Frequently Asked Questions
Partial Source: Yvonne's Royalty Home Page Copyright 1998-2005 Yvonne Demoskoff. For further information, please click on the link to visit this excellent site.
If you have a question about the Princess, and do not see it listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to research and provide the answer.
1. When and where was Diana born? 2. What were Diana's names at her christening, & who were her godparents? 3. Was Diana always a "Lady"? 4. Who are/were Diana's parents & siblings? 5. Where did Diana spend her early years? 6. Which one of Diana's sisters dated Prince Charles? 7. What kind of work did Diana do before she married Prince Charles? 8. When did Charles and Diana's romance begin? 9. When did Charles and Diana become engaged? 8. When did Charles and Diana's romance begin? 10.When and where did Charles and Diana marry? 11. Who designed Diana's wedding gown? 12. What flowers were in Diana's wedding bouquet? 13. What was the music played at Charles and Diana's wedding? 14. When and where were Diana's children born? 15. Where did Diana live during her marriage & after her divorce? 16. When did Charles & Diana separate and subsequently divorce? 17. What was Diana's title during her marriage and after her divorce? 18. Was Diana stripped of "HRH" after her divorce? 19. Where can I find a transcript of the television interview Diana gave prior to her divorce? 20. Where and when did Diana die? 21. When and where was Diana's funeral and burial? 22. Where can I find the text of Earl Spencer's Funeral Address? 23. Where can I find the text of Diana's last will and testament? 24. Where can I find the final report by the Paris prosecutor on the Diana crash inquiry and/or the Operation Paget Report? 25. Did Diana receive any Orders during her marriage? 26. Did Diana receive any international awards? 27. Are there any flowers named after Diana? 28. What were Diana's hobbies? 29. What charities was Diana associated with? 30. How was Diana related to royalty, and is her family tree available online? 31. How were Charles and Diana related to each other? 32. Who are Diana's godchilren? 33. What are the details of Diana's coat of arms? New Addition: Where are they now?1. When and where was Diana born?
Diana was born on 1 July 1961 at 7:45 p.m. (summer time) at Park House, situated on the edge of the royal estate Sandringham, in Norfolk. She weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz. Park House belonged to HM The Queen but was leased to Diana's parents, the then Viscount and Viscountess Althorp, from 1955 to 1975. In 1983, HM The Queen offered Park House to the Cheshire Foundation as a holiday home for the disabled. During a visit to Park House with the Queen, Prince Charles discovered Diana's signature on a window frame. He moved the whole sash window to Highgrove House for Diana as a souvenir of her childhood home.
Diana was christened Diana Frances on 30 August 1961 at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, by The Right Reverend Percy Herbert. Diana had five godparents: John Floyd (Chairman of Christie's, and a friend of her father), Alexander Gilmour (her father's cousin), Lady Mary Colman (the former Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon, later Lady Colman, wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, and niece of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and later a lady-in-waiting to Princess Alexandra, Hon. Lady Ogilvy), Mrs Michael (Sarah) Pratt (daughter of a former Dean of Hereford, and friend and neighbour of Diana's parents), and Mrs William (Carol) Fox (another friend and neighbour of Diana's parents.
No, she wasn't. As the unmarried daughter of someone who by courtesy used the style and title of a Viscount, Diana bore the courtesy style of 'The Honourable' before her Christian name and surname (that is, 'The Honourable Diana Spencer') from the time of her birth until 1975. Her father, Viscount Althorp, first son and heir apparent of his father the 7th Earl Spencer, succeeded to the title on 9 June 1975. At this point, Diana, as the unmarried daughter of an Earl, had the courtesy style of 'Lady' before her Christian name and surname (that is, 'Lady Diana Spencer').
Diana's parents were Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer (1924-1992) and the Honourable Frances Burke Roche (1936-2005). John and Frances married at Westminster Abbey in 1954 and divorced in 1969. Frances, who married Peter Shand Kydd later that year, divorced him some years later. John married Raine McCorquodale in 1976; she was previously married to the 8th Earl of Dartmouth. Earl Spencer died in 1992, and Mrs. Shand Kydd in 2004.
