Below are 10 key dates in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died 20 years ago on Thursday in a car crash in Paris:
– July 1, 1961: The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer is born on Queen Elizabeth II’s Sandringham private estate in eastern England.
– July 29, 1981: Marries Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne.
– June 21, 1982: Gives birth to Prince William, second-in-line to the throne.
– September 15, 1984: Her second son, Prince Harry, is born third in line to the throne.
– April 10, 1987: Her handshake with a person suffering from AIDS is beamed around the world, at a time when sufferers were ostracised.
– December 9, 1992: Separates from Charles. Several months earlier, tabloid reporter Andrew Morton had published — with Diana’s covert help — a biography detailing the breakdown of the royal couple, Diana’s struggle with the eating disorder bulimia and her attempts at suicide.
– November 20, 1995: In an explosive BBC television interview she reveals her infidelity as well as that of Charles and casts doubt on his suitability to be king.
– August 28, 1996: Gets divorced from Charles. She can no longer be called “her royal highness” but retains her title of Princess of Wales.
– June 25, 1997: Hands over 79 of her dresses to an auction for AIDS and cancer research, two of the many causes she defended. The sale nets $5.7 million.
– August 31, 1997: Dies in a high-speed car crash in Paris with her new boyfriend Dodi Fayed.