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8 mai 2012 2 08 /05 /mai /2012 03:25

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances;[N 1] née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981. She was also well known for her fund-raising work for international charities, HP HSTNN-I84C Battery

and an eminent celebrity of the late 20th century. Her wedding to Charles, heir to the British throne and those of the 16 Commonwealth realms, was held at St Paul's Cathedral and seen by a global television audience of over 750 million. HP HSTNN-IB0N Battery

While married she bore the courtesy titles Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay,Countess of Chester and Baroness of Renfrew. The marriage produced two sons, the princes William and Harry,[2] currentlysecond and third in line to the throne, respectively. HP HSTNN-IB0W Battery

Diana was born into an aristocratic English family with royal ancestry and became a public figure with the announcement ofher engagement to Prince Charles. Diana also received recognition for her charity work and for her support of theInternational Campaign to Ban Landmines. From 1989, she was the president of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

in addition to dozens of other charities. She remained the object of worldwide media scrutiny during and after her marriage, which ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. Media attention and public mourning were great after her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. HP HSTNN-IB1E Battery

Early life

Diana was born in the late afternoon on July 1, 1961, in Sandringham, Norfolk.[3][4] She was the fourth of five children of the Viscount and Viscountess Althorp (née Frances Roche, later Shand Kydd).[3] The Spencer family was hoping for a male heir to carry on the Spencer title (their third child, a boy, died soon after birth).[4][5] HP HSTNN-LB10 Battery

The Spencer family is one of Great Britain's oldest and most important families, closely allied with the royal family for several generations.[6] As the family was expecting a boy, no name was chosen for a week, until they settled on Diana Frances, after a Spencer ancestress and her mother.[4] Diana has three siblings: Sarah, Jane, and Charles;[3][5] HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

and was baptised at Sandringham church; her younger brother, Charles, was baptised at Westminster Abbey with Elizabeth II as principal godparent.[7] Diana also had an infant brother, John, who died a year before she was born.[5] HP HSTNN-OB0Y Battery

to Andrew Morton's biography of Diana, the infant John Spencer was so deformed and sick he only survived 10 hours after his birth.[4] The desire for an heir added strain to the Spencers' marriage, and Lady Althorp was reportedly sent to Harley Street clinics in London to determine the cause of the "problem".[4] HP HSTNN-Q47C Battery

The experience was described as "humiliating" by Charles Spencer, the current earl: "It was a dreadful time for my parents and probably the root of their divorce because I don't think they ever got over it."[7] Diana grew up in Park House, which was situated near to the Sandringham estate.[5]HP HSTNN-Q48C Battery


Diana was only seven years old when her parents were separated.[8] Her estranged mother, Frances, had an affair with Peter Shand Kydd.[5] In Morton's book, he describes Diana's remembrance of Lord Althorp loading suitcases in the car and Frances crunching across the gravel forecourt and driving away through the gates of Park House.[4] HP HSTNN-Q49C Battery

Diana lived with Frances in London during her parents' separation, but during the Christmas holidays by the end of the year, Lord Althorp refused to let Frances to return with Diana to London. Shortly afterwards, Lord Althorp eventually won custody of Diana with support from his mother-in-law,Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy.[3] HP HSTNN-Q50C Battery

Diana was first educated at Riddlesworth Hall near Diss, Norfolk, and later attended boarding school at The New School at West Heath,[3] in Sevenoaks, Kent. In 1973, Lord Althorp began a relationship with Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, HP HSTNN-Q51C Battery

the only daughter of Alexander McCorquodale andBarbara Cartland.[9] Diana received the title of Lady after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer on 9 June 1975. Lord Spencer and Lady Dartmouth were married at Caxton Hall, London on 14 July 1976. HP HSTNN-Q60C Battery

As Countess Spencer, Raine was unpopular with Diana.[5] Diana was often noted for her shyness while growing up, but she did take an interest in both music and dancing. She also had a great interest in children. After attending finishing school at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, she moved to London. HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

She began working with children, eventually becoming a nursery teacher at the Young England School.[3] Diana had apparently played with Princes Andrew and Edward as a child while her family rented Park House, a property owned by Elizabeth II and situated on the Sandringham Estate.[3][10]HP HSTNN-Q62C Battery


In 1968, Diana was sent to Riddlesworth Hall, an all-girls boarding school.[11] While she was young, she attended a local public school. She did not shine academically, and was moved to West Heath Girls' School (later reorganised as The New School at West Heath) in Sevenoaks, Kent, HP HSTNN-Q63C Battery

where she was regarded as a poor student, having attempted and failed all of her O-levelstwice.[11] However, she showed a particular talent for music as an accomplished pianist.[12] Her outstanding community spirit was recognised with an award from West Heath. HP HSTNN-Q64C Battery

In 1977, she left West Heath and briefly attended Institut Alpin Videmanette, afinishing school in Rougemont, Switzerland. At about that time, she first met her future husband, who was then in a relationship with her older sister, Sarah. Diana also excelled in swimming and diving, and longed to be a professionalballerina with the Royal Ballet. She studied ballet for a time, but then grew too tall for the profession. HP HSTNN-UB0W Battery

Diana moved to London in 1978, living in her mother's flat, as her mother then spent most of the year in Scotland. Soon afterwards, an apartment was purchased for £50,000 as an 18th birthday present, at Coleherne Court in Earls Court. She lived there until 1981 with three flatmates. HP HSTNN-UB1G Battery

In London, she took an advanced cooking course at her mother's suggestion, although she never became an adroit cook, and worked as a dance instructor for youth, until a skiing accident caused her to miss three months of work. HP HSTNN-YB0W Battery

She then found employment as a playgroup (pre-preschool) assistant, did some cleaning work for her sister Sarah and several of her friends, and worked as a hostess at parties. Diana also spent time working as a nanny for an American family living in London.[13]HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery


