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30 Photos of Young Princess Diana Before She Became a Royal

Before she garnered the love and attention from the world, young Princess Diana was just a regular person like the rest of us.

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Lady Diana Spencer 2Photo: TIM GRAHAM/GETTY IMAGES

Portraits of a young Princess Diana

On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles wed in a fairytale wedding that would lead to Diana capturing the hearts of those worldwide. Before her marriage, motherhood, and life as an activist, Princess Diana was just as normal as the rest of us. Young Princess Diana spent time being a free spirit with friends and family, as the following photos show.

Following Princess Diana’s death, millions around the world watched her funeral and mourned the loss of the People’s Princess. Twenty-four years after Princess Diana’s funeral, Diana’s memory and legacy continue to live on. Below, we take a look at the girl and woman who became the Princess of Wales and went on to change the world.

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Birthday PrincessPhoto: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1962

The Spencer family welcomed their fourth child, Diana Frances Spencer, on July 1, 1961, in Sandringham, Norfolk. In 1962, young Diana celebrated her first birthday at Park House where she was born.

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Young DianaPhoto: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1963

In a pram fit for a princess, Diana spent much of her childhood in Sandringham, where she spent time playing with Queen Elizabeth II’s two younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

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Baby DianaPhoto: KEYSTONE/GETTY IMAGES

1963

A young Princess Diana makes the “terrible twos” look delightful! “From the moment I met her and worked with the family, I saw she was helpful, laughing, exuberant, loved by both her parents, and the apple of her father’s eye,” Mary Clarke, Princess Diana’s former nanny, wrote in her book, Little Girl Lost: The Troubled Childhood of Princess Diana by the Woman Who Raised Her.

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Young Diana 2Photo: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1964

In her toddler years, Diana spent time pushing prams and playing at home with friends and family.

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Young Princess DianaPhoto: BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

1964

Not only did she pull off her iconic haircut as an adult, but she also pulled it off as a toddler too! From bangs to a bob, nothing was stopping Diana from taking on the world by storm.

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Little DianaPhoto: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1965

A young Lady Diana Spencer, looking just about ready to head out the door in her cute-as-a-button coat.

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Viscount And Lady 2Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1967

Lady Diana is seen here playing around with her younger brother, Charles Spencer.

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Young Diana 3Photo: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1968

While pictured here with her younger brother, Diana was actually the fourth child born to the Spencers. Diana’s siblings were Sarah, Jane, John, and Charles.

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Lady Diana Spencer In Cadogan Place Gardens LondonPhoto: PA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

1968

In the summer of 1968, Diana was just like your ordinary kid—ready to play in the sun at Cadogan Place Gardens in London!

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Golden WeddingPhoto: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1969

At her grandparent’s 50th anniversary celebration, Diana, alongside members of her extended family, came together for a portrait. Can you spot her without any clues? We’ll give you one: she’s wearing knee-high socks!

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Dianas MalletPhoto: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1970

Looks like young Princess Diana was no stranger to croquet as she holds onto a mallet during a game.

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Dianas HolidayPhoto: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1970

After Diana’s parents divorced in 1969, she spent holidays split between her parents. In this photo from 1970, Diana was spending her summer holiday in Itchenor, West Sussex!

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File 50 Years Since Birth Of Diana Princess Of Wales On July 1Photo: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1971

Diana, pictured here at age 10, smiled and posed for the camera while on holiday.

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Lady Diana 2Photo: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1974

In 1974, Diana switched from her preparatory school to West Heath, a boarding school near Sevenoaks, Kent. “At school, she showed a particular talent for music (as an accomplished pianist), dancing, and domestic science, and gained the school’s award for the girl giving maximum help to the school and her schoolfellows,” according to royal.uk.

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Diana PonyPhoto: PA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

1974

Splitting time again between her mother and father, Princess Diana spent some of her summer holiday at her mother’s home in Scotland with this adorable Shetland pony named Souffle!

