Princess Diana 61st birth anniversary: 11 times the People’s Princess broke royal protocol for good

Written By: Pragati Awasthi | Updated: Jul 02, 2022, 12:58 PM IST

A dedicated humanitarian, a loving mother and a fashion icon, Princess Diana left an impact and legacy that is still alive in people’s memories and pages of history. In her life as a princess, she wasn't afraid to break the royal rules which stopped her from living life, her way,

Today, July 1 2021, would have been Princess Diana’s 61st birthday, and we are paying a tribute to the “people’s princess”, ''rebellious royal'' or the ''courageous feminist''. Here's a look at how Diana become a royal rebel in the best way possible.

Her blue sapphire ring

Diana started breaking royal protocols right before her wedding. The people's princess selected her own engagement ring, although the royal rings are custom made, she selected her blue sapphire from the Garrard jewellery collection catalogue.

Choosing her ring was not well taken by the royal family as it gave everyone an access to purchase the same ring. By their standards, the ring "wasn't considered unique and also wasn't bespoke." Perhaps this was the first step Diana took in becoming the "People's Princess."


She will love but will not 'Obey' 

Princess Diana made history at her wedding when she wrote her own vows. She refused to tp "obey" her husband during her wedding vows when she and Charles tied the knot in 1981.

The Queen vowed to obey Prince Philip, she was the first to do this and Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle followed her lead.


Gave birth outside the home

Diana broke another royal protocol when she gave birth to her first child Prince William. It was a royal tradition to have home births, but Diana gave birth to William in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in 1982 and Prince Harry in the same hospital in 1984.


Sent her boys to school

Diana was always a decision-maker for her kids and following the same, Diana tried to give as much of a normal life as possible. She broke another strict Royal protocol when it came to schooling and when William turned 3 years old, she enrolled him in public school at Jane Mynor's nursery school near Kensington Palace, becoming the first heir to the British throne to do so. 

Usually, royals are homeschooled. Following her, Prince William did the same with his kids.


First Royal to crouch down

Princess Diana remains one of the most popular members of the royal family throughout history, and she continues to influence the younger generations of royals. Back then, Princess changed and broke many royal protocols, following the same, she went against another protocol about meeting people at public events. She was the first royal to crouch down to people, even down to the ground with children. This is what Kate and Meghan do regularly now.



She made her own choices

When it comes to fashion and her clothes, she did many offbeat things. Like wearing low cut dresses, showing off her shoulders, above-the-knee dress which were all a major no-no for royals.


A non-royal way of life

Apart from sending her kids to public school, Diana introduced her kids to normal life and was determined to keep her boys down to earth. Diana use to take Harry and William to McDonald's, where they could have Big Mac and chips, she let them wear jeans and baseball caps and they white-water rafted and rode bicycles. Like normal people, they stood in line at Disney. 


Wore Black outside funerals 

Diana was fond of black dresses and wore black repeatedly to events. She wasn't afraid to wear black outside of funerals. Typically, royals don't wear black in public, unless they are attending a funeral or mourning.


Nailed it!

Royal women are allowed to wear neutral nail polish or no polish at all, but Diana stepped out and choose colors for her nails and often wore red nail polish in public. 


Her experiments

Her fashion was a big attraction for all the media houses. Diana did many experiments with her look. From making a tiara out of a necklace that the Queen gifted her to putting blue eyeliner for years which perfectly matched her eyes. 


Spoke about mental illness

Diana always spoke about mental illness and eating disorders and encouraged others to get help. In an interview with the BBC, interviewer Martin Bashir asked whether she suffered from bulimia. To which, she replied “Yes, I did."

“I had bulimia for a number of years. And that's like a secret disease.  You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don't think you're worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day—some do it more—and it gives you a feeling of comfort.'' she said. 

 “You have to know that when you have bulimia you're very ashamed of yourself and you hate yourself—and people think you're wasting food—so you don't discuss it with people,” she explained.