Timeline Description: In 1981, the world watched a fairy tale wedding, that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (born July 1, 1961). While many wanted this to be a love story, it was, in the end, the story of a failed marriage and a tragic death.
|July 1, 1961||Birth of Diana Frances Spencer
Diana Frances Spencer is born to Edward John and Frances Spencer. Her father later became the 8th Earl Spencer.
In 1967, her parents divorced. After a difficult custody battle, her father gained custody of the children.
In 1970, Diana was sent to boarding school.
|July 1977||Finished School
Diana finished school in July 1977. She was a poor student, failing her final examinations. She spent a short time at a finishing school in Switzerland before dropping out.
|1977||Prince Charles Met Diana Spencer
In 1977, Prince Charles met the young Diana Spencer. He was, at the time, dating her older sister.
|February 24, 1981||Engagement Announced
Prince Charles and Lady Diana's engagement was announced on February 24, 1981. Diana was living in a flat in London purchased by her father and working as a kindergarten assistant at this time.
|July 29, 1981||Married at St. Paul's
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981. The wedding was massive, and televised, with viewers tuning into the fairy tale from their homes. Diana was almost certainly in love with Charles, but he already appeared much less in love with her.
|July 21, 1982||Birth of Prince William
Less than a year after the wedding, Diana gave birth to Prince William, called Wills. The throne now had the required heir.
|September 15, 1984||Birth of Prince Henry
Two years later, Diana delivered a second son, Prince Henry, called Harry.
|June 1992||Diana, Her True Story, Published
Diana's biography, Diana, Her True Story was published in 1992; however, rumors of the couple's demise and affairs were already circulating. In the book, privately approved by Diana, the princess' struggle with depression and bulimia were made public.
|December 9, 1992||Separation Announced
Buckingham Palace announced the formal separation of the couple in December 1992; however, they had been living largely separate lives for quite some time.
|June 1994||Prince Charles Confessed to Adultery
In June 1994, Charles confessed to adultery. Diana later did as well, with both of them maintaining other relationships throughout the late 1980s.
|August 28, 1996||Divorce Finalized
The divorce was finalized in August 1996. Diana remained Princess Diana, but could no longer be addressed as Her Royal Highness. She received a generous settlement, and the two shared custody of the children. Following their divorce, Diana continued her commitment to charity shown throughout her marriage, working on issues as diverse as AIDS and land mines.
|August 31, 1997||Death of Princess Diana
On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in an automobile accident in a tunnel in Paris. Rumors remain as to the nature of the accident.
|September 6, 1997||Burial
Diana was buried on an island on her family's estate a week after her death.