one of the most memorable wedding dresses ever.

Nearly Half the World Watched Her Funeral In 1997, the world population had topped 5.8 billion people, and nearly half of them (2.5 billion) watched Diana's funeral. Her death had stunned and saddened the world and brought new attention to how paparazzi went after celebrities and the lengths both parties would go to either avoid being seen or to see and snap a photo. In fact, Diana's brother blamed the media for her death and compared their treatment of her to hunting her.