Bella Donna: Diana, Princess of Wales


A Bella Donna is more than just a pretty face. Sometimes she starts a trend, other times her impact isn't realized until decades after her debut. And then there are a few who become legendary, like this week's choice, Diana, Princess of Wales. Born Diana Spencer, she was not the "commoner" many people initially imagined her to be; she was born into an aristocratic family, which was a requirement for her to marry Charles, Prince of Wales. Their 1981 wedding was watched by almost one billion people, and their divorce was a hot tabloid topic. But Diana's charity work showed her great compassion, and her death—which happened ten years ago tomorrow—plunged the world into sorrow.

From her early days in the media spotlight to her unexpected death, Diana's personal style inspired countless women to copy her look. Most women couldn't afford her luxurious ballgowns, but they could manage to mimic her short blonde hairstyle. In the early '80s, she favored a feathered look, but it always kept up with the times—often setting off trends with a snip of the scissors. She didn't have a perfect life; she struggled with depression, bulimia and a failed marriage. Still—and maybe partly because of her resilience—she remains one of the 20th century's most influential beauties. Diana would have been 46 this past July.

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