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Archive for July, 2012

Prevalence

Officially, the Philippines is a low-HIV-prevalence country, with less than 0.1 percent of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive. As of September 2008, the Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Registry in the Philippines reported 3,456 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)- http://www.plwha.org . UNAIDS estimates that 12,000 Filipinos were HIV-positive by the end of 2005.[1]

Means of transmission

Up until 2007, heterosexual intercourse accounted for the majority (61 percent) of the Philippines’ reported HIV/AIDS cases, followed in descending order by homosexual and bisexual relations, mother-to-child transmission, contaminated blood and blood products, and injecting drug use, according to UNAIDS, with men comprising 66 percent of reported cases. However, in 2007 the proportion was reversed, with homosexual and/or bisexual modes of infection surpassing heterosexual transmission — 56% versus 43%, with the figure rising to 67% for the January to September 2008 period, as against 34%.

Overseas workers from the Philippines (e.g., seafarers, domestic helpers, etc.) account for 30-35 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases in the country.

At-risk groups

Most-at-risk groups include men who have sex with men (MSM), with 395 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among within this group from January to September 2008 alone, 96% up from 2005’s 210 reported infections. A spokesperson of the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the Department of Health says that the sudden and steep increase in the number of new cases within the MSM community, particularly in the last three years (309 cases in 2006, and 342 in 2007), is “tremendously in excess of what (is) usually expected,” allowing classification of the situation as an “epidemic“. Of the cumulative total of 1,097 infected MSMs from 1984 to 2008, 49% were reported in the last three years (72% asymptomatic); 108 have died when reported, and slightly more MSMs were reportedly already with AIDS (28%).[2]

Among MSM’s, ninety percent of the newly infected are single (up to 35% of past cases reported involved overseas Filipino workers or OFWs and/or their spouse), with the most of the affected people now only 20 to 34 years old (from 45 to 49 years old in the past). The highest number of infections among MSMs is from Metro Manila, though increasing infection rates were also noted in the cities of Angeles, Cebu, and Davao.[2] 1 to 3 percent of MSM’s were found to be HIV-positive by sentinel surveillance conducted in Cebu and Quezon cities in 2001.

National risk profile

Several factors put the Philippines in danger of a broader HIV/AIDS epidemic. They include increasing population mobility within and outside of the Philippine islands; a conservative culture, adverse to publicly discussing issues of a sexual nature; rising levels of sex work, casual sex, unsafe sex, and injecting drug use.[1]

There is also high STI prevalence and poor health-seeking behaviors among at-risk groups; gender inequality; weak integration of HIV/AIDS responses in local government activities; shortcomings in prevention campaigns; inadequate social and behavioral research and monitoring; and the persistence of stigma and discrimination, which results in the relative invisibility of PLWHA. Lack of knowledge about HIV among the Filipino population is troubling. Approximately two-thirds of young women lack comprehensive knowledge on HIV transmission, and 90 percent of the population of reproductive age believe you can contract HIV by sharing a meal with someone.[1]

The Philippines has high tuberculosis (TB) incidence, with 131 new cases per 100,000 people in 2005, according to the World Health Organization. HIV infects 0.1 percent of adults with TB. Although HIV-TB co-infection is low, the high incidence of TB indicates that co-infections could complicate treatment and care for both diseases in the future.[1]

National response

Wary of nearby Thailand’s growing epidemic in the late 1980s, the Philippines was quick to recognize its own sociocultural risks and vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS. Early responses included the 1992 creation of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), the country’s highest HIV/AIDS policymaking body. Members of the Council represent 17 governmental agencies, including local governments and the two houses of the legislature; seven nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and an association of PLWHA.[1]

The passing of the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act in 1998 was also a landmark in the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS. However, the Philippines is faced with the challenge of stimulating government leadership action in a low-HIV-prevalence country to advocate for a stronger and sustainable response to AIDS when faced with other competing priorities. One strategy has been to prevent STIs in general, which are highly prevalent in the country.[1]

The PNAC developed the Philippines’ AIDS Medium Term Plan: 2005–2010 (AMTP IV). The AMTP IV serves as a national road map toward universal access to prevention, treatment, care, and support, outlining country-specific targets, opportunities, and obstacles along the way, as well as culturally appropriate strategies to address them. In 2006, the country established a national monitoring and evaluation system, which was tested in nine sites and is being expanded. Antiretroviral treatment is available free of charge, but only 10 percent of HIV-infected women and men were receiving it as of 2006, according to UNAIDS.[1]

