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14 rare, vintage photos of a young Princess Diana

The late Princess of Wales was one of the world's most photographed women

Split image of a young Princess Diana with a pram alongside an adult Princess Diana in a striped outfit
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
5 April 2024
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Princess Diana was one of the most photographed women in the world during her lifetime, and even at a young age the late Princess of Wales always looked perfect in images taken of her.

Born as Diana Spencer on 1 July 1961, she became known as Lady Diana Spencer in 1975 when her father became the 8th Earl Spencer. The young girl always had close royal links, with the late Queen attending her parents' wedding and growing up on the Sandringham estate before moving into her family's ancestral home, Althorp.

We have no doubt that you will have seen dozens of images from when she was adult, whether it be those taken on her final holiday, her iconic 'Revenge Dress' or ones shared when she was a full-time working royal. But, how many photos of a young Diana have you seen?

Scroll down to see the best photos of the late Princess of Wales before her engagement to the then-Prince Charles...

A baby Princess Diana in a white dress on a blanket© Hulton Archive

Diana's first birthday – 1962

In what is perhaps one of the earliest images of the late Diana, the future Princess of Wales is seen here in a white dress as she marks her first birthday. Diana grew up in Sandringham, and seemed to enjoy a sunny day on her birthday as she played on a blanket.

A young Princess Diana in a pram© Central Press

A royal stroll – 1963

Although Diana will certainly have had a unique upbringing, in other instances, her life was just like anyone else's, and she's seen here at the age of two relaxing in her pram.

A young Princess Diana on a small sofa© Keystone

Diana as a toddler – 1963

The young Diana is just two-years-old in this sweet photo that was captured by her family.

A young Princess Diana in a black coat© Central Press

Growing up fast – 1965

Diana appeared to have been a well-behaved child, and she is seen her posing for a photo at the age of four.

A young Princess Diana pushing her young brother Charles Spencer on a swing© Hulton Archive

Sibling bonds – 1967

Diana came from a large family having two older sisters, Sarah and Jane and a younger brother, Charles. She also had an older brother, John, but he died just hours after he was born in 1960.

In this sweet photo, the sibling bond between Diana and her younger brother is on full display as they play together on a swing set with Diana giving him a push.

A young Princess Diana in a red dress and hairband with blue cardigan© Fox Photos

A fashionista in the making – 1969

Diana was just eight-years-old in this photo, but the youngster already had a swagger and natural confidence around her as she posed in her dress and cardigan.

Family photo of Richard Wake-Walker, Lady Anne Wake-Walker, Elizabeth Wake-Walker, Christopher Wake-Walker, Earl Spencer, Countess Spencer, Lady Sarah Spencer, Viscount Althrop, Lady Jane Spencer.  Lady Diana Spencer and Charles Spencer© Hulton Archive

A family event – 1969

Diana came from the aristocratic Spencer family, which traces its roots back to 1469. In this family photo, Diana stands alongside her brother, Charles, as they mark the 50th wedding anniversary of their grandparents, Albert and Cynthia.

A young Princess Diana holding a croquet mallet© Central Press

Princess of Croquet – 1970

In a moment that could have been straight out of Bridgerton, Diana was an ace at croquet. In this photo taken when the youngster was nine, she was enjoying a family holiday to West Itchenor, Sussex, a favourite holiday haunt of the family.

A young Princess Diana on a beach with a small rowboat© Central Press

Beach trip for Diana – 1970

West Itchenor is a beachside village on the Sussex coast, most noted for its sailing club. In this photo, a young Diana enjoyed some time on the beach, relaxing against a small rowboat. Despite the summertime, it appeared to be a chilly day as the youngster wrapped up in a knitted jumper.

A young Princess Diana in a cream dress and black hat© Central Press

Diana's head for fashion – 1971

Diana was always experimenting with her fashion, and in this snap, she opted to use a quirky oversized hat to go with her cream dress.

Princess Diana in outdoors wear on an island© Central Press

Diana in Scotland – 1974

It wasn't just West Itchenor that Diana would go to on family trips to as the Scottish island of Uisk became home to her mother after she split from Diana's father in 1967. The Scottish isle will likely have been chillier than the beach and Diana made sure to dress for the occasion in her woolly jumper.

A Shetland pony nuzzling a young Princess Diana© Hulton Archive

A secret admirer – 1974

Diana always had a soft spot for animals, and she kept a Shetland pony on her stepfather's estate on Uisk. In this sweet photo, the pony showed off their close bond as it goes in to nuzzles the future Princess of Wales.

Princess Diana pushing a baby boy in a buggy© Princess Diana Archive

Hard at work – 1980

When the then-Prince Charles met Diana, she was working as a teaching assistant in a nursery and as a nanny. In this photo, the 19-year-old can be seen pushing a young child around in a buggy.

Princess Diana looking surprised in a car© Tom Stoddart Archive

A rare faux pas from Diana – 1980

Everything Diana did was poised and perfect, but she did sometimes slip up. In this photo, the 19-year-old can be seen startled as she accidentally stalled her car shortly after the announcement of her engagement to the Prince of Wales.

RELATED: Charles Spencer delights fans with 'glorious' unearthed childhood photo with sister Princess Diana

READ: Charles Spencer's poignant childhood anecdote about Princess Diana will bring tears to your eyes

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