Diana's siblings are:
• Elizabeth Lavinia Sarah (b. 19 March 1955), married on 17 May 1980 Neil McCorquodale (b. 10 April 1951), a second cousin once removed of Raine; they have three children: Emily Jane b. ca August 1983, George b. 17 November 1984, and Celia b. ca February 1989
• Cynthia Jane (b. 11 February 1957), married on 20 April 1978 Sir Robert Fellowes (later Baron Fellowes) (b. 11 December 1942), formerly Private Secretary to HM The Queen; they have three children: Laura Jane b. ca June 1980, Alexander Robert b. April 1983, and Eleanor Ruth b. 20 August 1985
• John (b. and d. 12 January 1960)
• Charles Edward Maurice, 9th Earl Spencer (b. 20 May 1964), married on 16 September 1989 Victoria Lockwood (b. 1965); they divorced on 3 December 1997; they have four children: Lady Kitty Eleanor b. 28 December 1990, twins Lady Eliza Victoria and Lady Katya Amelia b. July 1992, and Louis Frederick, Viscount Althorp b. 14 March 1994; Charles married secondly on 15 December 2001 Caroline Hutton (b. 1967; Caroline was previously married to Matthew Freud, a great-grandson of Sigmund Freud, by whom she has two sons). They have since divorced.
Diana's early years were spent at home cared for by her nanny at Park House. When she was older, Diana was taught by a governess at home. Later, she attended a day school and then was sent to a boarding school, Riddlesworth Hall, Norfolk. In 1973, Diana attended her sisters' alma mater, West Heath at Sevenoaks, Kent. Until 1975, the family lived at Park House but shortly before turning fourteen years old, Diana's grandfather died and her father became 8th Earl Spencer. At this point, the family moved to their sixteenth-century ancestral home, Althorp House in Northamptonshire.
Diana's eldest sister, Sarah, and Charles met at Ascot in June 1977. They parted ways some time after February 1978.
Diana left West Heath in December 1977. She finished her schooling at the Institut Alpin Videmanette, near Gstaad, Switzerland. She was there for only a short time, however (from about January to March 1978). Later that year, Diana worked at various occupations: as a mother's helper in Hampshire, as well as doing occasional babysitting and cleaning work. In early 1979, Diana became a student teacher, helping young children with their dancing lessons. That summer, Diana and some friends moved into a London apartment bought with money left to her in a trust fund by her American great-grandmother. In the fall of 1979, Diana found work as an assistant teacher at London's Young England Kindergarten. Some time later, she looked after a young American boy who lived with his parents in London.
In November 1977, Charles and Diana met at a shooting party one weekend at Althorp. However, it wasn't until July 1980 that Charles invited Diana to a polo match in Sussex. This was the start of their romance. More invitations followed that year: Cowes in August, Balmoral in September, dinner with Charles at his friends' the Parker Bowles in October, Princess Margaret's belated birthday party in November.
Charles proposed to Diana during the evening of 6 February 1981 while at Windsor Castle: they were in the nursery when Charles "told her how much he had missed her while he was away skiing and then asked her simply to marry him". (Contrary to what has been reported in certain sources, Charles did not propose to Diana in January 1981, nor did he propose at Buckingham Palace during a "candlelit dinner in his three-roomed bachelor apartments".) Diana "broke into a fit of giggles", but replied "Yes please". Their engagement remained a secret until after Diana's return from a family holiday in Australia and Prince Andrew's 21st birthday. At 11:00 a.m. on the 24th of February, Buckingham Palace's Press Office released a brief statement announcing the engagement of Charles and Diana: "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are pleased to announce the engagement of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to the Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of Earl Spencer and the Honorable Mrs. Shand-Kydd."
Charles and Diana were married on 29 July 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Their honeymoon began at Broadlands (in Romsey, Hampshire), the home of Charles's late great-uncle Lord Mountbatten, and continued on a Mediterranean cruise aboard theRoyal Yacht Britannia. The honeymoon finished at Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish estate.
