Luxury and pain, happiness and tragedy

September 07, 1997

July 1, 1961: Birth of Lady Diana Frances Spencer, daughter of the eighth Earl Spencer and his wife, Frances.

1970: After their parents' divorce, Diana, her brother and two sisters shuttle between two households.

1970s-1980: Attends boarding school in England; at age 16, spends three months at a Swiss finishing school; works as governess, cook, nanny and kindergarten teacher.

1977: Begins her courtship with Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, after meeting at a pheasant shoot on the Spencers' 15,000-acre estate at Althorp.

July 29, 1981: Marries Prince Charles at St. Paul's Cathedral. He is 12 years her senior.

1981-1992: For the first 11 years of her marriage, travels the world in the role of princess, diplomat and consort to the heir to the throne. Crowds begin to favor her over her husband.

June 21, 1982: Gives birth to Prince William Arthur Philip Louis.

Sept. 15, 1984: Gives birth to Prince Henry Charles Albert David.

December 1992: Prime Minister John Major announces to Parliament that Diana and Charles are separating but that there is no plan to divorce.

November 1995: In an interview on BBC television, she describes the pressures and infidelities that led to the breakup of her marriage with Charles, and the tensions within the royal household.

December 1995: Charles receives letter from Queen Elizabeth II urging divorce, and he agrees.

February 1996: Diana agrees to divorce.

August 1996: Final decree of divorce.

1997: In the last months of her life, campaigns around the world for the banning of anti-personnel land mines.

1997: Travels to Angola in January and talks with 13-year-old Sandra Thijica, who lost a leg to a land mine.

July 1997: Vacations in south of France, where an apparent romance with Dodi Al Fayed comes to the attention of the press.

August 1997: In last extended interview, defines her role as "messenger," "to sensitize the world to an important cause, to defend certain values."

Aug. 31, 1997: Dies in Paris hospital after car crash while pursued by photographers on motorcycles. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, is also killed.

Pub Date: 9/07/97

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