Diana, Princess of Wales was the youngest daughter of the late Earl Spencer and of Frances, his first countess, who were divorced when she was a small child.
Very much part of the Royal Family's circle, she was apparently chosen as a possible wife for Charles, Prince of Wales, by his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles (now his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall) and they married in 1981, producing two sons, Princes William and Harry. However, Diana never came to terms with the role she had been cast in. She learnt to use her position for her favourite causes, working in particular for AIDS victims and to promote a ban on anti-personnel mines.
After love affairs on both sides, the marriage collapsed and Diana and Charles were divorced in 1996. Soon after beginning a new affair with Anglo-Egyptian playboy Dodi Fayed, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August, 1997.
After Diana's death, there was a huge outpouring of grief in Britain and overseas, with millions of people finding her the human face of the Royal Family. The Queen and Prince Charles suffered a loss in popularity.