Diana's wedding gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The former students at the Royal College of Art, David and Elizabeth had previously designed for HRH the Duchess of Kent before being chosen by the then Lady Diana Spencer to design her wedding gown. Diana had worn one of their outfits (a pale pink blouse and a pale pink taffeta skirt) when she was photographed by Lord Snowdon for Vogue magazine, but had not used them as designers until her engagement. The silk for Diana's ivory pure silk taffeta wedding dress was spun by the only silk farm in Britain, the Lullingstone silk farm; the embroidery was done by Elizabeth and her mother; the lace panels were formed from Carrickmacross lace which belonged to Queen Mary (it formed the 'something old' part of Diana's outfit); the 25-foot detachable train, as well as the whole dress, featured 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins and pearls. The dress also featured a tiny horseshoe studded with diamond (for good luck) and a tiny blue bow (for 'something blue') sewn into the folds of the skirt. Diana's wedding shoes were created by Clive Shilton, and featured an embroidered lattice pattern with center lace heart shaped applique and 24-carat gold trim on the low wooden heels. The bridesmaids dresses, similar to the wedding gown, were trimmed with sashes of old gold velvet. The Emanuels also created a parasol (in case of rain) and small purse to match the gown. After the wedding, the gown, the Spencer tiara, a bridesmaid's dress and a page's uniform were put on tour throughout Great Britain, along with a selection of wedding gifts - when the tour was completed, the gown was returned to the Princess. It is now on display at Althorp House, along with being a main feature of the traveling exhibit, "Diana-A Celebration".
David and Elizabeth Emanuel wrote a delightful book, "A Dress For Diana", about the making of the Princess' wedding gown. Please click on the image below to visit the book page on Amazon.com
Her wedding bouquet was created by Longmans Limited of London. The center of the bouquet was a cluster of gardenia flowers supported by golden Earl Mountbatten roses. From the center was a cascade of white Odontoglossum orchids with soft golden centers. The shower, or waterfall, of the bouquet was made up of pips of Stephanotis, falling in three main drops, with each drop supported by miniature ivy and tradescantia leaves. The bouquet also contained small sprigs of myrtle and veronica, taken from bushes planted by Queen Victoria with cuttings from her own wedding bouquet.
Three versions of Lady Diana's bouquet were created by Longmans. The first was used at the rehearsal before the wedding, and then displayed in the front window of Longmans shop. The second was delivered to Lady Diana shortly before the wedding, and was the one she carried throughout the ceremony. The third version was delivered later that morning to Buckingham Palace and was used for the formal photographs. The second and third bouquets were laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey after the Princess had departed on her honeymoon.
Source: "A Dress For Diana"
The music played at Charles and Diana's wedding were the following fanfares, hymns and anthems:
Ceremony: 'Christ Is Made The Sure Foundation', by Henry Purcell. 'I Vow To Thee, My Country', words by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, music by Gustav Holst. (This was Diana's personal choice, and was also played at her funeral.) 'I Was Glad', by Sir Hubert Parry. 'Let The People Praise Thee', by William Mathias (specially composed for the wedding)
Intermission: 'March from the Overture to the Occasional Oratorio', by Handel. 'Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite', performed by the Bach Choir Solo: Let The Bright Seraphim', performed by Dame Kiri te Kanawa. Fanfare: 'Fanfare Royale', by Major W. Jackson (played by the State Trumpeters). Processional: 'Trumpet Voluntary (The Prince of Denmark's March)', by Jeremiah Clarke.
Recessional: 'Fanfare, Rejoicing', by Major A. Richards. 'Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 4 in G', by Sir Edward Elgar. Return to Top of Page
Diana's first child, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, was born on 21 June 1982 at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington (London). Her second child, Prince Henry Charles Albert David (Harry) of Wales, was born on 15 September 1984 at the same hospital.
