The young couple
The young couple

The Life of Diana, Princess of Wales

Family Life

After the wedding, the Princess of Wales quickly became involved in the official duties of the Royal family. Soon she was on a constant round of visits to nurseries, to schools, to hospitals.

The public singled her out for public affection: she seemed so genuinely pleased to be with ordinary folk, even if she could no longer be ordinary herself.

Diana and the crowds
Diana charmed the crowds
Diana began to add her own fresh style to the mix that was the House of Windsor. There was nothing new in the idea of a Royal walkabout - but Diana brought to it a spontaneity that charmed almost everyone.

On her first official visit to the United States she created near hysteria. It takes something special to steal the limelight from an American President, especially among Americans. From the time of her dazzling appearance on her first public engagement with her then husband-to-be, Diana's wardrobe became a continual focus of attention.

The Royal family with Prince William
Four generations of Royals
Diana had always longed for a big family. Within a year of her marriage, on June 21, 1982, she gave birth to a son, Prince William.

In 1984, on September 15, he had a brother -- christened Henry, though he was known simply as Harry. Diana believed in giving her children as normal an upbringing as royal circumstances would allow.

Having fun
Having 'royal' fun...
William became the first male heir to go to kindergarten. They were not educated by private teachers, but went to school with other children. Diana insisted on giving them an education that was as normal as possible, and ensure that they received love - and had fun when going on holiday.

Diana/AIDS patient
Diana meeting an AIDS patient
The Princess's charity work increased her affection with the public. She played an important role in publicising the plight of people with AIDS. Her speeches on the subject were forthright - and she did away with many prejudices. Simple gestures like Diana shaking hands with AIDS patients proved to the public that social contacts with AIDS sufferers were risk-free.

Diana's royal patronage did not stop in the committee room. Sometimes she would drop in for tea at charities she supported. Abroad too, Diana was proud to publicise the plight of the disadvantaged and the rejected. On a visit to Indonesia in 1989 she was praised for publicly shaking hands with lepers, dispelling widely-held myths about the disease.

But by the time of Prince Harry's birth, the marriage had become a shell. In 1987 when Harry started nursery school, the couple's separate lives had become public knowledge. The press was having a field day.

Diana alone
Di sitting alone outside Taj Mahal
On an official visit to India in 1992, Diana sat alone outside the Taj Mahal, that great monument to love. It was a graphic public declaration that though the couple were formally together, they were in fact apart.

Four months later, the publication of the book "Diana: Her True Story" by Andrew Morton ended the myth of the fairy tale. The book, based on interviews with some of the Princess's closest friends and with the tacit approval of the Princess herself, confirmed that her relationship with the Prince of Wales was cold and distant.

Camilla Parker-Bowles
Camilla Parker-Bowles
It told of half-hearted suicide attempts by the Princess during the early years of the marriage, of her struggle with the eating disorder bulimia, and of her obsession with the belief that Charles continued to love a woman he had fallen for years before, Camilla Parker-Bowles. The Prince later confirmed - in an interview with the BBC's Jonathan Dimbeleby, that he and Camilla had had an extra-marital affair.

Not a happy couple
During a state visit to South Korea, it was visible that the couple had grown apart. Shortly afterwards, in December 1992, it was officially announced that Charles and Diana would separate.