Marriage to the Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) had previously been linked to Lady Diana's elder sister Lady Sarah, and in his early thirties he was under increasing pressure to marry. HP MU06047 Battery


The Prince of Wales had known Lady Diana for several years, but he first took a serious interest in her as a potential bride during the summer of 1980, when they were guests at a country weekend, where she watched him play polo. HP MU06055 Battery

The relationship developed as he invited her for a sailing weekend to Cowes aboard the royal yacht Britannia, followed by an invitation toBalmoral (the Royal Family's Scottish residence) to meet his family. Lady Diana was well received by Elizabeth II, HP MU06062 Battery

by The Duke of Edinburgh, and by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The couple subsequently courted in London. The prince proposed on 6 February 1981, and Lady Diana accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for the next few weeks.[14]HP MU06 Battery


Their engagement became official on 24 February 1981, after Lady Diana selected a large £30,000 ring (£94,800 in today's terms) consisting of 14 diamonds surrounding a sapphire, similar to her mother's engagement ring.[15] HP MU09 Battery

The ring was made by the then Crown jewellers Garrard but, unusual for a member of the Royal Family, the ring was not unique and was, at the time, featured in Garrard's jewellery collection. The ring later became, in 2010, the engagement ring of Catherine Middleton (nowThe Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Diana's elder son Prince William).[16]HP MU09XL Battery

Twenty-year-old Diana became The Princess of Wales when she married The Prince of Wales on 29 July 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral, which offered more seating than Westminster Abbey, generally used for royal nuptials. It was widely billed as a "fairytale wedding", watched by a global television audience of 750 million while 600,000 people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Diana en route to the ceremony.[15][17] HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

At the altar Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles's first two names, saying "Philip Charles" Arthur George instead.[18] She did not say that she would "obey" him; that traditional vow was left out at the couple's request, which caused some comment at the time.[19] Diana wore a dress valued at £9000 with a 25-foot (8-metre) train.[20]HP NBP6A174 Battery


On 5 November 1981, the Princess' first pregnancy was officially announced, and she frankly discussed her pregnancy with members of the press corps.[21] After Diana fell down a staircase at Sandringham in January 1982, 12 weeks into her first pregnancy, the royal gynaecologist Sir George Pinker was summoned from London. He found that although she had suffered severe bruising, HP NBP6A175B1 Battery

the foetus was uninjured.[22] In the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London on 21 June 1982, under the care of Pinker,[22] the Princess gave natural birth to her and the Prince's first son and heir,William Arthur Philip Louis.[23] HP NBP6A175 Battery

Amidst some media criticism, she decided to take William, still a baby, on her first major tours of Australia and New Zealand, but the decision was popularly applauded. By her own admission, the Princess of Wales had not initially intended to take William until it was suggested byMalcolm Fraser, the Australian prime minister.[24]HP WD548AA Battery

A second son, Henry Charles Albert David, was born two years after William, on 15 September 1984.[25] The Princess asserted she and the Prince were closest during her pregnancy with "Harry" (as the younger prince has always been known). She was aware their second child was a boy, but did not share the knowledge with anyone else, including the Prince of Wales.[26]HP WD549AA Battery

Even her harshest critics agree that the Princess of Wales was a devoted, imaginative and demonstrative mother.[27] She rarely deferred to the Prince or to the Royal Family, and was often intransigent when it came to the children. HP 513130-321 Battery

 She chose their first given names, dismissed a royal family nanny and engaged one of her own choosing, selected their schools and clothing, planned their outings and took them to school herself as often as her schedule permitted. She also negotiated her public duties around their timetables.[27]HP 535808-001 Battery


Although in 1983 she confided in the then-Premier of Newfoundland, Brian Peckford, "I am finding it very difficult to cope with the pressures of being Princess of Wales, but I am learning to cope,"[28] from the mid-1980s, the Princess of Wales became increasingly associated with numerous charities. HP 591998-141 Battery

As Princess of Wales she was expected to regularly make public appearances to hospitals, schools and other facilities, in the 20th century model of royal patronage. The Princess developed an intense interest in serious illnesses and health-related matters outside the purview of traditional royal involvement, including AIDS and leprosy. HP 593576-001 Battery

In addition, she was the patroness of charities and organisations working with the homeless, youth, drug addicts and the elderly. From 1989, she was President of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. The day after her divorce, she announced her resignation from over 100 charities to spend more time with the remaining six.[29]HP HSTNN-1B1D Battery


During her final year Diana lent highly visible support to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a campaign which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, only a few months after her death.[30]HP HSTNN-OB89 Battery


During the early 1990s, the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales fell apart, an event at first suppressed, then sensationalised, by the world media. Both the Prince and Princess allegedly spoke to the press through friends, each blaming the other for the marriage's demise. HP HSTNN-W79C-7 Battery


The chronology of the break-up[31] identifies reported difficulties between the Prince and Princess as early as 1985. The Princess of Wales began an affair with Major James Hewitt, and the Prince of Wales returned to his former girlfriend, HP HSTNN-XB89 Battery

Camilla Shand (now The Duchess of Cornwall, who had become Mrs. Andrew Parker-Bowles). These affairs were exposed in May 1992 with the publication of Diana: Her True Story, by Andrew Morton. The book, which also laid bare the Princess' allegedly suicidal unhappiness, caused a media storm. HP NBP8A157B1 Battery

HP NZ375AA Battery

This publication was followed during 1992 and 1993 by leaked tapes of telephone conversations which negatively reflected on both the royal antagonists. Transcripts of taped intimate conversations between the Princess and James Gilbey were published by the Sun newspaper in Britain in August 1992. HP HSTNN-1B52 Battery

The article's title, "Squidgygate", referenced Gilbey's affectionate nickname for Diana. The next to surface, in November 1992, were the leaked "Camillagate" tapes, intimate exchanges between the Prince of Wales and Camilla, published in Today and the Mirror newspapers. HP HSTNN-1B89 Battery


