This is the third installment in a series of photos and videos remembering Princess Diana as we approach the 20th anniversary of her shocking death, on Aug. 31, 1997. Please share your thoughts and memories of Diana in our Icons community forum.
As a new member of the royal ranks, Diana stepped into her official Princess of Wales role immediately. The pretty princess was barely back from her honeymoon before she was handling royal engagements, both with Prince Charles and alone. What she lacked in self-confidence in those nascent days, she made up with in flair. She could instantly connect with the people who came out in droves to see her, and her photogenic appearance gradually became a huge part of her public appeal. She grew more assured with every outing and quickly became a global sensation, adding some much-needed warmth, youth and modernity to the monarchy.
In 1983, Charles and Diana made their first official international trip, to Australia and New Zealand, where Diana quickly learned the crowd-pleasing ropes. As she made more royal trips, she dazzled in every situation, from gamely "driving" a tank at a Berlin army base to wearing the royal lady "uniform" of colorful dresses and big hats, or a tiara and elegant gown in more formal situations. At first, and especially when photographed with Prince Charles, Diana appeared demure — in Venice, for a spin in a gondola, on a royal tour of Italy; at the British Embassy and the White House, on a visit to the U.S.; on visits to France and Thailand. But on her own in Egypt and Argentina, she really began to shine — smiling, shaking hands, greeting children — discarding the hats for a sunny glow and a wardrobe of formfitting chic clothes. The real Diana, who by 1992 was separating from Charles, began to emerge as a role model for a new era of pop-star royalty.