PRINCESS DIANA

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             Diana Frances Spencer was born on 1 July, 1961 in the es­tate of the Spencers in Norfolk. Diana’s parents were from aris­tocratic families: her father’s name is Viscount Althrop and her mother’s name is Frances Roche. The ancestors of her fa­ther Earl Spencer were relatives of a royal dynasty. The mo­ther had a noble title too. When Diana was six, her mother left the family and in 1969 the marriage of her parents was offi­cially dissolved. In 1975 Althrop inherited the title of Earl Spencer from his father and for the second time married Raine, the Countess of Dartmouth, the daughter of the writer Bar­bara Cartland.

             Diana was sent to the private school. She dreamt of being a ballerina, but, then, as she told herself, she had to give up this idea because it appeared that she was too tall for that. Diana studied at normal schools — at first in Norfolk, then in Kent. When she was 16 she left for Switzerland and finished school there. Having returned, she lived with her friends inLondon, earning as a cook or a nanny, and then found the job of a teacher in a kindergarten.

            For the first time Diana met the Prince in 1977, in the es­tate of Diana’s father. Diana’s sister Sarah introduced them to each other. They began to date. At this time it was consi­dered in Buckingham Palace that the heir should marry. Di­ana seemed to be a suitable candidate, though Spencers were not royal by descent. But Diana was not catholic, so one of the main conditions of a royal marriage was observed, and the de­cision was made. They were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981 and this wedding became rather most brilliant event in Britain. Diana was twenty, Charles — thirty-two.

             However, after the honeymoon the relations between the couple started getting worse. In June, 1982 the Princess of Wales gave birth to her first son, Prince William, and in Sep­tember, 1984 she gave birth to her second child Prince Henry. The Royal family hoped that with birth of the sons peace would reign in the family. But the hopes appeared to be vain. Charles and Diana were moving away from each other. The situation became even worse, when the Princess understood, that heart of the Prince belongs to another woman — Camilla Parker- Bowles (later, in 1986, it became known, that he renewed the relations with her). Then Diana, in her turn, began to take les­sons of horse riding from the major Hewitt, a heart breaker from the high society. The exposing scandalous photos and overheard telephone conversations of the husband and wife appeared in mass media. Since autumn 1987 the couple began to spend practically all the time separately. In December, 1992 the Prime Minister John Major announced to the Parliament, that Diana and Charles were going to divorce. The official di­vorce was held in August, 1996.

               Several last weeks of her life Princess Diana spent toge­ther with her friend Duddy Al-Fayed, 41 years old, the senior son of the Egyptian billionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed, the owner of the most fashionable London shop «Harrods», Paris hotel «Ritz», and a lot of others. On August 31, 1997 Princess Di­ana was killed in a car accident together with Duddi. Diana’s death was a great tragedy and loss for the whole British na­tion. In her life she did a lot of charity all over the world and became the most popular and beloved figure of the royal fami­ly. Her death is still full of mysteries.

    

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

1.   What can you tell about Diana’s family?

2.   When was Diana born?

3.   Where did Diana study?

4.    When and where did she first meet Charles?

5.    What kind of relations did Diana and Charles have after getting married?

6.    When did the situation become worse?

7.    When was the official divorce held?

8.    How did the Princess die?

    

 

 

VOCABLUARY

 

estate — имение, поместье

ancestor — предок

royal — королевский

to dissolve — расторгать (брак)

to inherit — (у) наследовать

to give up — отказаться (от чего-либо)

nanny — няня

to give birth to — родить кого-л.

kindergarten — детский сад

suitable — подходящий

descent — происхождение

heir - наследник

wedding — свадьба

a brilliant event — яркое событие

honeymoon — медовый месяц

reign — правление

vain — напрасный, тщетный

horse riding — верховая езда

separately — отдельно, врозь

senior — старший

fashionable — модный

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