Britain's Princess Diana (1961-1997) smiles as she arrives at the Tate Gallery, London, in this July 1, 1997 file photo.
She was a superstar in a royal family, becoming its most popular figure even as she was ostracized from it. Charismatic and big-hearted, she was also a tabloid fixture whose life ended tragically short.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
Lady Diana Spencer
Diana Frances Spencer, the youngest daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances, Viscountess Althorp, was born on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, on July 1, 1961. Her father would later become the 8th Earl Spencer and inherit Althorp, the family's ancestral seat.
Diana's privileged childhood was marred by her parents' marital troubles. Her mother ran away with the heir to a wallpaper fortune and, after a tug-of-war, her father won custody of the children. He later remarried.
Left: A family photo of Lady Diana Spencer, taken at Itchenor, West Sussex, England, during the summer of 1970.
In 1977 Diana first met Prince Charles, who was then dating her older sister, Sarah. She thought he was "pretty amazing," she told an interviewer years later.
Settling in London, Diana was working as a kindergarten aide when she began dating Charles in 1980. Six months later, he proposed.
Left: Britain's Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, pictured on the grounds of Buckingham Palace in London, after announcing their engagement on Feb. 24, 1981.
The Royal Couple
Britain's Prince of Wales and his then-fiancee, Lady Diana Spencer, arrive for their first official engagement together - a charity event at the Goldsmith's Hall - on March 9, 1981 in London.
Diana, Princess of Wales, in her wedding dress, on July 29, 1981.
St. Paul Cathedral
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles of Wales at their wedding in London at St. Paul's Cathedral, July 29, 1981.
Nearly one billion viewers watched the wedding on live television.
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Charles, Prince of Wales, are seen during their wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, July 29, 1981.
The Royal Couple
Charles, Prince of Wales, and bride, Princess Diana, wave to the crowd as they pass through Fleet Street after their wedding at St Paul's Cathedral in London, on July 29, 1981.
The Prince and Princess of Wales kiss after their wedding, July 29, 1981.
The Young Prince
The Prince and Princess of Wales smile as they leave St. Mary's Hospital in London, Tuesday, June 22, 1982 with their infant son, Prince William.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, pose for a family portrait at Kensington Palace in London, England, Oct. 6, 1984, with their sons, Prince William (right, born June 21, 1982), and Prince Harry (born Sept. 15, 1984).
Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry
Diana, pregnant with Prince Harry, carries Prince William in this undated photo, released by Kensington Palace in July 2017.
This undated photo, made available by Kensington Palace in July 2017, shows the princess and Prince Harry on vacation.
Princess Diana and Prince Harry
Princess Diana plays with Prince Harry aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, in this undated photo released by Kensington Palace in July 2017.
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II is pictured with Princes Charles and Princess Diana on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican, August 29, 1985.
President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, welcome Princess Diana and Prince Charles to the White House, November 9, 1985, in Washington, D.C.
Diana, the Princes of Wales, casts a glance at her husband Prince Charles as he speaks at a press conference at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, Nov. 10, 1985.
There were early rumors of marital discord between Charles and Diana. By the mid-1980s dueling London tabloids published increasingly bizarre and racy stories of squabbling and infidelity, backed up with quotes from anonymous "friends" on both sides. Diana reportedly seethed with jealousy over Camilla Parker Bowles, the one-time girlfriend she suspected Charles still loved.
Diana, Princess of Wales, wears a Japanese Kimono during her 1986 visit to the ancient city of Kyoto, in central Japan.
Diana ignored critics to befriend and champion people suffering from HIV/AIDS at a time when they were shunned by many. The photographer who took this shot was asked not to show the face of an AIDS patient who shook hands with Diana, at Middlesex Hospital in London on April 19, 1987.
Jedi Knight and Princess
British actor Sir Alec Guinness and Princess Diana appear at a gala dinner at the 40th Cannes Film Festival, May 15, 1987.
Her Royal Majesty
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smile to well-wishers outside Clarence House in London, August 4, 1987.
Diana, Princess of Wales, is seen during her visit to Footscray Park near Melbourne, Australia, January 27, 1988.
Britain's Prince Charles and Diana Princess of Wales watch Indonesian tribal dancers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, November 5, 1989.
By 1989 Diana's private dismay with her royal life was becoming public, including an intercepted phone call in which she complained bitterly about her in-laws to a sympathetic James Gilbey, who calls her "Squidgy."
Andrew Morton's 1992 book, "Diana: Her True Story," is filled with revelations of the princess' marital misery, bouts with bulimia and even a suicide attempt. And in 1994 Capt. James Hewitt wrote about his five-year affair with Diana in his book, "Princess In Love."
In this October 1991 file photo, Diana, Princess of Wales, enjoys a boat ride at Niagara Falls, Ont., with her sons, Prince Harry, 7, and Prince William, 9.
Mother Teresa chats with Diana, Princess of Wales, during a visit to a convent in Rome, February 19, 1992.
In an image that illustrated the royal couple's rocky marriage in newspapers around the world, Diana is photographed – alone – seated outside the Taj Mahal in India in February 1992.
On December 9, 1992, the official separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales is announced by Prime Minister John Major.
Britain's Princess Diana peers out the window of a plane on the tarmac upon arrival at Hong Kong airport, November 5, 1992.
The People's Princess
Princess Diana receives a kiss on the hand from trainee electrician Danny Walters, during a walk in Southwark, South London March 10, 1993.