The Government of the Philippines participates in international responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Most recently, in January 2007, the Philippines hosted the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, which had a special session on HIV/AIDS.[1]

The Philippines is a recipient of three grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2004 third round, 2006 fifth round, and 2007 sixth round) to scale up the national response to HIV/AIDS through the delivery of services and information to at-risk populations and PLWHA.[1]

Condom controversy

In 2010, then Philippine Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the Philippine government had stopped allocating funds for condoms due to church pressure, a move that Secretary Cabral opposed.[3] Catholic bishops helped build opposition in Congress to block a reproductive health bill that they said promoted sex education and artificial contraceptives.[3]

Dr. Rene Bullecer of AIDS Free Philippines criticized the use of condoms as “not the appropriate solution to the rising HIV cases” He said that “the distribution of condoms is even a form of discrimination against women, particularly those working in bars, because ‘it’s as if the government is branding all of them as prostitutes.'”[4] Dr. Bullecer blames Thailand’s 100% Condom Use campaign for having brought about its condition as one of the worst hit countries in terms of the epidemic, while the Philippines which has persisted in not doing the same has a low incidence.[5] [6]

Dr. Bernardo Villegas cites the work of Dr. Edward C. Green, Director of Harvard’s AIDS Prevention Center to say that more condoms promote the spread of AIDS. Green said that according to the “best studies,” condoms makes people take wilder sexual risks, thus worsening the spread of the disease. Green showed that fidelity and abstinence are the best solutions to the AIDS epidemic.[7]

Statistical accuracy controversy

Although the Philippines is officially a low HIV incidence country, the media often reports that the Philippine government has concealed the extent of the HIV/AIDS problem. Until now it is increasing.[8]

Findings in 2009 showed an increase in the infection rate.[9]

Moral response

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Jason Evert, an international chastity speaker, spoke in Manila and said that the low incidence of AIDS in the country, which baffled UN officers as hard to explain, is due to morality, a category that evades UN officials.

Prolife people refer to the solution to AIDS that Edward Green of Harvard’s AIDS Prevention Center, which focused on fidelity to one’s spouse and to abstinence until marriage, both include moral categories, which are human and humane.

The CBCP has continually encouraged a moral response. It said in In the Compassion of Jesus, A Pastoral Letter on AIDS:

The “safe-sex” proposal would be tantamount to condoning promiscuity and sexual permissiveness and to fostering indifference to the moral demand as long as negative social and pathological consequences can be avoided.
We cannot emphasize enough the necessity of holding on to our moral beliefs regarding love and human sexuality and faithfully putting them into practice. All these, in order to prevent the spread of the disease and to provide the foundations for effective and compassionate pastoral care for those afflicted.
Among these moral beliefs is the beauty, mystery and sacredness of God’s gift of human love. It reflects the very love of God, faithful, and life-giving. This marvelous gift is also a tremendous responsibility. For sexual love must be faithful, not promiscuous. It must be committed, open to life, life-long and not casual. This is why the full sexual expression of human love is reserved to husband and wife within marriage.
Monogamous fidelity and chastity within marriage–these are ethical demands, flowing from human love as gift and responsibility for the married.

Campaigns

Photographer Niccolo Cosme launched the Red Whistle campaign in 2011, inspired by red disaster preparedness whistles, to raise awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDs in the Philippines.

