Princess Diana’s name is practically synonymous with “the people’s princess.” The title encapsulates why Lady Di’s legacy has only grown over the almost 23 years since she passed away. Her down-to-earth nature and ability to connect with commoners was something the public hadn’t yet seen in royalty. As we celebrate the Princess of Wales’ birthday month, it’s a joy to dive into the vault and sift through some of her most iconic moments. And if there was ever a photo that embodied the kind and relatable royal, it must be the one we’re about to discuss.
Diana became a sleeping beauty during “The Splendours Of The Gonzagas Exhibition Gala” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in November 4, 1981. Photographer Tim Graham pressed snap at precisely the right moment, capturing her nodding off in a plush red chair. The then-20-year-old donned a puffy chiffon dress by high-end designer Bellville Sasson - we doubt the brand had any idea she’d fall asleep wearing it, but that was Diana, always full of surprises. Speaking of surprises, the palace swooped in and revealed why she felt so sleepy the following day.
On November 5, 1981, Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Diana was pregnant with her and Prince Charles’ first child. Back then, it was an unexpected turn of events, with the couple having married merely four months prior. Of course, it explains why she might have been so tired - in addition to the whirlwind start of life as a royal. Queen Elizabeth kindly asked the media to give Diana space during her pregnancy.
Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William on June 22, 1982 at St. Mary’s Hospital. She later revealed that it was a difficult time for her in Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story. “When we had William, we had to find a date in the diary that suited Charles and his polo,” she said. “William had to be induced because I couldn’t handle the press pressure any longer, it was becoming unbearable. It was as if everyone was monitoring every day for me.”
“Anyway, the boy arrived, great excitement,” she added. “Thrilled, everyone absolutely high as a kite – we had found a date where Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth. That was very nice, felt grateful about that!”