In the meantime, rumours had begun to surface about the Princess of Wales' relationship withJames Hewitt, her former riding instructor. These would be brought into the open by the publication in 1994 of Princess in Love. HP HSTNN-IB89 Battery


In December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced the Wales' "amicable separation" to the House of Commons,[32] and the full Camillagate transcript was published a month later in the newspapers, in January 1993. On 3 December 1993, the Princess of Wales announced her withdrawal from public life.[33] HP HSTNN-I62C-7 Battery

The Prince of Wales sought public understanding via a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby on 29 June 1994. In this he confirmed his own extramarital affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, saying that he had only rekindled their association in 1986, after his marriage to the Princess had "irretrievably broken down".[34][35]HP HSTNN-I61C-5 Battery

While she blamed Camilla Parker-Bowles for her marital troubles due to her previous relationship with the Prince, the Princess at some point began to believe he had other affairs. HP HSTNN-I60C-5 Battery

In October 1993, she wrote to a friend that she believed her husband was now in love with Tiggy Legge-Bourke and wanted to marry her.[36] Legge-Bourke had been hired by the Prince as a young companion for his sons while they were in his care, and the Princess was extremely resentful of Legge-Bourke and her relationship with the young princes. HP 535753-001 Battery

Princess Margaret burnt "highly personal" letters that Diana wrote to the Queen Mother in 1993 because she thought they were considered to be "so private". A biographer named William Shawcross wrote: "No doubt Princess Margaret felt that she was protecting her mother and other members of the family". He considered Princess Margaret's action to be "understandable, although regrettable from a historical viewpoint".[37]HP 516479-121 Battery


The Princess of Wales was interviewed for the BBC current affairs show Panorama[38] by journalist Martin Bashir; the interview was broadcast on 20 November 1995. In it, the Princess said of her relationship with Hewitt, "Yes, I adored him." HP HSTNN-DB94 Battery

Of Camilla, she claimed "There were three of us in this marriage." For herself, she said, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." On the Prince of Wales' suitability for kingship, she said, "Because I know the character I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don't know whether he could adapt to that."[39]HP HSTNN-IB93 Battery

In December 1995, the Queen asked the Prince and Princess of Wales for "an early divorce", as a direct result of the Princess'Panorama interview.[40] This followed shortly after the Princess' accusation that Tiggy Legge-Bourke had aborted the Prince's child, after which Legge-Bourke instructed Peter Carter-Ruck to demand an apology.[40] HP HSTNN-IB94 Battery

Two days before this story broke, Diana's secretary Patrick Jephson resigned, later writing that the Princess had "exulted in accusing Legge-Bourke of having had an abortion".[41]HP HSTNN-LB93 Battery


On 20 December 1995, Buckingham Palace publicly announced the Queen had sent letters to the Prince and Princess of Wales advising them to divorce. The Queen's move was backed by the Prime Minister and by senior Privy Counsellors, and, according to the BBC, HP HSTNN-LB94 Battery

was decided after two weeks of talks.[42] The Prince immediately agreed with the suggestion. In February, the Princess announced her agreement after negotiations with the Prince and representatives of the Queen, irritating Buckingham Palace by issuing her own announcement of a divorce agreement and its terms. HP HSTNN-OB93 Battery

  The divorce was finalised on 28 August 1996.[33]

Diana received a lump sum settlement of around £17 million along with a clause standard in royal divorces preventing her from discussing the details.[43]HP HSTNN-OB94 Battery


Days before the decree absolute of divorce, Letters Patent were issued with general rules to regulate royal titles after divorce. In accordance, as she was no longer married to the Prince of Wales, Diana lost the style Her Royal Highness and instead was styledDiana, Princess of Wales.[N 2] HP HSTNN-XB93 Battery

Buckingham Palace issued a press release on the day of the decree absolute of divorce was issued, announcing Diana's change of title, but made it clear Diana continued to be a British princess. HP HSTNN-XB94 Battery


Almost a year before, according to Tina Brown, The Duke of Edinburgh had warned the Princess of Wales, "If you don't behave, my girl, we'll take your title away." The Princess is said to have replied: "My title is a lot older than yours, Philip".[44]HP NU089AA Battery


Buckingham Palace stated Diana was still a member of the Royal Family, as she was the mother of the second- and third-in-line to the throne. This was confirmed by the Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household, Baroness Butler-Sloss, after a pre-hearing on 8 January 2007: HP HSTNN-DB95 Battery

"I am satisfied that at her death, Diana, Princess of Wales continued to be considered as a member of the Royal Household."[45] This appears to have been confirmed in the High Court judicial review matter of Al Fayed & Ors v Butler-Sloss.[46] IHP HSTNN-IB95 Battery

in that case, three High Court judges accepted submissions that the "very name ‘Coroner to the Queen's Household’ gave the appearance of partiality in the context of inquests into the deaths of two people, one of whom was a member of the Family and the other was not."[46]HP HSTNN-LB95 Battery

Personal life after divorce

After the divorce, Diana retained her double apartment on the north side of Kensington Palace, which she had shared with the Prince of Wales since the first year of their marriage, and it remained her home until her death. HP HSTNN-XB95 Battery

Prince William comforted her, and he was said to have wanted to let her have the style of Her Royal Highness again. He was reported to have said: "Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am King."[47]HP NU090AA Battery

Diana dated the respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, from Jhelum, Pakistan, who was called "the love of her life" after her death by many of her closest friends,[48] for almost two years, before Khan ended the relationship.[49][50] HP 500028-142 Battery

Khan was intensely private and the relationship was conducted in secrecy, with Diana lying to members of the press who questioned her about it. Khan was from a traditional Pakistani family who expected him to marry from a related Muslim clan, HP 500029-142 Battery

and their differences, which were not just religious, became too much for Khan. According to Khan's testimonial at the inquest for her death, it was Diana herself, not Khan, who ended their relationship in a late-night meeting in Hyde Park, which adjoins the grounds of Kensington Palace, in June 1997. HP HSTNN-IB83 Battery

