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ON THIS DAY
Monday, 5 July, 2004, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
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Timeline: Diana, Princess of Wales
1 July, 1961
Diana Frances Spencer is born into the aristocratic Spencer family. Her childhood is marred by her parents divorce in 1969.
Diana was born at Park House near Sandringham Norfolk. She was the youngest daughter of the then Viscount and Viscountess Althorp now the late Earl Spencer and the late Hon Mrs ShandKydd. She had two elder sisters Jane and Sarah and a younger brother Charles. Diana was just six when her parents split and the children became the focus of a bitter custody battle.
7 September, 1980
Daily Star journalists spot Prince Charles kissing an unnamed girl by the River Dee at Balmoral. It turns out to be Diana Spencer.
24 February, 1981
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer or Shy Di as the press dub her announce they are to marry. She is 19 he is 32.
Diana who was then a kindergarten teacher had already found great public appeal fed by intense press interest. When journalists asked them during the official engagement photo call whether they were in love both answered "yes" with the Prince adding "whatever love means". Charles it emerged later had confided to a friend that he did not yet love Diana but was sure he could.
29 July, 1981
Charles and Diana marry in a fairytale wedding at St Pauls Cathedral.
Crowds of 600000 people filled the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the couple on their wedding day. A further estimated 750 million across the world watched on television the largest TV audience ever at that time. Diana was dressed in in an ivory taffeta and antique lace gown with a seven metre train.
18 February, 1982
Tabloids follow the couple on their private Caribbean holiday where they take sneak pictures of a pregnant Diana in her bikini.
Queen calls the event "The blackest day in the history of British journalism". But worse was to come as the tabloids began to publish rumours that Charles and Diana's marriage was already in trouble and that Diana was deeply unhappy.
21 June, 1982
Diana gives birth to a boy who is named William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor. He is second in line to the throne.
15 September, 1984
Prince Harry is born.
Diana opens the UKs first specialist Aids ward and shakes the hand of a man suffering from the disease.
Diana's gesture made a huge difference in attitude at a time when many people in Britain were still ignorant about HIV and how it was transmitted. She said "HIV does not make people dangerous to know so you can shake their hand and give them a hug." It was the first hint that Diana had found a public role she would be happy with that of charity campaigner.
Newspapers calculate that Charles and Diana have spent 35 days in a row apart.
11 February, 1992
During a trip to India with Charles Diana is pictured alone at the Taj Mahal the image is seen to symbolise a failing marriage.
16 June, 1992
A controversial book Diana Her True Story is published. It alleges she is deeply unhappy and had attempted suicide.
25 August, 1992
The Sun prints a transcript of a phone call from 1989 between Diana and a man who calls her Squidgy James Hewitt.
9 December, 1992
Prime Minister John Major announces to Parliament that Charles and Diana are separating but have no plans to divorce.
17 January, 1993
Two tabloids publish a transcript of a 1989 telephone conversation between Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
3 December, 1993
Diana withdraws from public life.
29 June, 1994
In a TV interview Charles admits being unfaithful but only after the marriage had become irretrievably broken down.
Charles did not name the woman with whom he had been unfaithful although all rumours centred on his old flame Camilla Parker Bowles. As Jonathan Dimbleby pressed his question and asked whether he'd tried to be faithful to his wife Charles eventually said "Yes until it became irretrievably broken down us both having tried."
Authorised biography of Charles confirms his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
20 November, 1995
Diana gives TV interview in which she admits to Hewitt affair but blames the fact there were three of us in this marriage.
Interviewed by Martin Bashir on Panorama Diana talked openly about the strains of her life within the royal family her postnatal depression bulimia and Charles's continued love for his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles.
20 December, 1995
The Queen urges Charles and Diana to seek an early divorce.
28 August, 1996
The Waleses officially divorce.
15 January, 1997
Princess Diana angers government ministers by calling for an international ban on landmines.
31 August, 1997
Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris which happens while she and boyfriend Dodi Fayed are being chased by paparazzi.
1 September, 1997
Initial French investigation determines that the driver Henri Paul was over the drink drive limit.
2 September, 1997
A sea of flowers builds at the gates of Dianas London home Kensington Palace.
4 September, 1997
Amid mounting public criticism for appearing unemotional the royal family issues a public statement.
The royal family were in Balomoral at the time of the death and were criticised for not reacting in public soon enough especially for not lowering the flag on Buckingham Palace. Mood began to build that they should be doing more to show they shared the nation's grief. The palace issued a statement saying Princes William and Harry were enormously grateful for the public's support and needed to be with their father at this time.
5 September, 1997
The Queen gives a live broadcast to the nation in which she says Diana was an exceptional and gifted human being.
6 September, 1997
At Dianas funeral thousands line the streets and her sons follow behind the coffin. She is later buried at Althorp.
The funeral was the culmination of a week of national mourning. Thousands of people thronged central London lining the route to Westminster Abbey. During the service Diana's brother Earl Spencer gave a charged eulogy in which he pledged to look after William and Harry and lashed out at the media. Elton John performed a special version of Candle in the Wind.
19 September, 1997
Bodyguard Trevor ReesJones who survived the crash says he is unable to remember the circumstances.
2 July, 1999
Paris appeal court throws out a petition by Mohamed alFayed contending that Dianas death was the work of British intelligence.
1 November, 2002
Trial of Dianas butler Paul Burrell collapses after it emerges he had told the Queen he was looking after some of her possessions.
Mr Burrell was found not guilty of three charges of stealing from the estate of Diana Princess of Wales Prince Charles and Prince William. The trial collapsed when it emerged that the Queen had known he had taken some of Diana's possessions for safekeeping. The prosecution said there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and no further evidence against Mr Burrell would be produced.
28 November, 2003
French court finds three paparazzi photographers not guilty of invading Dianas privacy the night she died.
6 January, 2004
British inquest into death of Diana and Dodi is opened and adjourned.
6 July, 2004
Memorial fountain opens in Hyde Park.
The Queen unveiled the memorial which is a ring of bubbling water splashing through a channel of Cornish granite. The ceremony brought together the Windsor and Spencer families in public for the first time since Diana's funeral.
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