Princess Diana is known as the People's Princess, a title she gained mainly by defying the monarchy. Here are some of her most rebellious moments.
For a few decades now, there’s been a huge craze about anything related to the royal family. You might have thought it had gone away in the last few years, but the enthusiasm for the last royal wedding proved people are still fascinated by this topic. It might seem like it's always been this way, but actually, the one that started this really intense obsession was none other than Diana, Princess of Wales. Before she joined the royal family, the monarchy was going through a very difficult phase in terms of the people’s approval. Political movements asking for the destitution of the monarchy were common and constant, to the point that they were forced to make a change in that perception. The solution was marrying the Queen’s eldest son, Charles, to a woman with natural charisma, but who could also fulfill the monarchy’s requirements.
As we know now, Charles was already in love with his current wife Camilla, but she wasn’t the candidate his parents were looking for, and thus, he was kind of forced to commit to a woman he didn’t love, something Diana discovered early on. If you look at videos from their wedding, you can actually see reflected on her face the disappointment and sorrow, though at the time it was seen as shyness. She had saved the monarchy, but she was well aware that it would be at a huge cost. Throughout her life, it would seem she made it her goal to be herself, not caring much about a family that had used her, that was constantly walking over her, and that showed her nothing more than their lack of support and care.
One of her first public shows of rebelliousness was at the wedding, when she refused to say she vowed to obey her husband, breaking with royal tradition. This can be seen as her way of putting her terms into what would become a terrible and depressing marriage. Here are other amazing moments where she just didn’t give AF and showed her real self.
She didn’t care about the royal dress code.
One of the things that are most talked about regarding Diana’s rebelliousness was definitely the way she used fashion to defy the norms and make strong statements. She would constantly break the etiquette rules, which to this day are still quite strict. She wore over-the-knee dresses and skirts, as well as colors and fabrics that were forbidden for certain events, and chose very dramatic and shocking outfits to make her in-laws cringe. The best example of this, perhaps, is what became known as the “revenge dress,” which she wore the day the news about Charles’ infidelity broke nationwide.
She spoke openly to the press
When she become a Windsor, she was expected to be obedient and just play the part of the perfect wife in a perfect family. This charade was soon shattered when she spoke openly about her problems in a book called Diana: Her True Story, written by Andrew Morton and later on an interview for the BBC with Martin Bashir. She talked about the infidelity and the depression she was going through. This naturally pissed off the family so bad, that it resulted in a passive-aggressive war.
She sent her kids to school
It’s also very well known how much time she invested in the education and raising of her children. In the history of Britain, royals (especially those in line to the throne), had been homeschooled according to their position. For Diana, that was out of the question, and despite the fuss from the royal house, she decided to send her children to regular schools, so that they would get a glimpse of reality and hang out with normal boys. This became a tradition with her grandchildren.
She put her issues aside to help others
In the interview and the book, she talks openly about her struggle with depression (after William’s birth) and bulimia, which led her to become a spokesperson for mental health. She was someone people looked up to, and she was well aware of that. Her declarations weren’t only a way to free herself from the strict rules of the royal family, but also a way to show these people who admired her that the reasons they did so weren’t the right ones. For the monarchy, a royal should always keep their problems to themselves, and most importantly in private, something she wasn’t willing to abide by.
She didn’t follow strict rules in public
As soon as the wedding fantasy was over, Diana found herself miserable, neglected, and bored. She started looking for charity work she could do, and soon she found a new passion for certain issues. One of them was children, and in contrast to the rule that dictated that royals should present themselves as superior beings that people should show deference to, she hated the attitude and thought that as figures of the people they had to act as such. She would be seen embracing, touching, and even kneeling to speak to children. One moment, in particular, that caused a huge controversy, was when she decided to support the cause of AIDS (against the Queen’s orders) and go visit patients, even holding their hands. This was probably when she won the hearts of the people, and when she won one of her most important battles against the royal family.
Some of those times she used to defy the oppressive system she had been imprisoned into became attitudes that the new royals have adopted. However, at the time, they were seen as acts of rebelliousness and defiance. All in all, she’s probably still the most beloved royal in history, to the point that after her death the Queen had to forget her pride and honor her out of fear of putting the monarchy in the situation it had been before she came along.
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