Within a month Diana had begun seeing Dodi Fayed, son of her host that summer, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Diana had considered taking her sons that summer on a holiday to the Hamptons on Long Island, New York, but security officials had prevented it. HP 579320-001 Battery

After deciding against a trip to Thailand, she accepted Fayed's invitation to join his family in the south of France, where his compound and large security detail would not cause concern to the Royal Protection squad. Mohamed Al-Fayed bought a multi-million pound yacht, the Jonikal, a 60-metre yacht on which to entertain Diana and her sons. HP HSTNN-OB92 Battery



In January 1997, pictures of Diana touring an Angolan minefield in a ballistic helmet and flak jacket were seen worldwide. It was during this campaign that some accused her of meddling in politics and declared her a 'loose cannon'.[51]HP HSTNN-XB92 Battery

 In August 1997, just days before her death, she visited Bosnia with Jerry White andKen Rutherford of the Landmine Survivors Network.[52] Her interest in landmines was focused on the injuries they create, often to children, long after a conflict is over. HP HSTNN-DB90 Battery

She is believed to have influenced the signing, though only after her death, of the Ottawa Treaty, which created an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines.[53] Introducing the Second Reading of the Landmines Bill 1998 to the British House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, paid tribute to Diana's work on landmines: HP 292389-001 Battery


All Honourable Members will be aware from their postbags of the immense contribution made by Diana, Princess of Wales to bringing home to many of our constituents the human costs of landmines. The best way in which to record our appreciation of her work, and the work of NGOs that have campaigned against landmines, is to pass the Bill, and to pave the way towards a global ban on landmines.[54]HP 337607-001 Battery


The United Nations appealed to the nations which produced and stockpiled the largest numbers of landmines (United States, China, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and Russia) to sign the Ottawa Treaty forbidding their production and use, HP 337607-003 Battery

for which Diana had campaigned. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said that landmines remained "a deadly attraction for children, whose innate curiosity and need for play often lure them directly into harm's way".[55]HP 338794-001 Battery



The initial French judicial investigation concluded the accident was caused by Henri Paul's drunken loss of control.[57] As early as February 1998, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (who was also the owner of the Paris Ritz, for which Paul had worked) publicly maintained that the crash had been planned,[58] accusingMI6 as well as The Duke of Edinburgh.[59]HP 342661-001 Battery

 An inquest in London starting in 2004 and continued in 2007–2008[60] attributed the accident to grossly negligent driving by Henri Paul and to the pursuing paparazzi.[61] On 8 April 2008, the day following the final verdict of the inquest, Al-Fayed announced he would end his 10-year campaign to establish that it was murder rather than an accident, stating that he did so for the sake of the late princess's children.[62]HP 345027-001 Battery

The sudden and unexpected death of an extraordinarily popular royal figure brought statements from senior figures worldwide and many tributes by members of the public. People left public offerings of flowers, candles, cards and personal messages outside Kensington Palace for many months. HP 346970-001 Battery

Diana's funeral took place in Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. The previous day Queen Elizabeth II had paid tribute to her in a live television broadcast.[63] Her sons, the Princes William and Harry, walked in the funeral procession behind her coffin, HP 361742-001 Battery

along with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh, and with Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer. Lord Spencer said of his sister, "She proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic."[64]HP 367759-001 Battery

In addition, there are two memorials inside Harrods department store, at the time owned by Dodi Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, in London. The first memorial consists of photos of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass still smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as an 'engagement' ring Dodi purchased the day before they died.[65] HP 371785-001 Battery

The second, unveiled in 2005 and titled "Innocent Victims", is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross.[66] The Flame of Liberty, erected in 1989 on the Place de l'Alma in Paris, above the entrance to the tunnel in which the fatal crash later occurred, has become an unofficial memorial to Diana.[67]HP 371786-001 Battery



Following Diana's death, the Diana Memorial Fund was granted intellectual property rights over her image.[68] In 1998, after refusing the Franklin Mint an official license to produce Diana merchandise, the fund sued the company, accusing it of illegally selling Diana dolls, plates and jewellery.[69]HP 372772-001 Battery

 In California, where the initial case was tried, a suit to preserve the right of publicity may be filed on behalf of a dead person, but only if that person is a Californian. The Memorial Fund therefore filed the lawsuit on behalf of the estate and, upon losing the case, were required to pay the Franklin Mint's legal costs of £3 million which, combined with other fees, caused the Memorial Fund to freeze their grants to charities.[70]HP 383220-001 Battery


In 1998, Azermarka issued postage stamps with both Azeri and English captions, commemorating Diana. The English text reads "Diana, Princess of Wales. The Princess that captured people's hearts".HP 395789-001 Battery


In 2003, the Franklin Mint counter-sued; the case was eventually settled in 2004, with the fund agreeing to an out-of-court settlement, which was donated to mutually agreed charitable causes.[71]HP 396008-001 Battery

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Today, pursuant to this lawsuit, two California companies continue to sell Diana memorabilia without the need for any permission from Diana's estate: the Franklin Mint and Princess Ring LLC. HP 411462-421 Battery



In July 1999, Tracey Emin created a number of monoprint drawings featuring textual references about Diana's public and private life, for Temple of Diana, a themed exhibition at The Blue Gallery, London. Works such as They Wanted You To Be Destroyed (1999)[72]related to Diana's bulimia, while others included affectionate texts such as Love Was On Your Side and Diana's Dress with puffy sleeves. HP 417066-001 Battery

Another text praised her selflessness –The things you did to help other people, showing Diana in protective clothing walking through a minefield in Angola – while another referenced the conspiracy theories. Of her drawings, Emin maintained "They're quite sentimental . . . and there's nothing cynical about it whatsoever."[73]HP 916-2150 Battery


