Born in the aristocratic Spencer family that had been closely allied with the British royal family for several generations, Lady Diana grew up in a house rented from her future mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II, and played with her future brothers-in-law Prince Andrew and Prince Edward in her childhood. While familiar with members of the royal family, Diana was oblivious to their professional lives as working royals until her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, which became quite difficult for her in the future years.

Dr. James Colthurst, a close friend of Princess Diana, said she was not "fully aware" of the "machine" she was entering when she married into the British royal family and became the Princess of Wales, future Queen Consort of the United Kingdom.

Recalling the pressure a 20-year-old Diana faced after beginning her royal life, Colthurst wrote in The Telegraph, "I felt, when she joined the Royal family, she may not have been fully aware of the machine she was in. The Firm, for its part, was unaccustomed to having a superstar in its midst, and I don't think they knew how to cope with the enormous amount of publicity she generated."

Dr. Colthurst noted that not only Diana, but even the world was unprepared for the sudden popularity she gained in such a short time, especially her own husband Prince Charles' team who were reportedly "jealous" of her ever-growing global fame.

"She didn't have a big support team at the Palace herself: she was just trying to do her best. When she did what she thought was right, it was well received by the public but not always by the Firm," Colthurst explained.

Colthurst added that Diana herself suffered the downside of her fame when the difficulties in her marriage with Prince Charles were played out in public for the world to see. He revealed that he used to receive up to ten phone calls a day from her during these "rocky years," and it was the "daunting" number of patronages she took on that helped keep her happy. However, she had found stability in the months before her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Princess Diana
29 July 1981: The new Princess of Wales and her husband travel back to Buckingham Palace in an open carriage. She wears a wedding dress by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel and the Spencer family tiara Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images