Thirty-two years ago yesterday, Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles and became the Princess of Wales. Now three decades after her epic wedding and almost 16 years since her tragic death, fascination with Princess Diana remains. Today, Vanity Fair released its September cover with Princess Diana on it, offering more evidence that interest in the late people's princess has not faded. Below, let's examine the latest resurgence in coverage.
Her Secret Lover
Dr. Hasnat Khan is the subject of the new Vanity Fair article titled The Grandmother Prince George Never Knew: Revisiting Diana and the True Love of Her Life. The Pakistani heart surgeon dated Diana between 1995 and 1997. The article claims that she wanted to marry the doctor and considered moving to Pakistan. It quotes Diana, reading: "'Everybody sells me out,' Diana told a friend the summer of her death. 'Hasnat is the one person who will never sell me out.'" According to the piece, Hasnat's conservative family, as well as his distaste for the spotlight sabotaged the relationship. It also implies that Diana's infamous relationship with Dodi Fayed was designed to make Hasnat, the man she truly loved, jealous. Vanity Fair also covered the topic in 2007 with an excerpt from Tina Brown's book The Diana Chronicles. And the clandestine relationship is examined in the upcoming film Diana, starting Naomi Watts.
The Would-Be Grandmother
With the birth of Prince William's son, much sentimental attention has turned to Princess Diana. For example, Kate's choice of a postpartum polka-dot dress brought back the memory of Diana wearing a similar print while leaving the hospital with Prince William. Former acquaintances recently have been quoted in the papers as saying Diana would have made a wonderful grandmother, and there is constant speculation that Prince William will follow his mother's hands-on parenting example. Considering Diana's work with children is a major part of her legacy, it's natural her memory is being evoked upon the birth of her first grandchild.
Find out how Diana's image and objects are still highly-coveted when you keep reading.
Magazine Cover Girl
During her life, Diana was one of the most photographed women in the world, and her image still proves iconic. For its September issue, Vanity Fair went back in time and used a photo from Diana's last portrait session with Mario Testino in 1997. On the eve of her 50th birthday in 2012, however, there was a more controversial use of her image. Newsweek aged Princess Diana using Photoshop and made it appear as if she was walking next to her doting daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton. Inside the magazine readers could find a mocked-up version of her would-be Facebook page.
This current fascination with the royals picked up steam with the April 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. At that time, some of Diana's former confidants used the regained popularity as a chance to offer their private mementos to the public for sale. An old teacher friend put Diana's personal letters up for auction, and the dress Diana wore while dancing with John Travolta at a US state dinner sold in 2011 for nearly $1 million.
You can look at past Vanity Fair covers to see how intrigue surrounding other icons who met a tragic fate — like Marilyn Monroe or the Kennedys — has transcended generations. Considering their endurance, it's doubtful the public will lose interest in Diana any time soon.