Lady Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales leaves the National Building Museum in Washington DC. after attending a fundraiser with Ambassador John Kerr Baron. Washington DC., September 24, 1996

Diana, Princess of Wales with Ambassador John Kerr Baron. Washington DC., September 24, 1996

Born: Norfolk, U.S., 1961
Died: Paris, France, 1996

Diana, Princess of Wales signified a generation, a sparkle that faded too soon, but left behind a humongous void that no one can ever fill. Known mostly for her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981 she was also equally regarded for her charity work and international status, promoting peace and wellbeing to nations all over the globe.

Born on the 1st July, 1961 in Norfolk, Diana began life as a shy girl, with a great love for dancing and music. Not surprisingly, her compassion and love for children was also noted from an early age. Her family life, like her marriage to Prince Charles, disintegrated overtime and by the age of seven, her parents were separated. After attending some of the most prestigious schools, Diana found joy in becoming a teaching assistant in London, and in 1975, adopted the title of Lady Diana Spencer. Her eventual meeting with Prince Charles lasted in a year long courting, before marriage became the eventual next step, delighting the country.

Her wedding day was on the 29th of July, 1981 and the 27-year-old Diana Spencer became a Royal, and tabloid magnet. A regal look with bows and frills, a style you would find in a fairy tale, was the garment choice for Diana before her marriage, and this included her wedding dress, a design by Elizabeth Emanuel which had a record length train of nearly eight metres. Only a short few months after one of the most watched days in public, Diana announced that she was pregnant and expecting a boy. Sure enough on the 21st of June 1982, future heir to the throne, Prince William was born and two years later on the 15thof September 1984, Prince Henry.

Diana began to shift in her appearance, gone was the ruffles and pussy bows, and in came the dignified and graceful Diana, who, was able to transform herself from a mother, wearing Cashmere jumpers, draped over tailored blouses, to a stunning clean cut international figure. Designers all over the world wanted to collaborate and Diana accepted. Her statement pieces included glitzy slim-fitted gowns, A-line dresses with a shift cut top, extenuating her shoulders and neck by noted designers such as Versace, HermèsChanel and Catherine Walker, who worked with Diana three months after her wedding. This look was emulated by millions, formally shaping the fashion of the 90’s.

The seemingly happy family that was played out to the press began to unravel, and soon The Royal family became the centre of a media hurricane. With both parties believed to be with other partners, the marriage became a match of antagonists, which caused major embarrassment to the Royal Family, waiting on the sidelines.

The marriage officially ended in 1996, due to pressure from outside forces some 15 years after the public watched the official ‘it’ couple say their everlasting vows.

From this point on, Diana, still keeping her Princess of Wales title, began a new life. The once married Princess, now spent the rest of her days working with charities with high importance and in particular the issue of land mines and a few days before her death in Paris, was in Bosnia taking meetings with charities that cared for the welfare of children who had been become victims of undetected land mines, long after war had ended. Only after her death was the Ottawa Treaty, which banned the use of anti-personal land mines put into effect, for which she was recognised as a key figure in the formation of the treaty due to her relentless campaigning.

Diana died in Paris after her speeding car hit a column in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, killing her and companion, Dodi Fayed on the 31st of August 1997. Her death shocked the world, and left with it a mourning that would not begin to heal for months after her death. Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral was held in Westminster Abbey on the 6th of February, her sons following behind the procession along with their father.

Lady Diana, the timeless fashion icon, continues to captivate the world with her enduring style and cultural influence. Her fashion legacy, which spans from her early years to the present day, remains a symbol of elegance and grace. In 2011, exhibitions like ‘Diana: Glimpses of a Modern Princess’ showcased her iconic wardrobe, allowing audiences to admire her timeless fashion choices. Over the years, her influence on royal fashion has been notable, inspiring subsequent generations of royal family members to embrace modern and relatable styles. The auctioning of her exquisite dresses and personal items, including her iconic wedding gown, has attracted significant attention and allowed collectors to own a piece of fashion history. In 2017, the ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ exhibition at Kensington Palace provided a comprehensive view of her evolving style, showcasing the evolution of her wardrobe and its impact on contemporary fashion. Lady Diana’s iconic looks, such as the off-the-shoulder black dress and the renowned wedding gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, remain iconic symbols of her fashion legacy.


Lady Diana’s enduring legacy as a fashion icon and beloved figure has been honoured through various movies and events. In 2013, the biographical film ‘Diana’ starring Naomi Watts portrayed key moments in her life, including her philanthropic work and her evolving style. The film offered a glimpse into her fashion choices and their significance in her public image. Additionally, in 2017, the landmark exhibition ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ at Kensington Palace showcased her iconic wardrobe, attracting visitors from around the world and paying tribute to her influential style. The ‘Diana: A Celebration’ exhibition, which toured internationally, showcased her iconic dresses, personal items, and celebrated her philanthropic efforts. In 2021, to mark what would have been her 60th birthday, a statue of Lady Diana was unveiled at Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden, creating a lasting tribute to her enduring legacy and influence.


A life cut too short, Diana, Princess of Wales had so much still to offer the world. An international figure, a fashion icon, campaigner and most importantly a mother, will always be remembered as a resplendent Briton who showed hope, and all that is good.

Lady Diana Biography

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Written by Tobias Orrells

Tobias Orrells graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in International Journalism, however, steering away from news, has focused his creativity to reporting on the progression of men’s fashion. He is an avid writer and lover of fashion and music and combining the two helps create the icon profiles. Looking after the Catwalk Yourself Icons biographies

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