Diana, Charles and their sons lived in a three-story apartment at Kensington Palace, London. They also lived at their country home, Highgrove House (a nine-bedroom Georgian house on 350 acres of land), near Tetbury, in Gloucestershire.
After her divorce, Diana continued to lived at Kensington Palace with their children, while Charles moved into St. James's Palace.
Charles and Diana's official separation was announced on 9 December 1992 by Prime Minister John Major. On 15 July 1996, a decree nisi was granted and was made absolute on 28 August 1996. Charles was represented by Fiona Shackleton of the firm Farrer and Co, while Diana was represented by Anthony Julius of the firm Mishcon de Reya. Diana received a financial settlement, retained her apartment in Kensington Palace and continued to share equal responsibility for their sons.
As wife of HRH The Prince of Wales, Diana became HRH The Princess of Wales upon her marriage. By virtue of being the wife of the heir to the Throne, she was also Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick and Baroness Renfrew. Following her divorce, Diana was known as Diana, Princess of Wales.
Despite what was reported by the press then and to this day, Diana was never entitled to be known as HRH Princess Diana, or HRH Princess Diana of Wales. The first form would indicate that Diana was a princess from birth, and the second form would indicate that Diana was a daughter of the Prince of Wales; she was neither of these.
Despite the best efforts of the media, which has exhaustively claimed that the Queen "maliciously stripped" Diana of her "HRH", Diana herself made the decision to surrender the title, long before the Queen and her constitutional advisers became involved.
In February of 1996, after meeting with Prince Charles to begin divorce proceedings, Diana voluntarily issued a public statement in which she surrendered her "HRH" title, contingent upon the decree absolute, and desginated that her post divorce title would be "Diana, Princess of Wales".
In accordance with Diana's stated intention, the Queen issued the Letters Patent of 21 August 1996, which established new guidelines for the style of royal divorcees. A Letters Patent is an open letter from the sovereign to her kingdom. The Letters Patent stated that any woman divorced from a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the style 'Royal Highness' would no longer be entitled to this style. It does not appear that the divorced wife would lose the dignity of "Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", however. Accordingly, Diana was no longer known as 'HRH The Princess of Wales', but known as 'Diana, Princess of Wales'.
Constitutionally, the Letters Patent were not without precedent. When Diana married HRH The Prince of Wales in 1981, she became automatically HRH The Princess of Wales. Following her divorce, Diana ceased to be a Royal Highness because she was no longer married to a prince who was a Royal Highness. The entitlement to the style 'Royal Highness' was hers only by marriage, not by birthright. The Queen had also personally set a precedent for her action by denying Sarah, Duchess of York the title "Her Royal Highness" following her divorce from Prince Andrew.
In DIana's case, the Queen's action was not malicious, but constitutionally correct. If Diana's intention, by issuing her public statement, was to force the Queen's hand into allowing DIana to keep the "HRH", it backfired-but it backfired because the Queen could not act against precedent that she herself had set-something Diana may not have taken into consideration.
Diana died at the Pitié Salpétrière Hospital, Paris, France on 31 August 1997. She had been involved in a car accident which left her companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and the chauffeur, Henri Paul, dead. The only survivor was the bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones.
Diana's funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. Her coffin was covered with a Royal Standard which was not the Sovereign's Royal Standard but one that was slightly different (that is, it was edged with ten ermine tails on a white background). This particular version of Royal Standard is one that is reserved for members of the royal family who are styled 'Royal Highness', but HM The Queen gave permission for its use on Diana's coffin.
Diana's brother, Charles, wanted a private funeral for his sister and his and the Spencer family's wishes were taken into account by the royal family and the government. Diana's funeral was not a State Funeral (accorded to the sovereign and on rare occasions to national heros like Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill), nor was it a Ceremonial Royal Funeral (accorded to the sovereign's consort and to members of the royal family who hold high military rank), nor was it a Private Royal Funeral (accorded to those who hold the rank of Royal Highness). Diana's funeral was a "a unique funeral for a unique person", in the words of Buckingham Palace. It was both a public yet private funeral. It was a state event but did not have all the pomp and ceremony of a State funeral.