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Gay sex in a conservative Catholic society where the influential church forbids the use of condoms is fuelling an alarming rise of HIV infections in the Philippines, experts warn.
The country is facing a HIV epidemic, with sex between men making up nearly 90 percent of all new cases, according to the health department and the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP).
Ten new infections are being detected every day, three times the rate of just a few years ago, the UNDP said.
Although the 9,669 confirmed cases is relatively small in a population of nearly 100 million people, authorities acknowledge many more cases likely remain undetected and point to the concerning upward trend.
The Philippines is one of only seven countries globally where HIV cases have risen by 25 percent or more since 2001, according to the UNDP.
“This is a worrying explosion of HIV cases marked by a shift in the way the virus is transmitted,” Philip Castro, the UNDP’s HIV/AIDS program officer in the Philippines, told AFP.
He said 87 percent of new infections were attributed to unprotected men-to-men sex (MSM), in a country where condom use overall is one of the lowest in Asia.
“What’s more alarming is that more than 60 percent of (those engaging in) MSM had reported having unsafe sex in their last contact,” Castro said.
Lack of public education about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as the shame of living with the disease, also prevent many from acknowledging infections and seeking help, health experts said.
They lay a lot of the blame on the powerful Catholic Church, of which 80 percent of the population are followers, for spreading a conservative message they say has led to a lack of understanding and tolerance about condoms.
‘Like modern leprosy’
Unprotected sex remains extremely common in the gay community, according to Humphrey Gorriceta, who contracted HIV after having unprotected sex with multiple male partners.
The 37-year-old former art gallery manager is now campaigning to raise public awareness about the dangers of unsafe sex and help other people infected with HIV.
“I know a lot of people living with HIV that are not allowed to go to school, to attend church services and gain access to certain health services,” he told AFP.
“HIV is like the modern leprosy, except it is hidden.”
Gorriceta said two friends who were diagnosed with HIV committed suicide recently due to depression.
“I helped the police take down one of them from hanging on the ceiling,” he said.
Gorriceta, one of only three men who have publicly come out about their disease, said he believed the number of people with HIV was higher than the official tally.
“Not all the people who are supposed to be tested get tested, and many of them are not properly aware of condom use,” said Gorriceta, who is studying for a master’s degree in public health.
And while nearly all the new HIV cases in the Philippines are being detected among the gay community, prominent safe sex campaigner and columnist Ana Santos warned other sectors of the community were in danger.
She said there were cases of bisexual men who contracted HIV after having gay sex, then unknowingly transmitted the disease to their girlfriends or wives.
“They were having sex with other men or transgenders and were also having sex with their partners,” she said. “These are things that are not openly talked about so we do not have a complete understanding of this phenomenon.”
“Our society is very conservative, people are not open to talking about sex much less about men having sex with men.”
Santos also said religious edicts had influenced society so that sexually active people often did not buy condoms or contraceptives because of shame.
Condoms ‘beyond reach’ of masses
Condoms are sold in drug stores at 20 to 40 pesos a piece, beyond the reach of the masses.
And with the church pressuring politicians, a 15-year campaign for Congress to pass a reproductive health bill that would require government to give free condoms to the poor has failed.
The bill would also require that sex education be taught in schools.
Experts point to a long-running education, medical check-up and condom give-away program that has curbed the spread of HIV among the sex worker community as proof that such methods work.
“Based on our assessment, limiting HIV/AIDS among female sex workers has been a relative success,” UNDP’s Castro said.
The church insists, though, that monogamous partners in responsible relationships is the key to stopping the spread of HIV.
“The reproductive health bill or any law for that matter, would not address rising HIV prevalence,” said Melvin Castro, head of the church’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
“Change of attitude and lifestyle will.” — Agence France-Presse

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Mr. Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon, passed away, July 17, 2012 at 2034H (8:34PM) due to Multiple Organ Failure, secondary to complications brought about by Severe Pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Acute Renal Failure. According to Makati Medical Center .

Every Filipino People now give the sympathy to the Family of Dolpy because of his death. Six (6) decades of laughter given by the One and Only King of Philippine Comedy ” Rodolfo Quizon” Dolpy. Thank you for the joy you share for every Filipino and even to all people around the world who watch your movie, you are the model to us. I’m sure you are in the hand now of our  Lord.

Despite his high regard for the late King of Comedy Dolphy (or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life), President Benigno Aquino III won’t intervene in the process to select the new set of National Artists.

“The President thinks very highly of Mang Dolphy. However, we have stated in the past that we do not want to politicize the process. We do not want to make any prejudgments,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said during a briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
She issued the statement amid calls to declare Dolphy, who passed away on Tuesday night, as National Artist.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), manages the process for the award.
The selection of nominees is administered by the Special Research Group, which validates the works of the nominees, and the National Artist Award Council of Peers, which screens the nominees and recommends them to the NCCA and CCP boards. The boards then deliberate and make a vote.
The final list is then presented to the President, who confirms the list and confers the award.
Dolphy nominated
Valte said that Communications Group Undersecretary Manolo Quezon had spoken to the NCCA last week and was informed that Dolphy has been nominated for the Award.
She said the late comedian was nominated by the Manila City Council.
“They will be receiving other nominations. The NCCA has gotten clearance from the Office of the Solicitor General to proceed with the screening and the vetting of nominees for National Artist for 2012. So they will be proceeding with their screening and vetting,” she said.
Valte said that when Dolphy was nominated for the same award in 2009, he only managed to pass the first screening and not the succeeding ones.
She noted, however, that they don’t want to preempt the selection process.  She likewise refused to comment on Aquino’s inclination regarding the issue.
“The President obviously has very great respect for Mang Dolphy. Nakita naman din po natin ‘yung naging pahayag ‘nung Pangulo—‘yung naging pahayag ng Pangulo noong ginawaran po siya ‘nung Order of the Golden Heart—and apart from that the statement of the President yesterday,” she said.
“[Pero] magsasalita na lang po tayo kapag nakapagbigay na ng shortlist ang NCCA for the award,” she added.
Earlier in the day, the Palace official also said that the conferment of the award must go through the proper process.
The award
The National Artist Award (Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is considered “the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.”
The award is given both to living artists and to those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 who excelled in the following fields: Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film, Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts.