In 2005 Martin Sastre premiered during the Venice Biennial the film Diana: The Rose Conspiracy. This fictional work starts with the world discovering Diana alive and enjoying a happy undercover new life in a dangerous favela on the outskirts of Montevideo. Shot on a genuine Uruguayan slum and using a Diana impersonator from São Paulo, the film was selected among the Venice Biennial's best works by the Italian Art Critics Association.[74]HP BAT0302001 Battery


In 2007, following an earlier series referencing the conspiracy theories, Stella Vine created a series of Diana paintings for her first major solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford gallery.[75]Vine intended to portray Diana's combined strength and vulnerability as well as her closeness to her two sons.[76] The works, all completed in 2007, HP CGR-B1870AE Battery

included Diana branchesDiana family picnicDiana veil and Diana pram, which incorporated the quotation "I vow to thee my country".[77] Immodesty Blaize said she had been entranced by Diana crash, finding it "by turns horrifying, bemusing and funny".[78] Vine asserted her own abiding attraction to "the beauty and the tragedy of Diana's life".[76]HP DG103A Battery



On 13 July 2006 Italian magazine Chi published photographs showing Diana amid the wreckage of the car crash,[79] despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published.[80][N 3] The editor of Chi defended his decision by saying he published the photographs simply because they had not been previously seen, HP DM842A Battery

and he felt the images are not disrespectful to the memory of Diana.[80] Fresh controversy arose over the issue of these photographs when Britain's Channel 4 broadcast them during a documentary in June 2007.[citation needed]HP DP390A Battery

1 July 2007 marked a concert at Wembley Stadium. The event, organised by the Princes William and Harry, celebrated the 46th anniversary of their mother's birth and occurred a few weeks before the 10th anniversary of her death on 31 August. HP DP399A Battery

When the tenth anniversary of her death arrived, Prince Harry paid tribute to her. He spoke of her, "But behind the media glare, to us, just two loving children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world.".[81]HP EF419A Battery

The 2007 docudrama Diana: Last Days of a Princess details the final two months of her life.

On an October 2007 episode of The Chaser's War on Everything, Andrew Hansen mocked Diana in his "Eulogy Song", which immediately created considerable controversy in the Australian media.[82]HP EG417AA Battery


The midnight-blue gown that Diana wore when she famously danced with John Travolta at the White House, which became known as the "Travolta dress", was sold for £510,000 in 2011.[83]HP EV087AA Battery

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Contemporary opinions

From her engagement to the Prince of Wales in 1981 until her death in 1997, Diana was a major presence on the world stage, often described as the world's most photographed woman. However, numerous other sources split the title of "world's most photographed woman"--in terms of Diana compared to others—between her and Princess Grace. She was noted for her compassion,[84] style, charisma, and high-profile charity work, as well as her difficult marriage to the Prince of Wales. HP EX941AA Battery

HP EX942AA Battery


Diana was revealed to be a major source behind Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story, which had portrayed her as being wronged by the House of Windsor. Morton instanced Diana's claim that she attempted suicide while pregnant by falling down a series of stairs and that Charles had left her to go riding. HP F1466A Battery

Tina Brown opined that it was not a suicide attempt because she would not intentionally have tried to harm the unborn child. HP F1739A Battery


Royal biographer Sarah Bradford commented, "The only cure for her (Diana's) suffering would have been the love of the Prince of Wales, which she so passionately desired, something which would always be denied her. His was the final rejection; HP F2019A Battery

the way in which he consistently denigrated her reduced her to despair."[85] Diana herself commented, "My husband made me feel inadequate in every possible way that each time I came up for air he pushed me down again ..."[85]HP F2019 Battery

Diana herself admitted to struggling with depression, self-injury, and bulimia, which recurred throughout the early years of her marriage. One biographer suggested Diana suffered from borderline personality disorder.[86]HP F2019B Battery


In 2007, Tina Brown wrote a biography about Diana as a "restless and demanding ... obsessed with her public image" and also "spiteful, manipulative, media-savvy neurotic." Brown also claims Diana married Charles for his power and had a romantic relationship with Dodi Fayed to anger the royal family, with no intention of marrying him.[87]HP F2024 Battery


Diana by birth was a member of the Spencer family, one of the oldest and most prominent noble families in Britain which currently holds the titles of Duke of Marlborough, Earl Spencer and Viscount Churchill. The Spencers claimed to have descended from a cadet branch of the powerful medieval Despenser family, HP F2024A Battery

but its validity is still being questioned. Diana's noble ancestors include the legendary John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Prince of Mindelheim, his equally famous wife, the powerful and influential Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, HP F2024B Battery

Britain's first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Duke of Alba, one of the most powerful men of his era, Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, and Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey. She is also a distant relative of the dukes of Abercorn, Bedford,Richmond, Devonshire, Gordon and most of the members of the British aristocracy. HP F2299A Battery


Diana's 4th great-grandmother, Eliza Kewark, is often claimed to be Armenian.[94][95] However, Kewark's exact ancestry is unknown; she is variously described in contemporary documents as "a dark-skinned native woman", "an Armenian woman from Bombay", and "Mrs. Forbesian".[96] HP F3172A Battery

Possibly, Kewark was an Indian, and the family deliberately pretended she was Armenian to expunge the "stigma of what was then known as 'coloured blood'."[97] Diana's ancestry also connects her with most of Europe's royal houses. HP F4486A Battery

Diana is five times descended from the House of Stuart from Charles II's four illegitimate sons James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, Henry FitzRoy, HP Pavilion dv2-1022ax Battery 1st Duke of Grafton, Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, and from James II's daughter,Henrietta FitzJames, HP F4486B Battery

Countess of Newcastle, an ancestry she shares with the current Dukes of Alba. From the House of Stuart, Diana is a descendant of the House of Bourbon from the line Henry IV of France and of the House of Medici from the line of Marie de' Medici. HP F4809A Battery

