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Diana (01.07.1961 - 31.08.1997) - Princess of Wales.

 , Diana photoDiana (Diana Frances; nee Spencer) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Their two sons, Princes William and Harry, are second and third in line to the thrones of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth Realms.

Frances Spencer was born into the British aristocracy, the youngest daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, later John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, and his first wife, Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche). She was born at Park House, Sandringham in Norfolk, England. She was baptised at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, by Rt. Rev. Percy Herbert (rector of the church and former Bishop of Norwich and Blackburn); her godparents included John Floyd (the chairman of Christie's).

During her parents' acrimonious divorce over Lady Althorp's adultery with wallpaper heir Peter Shand Kydd, Diana's mother took her two youngest children to live in an apartment in London's Knightsbridge, where Diana attended a local day school. That Christmas, the Spencer children went to celebrate with their father and he subsequently refused to allow them to return to London and their mother. Lady Althorp sued for custody of her children, but Lord Althorp's rank, aided by Lady Althorp's mother's testimony against her daughter during the trial, contributed to the court's decision to award custody of Diana and her brother to their father. On the death of her paternal grandfather, Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer in 1975, Diana's father became the 8th Earl Spencer, at which time she became Lady Diana Spencer and moved from her childhood home at Park House to her family's sixteenth-century ancestral home of Althorp.

A year later, Lord Spencer married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, the only daughter of romantic novelist Barbara Cartland, after being named as the "other party" in the Earl and Countess of Dartmouth's divorce. During this time Diana travelled up and down the country, living between her parents' homes - with her father at the Spencer seat in Northamptonshire, and with her mother, who had moved north west of Glasgow in Scotland. Diana, like her siblings, did not get along with her new stepmother.

On 31 August 1997 Diana died after a high speed car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris along with Dodi Al-Fayed and their driver Henri Paul. Blood analysis shows that Henri Paul was illegally intoxicated while driving. Tests confirmed that original postmortem blood samples were from driver Henri Paul, and that he had three times the French legal limit of alcohol in his blood. Conspiracy theorists had claimed that Paul's blood samples were swapped with blood from someone elsewho was drunkand contended that the driver had not been drinking on the night Diana died. Their Mercedes-Benz S280 sedan crashed on the thirteenth pillar of the tunnel. The two-lane tunnel was built without metal barriers between the pillars, so a slight change in vehicle direction could easily result in a head-on collision with the tunnel pillar.

Fayed's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was closest to the point of impact and yet the only survivor of the crash; he was the only one to be wearing a seatbelt. Henri Paul and Dodi Fayed were killed instantly, and Diana unbelted in the back seat- slid forward during the impact and, having been violently thrown around the interior, "submarined" under the seat in front of her, suffering massive damage to her heart and subsequent internal bleeding.[citation needed] She was eventually, after considerable delay, transported by ambulance to the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, but on the way to casualty went into cardiac arrest twice.[citation needed] Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4 a.m. local time. Her funeral on 6 September 1997 was broadcast and watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide.

The death of Diana has been the subject of widespread conspiracy theories, supported by Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose son died in the accident. Her former father in law, Prince Philip, seems to be at the heart of most of them but her ex husband has also been named, and was questioned by the Metropolitan Police in 2005. Some other theories have included claims that MI6 or the CIA were involved. Mossad involvement has also been suspected, and this theory has been supported on US television by the intelligence specialist barrister Michael Shrimpton. One particularly outlandish claim, appearing on the internet, has stated that the princess was battered to death in the back of the ambulance, by assassins disguised as paramedics. These were all rejected by French investigators and British officials, who claimed that the driver, Henri Paul, was drunk and on drugs. Blood tests later reported that Henri Paul was drunk at the time of the accident, although CCTV footage of Paul leaving the Ritz hotel with the princess and Dodi Fayed does not appear to depict a man in a drunken or incapable state. Nonetheless, in 2004 the authorities ordered an independent inquiry by Lord Stevens, a former chief of the Metropolitan Police, and he suggested that the case was "far more complex than any of us thought" and reported "new forensic evidence" and witnesses. The French authorities have also decided to reopen the case. Lord Stevens' report, Operation Paget, was published on December 14, 2006.

Within seconds of the crash, the paparazzi had surrounded the Mercedes, and proceeded to take pictures of the dying princess. Not one called for medical assistance. On 13 July 2006 Italian magazine Chi published photographs showing Diana in her "last moments" despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published. The photographs were taken minutes after the accident and show the Princess slumped in the back seat while a paramedic attempts to fit an oxygen mask over her face. The photographs were also published in other Italian and Spanish magazines and newspapers.

The editor of Chi defended his decision by saying he published the photographs for the "simple reason that they haven't been seen before" and that he felt the images do not disrespect the memory of the Princess. The British media publicly refused to publish the images, with the exception of the tabloid newspaper, The Sun, which printed the picture but with the face blacked out.

Fresh controversy arose over the issue of these photographs when it was disclosed that Britain's Channel 4 intended to broadcast them during a documentary to screen in June 2007

Diana was buried on 6 September 1997. The Prince of Wales, her sons, her mother, siblings, a close friend, and a clergyman were present. She wore a black long sleeved Catherine Walker dress. She had chosen that particular dress a few weeks before. She was buried with a set of rosary beads in her hands, a gift she received from Mother Teresa. Her grave is on an island in the grounds of Althorp Park, her family home.



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