Of the 57 National Artists listed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 17 were recognized posthumously, including the country’s first National Artist Fernando C. Amorsolo.
Other National Artists who were recognized posthumously are Amado V. Hernandez (Literature), Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco (Painting), Ernani Joson Cuenco (Music), Felipe Padilla De Leon (Music), Ishmael Bernal (Film), J. Elizalde Navarro (Painting), Jose T. Joya (Painting), Lino Brocka (Cinema), Ramon Valera (Fashion Design), Rolando S. Tinio (Theater and Literature), Severino Montano (Theater), Vicente S. Manansala (Painting), Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (Theater), Gerardo “Gerry” De Leon (Film), Pablo S. Antonio (Architecture), and Ronald Allan K. Poe, more popularly known as Fernando Poe Jr. (Film).
Fernando Poe Jr. is the only film actor to receive the award.
Recipients of the award are entitled to a cash prize of up to P100,000, monthly life pension, medical benefits, life insurance coverage, and a state funeral.
Valte, meanwhile, said Aquino has expressed his intention to visit Dolphy’s wake but has yet to set a specific schedule for it.

She also said that the President will still have to hear proposals to declare a National Day of Mourning for the actor’s passing.

Close friends and family members pay their last respects to Comedy King Dolphy during the private viewing at the Dolphy Theater in Quezon City on Wednesday.

After Dolphy passed away at the age of 83 on Tuesday, Filipino celebrities in the Philippines and abroad took to Twitter to pay tribute to the Comedy King.

Actor, television host and politician Edu Manzano said on Twitter “Heaven became a happier place today. The angels will be laughing together with our one and only King of Comedy. Rest in peace, friend.”

Dolphy, born Rodolfo Quizon Sr.  in Tondo, Manila on July 25, 1928, passed away at the Makati Medical Center (MMC)due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Dolphy was embraced by the Philippines for his jokes as he appeared in various films and television shows such as “John en Marsha.”

One of Dolphy’s sons, Eric Quizon, an actor, said about his father just after midnight on Wednesday: “He lived a full life. He’s at rest. He’s at peace. He knew as he was going how much the country loved him.”

Dolphy has been confined at the MMC since June 9 due to difficulty in breathing, pneumonia, and kidney ailments.

“He knew how everyone was praying for him. And if he could, he would have stayed just so he could thank you personally. But where his spirit was strong, his body had so weakened. He had to go,” Eric said.

“Pray for his eternal repose and in his honor, please smile at the person standing next to you. Heaven is a happier place with him there. And for us whom he’s left behind, comedy is dead but long live comedy,” he said.

On Twitter, Filipinos here and abroad tweeted their reaction to Dolphy’s death:

Boy 2 Quizon: “I love you lolo!”

Bruno Mars: “RIP Dolphy. King of Comedy. Made in the Philippines!”
Lea Salonga: “RIP, Comedy King. You are sorely missed. Condolences to the Quizon Family, you are in our prayers.”

KC Montero: “Dolphy has them all laughing”

Tim Yap: “A moment of silence for The King of Comedy. RIP Mang Dolphy.”

Jim Paredes: “Farewell King of Comedy.. We love you. Salamat sa lahat..Naiiyak ako…”

Bea Binene: “May you rest in peace, The Great Dolphy. R.I.P.”

Allan K.: “They say its not how long but how sweet you have lived life. Dolphy had the luxury of enjoying both. Rest in peace now. Hail to the king!!!”

Sharon Cuneta: P.9 my beloved Tito Dolphy. I will continue to do my best to follow the beautiful example you set for all of us, even when you didn’t”

Vice-Ganda: “Lord we thank you for giving us THE DOLPHY who unselfishly and passionately dedicated his whole life to make this world happy. Amen.”