She is also a descendant of powerful Italian noble families such as that of the House of Sforza who ruled as the Dukes of Milan from the line of the legendary Caterina Sforza, Countess of Forlì. Diana is a descendant of the famous Lucrezia Borgia (18 April 1480 – 24 June 1519), who was Princess of Salerno, Duchess of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio. HP F4812A Battery

Diana also descends from the House of Wittelsbach via morganatic line from Frederick V, Elector Palatine and of the House of Hanover via Sophia von Platen und Hallermund, Countess of Leinster and Darlington, the illegitimate daughter of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg and the half sister of George I. Diana also descends from the House of Toledo of the original dukes of Alba and Medina Sidonia. HP HSTNN-DB02 Battery

Diana also descended from ancient noble and royal Gaelic families of Ireland from her mother's side. From her maternal great-great grandfather, HP Pavilion dv2-1021ax Battery

Edmond Roche, 1st Baron Fermoy, Diana descends from both the O'Donovan family who ruled the Kingdom of Desmond until the 13th century and became semi-sovereign princes of Carbery from the line of Donal IV O'Donovan, HP HSTNN-DB20 Battery

Lord of Clancahill, the De Barry family, an ancient family of Cambro-Norman origins who descends from Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn, a Welsh prince and the O'Shaughnessy family, a family which descends from Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin, King of Connacht. HP HSTNN-IB04 Battery


The origin of the surname Spencer (also Spence, Spender, Spens, and Spenser) can be traced directly to Robert d'Abbetot[2][3][4] HP Pavilion dv2-1020la Battery

who is listed as Robert le Dispenser, a tenant-in-chief of several counties, in the Domesday Book of 1086. Robert was possibly one of the Norman knights who fought alongside (or accompanied) William the Conqueror in the defeat ofHarold II, HP HSTNN-IB09 Battery

King of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. There is little doubt that both Robert and his brother Urse came to England at about the time of the Battle of Hastings. HP PB994A Battery

They were both beneficiaries of William over the years, and were given titles and substantial land and property—suggesting repayment for some earlier deeds. It is likely that Robert's first acknowledgment was his official appointment as Royal "Dispencier"HP HSTNN-IB20 Battery

sometimes expressed more grandly as "Royal Steward", "King's Steward" or "Lord Steward". As dispenser of provisions to the King and his household Robert was known and recorded as Robert le Despencer or, in its Latinised form, Robertus Dispensator.[5] There is also the possibility that Robert held this official position before arriving in England.[6]HP PB992A Battery

Robert's adopted surname was usually written as Despenser or Dispenser—notably in works such as the Domesday Book of 1086 and the Scottish Ragman Rolls of 1291 & 1296. From 1066 until the 13th century the occupational name attributed to Robert d'Abbetot existed with numerous spelling and other variations. HP PB995A Battery

Eventually both the "le" and "de" that frequently preceded the name were omitted. In 1392 the popular "s" in the centre of the name was discarded and replaced with the "c" seen in the present-day form—Spencer.[7]HP PF723A Battery

The surname Spencer has gained in popularity over time. In the 19th century it also become popular as a given name—especially in the United States of America. HP PP2210 Battery


In its transition from the French dispencier to its current form, the name Spencer has been presented and spelled in many ways—especially through the period of its early evolution in the medieval period from c.1100 to 1350 AD. The following (in alphabetical order) is a selection of the many orthographic variants: HP RW556AA Battery

Despencer,[8] de Expansa (derived from expence),[9] De Spencer,[10] de Spendure,[11] de Spensde la Despense,[11][12] De la Spence,[13] de la Spense,[11] del Spens,[11] Despenser,[8][14] DeSpenserDispencer,[15] Dispenser,[14] Despensator,[14] Dispensator,[15] la Spens, le Despencer,[15] le Despendur,[11]HP ProBook 4510s Battery

 le Despencer,[16] le Despenser,[16][17] le dispencer,[10] le Espencer,[18] le Espenser,[18] le Spencer,[19] le Spendur,[11] Spendure,[11] le Spenser,[19] le Spensier,[18]Spence,[11][15][20] Spences, Spen, Spender,[11] Spens,[11][15] Spensar,[21] Spense,[11] Spenser,[15][21] SpensersSpensorSpincer,[21] also the rare patronymicSpencers,[11] and the aphetic (derived) Spender.[11]HP ProBook 4510s/CT Battery

Within a few generations the le ("the") usually placed before Despenser was omitted. The name variant Spens first appears in the British Isles as Simon del Spens, dated 1300, in the "Charters of Gisburn Priory", Yorkshire, during the reign of Edward I.[22] Spence, another form of Spens, means both "the place where provisions are kept" and the "clerk of the kitchen".[15] HP ProBook 4515s Battery

This form of the name was popular in both the north of England and in Scotland. In Fife the word referred to "a spare room beside the kitchen", and in England to a "yard, enclosure or buttery"—simply an abbreviation of despencer referring to the household store.[13] HP ProBook 4710s Battery

The family de Spens in Fife trace their ancestry back to 1170 and the "Baron de Spens d'Estignols" who settled in France in 1450 .[23] and "the Count de Spens, who ranked among the first of the Swedish nobility and was generalissimo of the Swedish forces".[24] HP ProBook 4710s/CT Battery

As a north country word for 'pantry', spence was used by Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson in the sense of a refectory: "Bluff Harry broke into the spence and turn'd the cowls adrift" (The Talking Oak, l.47.).[25]HP ProBook 4410s Battery

The surnames Stewart and Stuart denote essentially the same occupation but have a completely different word derivation. They originate from the pre-7th century English words stigweard—a compound of stig meaning household—and weard, a guardian.[26]HP ProBook 4416s Battery


In England, up to about the time of the Norman Conquest when communities were small, each person was identifiable by a single name, usually a personal name ornickname. Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians and Normans all originally used single names, but as the population increased, HP ProBook 4415s Battery

it became necessary to identify people further—giving rise to names like John the butcherHenry of SuttonRoger son of Richard and William the short, which naturally evolved into John ButcherHenry Sutton, HP ProBook 4210s Battery

