The Diana Years

August 8, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Princess DianaThis year marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic and untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car accident in Paris. There have been a series of events during the year – such as the Concert for Diana and the forthcoming Memorial Service.

The Diana Years provided unseen footage accompanied by the music of the time (Abba, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond and Aha). We are told that much of the music comes from Diana’s own personal collection, Various people have taken part in the series including James Whitaker (Royal Correspondent), Sarah Bradford (Royal biographer) and Andrew Morton, controversial writer of “Diana: Her True Story”.

The first programme of the series focussed on Diana’s life during 1980 – 1984.

Prince Charles had been known as a bit of a playboy, with much speculation regarding the woman that he would marry to become the future Queen. In 1980, Lady Diana Spencer was receiving much press attention, at a time when the UK had been in an economic gloom and needed some “good news”. Diana was just 19 at the time and was a children’s nanny at a kindergarten in London. Although she shared a flat with friends, Diana had never really had a boyfriend before Prince Charles, was quiet naïve and had a closeted upbringing. The Spencers are a well-known aristocratic family and many of Diana’s relations were courtiers or friends of royalty. They own estates in Northamptonshire including Althorp.

The program went on to describe the engagement of Charles and Diana in February 1980 and their subsequent wedding on 29 July 1981, which was a huge media event, watched by 750 million people in 75 countries. The wedding was a fairytale dream and Diana thought that her marriage would provide the stability and loved that she craved (she was an unwanted 3rd daughter whose mother left when she was very young).

Diana’s honeymoon was not as happy as it could have been, as she felt tremendous pressure on Royal engagements and made nervous speeches in public. She had developed bulimia (her sister Sarah also had an eating disorder) and she lost a noticeable amount of weight in a short period of time. Within 3 months of the wedding, Diana became pregnant to William. It was a difficult pregnancy for her and she had a number of public engagements.

Although, she was besieged by eating difficulties, Charles and Diana were happy following the birth of William in June 1982 and often showed genuine displays of affection. They embarked on their first Royal trip together to Australia and New Zealand and took William with them. They were shown meeting the crowds, appearing on a radio programme and dancing at a charity ball.

Diana was becoming more popular than Charles – something which clearly irked the Prince and caused tension between them. Despite the difficulties, Diana became pregnant again and gave birth to Harry in November 1984. Unfortunately this was the point at which Diana herself identified that the marriage was over (Charles had resumed his friendship with Camilla Parker Bowles and was unhappy that the baby was 1. not a girl and 2. had red hair).

The programme ended with a preview of the next episode, which will examine the breakdown of her marriage.

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