Princes Harry and William are preparing to pay tribute to their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, by unveiling a statue on Thursday on what would have been her 60th birthday.
Diana was 36 when she was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997 while being chased by the paparazzi.
Nicknamed the People’s Princess for her caring and open approach, Diana was known for her dedication to her sons, the breakdown of her marriage to the Prince of Wales, her personal struggles and her charitable work.
Diana’s allure started almost from the moment she first appeared on the world stage as a clumsy and shy teenager in the early 1980s.
Before becoming a royal world superstar, she lived in a London apartment with her girlfriends and worked in a nursery school.
Although hailed as a ‘commoner’ when she began dating Charles, Lady Diana Spencer was a member of the aristocracy, born into a privileged family that had close ties to the royal family.
Diana’s marriage to Charles was presented as a true fairy tale.
Amidst all the pomp and circumstance, the shy Lady Di, 20, married the heir to the throne in the grand St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981, watched by over 750 million viewers worldwide.
Dressed in her silk-taffeta Emanuel wedding gown with puffed sleeves and long train, the new Princess of Wales shared a kiss with Charles on the palace balcony – a departure from royal protocol.
Diana adored her sons William and Harry and tried to provide them with as normal and fun a life as possible.
They enjoyed trips to Disney World, played tennis and went to the movies together, and on outings to Thorpe Park, she made sure they lined up for the rides like everyone else.
The princess also sought to educate her boys on the less fortunate and took them to Centrepoint hostels as children to show them the plight of the homeless.
The Princess helped break the stigma surrounding AIDS and HIV when she was pictured shaking hands, without gloves, with an AIDS patient at Middlesex Hospital in London in 1987
She stood up for victims of the disease when there was widespread fear that the disease could be transmitted through touch.
She then made numerous visits to Mildmay HIV Hospital in East London.
Behind the scenes, not everything was going well with Charles and Diana’s relationship.
The princess found the palace courtiers inaccessible and was overwhelmed by her role as royal superstar.
She battled personal demons such as bulimia and was plagued by insecurities, doubting her own worth as a member of the royal family.
Charles had turned to his former sweetheart Camilla Parker Bowles, while Diana had embarked on an affair with Major James Hewitt.
The growing distance between Charles and Diana began to be apparent on royal tours – with Diana sitting alone at the monument to love, the Taj Mahal in India in February 1992.
On the same trip, Charles attempted to kiss his wife but collided with her ear at the Jaipur Polo Club.
A disastrous trip to South Korea by the uneasy Prince and Princess took place in November of the same year.
They were dubbed The Glums and a month later it was announced that they were going their separate ways.
Charles later confessed to an affair in an interview and book with Jonathan Dimbleby.
Diana then gave a Panorama television interview to Martin Bashir in 1995 in which she said of her relationship with Charles “there were three of us in this marriage”, questioned her suitability to become king, and herself admitted the adultery.
In May of this year, Lord Dyson’s investigation into the BBC program revealed that Bashir had engaged in “deceptive behavior” to obtain fake bank statements exclusive to the world suggesting that individuals were being paid to keep the bank. princess under surveillance.
Diana’s appearance prompted the Queen to urge the Welsh for a divorce, which they eventually did in 1996.
Diana brought a more delicate approach to the royal family.
While the Queen and the rest of the Windsors were often seen as distant and out of touch, Diana was seen as bridging the gap between the monarchy and the public.
Young people presenting bouquets would be hugged, with the tactile princess often happily kissing other sympathizers.
A 1997 Vanity Fair photoshoot with acclaimed photographer Mario Testino reinvented the princess in terms of style and redefined her post-divorce life.
With freshly cut hair, the princess looked relaxed, happy and carefree, dressed in a variety of glamorous dresses.
Following her divorce, Diana campaigned to ban landmines, walking through minefields wearing a visor and protective vest in Angola, and traveling to Bosnia to meet with gun victims in 1997.
Diana never saw her work come to fruition as she died in a car crash just weeks after the trip to Bosnia, before the international treaty banning military weapons was signed at the end of that year.
The Mercedes in which she was traveling with her lover Dodi Fayed was being chased by paparazzi after leaving the Ritz hotel in Paris, when it crashed into the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, while being driven by the driver Henri Paul, who was drunk and was driving just as fast.
A sea of flowers was left at the gates of Diana’s home, Kensington Palace, by shocked members of the public and hundreds of thousands of mourners gathered in London on the day of the funeral.
William and Harry, 12, walked behind their mother’s coffin as he walked through the streets towards Westminster Abbey.
Harry, now Duke of Sussex, has revealed as his 20th birthday approaches how he came close to breaking up after not speaking out about the loss of his mother for many years.