The Life of Diana, Princess of Wales
|Diana with James Hewitt who later published a book about their affair|
She also predicted that she would never become Queen and that, instead, she wished to become a Queen "in peoples' hearts".
The pressure on her by the popular papers was relentless and stories of her men friends damaged her image as the wronged wife. One of those friends, an army officer, James Hewitt, to her horror, was the source of a book about their relationship.
|Diana's ballgowns: up for sale|
Diana, now officially, Diana, Princess of Wales, gave up all but a small nucleus of her charity work as she sought a new role for herself. She had a clear idea of what that role as "Queen of Hearts" should be and she illustrated it by visits abroad. In June 1997 she visited Mother Teresa who was in poor health.
Also in June, Princess Diana auctioned off 79 dresses and ballgowns that had appeared on front covers of magazines around the world. The auction raised £3.5m for charity and also seemed to symbolise a break with the past.
|August: newspapers expose her relationship with Dodi Fayed|
The couple returned to Paris after one more holiday in Sardinia on Saturday August 30th. After dining at the Ritz that evening, they left by a limousine and were pursued by photographers on motorbikes who wanted more snapshots of the Princess and her new friend. The chase led to tragedy in a Paris underpass.
Diana began by bringing a breath of fresh air and a measure of glamour into the House of Windsor. But she became a sad figure to many as the story of her failed marriage unravelled.
Her critics blamed her for helping to strip the monarchy of some of the mystique so important for its survival.
But her strength of character in difficult personal circumstances and the unflagging support she gave to the sick and disadvantaged earned her scontinued respect. And, to the end, she remained a figure of public fascination and affection.