During her short lifetime, Diana, Princess of Wales, stole a nation's heart and captured the world's attention with her charisma and glamour -- single handedly transforming an outdated and stuffy monarchy. As a Royal, she went above and beyond her call of duty and did so in her own special way. She was human and she was vulnerable and ultimately that's why we related to her so much. 15 years after the People's Princess' tragic death in Paris, here are our favourite Lady Di moments. Please feel free to add any of your own special memories in the comments section.
When Diana Frances Spencer was first introduced to the British public she had a certain look that we all took to instantly. It spoke of innocence and a young girl unprepared for the spotlight, we felt for her and fell for her at the same time. From day one we knew there was a spark in her and we awaited as she came into her own.
Theeee Royal wedding
Long before Prince William and Duchess Kate tied the knot, the wedding of the century was undisputedly Diana and Prince Charles. More than 750 million people across the world watched the fairy-tale wedding take place at St. Paul's Cathedral. And the public got what they were waiting for as Charles and Diana shared a public kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Bliss.
The couple's first child was born at St Mary's Hospital on June 21, 1982. The public didn't have to wait long before catching a glimpse of young Prince William, who was put in front of the cameras the very next day. And it wasn't long after that the Royal couple presented Wills with a playmate. Prince Harry (christened Henry) was born on 15 September, 1984. We watched the two boys grow into men and looked on as they shared their mother's fate of being constantly in the public eye.
International charity work
The princess had a very tough life and in the wake of her messy divorce she told a BBC interview that "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." Instead of shying away from the public, Diana became one of the most loved, well-respected and hard-working philanthropists. This was long before Brad and Angelina Jolie were playing ambassadors. Diana was the real deal. She was one of the first to understand that what HIV/AIDS patients needed first and foremost was to be treated with compassion. Fifteen years since her death, her work continues to impact the lives of millions around the world.
Courting the world
Despite (or because) of her famous blush, it wasn't long before the international media began to give her the respect she deserved. She was transformed from a Royal wife to an internationally admired philanthropist. The world became just as fascinated with her as we Brits, and Diana earned her crown as the People's Princess.
We all remember exactly where we were when we first heard the tragic news. Diana left the Ritz Hotel in Paris with her partner, Dodi Al Fayed. Their car was surrounded by the press and the driver, Henri Paul, lost control as they entered a tunnel. Paul was found to have been under the influence of drugs and a large amount of alcohol. Our princess was pronounced dead at 3:00am, on the 31st of August, 1997.
A candle in the wind
Britain has never witnessed such collective outpouring of sadness in modern times as a nation wept for their princess. Public grief swamped the Royal family's stiff-upper lip reaction to Diana's death. There was outrage and the Queen was forced to put on a lavish funeral which was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people. A nation mourned, but we mourned together.
On April 7, 2008, an inquest by a High Court Jury returned a verdict of the unlawful killing of Diana and Dodi Fayed by the gross negligence of both their chauffeur and the paparazzi. A nation sighed a breath of relief as some sense of justice was felt.
Princess Diana's legacy will live forever, not only through our memories but her unparalleled charity work. She shook up the Royal family by eclipsing the Queen's popularity. But at the same time she was extremely vulnerable. In Roman mythology Diana, means "divine" or "heavenly" -- apt for a woman who touched so many with her grace.
The next generation
Diana left us two boys, who share many of her charms and continue to carry on her good work. We see the same grace and rebellion in her sons as we saw in her. And that's why we remain fascinated. The Duchess, William and Harry have huge shoes to fill but we're confident that they'll honour their mum's memory.