Diana, Princess of Wales was a member of the British royal family. She was the first wife of King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) and mother of Princes William and Harry. Her activism and glamour made her an international icon, and earned her enduring popularity, as well as almost unprecedented public scrutiny.
Diana was born into the British nobility, and grew up close to the royal family on their Sandringham estate. In 1981, while working as a nursery teacher's assistant, she became engaged to the Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. Their wedding took place at St Paul's Cathedral in 1981 and made her Princess of Wales, a role in which she was enthusiastically received by the public. The couple had two sons, William and Harry, who were then second and third in the line of succession to the British throne. Diana's marriage to Charles suffered due to their incompatibility and extramarital affairs. They separated in 1992, soon after the breakdown of their relationship became public knowledge. Their marital difficulties were widely publicised, and the couple divorced in 1996.
As Princess of Wales, Diana undertook royal duties on behalf of the Queen and represented her at functions across the Commonwealth realms. She was celebrated in the media for her unconventional approach to charity work. Her patronages initially centred on children and the elderly, but she later became known for her involvement in two particular campaigns: one involved the social attitudes towards and the acceptance of AIDS patients, and the other for the removal of landmines, promoted through the International Red Cross. She also raised awareness and advocated for ways to help people affected by cancer and mental illness. Diana was initially noted for her shyness, but her charisma and friendliness endeared her to the public and helped her reputation survive the acrimonious collapse of her marriage. Considered photogenic, she was a leader of fashion in the 1980s and 1990s.
Diana's death in a car crash in Paris in 1997 led to extensive public mourning and global media attention. An inquest returned a verdict of "unlawful killing" following Operation Paget, an investigation by the Metropolitan Police. Her legacy has had a deep impact on the royal family and British society.