10 of Princess Diana's Best-Remembered PEOPLE Covers
JUNE 1981: LADY DIANA
After meeting the then-Lady Diana Spencer at the opera, one titled Englishman marveled she was "just a girl" – but thoroughly an aristocrat, brought up in London society as the daughter of Earl Spencer.
AUGUST 1981: ROYAL WEDDING
All other troubles were set aside on July 29, 1981, when millions lined the streets to witness what seemed a fairy tale come true – with 750 million more tuning in on TV.
AUGUST 1982: A PRINCE'S DEBUT
Two months following his birth, Prince William was christened in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace. He was young and the ceremony was brief, but it impressed the Queen, who later joked that her grandson showed stage presence: "He's a good speechmaker."
JANUARY 1985: A WINDSOR WAR
The christening of Prince Harry should have been an entirely happy occasion. But there was a cloud on the day after Princess Anne and her husband Mark Phillips didn't appear for the festivities, sending their children Peter, 7 and Zara, 3 in their place. The rumored reason for the tiff? Anne hadn't been named as a godparent for either William or Harry.
JULY 1990: PRINCESS WITH A PURPOSE
Nearly 10 years into her tenure as Princess of Wales, Diana grew into a seasoned royal performer who, with her elegant silk suits and wide-brimmed hats, not only looks the part, but lived it, forging an emotional connection with her countrymen (and the world!) that few other Windsors have achieved.
JUNE 1992: LOVE ON THE ROCKS
Unlikely as it may have seemed, the Duchess of Cornwall, then Camilla Parker Bowles, was cast as the lead in the drama that rocked the House of Windsor – and as Diana's rival for Charles's affections.
NOVEMBER 1992: GOING IT ALONE
With their numerous problems coming to a head, by November 1992, the Wales marriage is – for all practical purposes – over.
DECEMBER 1995: TRUE CONFESSIONS
It was the interview heard round the world: Diana's tell-all sit-down with Martin Bashir on Panorama. In the interview, she explained her struggles to cope with a voracious press, vindictive courtiers and a self-involved husband, and declared that, as unhappy as her marriage may be, she had no desire to end it. One of the most iconic lines: "I'll fight to the end, because I have a role to fulfill, and I've got two children to bring up."
AUGUST 1997: HOWDY, DODI
In the weeks before her death, Diana's romance with Dodi Al-Fayed blossomed: They dined in Paris and vacationed in the French and Italian Rivera.
SEPTEMBER 1997: A LIFE REMEMBERED
It was a life cut tragically short. In the words of designer Elizabeth Emanuel, who created the princess's 1981 wedding dress, "She wasn't meant to go now; she had such an incredible amount to give still."