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Fellowes Wedding 1978Photo: PA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

1978

Sister duties for the Fellowes wedding! Diana served as a bridesmaid for her sister Jane during her wedding ceremony to Robert Fellowes, Baron Fellowes.

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Princess Diana 14Photo: MIRRORPIX/GETTY IMAGES

1980

At her flat in Coleherne Court, London, the former kindergarten teacher at the Young England School in Pimlico spoke briefly to reporters about her new adjustment to life in the public eye.

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Lady Diana Spencer Aged 19 At The Young England KindergardenPhoto: TIM GRAHAM/GETTY IMAGES

1980

Was there a colour that Diana couldn’t wear? Nineteen-year-old Diana pulls off a monochromatic moment in shades of purple—something that would change as the soon-to-be Princess of Wales would later be styled in various shades of pink.

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Princess Diana 16Photo: MIRRORPIX/GETTY IMAGES

1980

Not only did Diana balance her teaching job, but she also spent time working as a nanny for an American couple. This would make Diana the first person to ever have a paying job before marrying an heir apparent.

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Diana Spencer Stalls Her New Mini MetroPhoto: TOM STODDART ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1980

While getting in and out of our cars may seem like an easy task, it wasn’t for the soon-to-be princess. Labeled as “Shy Di,” life as she knew it would soon change drastically as she became the centre of media attention as every move was closely watched—even getting into her red Mini Metro!

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Lady Diana 3Photo: PRINCESS DIANA ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1980

Before being styled by the British royal family, Diana had her choice of pickings. Following her marriage, her clothes had to change, but this didn’t stop Diana from keeping some of the old, tried, and true. “She had an ‘official’ wardrobe and a private wardrobe,” according to designer David Sassoon.

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Lady Diana SpencerPhoto: TOM STODDART ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1980

Diana embarks on a new outing while catching the attention of the media in her purple jumper outside her London home. Purple was often seen on the future Princess of Wales, and it was quite a fitting colour—purple is known to represent royalty, nobility, wisdom, and peace. She also photographed beautifully in it!

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Diana SpencerPhoto: CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

1980

The future Princess of Wales leaves her London flat in the months prior to her wedding, flashing a friendly smile to the media on her departure.

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Diana Princess Of WalesPhoto: KYPROS/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Princess Diana wasn’t the only thing popular in the ’80s—so was polo! Here, Diana watches a polo match in Hampshire.

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Lady DiPhoto: FOX PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Life’s a blur when you’re about to become engaged! A month before her engagement, Diana was the centre of attention, as the media grew even more fascinated with her relationship with Prince Charles.

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Lady Diana At The RacesPhoto: KYPROS/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Let the race begin. Pictured here at Sandown Park Racecourse, Diana made sure we all knew brown was the new black. Diana was a trendsetter in this brown ensemble.

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Lady Diana At PoloPhoto: PRINCESS DIANA ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Diana is seen smiling and laughing at the Cartier International polo match on Smith’s Lawn, Windsor.

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Almost A PrincessPhoto: TIM GRAHAM/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Following the Ascot races, young Princess Diana reminds us of her earlier teenage years in her monochromatic purple outfit.

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Diana In TetburyPhoto: SERGE LEMOINE/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Diana is a lady in red during her visit to the town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire following her engagement.

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Lady Diana Spencer And Sarah Ferguson Pre MarriagePhoto: TIM GRAHAM/GETTY IMAGES

1981

Diana and Sarah Ferguson, the future Duchess of York, enjoy a day of relaxing and catching up at a polo match before either one of them had a royal title.

Next, check out these stunning rarely seen Princess Diana photos.

Sources: 

  • Brittanica: “Diana, princess of Wales”
  • The Washington Post: “From Sheltered Life to Palace Life, To a Life of Her Own”
  • Best Life: 23 Facts About Princess Diana Only Her Closest Friends Knew
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