Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Mieography

For my ladies across the pond.
Holly put me in a strapless dress, and then called me out. (well, not really called me out, but POINTED out that I'd not done a mieography on Princess Diana. So, in honor of said strapless dress, here we go.

Diana Frances Spencer was the youngest daughter of Edward Spencer, Viscount Althorp, (whom later became the 8th Earl Spencer) and his first wife, Frances Shand Kydd. She was born in Sandringham, in Norfolk, England, at Park house in 1961. She was the third living child of the couple, she'd had a brother die at birth. Her parents divorced, very bitterly, related to her mother having an affair (with the man whom is now her husband). Diana, and her younger brother, went with their mother to live an apartment in London's Knightsbrige area. They went to their father, that first Christmas, and he refused to let them return to London. A battle for custody ensued. which Diana's father won, largely based on the fact that her mother's OWN MOTHER testified against her.
Not immune to scandal, Her father married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth. He'd been named as the 'other party' in the Dartmough divorce. Diana and her brother were shuttled back and forth between parents, her father's Spencer seat in Northhamptonshire, and her mothers home, now on the Island of Seil, off the west coast of Scotland. She did not get along well with her stepmother.
She was well educated in her youth, but a poor student. She attempted and failed her "O levels" twice, and at 16, she was sent, briefly, to a finishing school in Switzerland. It was here, for the first time, that she met her future husband, who was, at the time, dating her sister, Lady Sarah. (This is bloody hard to write, lady this and lord that. How the hell do you guys keep up with who is who? I'd get killed in society, for sure).
she moved to London before she'd turned 17, sharing an apartment with three flatmates.
I think most of us know, and remember, the courtship, and eventual wedding of Charles and Diana? Even in the U.S. it was a big deal. Charles had been dating quite freely, but pressure was being placed on him to marry. He was in his early 30's, she was 20. It was expected by his family that he would marry a woman with a royal or aristocratic background, a virgin, and she should also be a Protestant. Diana could trace her family back to royalty, so she fit the bill. On Feb. 24th, 1981, he presented Diana with a rather large ring consisting of 14 diamonds, and a large sapphire. They were married at St. Paul's Cathedral, because it offered more seating than the traditionally used Westminster Abbey. It was billed as a "fairytale wedding", and it had a global audience of 750 million people. Her gown had a 25 foot train. ( I admire her for even walking in it).
They went on to provide the monarchy with the requisite 'heir and spare', yet, problems abound in their marriage. She did not respond well to the crushing media, certain infamous tapes were broadcasted, and there was the ever present problem of Camilla. She, not without fault, admitted later to having an affair with her riding instructor, James Hewitt.
After much speculation, they separated in the end of 1992. They were divorced in 1995. She was no longer a Royal by marriage. She would no longer be reffered to as Her Royal Highness, but instead, as Diana, Princess of Wales. The palace stated she was still officially a member of the royal family, based on the fact that she was mother to the heirs to the throne. She retained an apartment in Kensington Palace, and began her lfe anew, dating and working. She loved working for the Red Cross, and campaigned extensively against landmines. She spent most of her time in London. She was also known for doing extensive charity work, often going to hospitals to visit. She also took on AIDS awareness, going so far, (and in 1987 it was FAR) to have her photo taken while she was TOUCHING an HIV positive person.
On August 31st, 1997, she was in a car with Dodi Al-Fayed. Paparazzi had been trailing the car, and, the driver was a bit in his cups. Sadly, none of the occupants of the Mercedes were wearing seatbelts. They crashed into the 13th pillar of the tunnel, killing both Diana, and Dodi al-Fayed. Something I am sure, yet again, we all remember. After 18 months of investigation, the French concluded that the car crash was caused by the driver of the car, because he lost control at a high speed, while intoxicated.
To this day, there continue to be many, many tributes to her, in song, in charitable work, and in sculpture. There are also many people, to this day, who are still convinced her death was a Conspiracy.


sybil law said...

I kinda knew her parents' marriage was screwy, but not to that extent!
No wonder.
I remember watching that wedding with my friend, Liz, and her mom and sister. We were listening to the Beatles and eating frosting right from a can. (It was the first time in my life, too, that I ever had frosting from a can. Mmmmmmmm...)

Daryl said...

My favorite part of the circus their marriage became was Charlie's wish to be a tampon worn by Camilla .. eeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww


Mimi said...

Did we discuss that she died on my birthday?

Jo Beaufoix said...

So Daryl's comment scared me , hee hee. When I was little we went to see a real live expedition of her dresses. The wedding one looked all big and squashy and I remember wanting to jump on it. I'm not a big Royal fan but I think she was probably an alright kind off girl. Even if she was a little bit gonky. :D

holly said...

LOVED IT. and i so had an appropriate comment last night, right as my network connection was crashing. dang virgin media anyway.

i was in the airport coming back from denmark when the news of her death hit tv. the entirety of heathrow was silent, watching tv.