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Friday, August 25, 2017

Princess Diana, 20 Years Later

Written by Jon Williams

Lady Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961, into a prominent family of the British nobility, and she came to the attention of the world when she married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, shortly after her 20th birthday. Their wedding drew a television audience of 750 million people worldwide. Initially shy, Diana would grow into her role in the spotlight over the course of their 15-year marriage, making a number of international visits both with the prince and on her own.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s marriage could best be described as “tumultuous,” and the couple divorced in July of 1996. Diana retained her title of Princess of Wales, and rededicated herself to a number of charities, including AIDS research and landmine elimination, using her status to highlight causes that were near and dear to her. Her signature style during her time in the spotlight also made her a fashion icon. She was a beloved figure worldwide who transformed the way so many people viewed the royal family.

Princess Diana was killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997, sending shockwaves around the world. Her funeral procession drew an estimated 2.5 billion viewers globally. Elton John, a close friend of the princess, performed a version of his hit song “Candle in the Wind” with the lyrics revised to honor Diana’s life. While that song is one of the highest-selling singles of all time (with proceeds benefitting Diana’s charities), it has never been included on any of his albums or compilations, and Sir Elton has stated that he would only perform it again live if asked to do so by her sons, Princes William and Harry.

Next week will mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely passing. With so many still fascinated by her life and enduring legacy, you’ll want to have plenty of material on your shelves for them to check out. SmartBrowse Princess Diana on our website for a collection of materials put together by our media experts in commemoration of this melancholy milestone.

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