Five Battles Princess Diana Fought During Her Lifetime

posted: 07/27/17
by: Emily Livermore

The public was enamored with Diana Spencer as soon as she began appearing in the press. She was a fashion icon and the picture of perfection. Her fairytale with Prince Charles was what little girls always dreamed of while playing dress-up with plastic tiaras.

But little did the world know that she was taking on battles of her own that were far more serious than finding the perfect dress or jewels to match.

Here are 5 ways Diana Spencer embodied the spirit of a warrior beneath the crowns and ball gowns. Click the title of each section for a special clip from Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason? premiering July 31 at 8/7c. Watch on TLC or stream live on the TLC GO app.

  1. Life Flipped at 20 Years Old

Diana was only 20 when she married Prince Charles in 1981. Once she was engaged to her literal "Prince Charming," the thought of starting a new life and spending it with the one she loved was thrilling. But, adjusting to life with the Royal Family in the public eye was not easy, it was lonely. Her closest friends believe she never truly got used to it. It was a dramatic switch from living in a flat with friends to being isolated in a palace with hundreds of staff she didn't know and a fiance she could only see if she scheduled an appointment. Diana had her doubts but knew she had to honor the commitment she made to Charles, even if it meant facing daily challenges without any support.

  1. Pleasing the Queen

Being engaged and getting married is supposed to be one of the most magical times in a girl's life. This is far from what Diana Spencer experienced with Charles. Enjoying the fact that she was becoming a princess was impossible with the extreme pressures to please the Royal Family. Marrying the Queen's son came with incredibly high standards. Eyes were on Diana at all times. She was expected to wear the right things, say the right things, and hold herself in the right way, even inside Kensington's walls. Diana had to fight not lose sight of who she was as she stepped into her new complicated life.

  1. Bulimia - An On-going Battle

While the public idolized Diana, she was still just a girl in her 20s battling things that regular women across the globe struggle with--appearances. Diana struggled with bulimia nervosa as a teenager but relapsed after moving into Kensington. In her diary she wrote, "I knew the bulimia started the week after we got engaged. My husband put his hand on my waistline and said: "Oh, a bit chubby here, aren't we" and that triggered off something in me...I was desperate, desperate." The pressures of the Palace were detrimental to Diana's mental health and created the unrealistic expectation for perfection.

  1. A Failing Marriage

As if battling depression and an eating disorder was not hard enough, she had to do it all alone with zero support from her husband. Diana demonstrated incredible strength by standing by her husband for years despite her unhappiness with their life. Meanwhile, Charles kept up an affair with a woman named Camilla. Diana was direct with him when she found out about the affair and begged him to end it but Charles continued to be unfaithful. The amazing thing is how Diana was able to put on a smile and keep up the act of their fairytale love story all while a darkness was buried inside her.

  1. A True Act of Bravery

Diana had her fair share of emotional battles, fights with her husband, and struggles with being under the constant watch of the Queen and the paparazzi. But her warrior spirit was evident in a more literal way in 1997 when she travelled to Angola. Diana was an advocate for a world-wide ban on landmines. While it was a political conflict since Britain was a major manufacturer of the weapons, Diana's trip proved her interests were purely humanitarian. In Angola, Diana walked through an active mine field. She put her life in danger to make a global statement against the deadly weapons she was determined to fight.

Diana Spencer was so much more than a princess. 20 years after her death and the world still mourns the loss of such an incredibly strong woman. Tune in to TLC July 31 at 8/7c for Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason? and re-live Diana's journey - her beautiful life, devastating death, and the ways she changed the world for the better. Can't wait until the 31st? Watch the first hour NOW on TLC GO!