 Roger Richardson and William Short. Although a few hereditary patrilineal surnames (those passed from father to son and daughter) appear to have existed in the British Isles before the Norman Conquest, the now traditional use of binomials (two names, HP ProBook 4310s Battery

a given name and a surname) appears to have gathered momentum at this time[30]—particularly after the introduction of records for personal taxation, known in England as the Poll Tax, first levied in 1275. The poll tax was the historical means by which local communities recorded the registering, categorizing, and polling of citizens, free-subjects and other voters. HP ProBook 4311s Battery

The meaning of a surname generally derives from one of the following four sources: location (toponym) such as a specific place (e.g. London, York) or feature of the place or landscape (e.g. Hill, Townsend); a relationship (e.g. Richardson); a nickname (e.g. Grey, Wellbeloved); or an occupation or office (e.g. Sawyer, Skinner).[31] The surname Spencer relates to occupation and office. HP Pavilion dv2 Battery

Robert d'Abbetot [nb 1] was the son of Almericus d'Abbetot whose Viking ancestry has been traced back to Tancred of Hauteville(980–1041).[32][nb 2] Almericus is known to have held the position of mayor in the town of Saint-Jean-d'Abbetot in Normandy.[33] HP Pavilion dv2-1000 Battery

Robert, like William's other close knights, was granted titles, lands and a high position in William's court. In addition to his position as steward he also was given land grants in county Bedford. He held his office for the period c.1088–1098.[34]HP Pavilion dv2-1030 Battery

Robert's last name of d'Abbetot had no meaning in England so it was likely changed to Robert le Despenser (many spelling variants of this name exist including Robert the Dispensor, Robert Despensator,[14] Robert Dispenser,[35]HP Pavilion dv2-1000eo Battery

 and Robert fitzThurstin.)[34] which reflected his new official position and occupation.[36] He seems to have maintained his popularity with William because in the Domesday Book of 1086, Robert Despenser was listed as a land tenant-in-chief in Gloucestershire,Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, and Warwickshire, as well as holding lands in Worcestershire obtained from the Bishop of Worcester.[34]HP Pavilion dv2-1001au Battery

Robert is assumed to have died shortly after restoring some estates to Westminster Abbey[34] but he appears to have had no legitimate male children, as his heir was his brother Urse.[37] He may have had a daughter, as some of his lands were inherited by the Marmion family, HP Pavilion dv2-1001ax Battery

but it is also possible that a daughter of Urse married into the Marmion family.

p>[36] Robert's office as the king's steward may also have gone to Urse, as it was later held by Urse's heirs. A later steward, Thurstin, might have been an illegitimate son of Robert.[38]HP Pavilion dv2-1001eg Battery


Robert Despenser's brother, Urse d'Abbetot (c. 1040–1108), became a medieval Sheriff of Worcester and royal official. He did not take up the name Despenser. In Normandy the brothers lived in the town of Saint Jean d'Abbetot as tenants on lands of feudal lords in the Tancarville family in the Pays de Caux region on the lower Seine.[39]HP Pavilion dv2-1002au Battery

Ralph Fitz Gerald (Chamberlain of Tankerville) was the elder brother of Aumary d'Abetot. Their father was Gerold (husband of Helisendis) Sire de Tankerville with the hereditary office of chamberlain to the Dukes of Normandy. His younger son, Aumary, inherited the fiefs of Abetot and had two sons, Urso and Robert "Despencer"HP Pavilion dv2-1002ax Battery

who gave the name to the noble families of Le Despencer and Spenser that trace their descent from his niece. In 1073 Urse was one of the king's council. He rendered great service in the suppression of the rebellion of the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk and had a reputation as a spoiler and devastator of the Church. HP Pavilion dv2-1002xx Battery

Urse's son Roger d'Abetot, having killed a servant of Henry I, was banished and his confiscated estates given by the king—together with the hand of his sister Emmeline d'Abetot—to Walter de Beauchamp of Bedford.[40]HP Pavilion dv2-1003ax Battery

However, within 2–3 years of 1066 both brothers were established in England—Urse as Sheriff of Worcestershire, supervising the construction of Worcester Castle. HP Pavilion dv2-1020et Battery

The Domesday survey showed Urse's lands mostly in the West Midlands while Robert's extended to the North Sea. Robert remained a benefactor to the Priory of St. Barbe-en-Auge in Normandy, which had been founded by the Tancarville lords.[41]HP Pavilion dv2-1004ax Battery

Lands held by the d'Abbetots in Worcester are recorded in Hemming's Cartulary. The d'Abbetot family settled mostly in Worcester where they were lords of Hindlip (Hind Leap), 20 miles (32 km) from Worcester, for 200 years holding the manor for a knight's fee, that is, the service of an armed knight in the event of war. A church has stood on the site since the 11th century. HP Pavilion dv2-1005au Battery

Two villages have taken the D'Abbetot family name. Redmarley D'Abitot lies on the extreme south-west border of Worcestershire in Gloucestershire. Here the D'Abitot's owned property in the parish in the 16th century, and lived at Down House although the last member of the family is believed to have died in the 18th century. HP Pavilion dv2-1005ei Battery

The other village is Croome D'Abitot, which lies 7–8 miles south-east of Worcester.[42] Many of the descendants of Robert Despenser and Urse achieved notoriety of various kinds and the Dispenser line has been traced for at least 10 generations.[43]HP Pavilion dv2-1006au Battery


The Norman family of de Ferrers, through Henry de Ferrers, had received the largest grants of land and manors in Derbyshire and were closely related to the d'Abbetots by marriage.[33] Similarly, Urse's son Roger had a sister, Emmeline, who married Walter de Beauchamp from another influential family of the time.[44]HP Pavilion dv2-1006ax Battery

