Diana, Princess of Wales 1961 – 1997

Diana SpencerBorn – 1st July 1961
Died 31st August 1997
Father – Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (1924 – 1992)
Mother – Frances Shand Kydd (1936 – 2004)
Spouse – m. 1981, div. 1996 – Prince Charles (b. 1948)
ChildrenPrince William (b. 1982), Prince Harry (b.1982)

1961 (1st July)
Princess Diana was born Diana Frances Spencer at Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk to Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and his wife Frances. She was the couple’s third child, her sisters Sarah and Jane had been born earlier. Viscount Althorp desperately wanted a son to carry on the family name.
1961 (30th August)
Diana Frances was christened at St Mary Magdalene Church Sandringham.
1964 (20th May)
Diana’s brother, Charles Edward Maurice, was born.
1965 (during)
Diana began her education after a governess was appointed to tutor her.
1967 (during)
Diana attended Silfield day school.
1967 (during)
Diana’s parents decided to separate and divorce. Diana lived with her mother in London.
1967 (Christmas)
Diana and her siblings spent Christmas with their father. At the end of the holidays he refused to allow Diana to return to her mother in London.
1968 (during)
Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, won custody of Diana and her younger brother Charles.
1969 (2nd May)
Diana’s mother Frances married Peter Shand Kydd.
1970 (during)
Diana was sent to Riddlesworth Hall Boarding School in Norfolk.
1973 (during)
Diana was sent to West Heath Girls’ Boarding School, Sevenoaks, Kent. She was not academic and failed most of her exams.
1975 (during)
Diana’s father became Earl Spencer. The appointment meant that Diana became Lady Diana Spencer. The family moved from Park House to Althorp in Northamptonshire.
1977 (during)
Diana’s father married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, daughter of the romantic novelist, Barbara Cartland. Both Diana and her brother, Charles disliked Raine intensely.
1977 (during)
Prince Charles began dating Diana’s elder sister, Sarah.
1978 (January)
Diana was sent to the Institut Alpin Videmanette finishing school in Rougemont, Switzerland. She spent one term at the school.
1978 (Spring)
Having returned from Switzerland, Diana shared a flat in London and took various cleaning and babysitting jobs.
1979 (July)
Diana’s mother bought her a flat in Earl’s Court, London, as an 18th birthday present. She shared the flat with three flatmates.
1980 (during)
Diana Spencer began working as an assistant at the Young England kindergarten in Pimlico.
1980 (Summer)
Lady Diana was a guest a a country weekend where she watched Prince Charles playing polo. Charles was under pressure to find a wife and produce heirs. He decided Diana would be a suitable bride.
1980 (Summer)
Charles invited Diana to accompany him onboard the royal yacht Britannia for a sailing weekend.
1980 (November)
Charles invited Diana to meet his parents at Balmoral.
1981 (6th February)
Charles proposed to Diana and she accepted. The engagement was initially kept secret.
1981 (24th February)
The engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer was officially announced and the couple attended a photo shoot.
1981 (25th February)
Diana left her job and moved out of her flat. She took up residence at Clarence House the home of the Queen Mother.
1981 (March)
Diana made her first public appearance with Charles at a charity ball at Goldsmith’s Hall.
1981 (29th July)
Lady Diana Frances Spencer married Prince Charles at St Paul’s Cathedral. Around 600,000 people lined the streets to see the royal couple. Following her marriage, Diana was known as Princess Diana.
1981 (August)
Charles and Diana lived at Kensington Palace London and at Highgrove House, Tetbury.
1981 (4th November)
Diana attended the State Opening of Parliament for the first time.
1981 (5th November)
It was announced that Charles and Diana were expecting a baby.
1982 (21st April)
Diana attended the Trooping the Colour ceremony for the first time.
1982 (January)
Diana was not happy with her marriage or her position in the royal family. She felt insecure and unloved. As a cry for help she threw herself down the stairs at Sandringham. She suffered bruises, her unborn baby was unharmed.
1982 (21st June)
A son, William Arthur Philip Louis was born to Prince Charles and Princess Diana at St Mary’s hospital, London.
1983 (March)
Diana and Charles left Britain for a six week tour of Australia and New Zealand. Diana decided to take her young son with her rather than leave him behind with a nanny.
1983 (June)
Charles and Diana went on a tour of Canada.
1984 (Spring)
During Diana’s second pregnancy she discovered that she was carrying another boy. She kept this from Charles who was hoping for a daughter.
1984 (15th September)
A son, Henry Charles Albert David, known as Harry, was born to Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
1984 (late)
Diana became close to Barry Mannakee, on of her bodyguards.
1985 (April)
Charles and Diana visited Italy and met the President. They also visited the Vatican where they had a private audience with Pope John Paul II
1985 (November)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana made a visit to the United States where they were received by Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the White House.
1984 (late)
Barry Mannakee was removed as Diana’s bodyguard for becoming too close to the Princess.
1986 (during)
