At this point, you may feel like you know all there is to know about Princess Diana and the royal family. They're among the most famous people in the world, and their every move is under a microscope. Princess Diana — known as the People's Princess — was watched especially closely and adored by millions. There is one thing, though, that many people may not know about Princess Diana: Her last name, before she married Prince Charles in 1981. Because royals don't typically go by or use surnames, which creates a bit of confusion, it's fair to wonder what Princess Diana's maiden name was before she became royalty.
When she joined the royal family decades ago — marrying Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, then divorcing years later in 1996 — she became Princess Diana, or more specifically, Princess of Wales. But prior to that, according to The Sun, she was known simply as Diana Frances Spencer, which she went by until her late teens. And after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, Princess Diana went by "Lady Diana Spencer," according to Biography.
Once she married Prince Charles, however, her maiden name, Spencer, pretty much disappeared from her name as royals don't typically use last names, but they do have one. According to TIME, all royals go by just their titles and first names — like Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge) or Prince Harry (the Duke of Sussex), Princess Diana's sons — but many of their surnames is technically, prior to marriage, Mountbatten-Windsor, according to the royal family's website. After marriage, royals use the name of the royal house they belong to, which is why Prince William and Kate Middleton's children are sometimes referred to as the Cambridge kids.
After Princess Diana and Prince Charles' divorce, she was still known as Diana, Princess of Wales, though the other title of "Her Royal Highness" dropped from her name, as explained on the royal family's website.
Royal fans may have noticed that Princess Diana and her family have been dominating more headlines than usual recently. That's because, according to The Sun, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had invited Princess Diana’s sisters — Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes — to their son Archie's christening ceremony earlier this month. Both of the late royal's sisters even posed with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their son's special day, according to Town & Country, alongside Prince William, Middleton, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Markle's mother, Doria Ragland.
Archie's christening is hardly the first time Princess Diana's sons have kept her memory alive. Kate Middleton's outfit, in fact, from Archie's christening "included a sweet nod to Princess Diana" — pearl and diamond drop earrings the late royal had been photographed wearing before — according to INSIDER. And on Mother's Day, Markle and Prince Harry included Princess Diana's favorite flowers, forget-me-nots, were featured in their photo shared on Instagram, according to NPR.
Princess Diana may no longer be with us, but her legacy — and the interest in her — is still very much alive and well.