It’s been almost 19 years since Princess Diana’s tragic car accident in Paris. Millions mourned around the globe. The beloved “people’s princess” — who was only 36 at the time of her death — would have turned 55 on July 1. Despite her brief life, she left an enduring impact on the royal family and the world. Her greatest legacies, of course, are her sons. Nearly two decades after her death, we celebrate the rebellious people’s princess.
1.She picked her own engagement ring — from a catalog.
2.She wrote her own vows.
She chose to abandon the royal wedding tradition of saying she would “obey” Prince Charles. Three decades later, William and Kate followed her lead.
3.She was a hands-on mum.
The 20-year-old mom took a completely modern, intimate view of child-rearing from the very beginning. She chose her sons’ first names herself and breastfed them as infants.
4.She didn’t work much.
When she married Prince Charles, Diana gave up working as a nursery school teacher in favor of her royal obligations. “Inevitably, she left her children with nannies — just as she herself and so many other well-to-do British children have been left.
5.She sent her boys to school.
6.She exposed her kids to a non-royal way of life.
It wasn’t just school where she rebelled against the constraints of royal childhood. Diana took the boys to get hamburgers at McDonald’s, rode the tube and the bus, and let them wear jeans and baseball caps; they white-water rafted and rode bicycles. At Disney, they stood in line like everyone else.
7.She understood the power of fashion.