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GALLERY: Diana’s pre-engagement brushes with the press

As engagement rumours swelled around Lady Diana Spencer before the official announcement on 24 February 1981, she was a fixture in paparazzi photographs. Here are some of the most iconic snaps taken of Lady Diana Spencer before she became engaged to The Prince of Wales 40 years ago!

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This photo was taken outside of Diana’s flat in Coleherne Court, London, in December 1980.

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Before she married Prince Charles, Diana worked a series of odd jobs including nanny to an American couple, pre-school assistant, and nursery teacher assistant. In 1980, she was photographed with two of her charges.

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In September 1980, Diana was photographed backing her car into a tree as she tried to cover her face from the paparazzi.

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The rumours of a royal romance began to swirl in the fall of 1980, and Diana’s appearance at Princess Margaret’s 50th birthday celebrations at the Ritz Hotel in London only added fuel to the fire.

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Diana was pictured with then Camilla Parker-Bowles at the Ludlow Racecourse to watch Prince Charles compete. By then, their romance was in full swing and Diana was meeting his closest friends.

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Diana leaving her flat on 13 November 1980, the day before Prince Charles’s 33rd birthday.

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Another photo of Diana outside her flat in November 1980.

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Diana pictured on an outing with Young England kindergarten students in January 1981, mere weeks before her engagement was announced.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.