14 Little-Known Facts About “Lady Di” That Make Us See Her in a Different Way
Among the figures of the British royal family, there is one who has always had the love and admiration of the people. Princess Diana left her mark in the hearts of her fans, and her memory is immune to the passage of time. However, there are those who built an image of her based on rumors, but many of these beliefs are nothing more than myths that do not reflect at all how her real personality was.
Bright Side made a compilation of more than 10 things that many people thought about Lady Di that, in reality, were not true.
1. She wasn’t a real princess.
Even if the media and the people in general were used to referring to her as “Princess Diana,” Lady Di was actually not really a royal princess, at least if you stick to the rules and conventions of the British royal family. According to royal regulations, only a princess by blood, that is, born to other royal family members, can actually hold that title before her name. Women who’ve managed to enter royalty through marriage were normally compelled to use their husband’s name after their title. For example, Diana would have had to be referred to as “Princess Charles.” Diana, however, used the name of the nation she was commissioned by the queen to represent. Her title was “Her Royal Highness, Princess of Wales.” When she divorced, she lost the “Royal Highness” treatment but retained the title of princess.
2. Her nickname was not always “Di.”
The name “Lady Di” is one of those names that everybody in the world knows. Saying Lady Di immediately makes you think of Diana of Wales. Therefore, lots of people might think that “Di” was the nickname she always had since she was a child and that it comes from the name “Diana.” However, this is not the case. Her actual nickname was “Duch,” which came from the word “duchess.” In fact, at home, she had been called that way since she was a child. This was because of Diana’s behavior. People say she always behaved like a duchess, even when she was a child. She had this nickname until she got engaged to Prince Charles, when the media renamed her “Di.”
3. She was also not really a commoner.
The engagement of any royal family member is always a big event in British public life, and in the world in general. However, when Prince Charles announced he was engaged to Diana Spencer things were a bit more special than usual because the heir to the throne had chosen a commoner to be his wife, which is fairly uncommon. However, this story is missing some detail. While she did not have a royal title before marrying Prince Charles, Diana was a part of English aristocracy from birth, as her father was Earl Spencer. In fact, Diana was a distant relative of Prince Charles himself and Sarah Ferguson, who later married Prince Andrew.
4. She was not shorter than Charles.
In many of the pictures where Prince Charles and Diana were captured together, you can clearly see that the prince always seems to be taller, sometimes way taller, than her. This was especially true in the official pictures. In fact, in some of them, we can even see him putting his hands on her shoulders, like in the example above. These types of images could easily make you think that she was shorter than him, and with good reason. But the truth is that both were the same height. While it is rumored that Prince Charles might have been uncomfortable with Princess Diana’s height, there’s no evidence of this. However, it is also true that the princess avoided wearing high heels throughout their marriage.
5. She was not shy.
Even though Princess Diana was known for having the image of a shy and quiet woman from the moment she got engaged to Prince Charles, the truth is that this word did not describe her personality in an accurate way at all. This was confirmed by her own brother, Count Charles Spencer, who said that his sister was never the shy woman that people thought they knew because they saw her on TV, but that she was shrewd while at the same time reserved. Likewise, the former press secretary of the palace remembered her as a woman “with a great sense of humor.”
6. She did have friends within the royal family.
This is a very sensitive point that remains fairly intriguing even after so many years. We all know that Diana’s marriage was complicated, much like her life was within the royal family. She actually made that clear several times. When she was asked about this particular topic she said she felt very lonely and misunderstood by most of the royals. However, it is also true that she maintained a very close relationship with Prince Philip, who always supported her and encouraged her to move forward with her projects. In fact, in private letters the 2 of them sent to each other, the Duke of Edinburgh expressed to her his shock and outrage at the way Charles was treating her. “I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla,” he once wrote to her.
7. She was not the first “people’s princess.”
After her divorce from Prince Charles, Lady Di’s followers started calling her “the people’s princess,” which Diana understood as a very valuable gesture, given that she was no longer going to be queen. However, few people know that she was not the first woman to bear this honorable title. Charlotte Augusta of Wales was the original “people’s princess.” The young woman was the only child of George IV and Caroline of Brunswick.
8. She did not adhere to traditional marriage vows.
Prior to Diana’s wedding, all royal brides had actually complied with the traditional vows of the Anglican church. If you’re unaware of what that means, bear in mind that Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Princess Anne swore to “love, cherish and obey” their husbands during their weddings. However, Diana was not very happy with having to declare that she would “obey” Charles, so on the day of the wedding, she removed that word from her vows. What she didn’t know was that she created a precedent: her future daughters-in-law, Kate and Meghan, would both follow suit at their own ceremonies.
9. Ballet was one of her passions.
As a child, Diana studied ballet and one of her most cherished dreams was to be able to dance with the Royal Ballet. However, her stature thwarted this great dream of hers. But determined as she was, this did not prevent her from pursuing her passion and from practicing dance throughout her life. In fact, she once even surprised Prince Charles by giving a contemporary dance performance at the Royal Opera House to the sound of “Uptown Girl.” She also went down in history thanks to her iconic dance with John Travolta at the White House during a visit to the United States.
10. Almost everyone watched her wedding on television.
Princess Diana’s wedding was a common topic of conversation in many countries back in the day. So it was to be expected that millions of people would sit in front of their televisions to watch the grand wedding ceremony. What no one expected was that the total number of viewers would rise to up to an astonishing 750 million views from 79 nations around the world. This was, in fact, the second most-watched broadcast in the history of TV only after her funeral.
11. She was very popular on magazine covers.
Lady Di was a favorite model for magazine editorials back in the day. Proof of that is the number of times she appeared on the covers. The princess was on the cover of People 57 times, more than any other person has even appeared there even to this day. In addition, she also appeared repeatedly in magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Tatler, LIFE, Vogue, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, and others.
12. She was very committed to charity.
According to Time magazine, Diana turned to charitable causes after she divorced Prince Charles, but she had always had an interest in these. Lady Di believed that her fame and importance could help redirect much-needed attention to issues that affected the world like poverty, anti-personnel mines, homelessness, and the lack of education around and prevention of AIDS and HIV. Her commitment was such that she even donated several of her most expensive dresses to be auctioned in order to raise funds for these causes.
13. She was home-schooled until she was 9 years old.
Back in the day, the children of aristocratic personalities were brought up by a tutor, much like in the olden days. However, Lady Di received this type of education only until she was 9 years old. After her parents’ divorce, she was sent to a local school like any other commoner and, later, to a boarding school when she turned 12.
14. Her favorite color was pink.
Although Lady Di had many dresses in her extensive clothing collection, one of the colors that was repeated in her clothing was pink, and this was the favorite color of the princess. Ever since she appeared as an official member of the royal family until the very last days of her life, Diana wore this color for all kinds of events.
What do you think Princess Diana’s life would be like if she were still alive? What things have people assumed about you that turned out to not be true?