Diana was buried later that day in sanctified ground on a small island in a lake on the Althorp estate, her family's ancestral home. The publication of Diana's burial certificate, dated 12 September 1997, states that she was buried 'in an extra-parochial place, namely at Althorp Park in the County of Northamptonshire in the grave previously consecrated by the Bishop of Peterborough on the Island in The Oval, a small lake within the estate.
Click here to view The Operation Paget Report. (PDF File)
The Queen's Royal Family Order - 1981. The Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of the House of Orange (The Netherlands) - 1982 The Grand Cordon of the Order of The Virtues [Nishan Al Kamal] (Egypt) - 1981. Return to Top of Page
Diana received the United Cerebral Palsy Humanitarian of the Year Award in December 1995 in New York City. Diana had been Patron of the Foundation for Conductive Education in Birmingham, England since 1990. (The Foundation promotes a form of teaching for children with cerebral palsy.)
The following year in October 1996, Diana received a humanitarian award from the Pio Manzu Centre. The Centre is an international organisation headed by Mikhail Gorbachov, former President of the Soviet Union. Diana travelled to Rimini, Italy where she was presented with a gold medal for her 'social concern for those in need'.
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The 'Princess of Wales' rose. Brothers Robert and Philip Harkness specially bred this rose over a ten year period. A bouquet was presented to Diana a few months before her death at a benefit for the British Lung Foundation. The bloom is described as a white rose with a delicate cream center, and an abundant spicy scent. Available for purchase through Harkness.
'England's Rose'. Named by the Royal National Rose Society and introduced to the public in 1999. Created by David Austin Roses, Ltd. The flower is described as a creamy pink with a gentle apricot blush and a delicate yet powerful scent. Availablefor purchase through England's Rose.
The 'Princess Di' canna lily. Developed by Hart Canna, it is described as a creamy blossom with a delightful scent. Available for purchase through Hart Canna.
Diana's interests and hobbies included tennis, swimming, skiing, tap dancing, playing the piano, listening to music and enjoying the ballet.
From her marriage in 1981, Diana became president or patron of over 100 charities. See our Charities page for a complete list.
Diana has many lines of descent from royalty. She descends from some of the natural children of King Charles II and King James II, sons of Charles I, King of England. Some of these lines of descent are from her paternal grandfather, the 7th Earl Spencer while the other lines are from his wife, Lady Cynthia Hamilton. As well as being a descendant of Kings of England, Diana can claim descent from the Kings of Aragon, Cyprus, France, Jerusalem, Portugal, Scotland; the Holy Roman Emperors; the Dukes of Bavaria; the Dukes of Savoy; and a variety of other sovereigns.
Charles and Diana are related to each other through different lines, but their closest relationship is that of seventh cousins once removed: they are descendants of William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire (1698-1755) through his children William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire (Charles's ancestor) and Lady Elizabeth Cavendish (Diana's ancestor).
• Lady Edwina Grosvenor
• The Honourable Alexandra Knatchbull
• Clare Cazalet
• Camilla Straker
• Prince Philippos of Greece
• Leonora Lonsdale
• Jakie Warren
• Lady Mary Wellesley
• George Frost
• Antonia Twiston-Davies
• Jack Faulkner
• Edward Windsor, styled by courtesy Baron Downpatrick
• Benjamin Samuel
• Jack Bartholomew
• Antonia Harington
• Daisy Soames
• Domenica Lawson Return to Top of Page
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As the wife of the Prince of Wales, Diana used his arms impaled with those of her father.
Crest: Coronet of the Prince of Wales.
Escutcheon: Quarterly 1st and 4th gules three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langed azure 2nd or a lion rampant gules armed and langued azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second 3rd azure a harp or stringed argent overall anescutcheon of Coat of Arms of the Principality of Wales, the whole differenced with a label of three points argent; impaled with a shield quarterly 1st and 4th argent 2nd and 3rd gules a fret or the whole defaced with a bend sable charged with three escallops argent.