Pia Magalona: “RIP Tito Dolphy. Thank you for being family to me and Francis. We love you <3”

Clara Magalona: “RIP Dolphy ☹ You have made lots of Filipinos smile because of your comedy. Our prayers are with you †”

Edu Manzano: Thank you for paving the way for those of us who tried to walk the path you made. You will be missed, my mentor and friend.#RIPDolphy

I pray for the soul of the comedy king dolpy. May his Soul Rest In Peace eternal Grant O Lord for eternal Life , In Jesus Name… Amen….

Thank you for the 6 decades of laughter and Goodbye The Comedy King , You Always in our Heart.

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In the day of my trouble I will call to you,

O God, for you will answer me.

Out of the goodness of your love, O LORD,

deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my

heart is wounded within me.

O LORD, Look upon my suffering and deliver me,

for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my

cause and redeem me; preserve my life

according to your promise. Your compassion

is great, O LORD; preserve my life according

to your laws.

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you

alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

-Psalm 86:7

-Psalm 109:21-22

-Psalm 119:153-154, 156

-Psalm 4:8

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My comfort in my suffering is this:

Your promise preserves my life O LORD

You will keep in perfect peace him

who mind is steadfast, because he

trust in you, O God.

You come to the help of those who

gladly do right, who remember your

ways, O God.

For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul

from death, my eyes from tears, my feet

from stumbling, that I may walk before

the LORD in the land of the living.

-Psalm 119:50

-Isaiah 26:3

-Isaiah 64:5

-Psalm 116:8-9

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Princess Dian (Diana Frances Spencer ; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997)

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. ”

Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.

I don’t want expensive gifts; I don’t want to be bought. I have everything I want. I just want someone to be there for me, to make me feel safe and secure.

I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.
I want my boys to have an understanding of people’s emotions, their insecurities, people’s distress, and their hopes and dreams.

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, and member of the British Royal Family[2]. She was also well known for her fund-raising work for international charities, and an eminent celebrity of the late 20th century. Her wedding to Charles, heir to the British throne and those of the then 18 Commonwealth realms, was held at St Paul’s Cathedral and seen by a global television audience of over 750 million. 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,[3] currently second and third in line to the throne, respectively.

Diana was born into an aristocratic English family with royal ancestry and became a public figure with the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles. Diana also received recognition for her charity work and for her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. From 1989, she was the president of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, 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 considerable after her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997.

Early life

Diana was born in the late afternoon on July 1, 1961, in Sandringham, Norfolk.[4][5] She was the fourth of five children of the Viscount and Viscountess Althorp (née Frances Roche, later Shand Kydd).[4] The Spencer family was hoping for a male heir to carry on the Spencer title (their third child, a boy, died soon after birth).[5][6] The Spencer family is one of Great Britain’s oldest and most important families, closely allied with the royal family for several generations.[7] 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.[5] Diana has three siblings: Sarah, Jane, and Charles;[4][6] and was baptised at Sandringham church; her younger brother, Charles, was baptised at Westminster Abbey with Elizabeth II as principal godparent.[8] Diana also had an infant brother, John, who died a year before she was born.[6] According to Andrew Morton‘s biography of Diana, the infant John Spencer was so deformed and sick he only survived 10 hours after his birth.[5] 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”.[5] 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.”[8] Diana grew up in Park House, which was situated near to the Sandringham estate.[6]

Diana was only seven years old when her parents were separated.[9] Her mother, Frances, had an affair with Peter Shand Kydd.[6] 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.[5] 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.[4] Diana was first educated at Riddlesworth Hall near Diss, Norfolk, and later attended boarding school at The New School at West Heath,[4] in Sevenoaks, Kent. In 1973, Lord Althorp began a relationship with Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, the only daughter of Alexander McCorquodale and Barbara Cartland.[10] 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. As Countess Spencer, Raine was unpopular with Diana.[6] 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. She began working with children, eventually becoming a nursery teacher at the Young England School.[4] 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.[4][11]

Education

Coleherne Court, London (left)

In 1968, Diana was sent to Riddlesworth Hall, an all-girls boarding school.[12] 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, where she was regarded as a poor student, having attempted and failed all of her O-levels twice.[12] However, she showed a particular talent for music as an accomplished pianist.[13] Her outstanding community spirit was recognised with an award from West Heath. In 1977, she left West Heath and briefly attended Institut Alpin Videmanette, a finishing 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 professional ballerina with the Royal Ballet. She studied ballet for a time, but then grew too tall for the profession.

