Diana Princess of Wales

Lived:July 1, 1961—August 31, 1997 (aged 36)

Diana, Princess of Wales, was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, son of Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the British throne.

Diana was born on July 1, 1961, in Sandringham, Norfolk, to John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, and Frances Shand Kydd. In 1975, she became Lady Diana Spencer when her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer. She married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981. They divorced in 1996.

As Princess of Wales, Diana supported a number of charitable causes, including leprosy, HIV/AIDS, landmines, homelessness, cancer, and mental illness and drug abuse. She developed a particular interest in illnesses and health-related matters, including AIDS and leprosy. In 1989, while visiting Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, she picked up and hugged a seven-year-old AIDS patient, an act that had a lasting effect on the social acceptability of AIDS in the United States. In 1996, she became actively involved with the anti-landmine campaign. In January 1997, pictures of Diana touring an Angolan minefield in a ballistic helmet and flak jacket were widely disseminated. She is believed to have influenced the signing, after her death, of the Ottawa Treaty, which created an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines.

Diana died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.