Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997)

Diana, Princess of Wales by David Bailey, 1988
Diana, Princess of Wales at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 14 July 2007
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) was one of the most photographed women of recent times. This display of photographs, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of her tragic death, looks at her life in the public eye as a royal wife, mother, high-profile charity worker and international fashion icon.
Prince Henry of Wales; Diana, Princess of Wales; Prince William of Wales by John Swannell, 1994
The youngest daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, Diana was born in Sandringham, Norfolk. In 1981, at the age of twenty she married Charles, Prince of Wales in a ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral broadcast to over 750 million viewers worldwide. This acute media interest in the life of the new Princess was a sign of things to come.

Over the next 16 years, her life was seen through the lenses of the paparazzi and, in more formal settings, those of the world's leading portrait photographers - among them Lord Lichfield, Lord Snowdon, Terence Donovan, David Bailey and Mario Testino. While she often made reference to feeling hunted by the press, Diana also recognised the benefits of the attention in relation to her role as a human rights ambassador. 'Where I go,' she said 'the world's press follows'.

Diana, Princess of Wales by Roger Hargreaves, 1995This display of photographs shows the public side of the 'people's princess' but also the more private moments, including John Swannell's portrait of Diana and her two sons, capturing a relaxed moment between sittings for an official Christmas card and also a shot from the Mario Testino shoot of 1997.  Taken on a single day in 1997, Testino's photographs of the Princess created a sensation when they appeared, with their completely relaxed informality. 'My original reaction,' he said 'was to photograph her in her traditional role as the fairytale princess. Then I realized that the most exciting image you could hope to see of her was as if you were alone in private with her.'

National Portrait Gallery opening hours: Saturday - Wednesday 10am - 6pm, Thursdays and Fridays 10am - 9pm Recorded information: 020 7312 2463
General information: 020 7306 0055 Website: www.npg.org.uk

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