30 Photos of Young Princess Diana — Before She Became the People’s Princess
Before she garnered the love and attention from the world, young Princess Diana was just a regular person like the rest of us.
On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles wed in a fairytale wedding that would lead to Diana capturing the hearts of those worldwide. Before her marriage, motherhood, and life as an activist, Princess Diana was just as normal as the rest of us. Young Princess Diana spent time being a free spirit with friends and family, as the following photos show.
Following Princess Diana’s death, millions around the world watched her funeral and mourned the loss of the People’s Princess. Twenty-four years after Princess Diana’s funeral, Diana’s memory and legacy continue to live on. Below, we take a look at the girl and woman who became the Princess of Wales and went on to change the world.
The Spencer family welcomed their fourth child, Diana Frances Spencer, on July 1, 1961, in Sandringham, Norfolk. In 1962, young Diana celebrated her first birthday at Park House where she was born.
In a pram fit for a princess, Diana spent much of her childhood in Sandringham, where she spent time playing with Queen Elizabeth II’s two younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
A young Princess Diana makes the “terrible twos” look delightful! “From the moment I met her and worked with the family, I saw she was helpful, laughing, exuberant, loved by both her parents, and the apple of her father’s eye,” Mary Clarke, Princess Diana’s former nanny, wrote in her book, Little Girl Lost: The Troubled Childhood of Princess Diana by the Woman Who Raised Her.
Practicing for her future role as a mother, Diana spent time pushing prams and playing at home with friends and family.
Not only did she pull off her iconic haircut as an adult, but she also pulled it off as a toddler too! From bangs to a bob, nothing was stopping Diana from taking on the world by storm.
A young Lady Diana Spencer, looking just about ready to head out the door in her cute-as-a-button coat.
Lady Diana is seen here playing around with her younger brother, Charles Spencer.
While pictured here with her younger brother, Diana was actually the fourth child born to the Spencers. Diana’s siblings were Sarah, Jane, John, and Charles.
In the summer of 1968, Diana was just like your ordinary kid—ready to play in the sun at Cadogan Place Gardens in London!
At her grandparent’s 50th anniversary celebration, Diana, alongside members of her extended family, came together for a portrait. Can you spot her without any clues? We’ll give you one: she’s wearing knee-high socks!
Looks like young Princess Diana was no stranger to croquet as she holds onto a mallet during a game.
After Diana’s parents divorced in 1969, she spent holidays split between her parents. In this photo from 1970, Diana was spending her summer holiday in Itchenor, West Sussex!
Diana, pictured here at age 10, smiled and posed for the camera while on holiday.
In 1974, Diana switched from her preparatory school to West Heath, a boarding school near Sevenoaks, Kent. “At school, she showed a particular talent for music (as an accomplished pianist), dancing, and domestic science, and gained the school’s award for the girl giving maximum help to the school and her schoolfellows,” according to royal.uk.
Splitting time again between her mother and father, Princess Diana spent some of her summer holiday at her mother’s home in Scotland with this adorable Shetland pony named Souffle!
Sister duties for the Fellowes wedding! Diana served as a bridesmaid for her sister Jane during her wedding ceremony to Robert Fellowes, Baron Fellowes.
At her flat in Coleherne Court, London, the former kindergarten teacher at the Young England School in Pimlico spoke briefly to reporters about her new adjustment to life in the public eye.
Was there a color that Diana couldn’t wear? Nineteen-year-old Diana pulls off a monochromatic moment in shades of purple—something that would change as the soon-to-be Princess of Wales would later be styled in various shades of pink.
Not only did Diana balance her teaching job, but she also spent time working as a nanny for an American couple. This would make Diana the first person to ever have a paying job before marrying an heir apparent.
While getting in and out of our cars may seem like an easy task, it wasn’t for the soon-to-be princess. Labeled as “Shy Di,” life as she knew it would soon change drastically as she became the center of media attention as every move was closely watched—even getting into her red Mini Metro!
Before being styled by the British royal family, Diana had her choice of pickings. Following her marriage, her clothes had to change, but this didn’t stop Diana from keeping some of the old, tried, and true. “She had an ‘official’ wardrobe and a private wardrobe,” according to designer David Sassoon.
Diana embarks on a new outing while catching the attention of the media in her purple jumper outside her London home. Purple was often seen on the future Princess of Wales, and it was quite a fitting color—purple is known to represent royalty, nobility, wisdom, and peace. She also photographed beautifully in it!
The future Princess of Wales leaves her London flat in the months prior to her wedding, flashing a friendly smile to the media on her departure.
Princess Diana wasn’t the only thing popular in the ’80s—so was polo! Here, Diana watches a polo match in Hampshire.
Life’s a blur when you’re about to become engaged! A month before her engagement, Diana was the center of attention, as the media grew even more fascinated with her relationship with Prince Charles.
Let the race begin. Pictured here at Sandown Park Racecourse, Diana made sure we all knew brown was the new black. Diana was a trendsetter in this brown ensemble.
Diana is seen smiling and laughing at the Cartier International polo match on Smith’s Lawn, Windsor.
Following the Ascot races, young Princess Diana reminds us of her earlier teenage years in her monochromatic purple outfit.
Diana is a lady in red during her visit to the town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire following her engagement.
Diana and Sarah Ferguson, the future Duchess of York, enjoy a day of relaxing and catching up at a polo match before either one of them had a royal title.
- Brittanica: “Diana, princess of Wales”
- LA Times: “Little Book Lost: NONFICTION: Little Girl Lost: The Troubled Childhood of Princess Diana by the Woman Who Raised Her by Mary Clark”
- Royal.uk: “Diana, Princess of Wales”
- The Washington Post: “From Sheltered Life to Palace Life, To a Life of Her Own”
- Best Life: 23 Facts About Princess Diana Only Her Closest Friends Knew