5 times Diana broke royal protocol


His rise to international stardom as a philanthropist and glamor icon was strongly rooted in his approachable demeanor, kindness and rebellious spirit. In doing so, she made the royals more accessible. It influenced the way royals like Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex interact with the public and the press today.

Here are five times Princess Diana broke royal protocol.

1. Diana omitted the word “obey” from her wedding vows

It is a long-standing tradition for royal brides to say that they will obey their husbands while reciting their wedding vows.

But when Diana, 20, married Prince Charles, 32, in 1981, she decided to remove the word “obey” from her vows, breaking royal precedent. Instead, Diana said she would “love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him sick and healthy.”

The original sentence is taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer of 1662, which does not include the word “obey” in the husband’s vows to his wife. Even Princess Elizabeth took a vow to obey her husband, which would be technically impossible when she later became Queen.

The two Kate and Meghan followed in Diana’s footsteps by omitting the word ‘obey’ in their wedding vows decades later.

2. A royal education outside the palace walls

Diana made history again when her eldest son Prince William was three years old and she decided to send him to kindergarten, making him the first member of the royal family to attend the nursery school outside Buckingham Palace. In the past, future heirs to the throne stayed at home with a governess.
In 1985, the Prince and Princess of Wales escorted their eldest son until his first day of school at Jane Mynor’s Nursery School in London, according to the New York Times. Princess Diana, who previously worked as a teaching assistant, chose the small school because she wanted William to receive a child’s education in normal English, the NYT reported at the time.
Prince harry eventually followed in his brother’s footsteps by attending the same school two years later. Diana’s choice to provide her sons with an early public education showed not only her bravery in breaking with royal protocol, but also in exposing her sons to as normal a life as possible.

3. Demystifying the stigma surrounding HIV / AIDS

In 1987, Diana intentionally shook hands with an AIDS patient, trying to dispel the myth that HIV / AIDS could be transmitted through touch.

One of the most iconic parts of Diana’s legacy was her involvement in the HIV / AIDS epidemic.

In 1987, Diana opened the UK’s first HIV / AIDS clinic in London, when the virus was becoming a global health crisis and was often associated with misinformation. It was in this clinic that Diana shook hands with an AIDS patient, without gloves.
“HIV doesn’t make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hand and give them a hug, God knows they need it,” Diana said in 1987.

At the time, it was controversial as many mistakenly believed that the virus could be transferred through touch. This illustration of compassion and empathy for those affected by HIV / AIDS sent a clear message that if a member of the royal family isn’t afraid to touch an AIDS patient, then no one else should. do it. The scene was performed all over the world.

“The image of her holding hands with HIV / AIDS.… It broke the stigma, prejudice and fear that surrounded HIV / AIDS in the beginning,” said Andrew Parkis, Executive Director of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

Four years later, First Lady Barbara Bush joined Diana at the clinic to visit patients, proving the Princess of Wales had strong political influence across the pond.

Today, its humanitarian work continues. The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, established after her death, has raised millions and distributes funds to dozens of causes that Diana supports, including AIDS prevention, the hospice movement and mine clearance.

“The memorial has done a lot of good,” said Diana’s brother Charles, the ninth Earl Spencer. “She didn’t go for the soft option. She didn’t go for the conventional charitable ideas that appealed to others.…”

4. Modern fashion choice

This is the evening gown worn by Princess Diana of England for the State Dinner at the White House in 1985 when Diana danced with John Travolta.
Remember when Princess Diana danced with John Travolta at the White House?

Princess Diana has repeatedly broken royal protocol in her fashion choices, opting for more modern and relaxed pieces.

One of the most celebrated moments for the fashion icon was when she donned a midnight blue velvet off-the-shoulder dress while dancing with John Travolta at the White House in 1985. Her elegance and grace have come true. made this photo unforgettable.
Another iconic look was her “revenge dress,” the asymmetric, bodycon mini dress she wore to an event in London on the day Prince Charles publicly admitted to having an affair in 1994. Black was considered as appropriate only for members of the royal family at funerals.
How would the Princess of Wales have dressed in 2021?
“His style was so much his,” said Jack L. Carlson, whose label Rowing blazers recently launched a Inspired by Diana clothing line. “She wasn’t a follower. On the contrary, she did her own thing, and we all watched in wonder and tried to follow.”

5. Ran barefoot at a school event

Diana runs barefoot as she competes in the Mothers Run on Prince Harry's School Sports Day on June 11, 1991.

This light-hearted moment captured at one of Prince Harry’s school events once again highlighted the Princess of Wales’ appetite for fun and competition. She was publicly a more involved parent than previous royal generations. She took her sons skiing, the beach, water parks and even car races.

In 1991, Diana took part in a run with other parents for “Sports Day” at Wetherby School. She ran barefoot and lost the race, reported Harper’s Bazaar.
Members of the Royal Family are generally expected to keep their shoes on when in public. Most of these royal directives are learned and unspoken. According to Vogue, one of those rules is that shoes should be kept clean and tidy.
But Diana didn’t let those guidelines interfere with her pleasure. Prince Harry said in an ITV / HBO documentary after Diana’s death that she was a “child through and through”.

CNN’s Megan C. Hills and Jack Guy contributed to this report.

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