The People’s Princess

February 14, 2022

Briefs, News

By: Charlotte Salazar

Diana Francis Spencer was a woman of compassion and love, who, while married into the royal family and after, determinedly provided change within her power. She was born July 1st, 1961, and grew up in a family close to the crown. She had many hobbies such as swimming, skiing, and dancing. She was always known for being a very kind and decisive person. In 1980 Diana at 17 years old had moved to London where Prince Charles of Wales began to take an interest in her and eventually they started dating that summer. Only one year later in 1981 they would announce their engagement on February 24 and marry on July 29. Over the course of her life, Diana would be the patron or president of over 100 charities and raise millions of dollars.

She is most known for her work during the AIDS epidemic. In April 1987 she opened the first UK HIV/AIDS unit at the London Middlesex Hospital. She famously shook hands and hugged many with AIDS in public to show the community that the disease could not be contracted through contact, shedding on the disinformation. On one of her visits to the Middlesex hospital, she said, “HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it. What’s more, you can share their homes, their workplaces, and their playgrounds and toys.” She also was a part of the National Aids Trust, CenterPoint, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, The Leprosy Mission, and many more. 

The royal family, however, did not think that Diana was fit for her role as Princess because she did not behave like the usual royal. She was the first woman in the royal family to ever have a job before marrying and was frequently described as strong-willed. Still, she continued working with many charities and also advocated strongly for a ban on landmines along with helping the young and homeless. 

She worked with and eventually became the patron of an organization called Centrepoint, a group that helps the homeless youth population by providing temporary housing, job placement, education, and counseling. In 1997 Diana walked through an active landmine called HALOS minefield in Angola to spread more awareness and attention about this issue as well as in hopes of getting a band. Soon after this, the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty was signed. This treaty stated that all countries would get rid of landmines. Unfortunately this same year on August 31, Princess Diana died from fatal injuries caused by a car accident in Paris.

Princess Diana of Wales’s legacy is remembered to this day. She is known for being kind and determined to speak up about what she thought was right and wrong. Not only that but she worked hard to change what she thought could be fixed or improved. Her work with charities, hospitals, and shelters has forever given her the title “The People’s Princess”. 

“ I do things differently, because I don’t go by a rule book. Because I lead from the heart, not the head, and albeit that’s got me into trouble in my work, I understand that. But someone’s got to go out there and love people and show it.” – Princess Diana, 1995

  • Charlotte Salazar, writer, and editor for the Ask Academy catalyst 



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