Home / NEWS / Princess Diana’s Diamond Tiara Makes First Appearance as Niece's Wedding Crown 21 Years After Her Demise

Princess Diana’s Diamond Tiara Makes First Appearance as Niece's Wedding Crown 21 Years After Her Demise

By Jatin Sharma, 23 June 2018

Diana Spencer or Princess Diana was one of the most iconic public figures of the 20th century. Her life was closely followed by people all over the world. Diana was born into British nobility and became a part of British Royal family.

Her humanitarian work and charities all over the world have kept her legacy alive despite her death 21 years ago. Her death and life after her divorce from Prince Charles was paparazzi media fodder and she was hounded during her every activity.

Now her niece, Celia McCorquodale has brought the fond memories of Diana back by wearing her tiara to her wedding day and we have some interesting details about the life of Diana and the story behind the tiara.

1Who is Princess Diana?

Diana was born in the British noble family of Spencers and was the youngest child of John Spencer and Frances Roche on July 1, 1961.  Both of Diana’s grandmothers served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth the queen mother.

Her infant brother, John, died shortly after his birth one year before Diana was born. She spent her childhood in Park House, Sandringham estate. The Spencer family had rented the estate from the owner, Queen Elizabeth and Diana regularly played with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as a child.

Who is Princess Diana?

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2Diana’s childhood

She spent her childhood with siblings Sarah, Jane, and Charles and was homeschooled. Her proper education began at Silfield Private School in Gayton, Norfolk, and moved to Riddlesworth Hall School, an all-girls boarding school near Thetford, at the age of nine.

Though not academically brilliant, failing to pass her O-levels twice, Diana was recognized for her humanitarian work and community spirit at a young age. She was an accomplished pianist, studied ballet and tap dance, and was an excellent swimmer and diver.

Dianas childhood young days

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3Diana and her early work

Diana became known as Lady Diana after her father later inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. Her family moved to Althorp, the Spencer seat in Northamptonshire. Diana became self-sufficient working many jobs as a playgroup pre-school assistant, cleaning work, and hostess at parties.

She also spent time working as a nanny for the American Robertson family, who lived in London. Later she got an apartment at Coleherne Court in Earl's Court for her 18th birthday present and she lived in it with flatmates till 1981.

Diana and her early work

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4Diana and Prince Charles

Prince of Wales, Charles met Diana when she was 16 and he was dating her elder sister Sarah. Finding Diana more beautiful, Charles took a serious interest in her as a bride and the relationship blossomed. Lady Diana started a good relationship with the Queen, the Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Charles proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981, and she accepted, but the engagement was a well kept secret.

Diana and Prince Charles

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5The wedding viewed by millions of viewers

Diana’s wedding ring was a beautiful one with 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-carat white gold. Her first public appearance with Prince Charles came at a charity ball at Goldsmiths' Hall in March 1981, with the Princess of Monaco in attendance.

Lady Diana was named Princess of Wales when at the age of 20 years, she married Prince of Wales, Charles on 29 July 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral. The wedding was televised live and set a record with over 750 million viewers all over the world.

The wedding viewed by millions of viewers

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6The children

On June 21, 1982, Diana gave birth to Prince William at the St, Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. She took William to her tours to Australia and New Zealand despite criticism from media. On September 15, 1984, Diana gave birth to Prince Harry.

Diana chose her son names, looked after her sons herself, without a royal family nanny, chose her own help, selected which schools they went and what they wore.

The children

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7The tumultuous relationship

The couples trouble and 13 year age difference finally began the strain the relationship five years into the marriage. Charles resumed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana started an affair with Major James Hewitt. Despite the interference of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the couple failed to reconcile and divorce finally happened on August 28, 1996.

Diana had blamed Camilla Parker Bowles for the marital troubles, she also believed that her husband was involved with other women too.

The tumultuous relationship

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8Diana’s humanitarian work

Diana campaigned aggressively to spread awareness about leprosy and aids. Her charity work also involved animal rights protection and against the use of landmines. She was the patroness of charities and organizations who worked with the homeless, youth, drug addicts, and the elderly.

She retained patronages of only six: Centrepoint, English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Leprosy Mission, National AIDS Trust, and the Royal Marsden Hospital after her divorce.

Diana’s humanitarian work

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9Her work for aids awareness

The Princess was not averse to making physical contact with Aids patients during the 80s, a time when it was thought that Aids spreads via contact. She was the first British Royal to contact Aids patients when she started working for the cause in the 1980s. Diana noted: "HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it. What's more, you can share their homes, their workplaces, and their playgrounds and toys." She also visited South Africa in 1997 and met Nelson Mandela.

Her work for aids awareness

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10Diana’s death

Diana had begun a relationship with Dodi Fayed, whose father Mohamed Al-Fayed was her summer host. She had accepted his invitation to join his family on a trip to South of France and spent time on his 60-meter yacht Jonikal.

Diana was killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997, in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris. The crash also killed Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul. Diana’s security guard Trevor Rees-Jones survived the crash. Diana’s funeral was viewed by 32.10 million people on television in Britain alone.

Diana’s death

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11Final resting place

People left public offerings of flowers, candles, cards, and personal messages outside Kensington Palace for many months. Her coffin was draped in the royal flag and was brought from Paris to London by Prince Charles and Diana's two sisters. Her funeral took place on September 6 and she was buried on the same day on an island on the grounds of Althorp Park, the Spencer family home for centuries.

Final resting place

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12Controversy over her death

French judicial investigation concluded that the crash occurred due to driver Paul’s intoxication, over speeding, and effects prescription drugs. Mohamed Al-Fayed, the owner of the Paris Ritz where Paul had worked, publicly stated that the crash had been planned. An inquest finally attributed the death of Diana to negligent driving by Paul and to the pursuing paparazzi, who forced Paul to speed into the tunnel.

Controversy over her death

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13Diana’s tiara

Everything worn by Princess Diana on her wedding day was exquisite, right from the wedding dress to the tiara on her head. The tiara was stashed away since Diana’s death in 1997. Now the tiara was worn by the daughter of Diana’s eldest sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, as she tied the knot in Lincolnshire.

Been in the Spencer family since the Tudor age, the tiara was made from jewelry pieces collected over years. The central part of the tiara was given as a wedding gift to Diana’s grandmother, Lady Cynthia Hamilton; the topper was given to Lady Cynthia by her husband’s great aunt, Lady Sarah Isabella Spencer.

It was a favorite of Diana as he loved to wear it over the Queen’s baubles and had even declined to wear the tiara offered by the Queen herself on her wedding day, and chose to wear this family heirloom.

Princess Dianas tiara

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14Niece wears Diana’s tiara as her wedding crown

Celia McCorquodale, daughter of Diana’s elder sister Sarah brought back nostalgia and memories as she wore her aunt’s tiara on her wedding to George Woodhouse at St Andrew and St Mary’s Church in Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire.

This sparked a lot of comparisons with images of Diana in the tiara.

Diana’s tiara

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