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. 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. 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.[14]

Marriage to the Prince of Wales

The Prince and Princess of Wales with Sandro Pertini

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.

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. The relationship developed as he invited her for a sailing weekend to Cowes aboard the royal yacht Britannia, followed by an invitation to Balmoral (the Royal Family’s Scottish residence) to meet his family. Lady Diana was well received by Elizabeth II, 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.[15]

Engagement and wedding

Charles and Diana’s wedding commemorated on a 1981 British Crown

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.[16] 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 (now The Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Diana’s elder son Prince William).[17]

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.[16][18] At the altar Diana accidentally reversed the order of Charles’s first two names, saying “Philip Charles” Arthur George instead.[19] 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.[20] Diana wore a dress valued at £9000 with a 25-foot (8-metre) train.[21]

Children

On 5 November 1981, the Princess’ first pregnancy was officially announced, and she frankly discussed her pregnancy with members of the press corps.[22] 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, the foetus was uninjured.[23] In the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London on 21 June 1982, under the care of Pinker,[23] the Princess gave natural birth to her and the Prince’s first son and heir, William Arthur Philip Louis.[24] 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 by Malcolm Fraser, the Australian prime minister.[25]

TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales after the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of York

A second son, Henry Charles Albert David, was born two years after William, on 15 September 1984.[26] 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.[27]

Even her harshest critics agree that the Princess of Wales was a devoted, imaginative and demonstrative mother.[28] She rarely deferred to the Prince or to the Royal Family, and was often intransigent when it came to the children. 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.[28]

Charity work and patronage

The Prince and Princess of Wales in Bonn, 2 November 1987.

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,”[29] from the mid-1980s, the Princess of Wales became increasingly associated with numerous charities. 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. 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.[30] Also following her divorce she remained patron of Centrepoint (homeless charity), English National Ballet, Leprosy Mission and National Aids Trust. [31]

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.[32]

Problems and separation

From left to right, TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales, the United States First Lady Nancy Reagan, and United States President Ronald Reagan in November 1985.

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.

The chronology of the break-up[33] 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, 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. 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. 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.

Diana, Princess of Wales, presents Memo Gracida a trophy at Guards Polo Club in 1987.

In the meantime, rumours had begun to surface about the Princess of Wales’ relationship with James Hewitt, her former riding instructor. These would be brought into the open by the publication in 1994 of Princess in Love.

In December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced the Wales’ “amicable separation” to the House of Commons,[34] 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.[35] 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”.[36][37]

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. 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.[38] 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.

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”.[39]

Divorce

The Princess of Wales at the Cannes film festival in 1987

The Princess of Wales was interviewed for the BBC current affairs show Panorama[40] 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.” 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.”[41]

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.[42] 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.[42] 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”.[43]

The Princess of Wales at the International Leonardo Prize in 1995.

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, was decided after two weeks of talks.[44] 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.

The divorce was finalised on 28 August 1996.[35]

Diana received a lump sum settlement of around £17 million along with a clause standard in royal divorces preventing her from discussing the details.[45]

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 styled Diana, Princess of Wales.[N 2] 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.

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”.[46]

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: “I am satisfied that at her death, Diana, Princess of Wales continued to be considered as a member of the Royal Household.”[47] This appears to have been confirmed in the High Court judicial review matter of Al Fayed & Ors v Butler-Sloss.[48] 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.”[48]

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.”[49]

Personal life after divorce

Diana, Princess of Wales meeting with Sri Chinmoy, May 1997 at her Kensington Palace apartments

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.

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,[50] for almost two years, before Khan ended the relationship.[51][52] Khan was intensely private and the relationship was conducted in secrecy, with Diana lying to members of the press who questioned her about it. 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.

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. 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.

Landmines

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’.[53] In August 1997, just days before her death, she visited Bosnia with Jerry White and Ken Rutherford of the Landmine Survivors Network.[54] Her interest in landmines was focused on the injuries they create, often to children, long after a conflict is over.

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.[55] 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:

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.[56]

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, 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”.[57]

Death

On 31 August 1997, Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, which also caused the deaths of her companion Dodi Fayed and the driver, Henri Paul, acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Paris. Millions of people watched her funeral.[58]

Conspiracy theories and inquest

The initial French judicial investigation concluded the accident was caused by Henri Paul’s drunken loss of control.[59] 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,[60] accusing MI6 as well as The Duke of Edinburgh.[61] An inquest in London starting in 2004 and continued in 2007–2008[62] attributed the accident to grossly negligent driving by Henri Paul and to the pursuing paparazzi.[63] 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.[64]

Tribute, funeral, and burial

Funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales. Her coffin was transported on a gun carriage

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.

