Princess Diana’s Birthday: How She Celebrated Her Last Birthday and How Old She Would Have Been Today
Princess Diana was beloved by all — and her final birthday proved just that. On July 1, 1997, fans and family helped her celebrate her 36th birthday. Even though she and Prince Charles finalized their divorce in 1996, Diana was still treated as a member of the royal family.
She truly remained the People’s Princess, despite being forced to give up her royal title after the divorce. According to PopSugar, Queen Elizabeth II was willing to allow Diana to keep her royal highness status, but Charles insisted she gave it up.
She was, at least, given the title Diana, Princess of Wales. But from that point on, she had to curtsy to anyone with an official royal title. That included her own sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, who were 11 and 14 at the time, respectively. William reportedly told his mother, “Don’t worry, Mummy, I will give [your title] back to you one day when I am king.”
Diana revealed in a 1997 Vanity Fair interview (which was released just one day before her birthday) that she was building a new life for herself and her sons post-divorce. She continued working on charity projects, which included increasing funds for the English National Ballet, raising money for a cancer clinic in Lahore, and even working with Mother Teresa in New York.
She was showered with love
While she continued her selfless work until her tragic death on Aug. 31, 1997, she was able to celebrate a day dedicated to herself one last time. According to Tina Brown, the author of The Diana Chronicles, Diana received 90 bouquets of flowers on her last birthday. Harry also gave his mother a call from school, so he and his classmates could sing her “Happy Birthday.”
She celebrated in style
Diana donned what would become one of her most iconic outfits on her 36th birthday. She was celebrated as the guest of honor at Tate Gallery’s 100th anniversary celebration in London. And of course, she wore a fabulous gown that was gifted to her by Moroccan-born designer Jacques Azagury. She accessorized her black, beaded lace gown with a stunning emerald and diamond choker necklace.
She received even more gifts from fans at the event, which included cards, flowers, and balloons, according to Good Housekeeping. Of course, a few notable guests were in attendance to help Diana celebrate. The list included Carole Bouquet, Iman, Steve Martin, and even Charles’ cousin Viscount Linley and Lady Helen Taylor.
She would have been 57 today
If Diana were still alive today, she’d have been able to celebrate her 57th birthday. On the day that marked her birthday in 2018, fans took to social media to send their continued love. A Facebook user commented on a group dedicated to remembering Diana, “She is sadly missed by all.” Another wrote, “Wonderful Princess Diana, so sadly missed.”
One year prior, on what would have been her 56th birthday, William, Harry, and Kate Middleton attended a private service at her grave on the Althorp estate. The service was notably held on the year that marked 20 years since Diana’s death.
Kensington Palace announced in a statement, “The service, which will fall on what would have been the Princess’s birthday, will be conducted by The Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by her family.” At the service, Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, declared, “She deserves a place in history.”