Princess Diana Princess Diana was born The Honorable Diana Frances Spencer on July 1, 1961. She was the third female child to Viscount and Viscountess Althorp. Diana had two older sisters, Sarah and Jane and one younger brother, Charles. Her family was well off and Diana had a privileged childhood. The Spencers made their money as successful sheep traders in the 15th century. With their fortune they built Althorp House in Northamptonshire and acquired a family crest and motto God defend the right (Morton 10). The Spencers occupied various offices of State and Court.
When Dianas was born her father was disappointed she was a girl. He was hoping for his third children to finally be a male heir to carry on the Spencer name. Dianas father and the rest of the family wanted to know why her mother was only producing girls. Because of this, her mother was sent to a clinic for tests (Morton 10). She was only 23 at the time.
This is ironic because today we now know the sex of the baby is determined by the father. Even though she was too young to understand, Diana believed she was to blame for her fathers disappointment. Finally, a few years later her mother delivered a boy to carry on the Spencer name. Although Diana had a beautiful christening at Sandringham Church with well-to-do Godparents, her brother Charless christening was a major event at Westminster Abbey. The Queen was the principal Godparent.
The Spencer children were privileged but not snobbish. They were taught to accept people for what they are and not their position in life. The children never understood their titles until they went to school. Occasionally one of the royals would make a visit to the Spencer home and once in a while they would play with Princess Margarets sons, Princes Andrew and Edward. Diana remembers not liking to go to the Royal home, because it was big and spooky. Dianas mothers family, the Fermoys, were responsible for acquisition of Park House, Dianas childhood home. King George V granted Dianas grandfather Park House which was originally built for overflow guests from the Royal Sandringham House.
It was a spacious property with an outdoor pool and a tennis court. (Morton 11). Diana loved to swim and play tennis at a child. The Spencers were linked by blood to King Charles II. They are also said to be linked by blood to seven American Presidents including Franklin D.
Roosevelt, and also Humphrey Bogart and gangster Al Capone (Morton 11). Dianas parents divorced when she was six. It was shock to society. Diana believes the tension put on her mother to produce a boy is when the marriage began to break down. The separation caused a custody battle over the children.
This was very disruptive to the four children. After the legal battle their father eventually received custody due to his title and nobility. Dianas mother remarried one month after the divorce was settled to Peter Shand Kydd. The trauma of divorce may have been the cause of what led to Dianas eating disorders of anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Dianas oldest sister, Sarah, also suffered the same eating disorders. These diseases are linked to mother and daughter relationships, anxiety and a malfunctioning family.
Dianas parents would fight endlessly and the children would overhear their fights. The four children were cared for primarily by nannies. They went through many nannies in their childhood. This led to a cool relationship with both parents and affection from them was non-existent. The children even ate their meals with their nannies.
Holidays were spent shuffled between the two parents. Dianas father buried himself in his work while her mother was only allowed to see them on the weekends. In all, the Spencer children had a very unstable and loveless childhood. Diana says all she craved were cuddles and kisses. Diana learned from an early age to put a smile on her face when family life at home was troublesome.
From early on, Diana had a maternal instinct. She cared for her brother, dressing him every day. After her parents divorced, Diana remembers her and her brother lying awake at night in the dark afraid and wanting their mother. Like her sisters, Diana was sent to a boarding school. Her parents were the only divorced parents of her friends, which made Diane feel inadequate.
Diana didnt get good grades as she wasnt very scholarly. However, she excelled in swimming in dancing. She especially loved ballet and wanted to pursue it but her height of 5 10 1/2 made her too tall to dance professionally. At her boarding school, West Heath, she visited the mentally and physically handicapped. This is where Diana discovered she had a natural aptitude for this type of work. These efforts gave her a sense of achievement.
Dianas grandfather, the 7th Earl Spencer died when Diana was 14. This caused the family to receive new titles. The girls now became Ladies and Dianas brother became Viscount Charles. Her father inherited the 13,000-acre Althorp House (Morton 28). Dianas father remarried in 1975 to Raine, the Countess of Dartmouth.
The children instantly disliked her. She was a loud character and the children felt she didnt have the best intentions for her father. After high school, Diana went to a finishing school in Switzerland. Although she loved skiing, her grades were still poor and she missed home. She begged her parents to send her home. At first they wouldnt allow it, but after Dianas persistent requests that they were wasting their money by sending her there, they allowed Diana to return home.
Diana was happy to be home and have her schooling behind her. Her oldest sisters friends starting to take notice of Diana saying she was maturing and was fun to be around. Sarah became jealous of Diana because she wanted to be the spotlight of London. When Diana came home she begged her parents to rent her an apartment. Her parents were worried because she had no high school or college education and only a vague idea that she wanted to work with children. Since Diana had come home from school without a degree, her parents hoped her to marry soon.
This was the norm for girls her age to begin searching for a suitable husband. Diana was also interested in finding her Prince Charming. For her coming-of-age present Dianas parents rented her an apartment at Coleherne Court in London (Morton 42). She shared it with three of her friends. This is where she lived during her courtship to Prince Charles.
For work, Diana worked at a kindergarten and also looked after an American oil executives children a few days a week. Diana says these carefree days were the happiest of her life (Morton, 43). Diana had a few boyfriends at the time, but none turned into serious relationships. Dianas older sister Sarah started dating Prince Charles in 1977. They dated for nine months. Diana first met Prince Charles at her home when she was 16.
Her sisters relationship with the Prince ended because Sarah loved the publicity too much and often said the wrong things to the press. Towards the end of their romance, Sarah was invited to Charless 30th birthday party at Buckingham Palace. Surprisingly, Diana was also invited. Diana had no idea the Prince had taken notice of her and was interested in her bubbly character. Charles was using Sarah for her bring her younger sister to his 30th birthday party. Diana went to the party but Charles was dating an American actress at the time.
Diana started seriously dating the Prince in July of 1980. He was 33 and she was 19. Their early dates consisted of Diana watching Charles play polo and then there was always a barbeque afterwards. Since he was in his thirties, Prince Charles was getting pressure from his family to marry and start a family. His duty was to marry to produce and heir to the throne.
Andrew Morton notes that as Charles got older it would be difficult to find a suitable, Protestant, virginal bride (48). Charles has said if it werent for his duty as the future King he probably wouldnt have ever married. He felt his duty to marry was just that, a duty. He once said If Im deciding on whom I want to live with for fifty years well, thats the last decision I want my head to be ruled by my heart (Morton 49). At this point, Charles there was no reason not to pursue Diana to be his wife. Whether he really loved her was questionable. While dating, he lavished her with expensive gifts as well as said and did all the right things. Diana was smitten and in awe of the Prince.
He addressed her as Diana but she must address him as Sir (Morton 55.) She felt his age made him mature and that he would make a …