How Princess Diana Learned To Take Advantage Of Her Celebrity Status For Good

Diana, Princess of Wales, born Lady Diana Frances Spencer in 1961, was the youngest daughter of the then Viscount and Viscountess Althorp. Growing up, she was neighbors with Charles, Prince of Wales. They reunited one weekend in 1977, got married in 1981, and, after having Prince William and Prince Harry together, they divorced in 1996 (via 

From her royal status to her fashion choices, Diana was always making headlines and making waves, and there was one area of her life that was particularly admired and highlighted: her charity work.

Known as the "People's Princess," Diana spent her free time giving back and doing good. "I would like a monarchy that has more contact with its people," she told BBC's Panorama in 1995. When discussing the press during that interview, she said "the pressure was intolerable" and "was so cruel," yet she kept on doing humanitarian work. "I never really stopped doing it," she said.

'No one can fill her shoes,' according to this Diana connection

Throughout her lifetime, Princess Diana was a patron of more than 100 charities (via Harper's Bazaar). She regularly visited the homeless in London, bringing along her sons at times. "It was a real eye-opener, and I am very glad she did. It has been something I have held close to me for a long time," Prince William told The Telegraph.

She worked with those who had AIDS/HIV, causing Gavin Hart of the National AIDS Trust to say, "In our opinion, Diana was the foremost ambassador for AIDS awareness on the planet, and no one can fill her shoes, in terms of the work she did" (via BBC).

Even after her death on August 31, 1997, the efforts continued. Donations came in, leading to the setup of The Princess Diana Memorial Fund. It closed in 2012, being taken over by The Royal Foundation, which still uses donations for charities. At that time, 727 grants had been given to 471 organizations, and over $145 million was given to charitable causes (via Harper's Bazaar).