Diana, the Princess of Wales, accompanied by Prince Harry (right), family friend Catherine Soames (left rear), and Prince Harry (left) at a resort in Lech, Austria, March 24, 1994.
VJ Day Commemoration
From left: Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles gather for the commemorations of VJ Day, August 19, 1995 in London.
A Tabloid Affair
On December 21, 1995, London's national newspapers headline the report that Queen Elizabeth II has sent a letter to both Prince Charles and Princess Diana spelling out her "desire for an early divorce."
A windswept Princess Diana leaves her London health club after her morning workout January 24, 1996.
This March 6, 1996 file photo shows Princess Diana arriving in a London hospital surrounded by photographers for a charity visit.
Britain's Princess Diana sits with First Lady Hillary Clinton during ceremonies at the White House September 24, 1996. Clinton hosted a fund-raising breakfast to benefit breast cancer research.
Breast Cancer Fundraiser
Diana, Princess of Wales leaves a receiving line at a fundraising event for the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research September 24, 1996 in Washington, D.C.
Anti-Land Mine Activist
In this 1997 file photo, Diana, Princess of Wales, wears protective gear during a briefing by the British land-mine sweeping organization Halo Trust, in Huambo, central Angola. Diana was visiting Angola in an effort to raise awareness on the problems of landmines.
Land Mine Victim
Britain's Princess Diana talks to amputees, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 1997, at the the Neves Bendinha Orthopedic Workshop on the outskirts of Luanda, Angola. Sitting on Diana's lap is 13-year-old Sandra Thijica, who lost her left leg to a land mine while working the land with her mother in Saurimo, eastern Angola, in 1994.
Anti-Land Mine Activist
Diana, Princess of Wales, is shown a selection of land mines at the Mine Training Centre, in Viana, near Luanda, Angola, Jan. 14, 1997, as part of her four-day visit to Angola in support of the Red Cross campaign to ban anti-personnel land mines.
Diana, Princess of Wales, has a cuddle with one of the many babies at the Kikolo health post during a visit in the Angolan capital of Luanda, Jan 14, 1997, to see the work of the British Red Cross in action.
Diana, Princess of Wales is given a tour of Imran Khan's charity cancer hospital, with Khan and his wife, Jemima, in Lahore, Pakistan, May 23, 1997. Khan, who led Pakistan to victory in the cricket World Cup in 1992, later formed his own political party.
With a child resting on her lap, Diana, Princess of Wales, attends a reception at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, on May 23, 1997. The hospital was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Kahn.
English National Ballet
Diana, Princess of Wales, with ballerinas from the English National Ballet after they gave a gala performance of "Swan Lake" at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on June 3, 1997.
Diana, Princess of Wales, arrives for a gala at the National Museum of Women in the Arts for a benefit to promote the ban of land mines June 17, 1997 in Washington, D.C.
Diana and Dodi Fayed
Diana, Princess of Wales, and her companion Dodi Al Fayed walk in the French Riviera resort of St. Tropez on Aug. 22, 1997.
Surveillance camera images show Princess Diana at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on August 30, 1997, with her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed, son of Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed.
In the early hours of August 31, as Diana was pursued by paparazzi on motorbikes, her car entered a tunnel under the Place de l'Alma and struck a pillar, smashing into a wall.
Al Fayed and the Mercedes' driver died at the scene; the princess was rushed to the hospital where she later died. Only her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived the crash.
Blood tests later showed the chauffeur, Henri Paul, had consumed alcohol and drugs prior to the accident.
An inquest later found Paul and the drivers of other vehicles to be "grossly negligent."
A Canadian tourist reads the news reports of Princess Diana's death outside St. Paul's Cathedral, where Diana was married to Prince Charles in 1981.
A bank of flowers builds up outside Kensington Palace, the London residence of Diana, Princess of Wales, Sept. 1, 1997.
A policeman stands in front of the railing of London's Buckingham Palace, Sept. 1, 1997. Behind him is just a section of the rows of floral tributes placed on the pavement by tourists and Londoners mourning the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales is carried into Westminster Abbey by the bearer party of Welsh Guardsmen for her funeral September 6, 1997.
From left: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales, September 6, 1997. Hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Central London to watch the funeral procession.
Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Charles Spencer, Prince William and Prince Philip stand as the coffin bearing the body of Princess Diana is taken into Westminster Abbey, Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997 in London.
The coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, enters Westminster Abbey in London, Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997.
According to the BBC, an estimated 2.5 billion people around the world watched Diana's funeral on television.
Sign of Love
On Sept. 5, 1997, skywriting pilot Greg Stinis drew a message in the skies over Hollywood, Calif - a heart with the name "Di" - to pay tribute to Princess Diana.
Visitors line up to enter the Doric Temple dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, situated at one end of the Oval at the Spencer family estate Althorp, north of London, July 1, 1998.
Messages are written above the entrance to the tunnel where Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed died in a tragic car crash, January 5, 2004 in Paris.
Visitors pass by the wedding dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales June 29, 1999 on the opening day of an exhibition to celebrate her life at her ancestral home, Althorp, the site where she is also buried.
Sarah O'Shea of the charity Historical Royal Palaces, which cares for Kensington Palace, stands in front of images of Diana, Princess of Wales, at an exhibition by Peruvian photographer Mario Testino at Kensington Palace in London, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005.
In Her Footsteps
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, age 32, looks at a photograph of his late mother Princess Diana as he visits Hodogaya Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on the second day of his visit to Japan, February 26, 2015 in Yokohama. Diana had been photographed visiting the cemetery during a visit 20 years earlier.