Kate Middleton seemed to have eased into her royal role as smoothly as possible. Princess Diana, on the other hand, was always uneasy with her title. Because of her eventual resistance of and divorce from the royal family, Diana was lovingly named “The People’s Princess.”
In memory of what would have been her 50th birthday, we’re taking a look back on how Princess Diana rebelled against royalty.
The Wedding: At the mere age of twenty, Diana agreed to marry Prince Charles, who originally dated Diana’s older sister. At the altar, Diana refused to say she would “obey” Charles in their vows. While this was a traditional part of the ceremony, it was left out at the couple’s request and was somewhat controversial at the time.
The Children: It’s no secret that Diana was a very hands-on mother. But her unyielding attitude over raising Prince William and Harry was often regarded as disrespectful by the Royals. Diana chose the boys' names herself and made all decisions without consulting the royal family and rarely deferring to Prince Charles.
Psychological Issues: In 1983, Diana said: “I am finding it very difficult to cope with the pressures of being Princess of Wales, but I am learning to cope.” Years later, we found out Diana struggled with bulimia and depression, and was often suicidal. It was very un-royal behavior, but her weaknesses made her relatable to the public.
The Interviews: More than anything else, the royal family chastised Diana because of her relationship with the press. In 1995, during an interview, Diana said: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Diana was, of course, referring to Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles’ first love, and the person who eventually contributed to the royal divorce. Diana famously aired the family’s dirty laundry when she was interviewed by Andrew Morton for his book: Diana: Her True Story.
The Divorce: A year before her divorce, Prince Philip warned Diana: “If you don’t behave, my girl, we’ll take your title away. Diana allegedly responded: “My title is a lot older than yours, Philip.” Diana was referring to her original name, Spencer, and implying that the Spencer family was older than the House of Windsor. The Queen was so fed up with Diana’s antics, she asked Charles for “an early divorce”. Shortly before, Diana accused Charles of impregnating another woman, who aborted the fetus. Buckingham Palace announced the divorce on December 20, 1995. In February, Diana announced the divorce herself and disclosed its terms, which annoyed the Queen even more.