Supporters: Dexter a lion rampant gardant OR crowned with the coronet of the Princeof Wales Proper sinister a griffin winged and unguled OR gorged with a coronet OR composed of crosses patee'and fleur de lys a chain thereto passing between theforelegs and relaxed over the back also.
Motto: Dieu Defend Le Droit (God Defends The Right).
After her divorce, and before her death, Diana ued the arms of her father, crowned with a royal coronet.
Frances Shand Kydd continued to live alone on the Isle of Seil after the funeral of the Princess. Having converted to Catholicism in 1994, she made annual pilgrimages to Lourdes as a carer for groups of disabled people. In Oban, she was a legend for her personal involvement in a number of charities. She drove long distances to comfort the families of fishermen lost at sea, and mothers who had lost their children. She embraced the family of Henri Paul, saying that they had suffered "the sorest loss of all". She remained close to Princes William and Harry. Mrs. Shand Kydd died in 2004, at the age of 68. She is buried in Oban. Related Links: Frances Shand Kydd memorial page at Find A Grave.
Dr. Hasnat Khan continues his work as a cardiothoracic surgeon in London. He has made a few general comments in the press over the years, but does not speak publicly about the details of his relationship with the Princess.
Ken Wharfe is the author of Closely Guarded Secret, an account of his years as the Princess' personal protection officer. He developed a one man show, An Evening With Ken Wharfe, enriched by his gift for mimicking the voices of Prince Charles, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Paul Burrell. He is a stalward of the English chamber choir. He still puts his thirty five years with the Metropolitan Police to use in commentaries on royal security. Related Links: http://www.kenwharfe.com/
Sarah, Duchess of York served as a producer in 2009 on the feature film The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt. She lives with Prince Andrew at Royal Lodge, Windsor. Her mother, Susan Barrantes, died in 1998, and Maj. Ronald Ferguson in 2003. Related Links: The Sarah Ferguson Foundation.| Children In Crisis
Raine Spencer divorced her third husband, Count de Chambrun, in 1996, and reverted to calling herself Countess Spencer. She remains a director of Harrods and of Harrods Estates, and is a fixture on the London social scene.
Andrew Morton followed up the success of Diana, Her True Story with an authorized biography of Monica Lewinsky, and unauthorized biographies of Madonna, David and Victoria Beckham, Tom Cruise, and Angelina Jolie.
Patrick Jephson, the personal secretary whose careful initiatives helped the Princess redefine her humanitarian role and image, wrote two books about the Princess after her death: Shadows Of A Princess and Travels With A Princess. After leaving royal service in 1996, made a career as a writer and journalist for The Spectator, the Sunday Telegraph, and Newsweek. He has worked as an executive producer on TV documentaries about Hurricane Katrina, mental health, and travel, and is currently to be seen as a special royal correspondent on CBS's The Early Show. Related Links:http://www.patrickjephson.com/
Robert Fellowes was the Queen's private secretary until 1999, when he was created Baron Fellowes of Shotesham. In 2000, he became Chairman of Barclays Private Bank and he also chairs the Prison Reform Trust. Lord and Lady Fellowes (the former Lady Jane Spencer) live in West Norfolk.
Lady Sarah McCorquodale continues to live in Lincolnshire with her husband, Neil, and their family, and is still involved with The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. In 2009, she was appointed to a one year term as High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. Related Links: The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund
James Hewitt opened a bar, The Polo House, in the fashionable Golden Mile of Marbella, Spain, in 2009.
Paul Burrell wrote three books about his years as butler for the the Princess after her death: Royal Duty, The Way We Were, and In The Royal Manner. He launched The Royal Butler Wine Collection in 2007. Related Links: http://www.paulburrellrvm.com/
Anne Beckwith Smith was invested as a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in 1990. After the death of the Princess, she became a fund raiser for the Tate Modern Gallery in London. She does not speak publicly of her years as lady in waiting/personal assistant to the Princess. (Thanks to Gill for the info.)
Partial Source: The Diana Chronicles, by Tina Brown.
More to come...