Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter

The story of Princess Diana

Dimple Vijaykumar

A biopic based on Princess Diana's final years will be released this September. But why is she so popular in Britain?

The story of Princess Diana
Adored by all... Naomi Watts stars as Diana in a new film biopic coming out soon.

IT was only a matter of time before a full-fledged film was made on the life and times of the "people's princess"- Diana. She was one of the most prolific Royal figures, whose status as the wife of the future King thrust her into the public spotlight. But how much do we really know about her, and why does she remain popular with Brits today? 

Her story

Diana Spencer was born into an aristocratic family as the fourth child of the Viscount Althorp and his wife Frances Kydd. She only became Lady Diana when her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer. She was evidently no stranger to royalty as she used to play with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as children. At the tender age of 19 she started dating their older brother, Charles, and they were engaged only a few months later. 

They seemed like complete opposites; Charles loved gardening and classical music while she was more interested in culture. Nevertheless, it became known as the wedding of the century when Diana eventually married him in 1981 and officially became the Princess of Wales. In fact more than 700 million people tuned in to watch the fairytale ceremony, which was broadcast live to 50 countries, as she walked down the aisle hand in hand with her Prince Charming. This is when the British public's love affair with Lady Diana's began. 

In a short space of time, she gained a reputation of being the "world's most photographed woman" who was loved by both British and international media. Her charming personality, glamorous dress sense and love of children were widely documented by the press who viewed her as a breath of fresh air from the usually distant and aloof Royal family. Diana was especially known for her charitable efforts as she tirelessly campaigned against global landmines and raised awareness on HIV/AIDS. 

However, her marriage to Charles was slowly deteriorating and the two eventually divorced in 1996 amongst rumours of infidelity on both sides. Yet this did not affect her standing with the public, who still loved and adored her. Whether it was because she improved the image of the British royal family as a whole or her genuine love of charity and children, the people seemed to overlook her questionable relationship to the monarchy. She continued to appear on the cover of tabloid magazines and dominated page one headlines, eventually becoming a franchise in herself.

In August 1997 tragedy struck as Diana was involved in a car accident with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. After sustaining fatal injuries, she passed away at the young age of 36. The outpouring of grief was unprecedented as news of her death sent shockwaves across the world. The circumstances surrounding the accident was also shrouded in controversy as many blamed the paparazzi for chasing her car, resulting in the crash. However, it was ultimately ruled that the driver Henri Paul caused the crash by driving recklessly under the influence. While conspiracy theories persist to this day on what really happened, the legacy of Lady Di lives on. 

The movie

The upcoming biopic film of Diana is set to be released later this year as Naomi Watts stars as the iconic British princess. Directed by Olivier Hirschbiegel, it follows the final years of her life after she divorced Prince Charles and puts a spotlight on her subsequent relationships with other men such as heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. 

To prepare for her role, Watts allegedy gained access to Diana’s original wardrobe and spent weeks perfecting her accent with a speech coach. Recently released promotional stills of the film reveal her transformation into Lady Di, complete with her signature coiffed hair and beautiful jewels. 

The film is coming to UK theatre screens on 20th September 2013. Watch the trailer below:

Back to more UK Culture


Comments