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.[65] Her sons, the Princes William and Harry, walked in the funeral procession behind her coffin, 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.”[66]

Memorials

The first of two memorials to Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed in Harrods

Immediately after her death, many sites around the world became briefly ad hoc memorials to Diana, where the public left flowers and other tributes. The largest was outside the gates of Kensington Palace. Permanent memorials include:

“Innocent Victims”, the second of two memorials in Harrods.

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.[67] 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.[68] 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.[69]

Memorabilia

Following Diana’s death, the Diana Memorial Fund was granted intellectual property rights over her image.[70] 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.[71] 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.[72]

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”.

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.[73]

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.

Diana in contemporary art

The Lake at Althorp with the Diana memorial beyond

Diana has been depicted in contemporary art since her death. Some of the artworks have referenced the conspiracy theories, as well as paying tribute to Diana’s compassion and acknowledging her perceived victimhood.

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)[74] related to Diana’s bulimia, while others included affectionate texts such as Love Was On Your Side and Diana’s Dress with puffy sleeves. 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.”[75]

Entrance to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, where Diana, Princess of Wales had a fatal car-crash

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.[76]

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.[77] Vine intended to portray Diana’s combined strength and vulnerability as well as her closeness to her two sons.[78] The works, all completed in 2007, included Diana branches, Diana family picnic, Diana veil and Diana pram, which incorporated the quotation “I vow to thee my country”.[79] Immodesty Blaize said she had been entranced by Diana crash, finding it “by turns horrifying, bemusing and funny”.[80] Vine asserted her own abiding attraction to “the beauty and the tragedy of Diana’s life”.[78]

Later events

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park, London, UK

On 13 July 2006 Italian magazine Chi published photographs showing Diana amid the wreckage of the car crash,[81] despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published.[82][N 3] The editor of Chi defended his decision by saying he published the photographs simply because they had not been previously seen, and he felt the images are not disrespectful to the memory of Diana.[82] Fresh controversy arose over the issue of these photographs when Britain’s Channel 4 broadcast them during a documentary in June 2007.[citation needed]

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.

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 (Prince Harry and Prince William), she was quite simply the best mother in the world.”. He also said, “We both (Prince Harry and Prince William) think of her everyday. We speak about her and laugh together at all the memories. Put simply, she made us and so many other people happy. May this be the way that she is remembered.”.[83]

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.[84]

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.[85]

Contemporary opinions

John Travolta and The Princess of Wales dancing at the White House

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,[86] style, charisma, and high-profile charity work, as well as her difficult marriage to the Prince of Wales.

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

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; the way in which he consistently denigrated her reduced her to despair.”[87] 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 …”[87]

Diana stated that she had depression and that she self-harmed. She said she had bulimia nervosa from 1981 onwards.[88] One biographer suggested Diana suffered from borderline personality disorder.[89]

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.[90]

Titles, styles, honours, and arms

Royal styles of
The Princess of Wales
(before her divorce)
Arms of Diana, Princess of Wales (1981-1996).svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma’am

Titles and styles

  • 1 July 1961 – 9 June 1975: The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer
  • 9 June 1975 – 29 July 1981: The Lady Diana Frances Spencer
  • 29 July 1981 – 28 August 1996: Her Royal HighnessThe Princess of Wales
    • in Scotland: 29 July 1981 – 28 August 1996: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay
  • 28 August 1996 – 31 August 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales

Posthumously, as in life, she is most popularly referred to as “Princess Diana”, a title she never held.[N 4] Still, she is sometimes referred to (according to the tradition of using maiden names after death) in the media as “Lady Diana Spencer”, or simply as “Lady Di”. After Tony Blair’s famous speech she was also often referred to as the People’s Princess.[91]

Royal Monogram

Diana’s full title, while married, was: Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.

After her divorce and until her death Diana, Princess of Wales continued to be a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland without the style Royal Highness. As the mother of the future Sovereign, she was accorded the same precedence she enjoyed whilst being married to The Prince of Wales. This situation made the Princess the first non royal British princess in history.[92]

Honours

British honours
Foreign honours

Honorary military appointments

The Princess of Wales held the following military appointments:

United Kingdom United Kingdom

Arms

Arms of Diana, Princess of Wales
Notes

During her marriage, as the wife of the Prince of Wales, Diana used his arms impaled (side by side) with those of her father.

