Who Gave Princess Diana the Name the ‘People’s Princess’?

Princess Diana had several nicknames while she was alive, but there was one name used after her tragic death that is still used when speaking about her today. We’ve all know she is often referred to as the “People’s Princess,” however, many aren’t aware who actually gave her that name.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana | Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

The Princess of Wales died at the La Pitie Salpetriere Hospital on Aug. 31, 1997, following a horrific car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. After the news of her death broke, the name the “People’s Princess” was uttered for the first time. Here’s who gave her that appropriate label and what Diana actually said she had hoped to be known as.

This is what Princess Diana wanted to be called

Lady Diana Spencer gained quite a few titles when she married Charles, the Prince of Wales in 1981 but once the couple divorced her HRH title was removed. While Diana was reportedly upset over losing the honorific and the reality of never being the queen of England, she made clear in her infamous Panorama Interview how she’d rather be recognized.

“I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts,” she explained.

He was the first person to call her the ‘People’s Princess’

At the time of Princess Diana’s death, Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and was tasked with giving a public speech to a shocked nation after he learned that she had passed away.

It was in that speech that Blair called Diana a name no one would ever forget when he said she was “The People’s Princess.”

Tony Blair

Tony Blair | Carl Court/Getty Images

“You know how difficult things were for her from time to time, I’m sure we could only guess at, but the people everywhere–not just here in Britain, everywhere–they kept faith with Princess Diana, ” Blair told reporters gathered that day. “They liked her, they loved her, they regarded her as one of the people. She was the ‘People’s Princess.’ And that’s how she will stay, how she will remain, in our hearts and in our memories, forever.”

Why she earned that name

No one could argue with Blair that it was a name she certainly deserved which is why she is still called that all these years after her death.

Diana not only changed the perception of the royal family but she changed the lives of so many people in so many ways as well. She bonded with the public in a unique way like no other royal before she did by doing things like reaching into crowds for hugs during walkabouts.

Diana also interacted with AIDS patients at a time when there was hysteria over the disease. She visited with those who had leprosy as well and became the patron of The Leprosy Mission. And, just a few months before her tragic death, she walked through a minefield in Angola.

In addition to all that, Princess Diana was candid about her personal struggles and infidelity in her marriage which are serious issues that many people in all corners of the globe could relate to.

Read more: Will Meghan Markle Ever Be as Popular as Princess Diana?

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