For many, the needless death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the late summer of 1997 was one of the decades’ most heartbreaking moments. But more than 20 years on from the passing of the People’s Princess, the tragic event is still shrouded in mystery. Now, an important participant in that fateful night’s drama has finally stepped forward, and his revelations add a new level of poignancy to the entire episode.
Born on July 1, 1961, into a family that included U.K. war leader Sir Winston Churchill, Diana Spencer could boast a wealth of aristocratic connections. Indeed, when her father was made the eighth Earl Spencer in June, 1975, she joined their ranks, becoming Lady Diana at the tender age of 13. As a young noblewoman, she would often stay on estates owned by Queen Elizabeth II. But it was through her elder sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, that Diana would meet Prince Charles – the immediate heir to the British throne – in 1977.
In fact, Sarah had been seeing Charles at the time, but their relationship fizzled out. It would not be until three years later that the prince got to know Diana a little better. After going on only a dozen dates, the pair became engaged and then soon married on July 29, 1981, making Diana the Princess of Wales. During their union, the couple would welcome two children – Prince William and Prince Harry – into the world. Sadly, however, Charles and Diana’s marriage began to wither soon after, leading to a separation in 1992. They finally divorced four years later.