Diana, Princess of Wales, was among the most iconic figures in the world. She was born into a noble British family, and yet something about her seemed to resonate with the wider public. People simply loved and adored her.
The family, for its part, was well respected: her father was a viscount, and he was later named an earl. Diana and her siblings, meanwhile, enjoyed a comfortable upbringing in the English village of Sandringham. As for her education, she went to school in both England and Switzerland, although she didn’t excel. In fact, she didn’t pass her O Levels – exams typically taken at age 16 – at either the first or the second attempt.
Diana’s parents had actually divorced by the time she entered high school, and after leaving education she lived in her mother’s flat in London and enrolled onto a cookery course. She then flitted between various careers over the next few years. In fact, her résumé included her stints as a dance teacher, a cleaner, a nursery assistant, a party hostess and a nanny – the latter for an American family.
But it wasn’t until she began a relationship with Charles, Prince of Wales, that Diana became a household name. The pair first met in 1977 when the Prince was actually romantically involved with Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah. It was the younger sister who won the Prince’s heart in the end, however, and come February 1981, after a few years of dating, he proposed. During the time in which they were courting, Diana had visited Balmoral to meet the royal family, and there she reportedly won the approval of both the Queen and the Queen Mother.
Diana and Charles went down the aisle on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The ceremony was watched by 750 million people on television, with viewers from all over the world tuning in. And so Diana became Diana, Princess of Wales, at the tender age of 22.
Next for Charles and Diana were the children. She gave birth to their first son, William, in 1982, and Harry followed in 1984. The Princess was, moreover, widely respected for being a very hands-on mother, putting her young kids before her own royal duties.
And aside from being a mother, Diana was heavily involved in charity work – something she is still renowned for today. Her incredible dedication to a huge number of different charities was admired worldwide. A well-known quote from Stephen Lee, director of the UK Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers, sums it up perfectly: “Her overall effect on charity is probably more significant than any other person’s in the 20th century,” he said.
Such was the public admiration for Diana that she was ultimately dubbed “the people’s princess” by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. But unfortunately, her life at home with Charles was anything but a fairytale. The couple’s marriage began to break down, and in 1992 it was revealed that Charles had been having an affair with his ex, Camilla Parker-Bowles. Princess Diana, meanwhile, had begun a relationship with Major James Hewitt. And the royal couple officially divorced in August 1996.
In 1995 Diana sat down for an explosive interview with BBC’s Martin Bashir. As she spoke, she reflected on her marriage to Charles, and it was also during this interview that she famously said, “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Charles, however, also did a TV interview after the split, and in it he admitted that he had not married Diana out of love. He also pointed the finger of blame at his dad, Prince Philip, for pushing him into wedlock.
Following the divorce, Diana began a relationship with a heart surgeon named Hasnat Khan, although it was kept very private. The pair dated for two years before Diana reportedly called time on the relationship in July 1997. Then, shortly after, Diana started dating Dodi Fayed.
Unfortunately – and for far more tragic reasons – this relationship wasn’t to last long either. Both Diana and Fayed died in a car crash on August 31, 1997. She was the passenger in a car driving through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris when the driver lost control.
The driver, Henry Paul, also perished in the collision. He was later accused of driving inebriated. In any event, Diana’s death sent shockwaves the world over. The public mourned the death of an icon.
The attention also quickly turned to William and Harry, who now faced the prospect of growing up without their mother. Now, tragically for the two boys, their mom would never get to see them reach manhood or meet their wives or their children.
That said, William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate Middleton seem to have taken over Diana’s legacy as popular public figures. They are the subject of intense admiration, perhaps even more so since they have welcomed their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, into the world.
Prince William’s children will of course never get to meet their grandmother, Diana. But one woman from the U.S. chose to imagine that such a meeting did, after all, take place. How? She photoshopped a photograph of Diana into an image of Kate and Charlotte.
The image, first shared on social media by Lori Vee Eastwood in 2015, has since gone viral. It shows Diana leaning over to talk to baby Charlotte, who is in Kate’s arms. The original image is from Charlotte’s christening.
As for the original photograph of Diana, it’s from a meeting of hers with Mother Teresa, and it was taken only months before she passed away. The newly photoshopped image, meanwhile, was named “Heavenly Heels” after a picture editing mistake cut off part of Diana’s shoe.
In any case, the ethereal image seems to have struck a chord with the public. It was shared over 500,000 times, and nearly all of the comments have been positive. Many people also expressed their sadness that the image wasn’t real. One Facebook comment, for example, read, “Aww I wish it wasn’t Photoshopped, still miss her and she would love to see her grandbabies.”
The woman behind the Photoshop phenomenon has said, meanwhile, that she created the image “out of love,” and she’s also claimed to be a total amateur with the photo editing software. So although some may find the image creepy, to others it’s a beautiful visual reminder that Diana loved her sons very much and is always watching over them and those they treasure most.