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Princess Diana The Beloved Princess Of Wales Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 1700 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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A woman of great integrity, charm and charisma who strived to make our world a better place to live, who could possibly fall under this statement? Of course it is none other than our dear Princess Diana. Diana was an influential woman who diligently carried out her royal duties and who interacted with her citizens in every way that was possible. She was also a woman who cared about the people in need and endeavoured to make their lives better. On the other hand, she was also a woman who constantly gained the attention of the press due to her love affairs. The statements made before are probably the impression Diana has left on everyone, but do we actually know her as a person? Surprisingly just like any normal person Diana had a rough childhood, then a fulfilling royal life, then a tragic death.

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Diana was born on July 1, 1961 in Sandringham to Viscount Althorp and Frances Spencer where she was the third child of the family of five (Buskin 10). When Diana was born her parents were not so welcoming because they very much wanted a boy who could carry on the family name. Therefore Diana’s christening was second-rate, and was not attended by very many people. Then finally in May 1964 the couple gave birth to a male child called Charles, and by the time Charles was born the relationship of Diana’s parents was slowly deteriorating (Buskin 11). Of course the children were completely oblivious to the friction in their parent’s relationship, and was well looked after by servants and nannies in their mansion, Park House. Then in 1969 Viscount Althorp and Frances Spencer were officially divorced in court, and the father received full custody of the children. When this decision was ruled out, Diana was very upset and missed her mother greatly. Therefore she went through a period of emotional confusion and depression. Then when she found out she was being sent off to a girls’ only boarding school called Riddlesworth Hall she thought she was being rejected by her own parents (Buskin 18). As a result she went through another great period of misery and depression. However, when she commenced school she became very outgoing and popular and very quickly got used to school routine. Then Diana moved to the West Heath boarding school where she undertook her “ordinary levels (O-levels)”. Unfortunately, Diana did not pass any of her O-levels, therefore she left school at the age of 16 as a failure in academics (Buskin 19). When she left school she began babysitting, and she found out that she enjoyed working with children. Hence not long after Diana became a teacher’s assistant at the Young England Kindergarten.

Then not long after as a teacher’s assistant Diana met Prince Charles, and started to accompany him to several events. And this was the start of attention towards Diana by the press and by the people of the United Kingdom. She was almost always constantly being followed by photographers and journalists because of her sightings with Prince Charles. Then after a short period of time in July 29, 1981 Prince Charles married Diana and Diana officially gained the title ‘Her Royal Highness Princess of Wales’ (Mattern 36). Then on June 21, 1982 Diana gave birth to Prince William at St. Mary’s hospital. Then on September 15, 1984 she gave birth to Prince Henry. After that in March 1982 Princess Diana and Prince Charles toured Australia and New Zealand, which was believed to be extremely successful due to the positive feedback from the people (Mattern 47). Then when Princess Diana returned from the tour she became very involved with helping sick people in hospitals and supported many charities. She proves this with her infamous quote “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you,” (“The Saddest Fairy Tale”).  Thus she went on many trips to Africa where she became the first known celebrity to hug a person with AIDS (“The Saddest Fairy Tale”). This act of kindness made Diana’s popularity boost immensely. Not long after that Diana opened the first hospital in Britain dedicated to AIDS patients in 1987. Then in 1989 Diana visited the Henry Street Shelter in New York for the homeless, where she made a colossal impact by showing to the public that she genuinely cared about the homeless (Mattern 60). Although Diana preferred charity work she also had to participate in many royal tours for example a 17-day trip in 1991, where she attended 19 film premieres, 7 lunches, 25 receptions, and 108 visits (Mattern 62). By 1992 Diana was a patron or the president of more than 29 charities, for example the National AIDS Trust, but by then her relationship with Prince Charles was becoming unstable (Mattern 65-66). Therefore by the end of 1992 Prince Charles demanded that a separation should be settled with Princess Diana (Buskin, 82). Diana agreed and the divorce became official when the British Prime Minister, John Major announced the royal separation in the House of Commons on December 9, 1992 (Mattern 74). Then on August 28, 1996 the final divorce decree was issued and Princess Diana lost her title “Her Royal Highness”. Although Diana was stripped of her title she still actively participated in charity work, and in 1997 she went on a trip to Angola to assist them with their landmine issue (Buskin 84). Soon after her humanitarian trip to Angola Diana decided to auction her dresses to the public, which auctioned for £2.19 million, then gave all the money to charity (“Dresses of Diana”). Shortly after her mammoth contributions to charity she started to spend her time with a forty-two year old Egyptian movie director called Dodi Al Fayed in Nice, France. This immediately grabbed the attention of the media and very soon there were pictures of Diana and Al Fayed in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

