She never became the Queen of England, but Princess Diana reigned over the hearts of many. Throughout her marriage to Prince Charles from 1981 to 1996, the beloved royal was often asked about the possibility of taking the crown one day.
In 1995 — one year before her divorce from Charles, now 68, was finalized — Diana revealed that she was never interested in being Queen Elizabeth II’s successor during an interview with BBC’s Martin Bashir.
“I always knew I’d never be the next queen. I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts, but I don’t see myself being queen of this country,” she said at the time. “I don’t think many people will want me to be queen.”
Naturally, Di’s remarks inspired her admirers to refer to her as the “Queen of Hearts.” The nickname stuck with the philanthropist (who dedicated much of her time to helping those who were suffering from HIV/AIDS) until she tragically passed away at the age of 36 in August 1997 after a fatal Paris car crash.
Diana visiting with AIDS patients in Brazil in April 1991. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Not long after her death shocked the world, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair referred to Diana as “The People’s Princess.” During his touching speech at her televised funeral in London, he told reporters, “She was a wonderful and warm human being. Her own life was often sadly touched by tragedy. She touched the lives of so many others in Britain and throughout the world with joy and with comfort… The people here and everywhere — not just Britain, everywhere — they kept faith with Princess Diana. They liked her, they loved her.”
Tony, now 64, added, “She was the people’s princess and that’s how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and in our memories forever.” Since then, “The People’s Princess” has been more commonly used to describe Diana and her legacy. While we can’t disagree with that title, we must admit that she will still always be the queen of our hearts.