10 Times Princess Diana Showed Her Rebellious Spirit by Breaking Royal Rules

Princess Diana was called the Queen of Hearts. She was known for her sincerity, openness, and rebellious spirit. Lady Di was not afraid to break the royal rules and did it from the first days of her appearance in the palace. She chose her engagement ring herself, rewrote her wedding vows, and raised her children in her own way.

At Bright Side, we can’t stop admiring Diana’s personality, and we decided to recall which royal traditions the Princess of Wales broke in her own rebellious way. At the end of the article, we will tell you how Lady Di went against the protocol for little Prince Harry.

She worked before marriage.

Diana managed to break one of the royal rules even before she became a member of the royal family. Before marriage, Lady Di worked as a dance instructor, a playgroup pre-school assistant, and a hostess at parties, and thus became the first royal daughter-in-law to have a paid job before her engagement.

She chose the names for her sons herself.

Motherhood was very important to the princess. Diana raised her sons herself, not letting rules and customs guide her. So, the Princess of Wales chose the names of the future princes herself. It’s known that Charles wanted to name the heirs Arthur and Albert, but Lady Di considered his choice too old-fashioned and insisted on her own.

She sent her kids to a public school.

Usually, children in royal families are taught by tutors, but Lady Di broke this rule by sending William to a nursery and then to a boarding school. The older son of the Princess of Wales became the first future monarch to be entirely educated in the public school system. This way, Diana wanted to give her sons Prince William and Prince Harry an ordinary upbringing.

She broke barriers.

Traditionally, there was an invisible barrier between the royal family and the service staff, and their relationship was governed by strict rules. However, everything changed with the arrival of the Princess of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Diana treated the servants not as subordinates, but as close acquaintances. She often dropped in to their kitchen and dined with them at a common table. Also, contrary to tradition, Lady Di often gave a chance to young employees who hadn’t previously had the opportunity to climb the career ladder.

She often went against common rules.

The gestures and postures of other members of the British royal family have always been quite reserved. While Princess Diana was never afraid to be herself, even outside the palace. She didn’t hesitate to show emotions, she’d easily grab her sons at official events, and greatly appreciated physical contact with people. Lady Di didn’t want to sacrifice her comfort for the sake of the royal protocol. We all know that it’s forbidden for royalty to sit cross-legged. And even though Princess Diana, as a true lady, strictly followed this rule at first, a couple of years later the Queen of Hearts could be seen sitting at official events in a more relaxed position: with her legs crossed and her back more relaxed.

She asked for help.

Many royalties are involved in charity — this is an unspoken part of their duties. However, Diana managed to go even further in this. The princess worked hard to draw public attention to the important and sensitive topic of HIV/AIDS, and supported the campaign against the use of anti-personnel mines by her personal presence, which was quite courageous for those years. And in 1997 Diana donated 79 of her most lavish dresses for auction at Christie’s in New York, raising a hefty £3.4 million for cancer and HIV charities. This was the first time in history that a representative of a royal family not only supported a charity event but took the initiative for this good cause themselves, in fact, openly asking for donations.

She wore outfits that didn’t fit in the royal dress-code.

Princess Diana often chose haute couture outfits for public events, which was already quite daring for that time. Her favorite brand was Versace — one of the most provocative brands of the ’90s, similar to Balenciaga nowadays. The outfits designed by Gianni Versace were always relaxed and revealing. But instead of choosing more conservative brands, Lady Di boldly chose backless and strapless dresses and wasn’t afraid to wear a mini skirt or a deep neckline, breaking all written and unwritten rules.

Diana used her outfits as a statement, the most famous being her “revenge” dress or the sweater with a black sheep among white sheep. Many believe it was a metaphor for a rebellious Diana paving her own path within the royal family.

She experimented with makeup.

Diana wasn’t afraid of beauty experiments either. And although, in general, her makeup always corresponded to royal standards, Lady Di used a trick that didn’t fit into the royal protocol. The princess used turquoise eyeliner to highlight her vibrant natural eye color.

She didn’t wear hats and gloves.

If you look closer at the photos of the princess, you will notice one small peculiarity: Diana almost never wore gloves. The reason for violating this strict rule was quite touching: Lady Di believed it created a barrier in communication. She liked to have direct contact with people and hold their hands. For the same reason, the Princess refused to wear hats, saying that “you can’t hug a child in a hat.”

She didn’t enforce a strict upbringing for her children.

Princess Diana once said, “I live for my sons. I would be lost without them.” Therefore, she worked hard to give her children an unforgettable childhood. Diana didn’t hesitate to show her feelings toward her sons in the presence of the paparazzi, she allowed them to be mischievous, and she even took part in their mischief, with pleasure.

Bonus

Traditionally, British schools organize sports days for students and their parents every year. In 1991, Diana took part in the race alongside other mothers to support little Prince Harry. She took off her shoes and thereby violated the royal protocol. Although she didn’t win the race, Prince Harry was probably touched by his mother’s act.

Do you think Princess Diana showed disrespect to the monarchy by breaking these rules? Or is it okay to abandon some traditions? Tell us in the comments below.

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