Coat of Arms of Diana, Princess of Wales (1996-1997).svg

After her divorce, she resumed her paternal arms with the addition of a royal coronet.

Coat of Arms of Diana, Princess of Wales (1981-1996).svg
Adopted
1981
Crest
Escutcheon
Quarterly 1st and 4th gules three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langed azure 2nd or a lion rampant gules armed and langued azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second 3rd azure a harp or stringed argent overall an escutcheon of Coat of Arms of the Principality of Wales, the whole differenced with a label of three points argent; impaled with a shield quarterly 1st and 4th Argent 2nd and 3rd Gules a fret Or overall a bend Sable charged with three escallops Argent.
Supporters
Dexter a lion rampant gardant Or crowned with the coronet of the Prince of Wales Proper, sinister a griffin winged and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or
Motto
DIEU DEFEND LE DROIT
(God defends the right)
Symbolism
Coat of Arms of Lady Diana Spencer.svg

Prior to marriage, Diana had her own coat of arms, based on a very old coat of arms of the spencer family, which she inherited from her paternal ancestors or father. The Spencer coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The new arms also applied by her sisters too. The arms showed the coat of arms of the Spencer family, the noble family, where they came from. It also included three escallops argent of the Spencer coat of arms.

Previous versions
Before her marriage, Diana used the arms of her father. Her previous coat of arms depicted a lozenge shaped shield of arms which hangs from a blue ribbon, this symbolised her unmarried state. This version of the coat of arms only used before her marriage.

Legacy

A message of condolence at Piccadilly Circus following her death

  • Diana’s interest in supporting and helping young people led to the establishment of the Diana Memorial Award, awarded to youths who have demonstrated the unselfish devotion and commitment to causes advocated by the Princess.
  • In 2002, Diana was ranked 3rd in 100 Greatest Britons poll, outranking The Queen and other British monarchs.
  • On 30 August 2007 Peruvian photographer Mario Testino announced that on 20 November he would auction a signed photo of Diana for the benefit of the Peru earthquake (in London by Phillips de Pury & Co). The photo appeared in a 1997 Vanity Fair issue, and shows Diana wearing a black dress.[97]
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground was erected in Kensington Gardens at a cost of £1.7 million.[98]
  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk was dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. It stretches between Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Hyde Park and St. James’s Park.
  • On 6 July 2004, The Queen officially opened the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. It is located in the south-west corner of Hyde Park in London.
  • In 1999 the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Inspirational Young People was established.
  • Diana’s family announced in 2010 they would auction art and horse-drawn carriages that once belonged to Althorp House.[99]
  • Fashion designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, responsible for much of Diana’s clothes, including her wedding dress, announced in May 2010 they were auctioning 30 lots of clothing, measurements, and related items.[100]

Issue

Name Birth Marriage Issue
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge 21 June 1982 29 April 2011 Catherine Middleton
Prince Harry of Wales 15 September 1984

Ancestry

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, 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, 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.

Diana’s 4th great-grandmother, Eliza Kewark, is often claimed to be Armenian.[101][102] 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”.[103] 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’.”[104] Diana’s ancestry also connects her with most of Europe’s royal houses. Diana is descended from the House of Stuart from Charles II‘s illegitimate sons Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, and from James II‘s daughter, Henrietta FitzJames, 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. 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 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.

Diana also descended from ancient noble and royal Gaelic families of Ireland from her mother’s side. From her maternal great-great grandfather, 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, 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.

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A same-sex couple hold hands. Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and to adopt children from next year, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced

Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and to adopt children from next year, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced Tuesday.

“In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination,” he told parliament, confirming an election promise by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

“Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing,” he said in a speech outlining the new Socialist government’s agenda. “The government will respond to that.”

The confirmation came just days after Paris held its annual Gay Pride parade, which this year was buoyed by the promise of the new government to legalise gay marriage and adoption rights.

Symbolically, French Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti turned out to see the parade floats set off.

A recent survey by pollster IFOP said that gays in France make up 6.5 percent of the electorate, compared with practicing Catholics at 4.5 percent.

A number of European nations allow gay marriage, but not France, where only married couples and not civil union partners can adopt.

European nations including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Britain allow gay adoption.

AFP News

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