Royals | Retro

10 Ways Princess Diana Changed The Royal Family Forever

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's tragic death, which is the perfect time to reflect on her lasting legacy.

Despite only being a princess for a short time, Diana refused to play by the rules and wound up changing almost all of them. Here are 10 cases where she made a change for the better:

1. Using charity to change the world

Every royal has their pet causes and interests, but no one pursued them as intensely as Diana did. Her work to end the use of landmines is a great example of how much she could achieve with just her influence and popularity.

When she visited Angola in 1997, 71 countries around the world still used land mines. The princess walked through an active minefield to show the world just how dangerous they are. Her work helped pass the Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use of land mines in 162 countries.

But her sons still carry on her legacy, as Prince Harry continues to work with the Halo Trust to rid the world of land mines by the year 2025.

2. Her fashion choices

From the stunning designer gown she wore at her royal wedding to the "Travolta dress" that sold for more than $360,000 at an auction, Diana had a flair for fashion that few public figures before or since could match.

She was known for some dramatic choices, like wearing a diamond choker given to her by the Queen as a headband while touring Australia with Prince Charles.

But her most iconic outfit of all was the "Revenge Dress," which she wore to steal the thunder from the Prince's public announcement of his affair with Camilla Bowles.

Wherever she went, Diana's wardrobe always made headlines, and people still compare Princess Kate's style choices to the late princess's.

3. Her public life

Until Princess Diana came along, the tradition was for all royal births to happen at home - even Prince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace. Diana insisted that William would be born at a hospital, just one of the changes she made that brought the royal family into the public eye.

Prince William and Harry were also the first royal children sent to a public school, and Diana often brought them outside the palace to visit candy shops, burger restaurants and water parks. Today, Prince William and Princess Kate often take their own children out into the "real world" to let loose and have fun.

4. Her hands-on approach to life

Contrary to expectations for a princess, Diana was "not really a gloves person," as her brother Charles explained. "She was very real and very about human contact." Diana made good use of her "no gloves" policy when she visited AIDS patients, helping to dispel the stigma surrounding the disease.

Royal protocol still insists that the public can only shake the hand of a visiting royal, but Prince William recently broke this rule when he hugged a victim of the Grenfell fire. Where did he learn that compassion? From his mother of course! Prince Harry remembers how their mother "would just engulf you and squeeze you as tight as possible."

"And being as short as I was then, there was no escape, you were there and you were there for as long as she wanted to hold you. Even talking about it now I can feel the hugs that she used to give us."

But there's another reason Diana was able to connect with people around the world.

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