August 30, 1997 was any normal romantic day for Al Fayed and Diana at the Ritz hotel in Paris, but the down-side was that they were always being furiously chased by paparazzis. Therefore after being chased by paprazzis for around 12 hours straight the couple decided to leave at around 12:20 am. So the couple got in their black Mercedes car with their driver Henri Paul, and the bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones. Not surprisingly the moment the black Mercedes started to pull out of the hotel around six paparazzis followed in mad pursuit on motorcycles. Therefore, Henri Paul was driving at more than a 100 miles per hour through Paris going well over Paris’ speed limit of 30 miles per hour. Then when Paul approached the Alma Tunnel at high-speed he hit a dip at the entrance, which made the vehicle go airborne. Not long after that the black Mercedes hit a white car in front then swerved and slammed into two of the columns in the tunnel (Mattern 109-110). According to the police records Henri Paul and Dodi Al Fayed were instantly killed, but Trevor Rees Jones lived and Diana was in a severe state on the verge of death (Mattern 110). After six minutes the first ambulance arrived, which treated Diana for 45 minutes in an attempt to stabilise her. Then at 2:00 am the paramedics transported Diana to the Pitié-Salpétrière hospital, which was one of most well equipped hospitals in Paris. By the time Diana reached the hospital she was in a cardiac arrest, and losing a great deal of blood internally according to reports from the doctors who treated her. Consequently Princess Diana died at around 4:00 am on August 31, 1997 (“Diana Crash Was Not An Accident”). Soon after her death there were articles and reports about her death almost everywhere causing grief and shock to everyone who loved the princess. Even Prince Charles was greatly shocked, and in a state of grief when he heard of this tragic news. Soon people from all over the world were mourning over this tragic event, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated “This is going to produce a real public grief on a scale that is hard to imagine.” (Mattern 113) Tony Blair was right, soon there were thousands of stuffed animals, flowers, and candles were laid at Diana’s home, Kensington Palace, and even a memorial was erected at the Alma Tunnel in Paris. Also to add on to that the Union Jack at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast for the first time. (“1997: Diana’s Funeral Watched by Millions”). Diana’s actual funeral was held on September 6, 1997 in Westminster Abbey, which was viewed by more than 2.5 billion people over the television (“1997: Diana’s Funeral Watched by Millions”).

In conclusion, Diana was a “people’s princess” who cared and interacted with everyday citizens attempting to make their lives better. She also was a woman of humility who reached out to those in need and intervened in big issues to make a difference. To add on

to that Diana diligently carried out her royal duties. Although Diana might have had a tough childhood and a terrible death she still made a great influence on humanity. Therefore she will always remain in our hearts as a princess who gave all her effort to be a “people’s princess.”

Works Cited Page

Buskin, Richard. Diana. Illinois: Publications International, Ltd., 1992

“Dresses of Diana.” British Heritage Oct-Nov 1999: 16. Ebsco Host. Yongsan International School Lib., Seoul, Korea. 4 May 2010

Mattern, Joanne. Princess Diana. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 2006

Palmer, Richard. “Diana Crash Was Not an Accident.” Daily Express Sept. 2009

“The Saddest Fairy Tale.” Time.com.1998. Time Magazine. 1 May 2010 .

“1997: Diana’s Funeral Watched by Millions.” bbc.co.uk. 6 Sept. 1997. British Broadcasting Corporation. 30 April 2010 .


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