Diana, Princess of Wales, was a member of the British Royal family, played by the 25-year-old actress Emma Corrin. In the final two seasons of The Crown, Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki will essay the role of Princess Diana. Mother of Prince William and Prince Harry and heir apparent to the British throne, she was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Diana’s beauty and shy demeanor—earned her the nickname “Shy Di” which made her an instant sensation with the media and the public. She married Prince of Wales in St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981, in a globally televised ceremony watched by millions of people. Apart from being a fashion trendsetter, she used her celebrity status to aid numerous charitable causes.
However marital difficulties between the prince and princess were growing more and more, the couple formally separated in 1992. Diana struggled with severe postnatal depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and the mounting strain of being constantly pursued by both the official media royal-watchers and the tabloid press, particularly the paparazzi.
Diana presented her side of the story in Andrew Morton’s controversial book Diana: Her True Story in 1992 and an unusually candid television interview in 1995. After lengthy negotiations that left Diana with a substantial financial settlement but without the title Her Royal Highness, the couple’s divorce became final on August 28, 1996.
Even after the divorce, Diana continued many of the activities she had earlier undertaken on behalf of charities which included supporting causes as diverse as the arts, children’s issues, and AIDS patients. To acquaint them with the world outside royal privilege, Diana often brought her sons to hospitals, homeless shelters, and orphanages. Diana also undertook royal duties on behalf of the Queen and represented her at functions across the Commonwealth games.
Her compassion, personal warmth, humility, and accessibility earned her the sobriquet “the People’s Princess.” Diana died, along with her companion, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, in an automobile accident in a tunnel under the streets of Paris in 1997. Her death produced unprecedented expressions of public mourning, testifying to her enormous hold on the British national psyche.