Dianas Life and Death - Referat
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana Frances Spencer was born on July 1st 1961 in Sandringham (Norfolk). Her father was Edward Spencer, Viscount Althorp who inherited the title Earl. Her mother was Frances Ruth Shand Kydd, daughter of the 4th baron Fermoy. Diana spent a quite unhappy childhood in Norfolk because her parents got divorced in 1969, when Diana was seven years old. When she was about nine years old she experienced a situation which was characteristic for her relationship to her parents. She was invited to a wedding and both of her parents gave her a dress for this occasion. Now she had to decide between these dresses and for her it was as if she had to decide between her parents. Especially during her first school years she was not a good pupil but very interested and talented in playing the piano and sports and won several prizes in swimming and high diving. She also wanted to become a ballerina. When she was thirteen she had to move to Althorp and live with her father’s new wife who she didn’t like. After she had finished school she worked as a nanny and nursery school teacher.
She met Charles, Prince of Wales for the first time when she was sixteen and he about 29. Her first impression was: “My God, what a sad man!” Until 1980 they hardly ever saw each other but then Charles invited Diana to Buckingham Palace and Balmoral several times. Slowly their relationship got more serious and on February 24th 1981 she got engaged to Prince Charles and married him in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London on July 29th. Together they had two sons: Prince William, born on June 21st 1982 and Prince Henry, born on September 15th 1984, who is often nicknamed “Harry”. Prince Charles, when he saw his second son for the first time, was said to have been disappointed because Henry was a boy and because he had “ruddy hair”.
William and Harry attended the Mrs Jane Mynors' nursery school and the pre-prep Wetherby School both in West London. They later attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire and the prestigious Eton College in Windsor. William studied Geography, Biology and History of Art and Harry Geography and Art at A-level. After completing his A-levels, Prince William chose to attend the University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. He embarked on a degree course in Arts History, but later changed his main subject to Geography. After finishing Eton, Harry undertook a gap year, visiting Australia and Africa. In Australia he worked on a cattle station, and watched the 2003 Rugby World Cup being held in the country. In Africa, he worked in an orphanage in Lesotho. Later in the year he travelled to Argentina on vacation, but returned because of rumours about drunkenness and a kidnapping attempt. In 2005 Harry is due to enter the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. A few times Harry has provoked public protest, for example, when he admitted smoking marijuana. An even greater scandal was the publication of a photo showing Harry wearing a nazi-costume at a fancy-dress party, after which Harry wrote an apology for his “poor choice”. The date for such a costume was especially badly chosen because it was only two weeks before the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland by the Red Army. After Harry’s appearance in the nazi-costume Charles ordered his two sons to visit Auschwitz privately with members of a Jewish charity to learn about the Holocaust and its consequences.
After they had lived separately for four years Diana and Charles got divorced after 15 years of marriage on August 28th 1996. Diana was sure that her husband had an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles for the whole time of their marriage, and blamed her to be one of the reasons why her marriage with Charles broke up. Diana’s proof of their relationship were telephone calls, little presents and many times when Charles and Camilla were out together hunting. Other reasons were that Diana had the feeling that Charles was not acknowledging any of her achievements. Officially it is only known that he had a one-year relationship with Camilla almost ten years before he and Diana got engaged and from 1990 until today. In February 2005 Camilla and Charles announced their engagement. They planned to marry on April 8th at Windsor Castle but because the funeral of John Paul II. they decided to reschedule the marriage to April 9th. After the marriage Camilla took the title HRH Duchess of Cornwall.
Some Anglicans opposed to the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla because if the Queen died and Charles became king he would also be the supreme governor of the Church of England. But then he would also be married to Camilla Parker-Bowles whose ex-husband is still alive and some Anglicans are against the remarriage of divorcees.
In July 1997 she went on a holiday with the billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, also owner of Harrods, and his four children. During this trip she and Dodi Al-Fayed got to know each other closer (for the first time they had met ten years earlier at a polo game) and afterwards she said these days were the best holiday of her life. Two weeks later Diana and Dodi went off alone for a six-day Mediterranean cruise. After Diana’s visit in Bosnia where she supported a campaign against landmines the couple went on a holiday on Dodi’s Yacht again. Friends of her say that Diana was very happy with Dodi. Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed died during a car accident in Paris in the night to August 31st in 1997. Her funeral ceremony was on September 6th in Westminster Abbey. She is buried in Althorp and Dodi Al-Fayed in London.
On Saturday the 30th of August 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed had dinner in the Ritz Hotel in Place Vendome, Paris. Late in the evening they left the hotel and drove along the north bank of the Seine. At 00:25 on the 31st, their Mercedes entered an underpass pursued by nine French photographers in various cars and a motorcycle courier.
After scraping against the right side wall in the tunnel the car had a head-on collision with a pillar supporting the roof of the underpass. Dodi Al-Fayed and Henri Paul, the driver were immediately dead, the bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones and Diana, Princess of Wales were severely injured and brought to hospital. There, she died of her internal injuries at 4:00 that morning. Trevor Rees-Jones recovered again after two weeks of being unconscious.
Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s father claimed to have passed on Diana’s last words to her older sister Sarah McCorquodale whereas the doctor who reached the dying Diana first said that she didn’t say anything anymore after her accident because she was unconscious and died about 20 minutes after the crash. Her body lies on an island in the middle of a lake, called “Round Oval”, on the estate of her family at Althorp in Northamptonshire. A visitors' centre allows visitors to see an exhibition about her and walk around the lake.
Right after the accident some of the paparazzi who had been chasing Diana and Dodi took pictures of the injured couple; something they were criticized a lot for afterwards. In the first instance some of the photographers were arrested for manslaughter and failure to render assistance, but later only the chauffeur Henri Paul was blamed for Diana’s death.
“In 1999 a French investigation concluded that the Mercedes had come into contact with another vehicle (a white Fiat Uno) in the tunnel. But the driver of that vehicle never came forward, and the vehicle itself was not found.
Initial media reports stated that Diana's car had collided with the pillar at over 190 km/h (120 mph), and that the speedometer's needle had jammed at that position. But it was later announced that the car's actual speed on collision was about 95-110 km/h (59-68 mph), and that the speedometer had no needle as it was digital. The car was certainly travelling much faster than the legal speed limit of 50 km/h (30 mph), and faster than was prudent for the Alma underpass.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Diana#Death, 20.02.2005)
Sir Michael Jay, ambassador to France at that time sent a paper to the Foreign Secretary on the day Diana died which was only released on March 16th 2005. It said "Because, apparently, their getaway car failed to start, they got into another nearby car driven by a Ritz driver." But then on September 23rd he sent a document to the Foreign Office which said that Diana and Dodi didn’t take the hire car in which they had arrived, but a car from the Ritz hotel when they left the restaurant because they wanted to avoid the journalists who surrounded them.
In January 2004 UK authorities first started an inquest into the circumstances of Diana’s death. In February 2005 they rolled up the case again because now new high-technology equipment was developed that had not existed in 1997 when she died. In the evening of February 15th 2005 the tunnel in which the fatal crash happened was closed for traffic for a few hours and with three-dimensional laser equipment London Police officers mapped the site where Charles’ ex-wife had died. With these new methods the investigators hope to be able to fully re-construct the accident and to find out what exactly happened that night.
The investigators from France who were analyzing the driver’s blood samples came to the conclusion that Henri Paul was drunk, because they contained such a great amount of blood alcohol. They also found out that he had taken antidepressants. But these results were doubted, because the samples were also said to contain such a high level of carbon monoxide that Henri Paul would not even have been able to stand up let alone to drive a car. Some claim that this proves that the samples had been tampered with. The driver’s family wanted to have an independent DNA test done on the samples because they were not convinced that they were really their son’s but were not allowed to do so.
Also the bereaved of Dodi Al-Fayed doubt the French investigators’ results. Dodi’s father Mohamed Al-Fayed believes that his son and his girlfriend were killed by a conspiracy of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Because of inappropriate statements in the public he is said to be racist and to have not liked seeing Diana, Princess of Wales together with the Egyptian Dodi Al-Fayed.
At her funeral at Westminster Abbey were about 3 Million mourners and countless people worldwide saw it on television. At Kensington Palace, her London home, more than one million bouquets, cards and candles were left and at her family estate of Althorp the mourning public was even asked to stop bringing flowers because the great number of people and flowers in the surrounding roads was causing a threat to public safety.
In St James’ Palace there were five books of condolence for her and people who wanted to honour Diana in one of these had to wait for up to twelve hours until they could do so because there were so many others. Only after a public complaint 38 books of condolence were added to the existing five. There are numerous online books of condolence on the internet with probably several thousands of entries where, to this day, people from all over the world write about there feelings towards Diana in many different languages.
Many people found the reaction to Diana’s death of the royal family cold-hearted and the fact that the Union Jack at Buckingham Palace was not half-masted caused headlines, for example “Where is our Queen? Where is our Flag?” by “The Sun”. Several celebrities, such as singer Sir Elton John, actor Tom Cruise and film director Steven Spielberg were invited to the funeral. There, Sir Elton John performed the song “Candle in the Wind” which he had already sung after the death of Marilyn Monroe. Bernie Taupin who had already written the lyrics to the original song for Marilyn Monroe rewrote the lines for the occasion of Diana’s fatal accident. “Candle in the Wind 1997” became Sir Elton John’s greatest hit ever because it was the fastest-selling hit of all time in Britain and the USA. During the first week over three million copies of the song were sold in the USA alone.
In the four weeks after the death of Diana the suicide rate of people in England and Wales rose by 17%. The phenomenon was especially bad with women of about Diana’s age (25-44): The suicide rate of this group of people rose by 45% compared with the rate of the four previous years. Scientists think that one reason for this is that many people identified very much with Diana and so were very affected by her sudden death.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Diana (19. 3. 2005)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4269345.stm (19. 3. 2005)
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/03/16/1110913643549.html?from=top5&oneclick=true (19. 3. 2005)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4252795.stm (19. 3. 2005)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_William (19. 3. 2005)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Harry_of_Wales (19. 3. 2005)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/378100.stm (19. 3. 2005)
http://www.studentbmj.com/back_issues/1200/news/442a.html (20. 3. 2005)
Andrew Morton: Diana. Her True Story – In Her Own Words
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