I recently had the privilege of working on a documentary about the late Princess Diana, which proved to be rather eye-opening on a number of levels. Like many people who grew up during the 1980’s and 1990’s, I was completely fascinated by her as a child, and her sudden and shocking death in 1997 left a lasting impression on me.
Over the years, she has indirectly touched my life in strange ways, the most notable being in 2001, when visiting Paris for the first time, I was nearly knocked down trying to cross a busy road near the Eiffel Tower. Not used to foreign conventions like driving on the opposite side of the road, I stepped into the street, only to be yanked swiftly back by my travelling companion, who was fortunately more switched on than I was and had seen the cars zooming out of the tunnel to our right. Once we had safely made it across the road, we headed up the slope to the Place de l’Alma, where we came across a monument shaped like a golden flame, on the top of the overpass. It was only when I read the inscriptions and written tributes surrounding the Flamme de la Liberté that I twigged that this was the tunnel where the fatal car accident that killed the princess and Dodi Fayed had taken place during that fateful night in August 1997.
In previous articles about eclipses, I have mentioned the strange connection between these soli-lunar events and the British royal family, Diana included – her wedding to Prince Charles took place two days after a solar eclipse (29 July 1981), and her first born, Prince William, arrived on the day of a solar eclipse on the 21st of June 1982. Charles and Diana formally separated on the day of an eclipse (9 December 1992) and Princess Diana died on the 31st of August 1997, one day before the solar eclipse of the 1st of September.
Conducting research into the last two years of her life, however, I was forced to confront the untainted, rather fantastical image I had of her as a child and see her for the complex, fragile and all too human individual that she was. When I first saw her astrology chart some years ago, I found it hard to believe that this was the person I had seen on television and in magazines – other than her obviously caring and nurturing Cancer Sun, I couldn’t relate the natal chart to the image of the woman I was presented with in the media. However, having recently had the opportunity of speaking to people that knew her, and read the detailed biographies written about her by journalists such as Tina Brown and Richard Kay, my natural inclination was to look at her natal chart again to make sense of everything.
NOTE: Here I should add that there is some discrepancy with regards to her time of birth. According to her first astrologer, Penny Thornton, Diana gave a birth time of 2:00pm. However, her this time was then corrected to 7.45 pm and confirmed in a letter to Charles Harvey from the Queen’s assistant press secretary as being from Diana’s mother. This is the time used by Debbie Frank, Diana’s astrologer for the last eight years of her life. As you can see, depending on what house system is used, her house cusps do change dramatically, so clearly some of the house placings I use here are somewhat elastic and open to interpretation.
DIANA’s NATAL CHART
With all this fresh insight into her motivation and character, for the first time, I could see why she had Sagittarius rising (enthusiastic, open-hearted, vivacious and athletic). Many people close to her described her as childlike and innocent, which can be true of Sagittarius, especially when combined with the Sun in Cancer – with this placement, people tend to become either very maternal or very childlike and need taking care of. Provided there are no other strong influences on the character, people with strong Sagittarius can sometimes be so honest and straightforward that they verge on the gullible and tactless. I think the combination of Sun in Cancer and Sagittarius AS probably made her very young at heart, as well as someone who liked to horse around and have a laugh and a joke.
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON
Very often, we find certain astrological patterns running through families, and in Diana’s case, I find it fascinating that Prince William also has the Sun in Cancer and Sagittarius rising. This may explain why the two polar opposite signs, Sagittarius and Gemini, seem to be so prominent for the Duke of Cambridge and his family (see my discussion about this in my blog about the imminent royal birth). It is also interesting that he has both the Sun and Moon in Cancer. This double dose of lunar energy suggests that his mother (both in life and death) had an enormous influence on him, especially in terms of his emotional development. This theme seems to be repeated in his new family: wife, Kate, has the Moon in Cancer, and his son, George happens to be a Sun Cancer. We’ll look more at William’s chart later on when we consider Diana’s legacy.