On her 36th birthday, she spent time raising funds for a charity rather than have a grand party for herself.
Princess Diana would have turned 58 on July 1 this year. She would have had her loved ones around her and like every year when she was alive, she would have had fans sending her gifts and their wishes, which is how her final birthday was spent. She received more than 90 bouquets of flowers and countless cards and messages that day, according to Mirror UK.
Her youngest, Prince Harry, 12, who had been away at school in Ludgrove that day, gave her the most special birthday message. He called her and made his friends sing "Happy Birthday" on the phone to her, which she cherished deeply.
On July 1, 1997, on her 36th and last birthday, she "sparkled", according to her brother Charles Spencer, who had accompanied her for the event. She shined literally and metaphorically that day, which became the last time her brother saw her. Just a few weeks later she passed away in a tragic accident. Her birthday was a true personification of who she was. She was divorced by then, but she never stopped being a mother. Her children were very important to her.
"The last time I saw Diana was on July 1, her birthday in London, when typically she was not taking time to celebrate her special day with friends but was guest of honor at a special charity fundraising evening," Spencer said.
What she did on her birthday makes it more clear that her commitment towards her philanthropic work was always her top priority. Instead of having a lavish party, she attended the Tate Gallery's 100th-anniversary celebration in London. Her birthday celebrations were limited to private family time only. She was ready to start a fresh life after her divorce with Princes Charles, she had said in a 1997 Vanity Fair interview released one day before her birthday, according to Good Housekeeping. Her 35th year had been spent on working on charity projects, including helping the English National Ballet increase funds, assisting Mother Teresa in New York, and visiting Lahore to raise money for a cancer clinic.
If things had gone as planned, she would have continued on that path, using her wealth and influence to create opportunities for those who didn't have them and thinking of the welfare of the people.
She was not just a good person but a beautiful woman too. Her sense of style and fashion were widely recorded, and after her separation, it was like she came into her own. For her final birthday, she wore a couture little black dress embedded with pearls and created by Moroccan designer Jacques Azagury as a gift. She had earlier planned to wear another dress but when she received that dress, she decided to wear the dress in which she "sparkled". With the dress, she wore an emerald and diamond choker from the Royal Family's collection, which the Queen had given to Diana on a lifetime loan after she married Charles. A pair of black slingback heels complemented the lowcut strappy outfit.
The designer knew that now that Diana was no longer Her Royal Highness, she could wear black as evening wear and not just for mourning. At the event, which was attended by the whos who of the British society and was sponsored by Chanel, she received more presents and wishes. Someone even gave her balloons.
Speaking to Hello! , Jacques said, "Diana loved it. I believe she had another dress to wear but ended up wearing mine." He also added that she had become more confident since the divorce. "She was happier than I had ever seen her. There was something about the way she carried herself; a certain new-found confidence," he added.