Charles and Diana made a tour of Japan, Indonesia, Spain and Canada. The royal couple had become increasingly distant from each other. Diana discovered that Charles had resumed a relationship with ex-girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles. Shortly afterwards she began a relationship with Major James Hewitt.
1987 (during)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana made a tour of Germany and France.
1988 (during)
Charles and Diana toured Australia.
1989 (Spring)
At a birthday party, Diana confronted Camilla Parker Bowles about her relationship with Prince Charles.
1990 (March)
Charles and Diana made a tour of Nigeria and Cameroon.
1990 (May)
Charles and Diana made a formal visit to Hungary where they were received by the President.
1990 (November)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana attended the enthronement of Emperor Akihito in Japan.
1991 (during)
Diana’s relationship with Major James Hewitt ended.
1991 (July)
Diana made news headlines after she hugged an AIDS patient.
1991 (23rd – 29th October)
Charles, Diana and Princes William and Harry made an official visit to Ontario, Canada.
1991 (September
Princess Diana made a visit to Pakistan.
1991 (September)
Charles and Diana made a visit to Brazil.
1992 (February)
Charles and Diana made a visit to India. By this point the couple had little to do with each other apart from on official occasions. Diana was famously photographed sitting alone in front of the Taj Mahal.
1992 (29th March)
Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, died of a heart attack.
1992 (May)
Diana made a five day visit to Egypt.
1992 (May)
Andrew Morton’s book ‘Diana, Her True Story’ was published. Diana, who was deeply unhappy with her situation, had secretly passed information for the book to Morton.
1992 (May)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana met with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to discuss the situation.
1992 (7th June)
The Sunday Times published the first part of Andrew Morton’s book ‘Diana, Her True Story’. This revealed Diana’s depression, bulimia and unhappy married life to a wide audience.
1992 (August)
Tape recordings of conversations between Princess Diana and James Gilbey were published.
1992 (November)
Tape recordings of conversations between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were published.
1992 (20th November)
Windsor Castle, one of Queen Elizabeth’s properties, was partly destroyed by a fire.
1992 (9th December)
It was announced in the House of Commons that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were to separate.
1994 (June)
Charles admitted adultery during a TV documentary entitled Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role.
1994 (November)
A biography of Prince Charles was published. It detailed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.
1994 (December)
Details of an affair between Diana and Captain James Hewitt emerged.
1995 (February)
Diana made a visit to Japan.
1995 (June)
Diana made a visit to Venice.
1995 (late Summer)
Diana began a relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.
1995 (November)
Diana made a visit to Argentina.
1995 (November)
Diana was interviewed by the BBC Panorama programme where she admitted an affair with James Hewitt from 1986 – 1991. She also spoke of Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and stated that she would like to be seen as the ‘queen of people’s hearts’.
1995 (December)
Queen Elizabeth II sent letters to Prince Charles and Princess Diana advising them to divorce. Negotiations for a suitable settlement began.
1996 (February)
Princess Diana agreed to the terms of the divorce. She would receive a settlement of £17 million as well as an annual income of £400,000. She kept an apartment in Kensington Palace and custody of William and Harry would be shared.
1996 (28th August)
The marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was formally dissolved. Diana was allowed to retain the title Princess but was not allowed to use the title HRH.
1997 (January)
Diana went to Angola where she launched her campaign against landmines.
1997 (June)
The relationship between Diana and Hasnat Khan ended.
1997 (25th June)
Diana held an auction of 79 gowns in New York. The auction raised $4.5 million for AIDs and Cancer charities.
1997 (July)
Diana began a relationship with Dodi Al-Fayed, son of the owner of Harrods store.
1997 (7th August)
Diana went to Bosnia to further promote her campaign against landmines.
1997 (31st August)
Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. It was later discovered that the driver of the car, Henri Paul, was over the legal alcohol limit.
1997 (early September)
The Queen was fiercely criticised for remaining in Scotland rather than returning to London and also for not flying the flag on Buckingham Palace at half mast following the death of Lady Diana.
1997 (5th September)
Queen Elizabeth made a public broadcast commending Diana and expressing her feelings as a grandmother for her two grandsons.
1997 (6th September)
Diana was given a formal funeral with procession through the streets of London. She was buried on an island at the Althorpe family estate.


Published Jan 1, 2017 @ 18:34 pm – Updated – Nov 13, 2021 @ 12:18 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). Diana, Princess of Wales 1961 – 1997. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/diana-princess-of-wales-1961-1997 Last accessed July 6th, 2022