Walter succeeded to Urse's lands after the exiling of Roger around 1110.[36] Tradition has it that the Derbyshire D'Abitots sprang either from Robert d'Abitot or a junior branch of the Worcester d'Abitots, although it is more likely to trace directly from Urse.[45]HP Pavilion dv2-1008au Battery


Heraldry, the practice of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and badges, arose from the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by iron and steel helmets.[46] The process of creating coats of arms (these are often called "family crests" but in the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland an individual, HP Pavilion dv2-1009ax Battery

 rather than a family, had a coat of arms) began in the eight and 9th centuries.[47][48][49] Eventually a formal system of rules developed into increasingly complex forms of heraldry that allowed the use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, HP Pavilion dv2-1010ea Battery

towns and villages in a form of civic heraldry. In more recent times coats of arms have evolved from their military origins to denote educational institutes, and other establishments, apparently leading to the modern logo and corporate livery.[50][51]HP Pavilion dv2-1010ed Battery

The secretum or private seal of Henry le Despenser, Bishop of Norwich (A.D. 1370–1406) is shown here.[52] Arms of Hugh le Despencer.[53]HP Pavilion dv2-1010eo Battery

Hereditary names and genetic lineages

The possession of the surname Spencer does not necessarily indicate a hereditary relationship to Robert Despenser. Irregularities can occur with non-paternity and it is possible that consecutive but unrelated people in the same occupation may well have adopted the same name resulting in the foundation of many different Spencer genetic lineages. HP Pavilion dv2-1010ep Battery

It is known, for example, that in London in the 13th and 14th centuries trade apprentices would take on the names of their masters. Nevertheless, also in London, surnames of all kinds had become hereditary in the patrician class by the 12th century.[54]HP Pavilion dv2-1010et Battery

Nevertheless, the genetic similarity of people with identical surnames has been shown to be quite high, especially those with rarer surnames.[55] It might seem an almost insurmountable task to determine the true lineage of contemporary Spencers when such an "occupational" name probably has many founders. Nevertheless, HP Pavilion dv2-1010ez Battery

modern genetics now has the capacity to discriminate relationships at an increasingly detailed resolution both in terms of close recent ancestry and deep ancestry. Many people are now using gene testing laboratories as part of a surname DNA project to resolve not only who their close relations are around the world, but also the migration patterns of their ancestors over the 50,000 years since modern man left Africa.[56]HP Pavilion dv2-1010la Battery

In America many Spencers have been traced back genetically to four Spencer brothers: William Spencer 1601–1640, Thomas Spencer 1607–1687, Michael Spencer 1611–1653, and Gerard Spencer 1614–1685.[56][57]HP Pavilion dv2-1011au Battery

The Spencer aristocracy

The English aristocratic Spencer family has resided at their ancestral home at Althorp, Northamptonshire, since the early 16th century. The Estate now covers 14,000 acres (57 km2) in Northamptonshire, HP Pavilion dv2-1011ax Battery

Warwickshire and Norfolk. From pre-Tudor times the Spencers had been farmers, coming to prominence in Warwickshire in the 15th century when John Spencer became feoffee ofWormleighton in 1469, HP Pavilion dv2-1020es Battery

and a tenant at Althorp in 1486. His nephew, another John, used the gains from trade in livestock and commodities to buy both properties. He was knighted in 1504 and died in 1522. HP Pavilion dv2-1012au Battery

John's descendants expanded the family holdings through business dealings and marriage into the peerage. The family is related through marriage to the Churchills of Blenheim Palace, a line which included the Dukes of Marlborough and Winston Churchill. HP Pavilion dv2-1013ax Battery

From the Althorp line came the Earls of Sunderland, the later Dukes of Marlborough, and the Earls Spencer. The family captured international attention when Lady Diana Frances Spencer married Prince Charles on 29 July 1981, and her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997.[58]HP Pavilion dv2-1014au Battery

HP Pavilion dv2-1015ax Battery

99) was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem celebrating—through fantastical allegory—theTudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy. HP Pavilion dv2-1015ee Battery

Col. Nicholas Spencer (1633–1689) was an English merchant born at Cople, Bedfordshire, who emigrated to the Colony of Virginia, where he served as land agent for his cousin Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper. A planter with extensive landholdings, HP Pavilion dv2-1016ax Battery

Spencer later served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, as Secretary and President of the Council of the Virginia Colony, and as Acting Governor. With his friend John Washington, Col. Spencer patented the Mount Vernon estate land grant. HP Pavilion dv2-1017ax Battery

  • Popularity, numbers and distribution

There is strong evidence that despite population movement in the 19th Century most people stayed relatively near to their place of birth.[59] The greatest density of Spencers in present-day England is in Nottinghamshire, followed by Derbyshire (see below). HP Pavilion dv2-1018ax Battery

Derby and Notts were closely connected at the time of Domesday, and up until the time of Elizabeth I had the same Sheriff.[60] The d'Abbetot family had holdings in Croome, Hindlip and Redmarley[61] as well as Clopton and Acton Beauchamp.[62]HP Pavilion dv2-1019ax Battery

In North America early settlement of Spencers date to Thomas Spencer in Virginia in 1623; William Spencer Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1630; Thomas Spencer, Maine 1630. Col. Nicholas Spencer arrived in Virginia in the 1650s and subsequently served as Acting Governor. An account of Spencers in America has been published by Ancestry.com.[63]HP Pavilion dv2-1020ax Battery

Spencers arriving in Australia with the convicts of the First Fleet in 1788 were Daniel Spencer from Dorchester, John Spencer, and Mary Spence from Wigan.[64]With the Third Fleet in 1791 came John Spencer from Lancaster and Thomas Spencer from London.[65]HP Pavilion dv2-1020ef Battery

HP Pavilion dv2-1020el Battery

Statistics for popularity, numbers and distribution of Spencers are presented in the tables below: HP Pavilion dv2-1020er Battery

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HP Pavilion dv2-1024ax Battery

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