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Diana, Princess of Wales


Emergency lights flickered through the cold walls of the pond. Allama as parisian authorities arrived at the scene smoke sputtered from the smashed crashed black mercedes s. two eighty on the tunnels farside. The hood of the car was crunched into the driver's seat. The authorities rushed to recover the crash crash victims as they triage d- they found two of the four passengers were still alive. One was a bodyguard named trevor rees jones d the other was one of the most famous women in europe diana. The princess of wales was trapped in the car pinned the by the mangled seats horrified. The paramedics immediately began to cut her out of the wreckage for seven ten minutes. The the rescuers drilled into the twisted metal trying to free the injured princess finally around twelve thirty three a._m. They managed to pull diana out of the car. She was barely breathing but alive. They would have to act fast if they were going to save her life. Hi i'm vanessa richardson and i'm carter roy. Welcome to historical figures apar- cast original every other wednesday we discussed the different print persons lasting historical impact unique personality and impression on the world around them are audio biographies covered big lives but we you like to focus on little known facts today. We're discussing diana francis spencer the princess of wales nickname the people's princess diana dedicated her adult life to founding and aiding charitable organizations around the globe she personally cared for victims of cancer aids in leprosy and was an advocate for dozens of impoverished nations but princess diana is also remembered for her notorious public scandals throughout the nineteen eighty s and nineteen ninety s the world was enthralled by her turbulent marriage and very public divorce from prince charles heir to the british throne today will explore diana's privileged early life her scandal ridden relationship with prince charles and her tragic untimely untimely death at par cast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how doing reach out on facebook and instagram aah podcast and twitter at podcast network and if you enjoyed today's episode the best way to help us is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening it really does help we also now have merchandise had to park cast dot com slash merged for more information now back to the life of princess diana princess. Diana was born diana frances spencer on july first nineteen sixty one in sandringham sandringham norfolk. It was a quiet beautiful little village on the coast of the north sea. Her parents were edward. John spencer the eighth earl spencer answer and ruth shand kidd lady althorp for the majority of diana's early childhood she lived in a manner called parkhouse the word the house is a little misleading as the home was part of queen elizabeth. The seconds sandringham estate and measured approximately twenty thousand acres really it was more like a country palace. The home was a favourite destination for queen elizabeth the second when she wanted to go on summer holiday has such young diana was playmates with both prince andrew the future duke of york and prince edward the future earl of wessex although diana wasn't royalty her family was in the noble class from a young age she was exposed to the posh lifestyle of england's elite <music>. Let her blissful. Idyllic childhood didn't last long shortly after diana was born her parents began to fight according according to diana's biography diana her true story in her own words her father edward spencer was upset that his wife hadn't produced imail air. This sounds like an archaic thing to drive a marriage apart but even in the nineteen sixties. A male heir was essential for a noble family family to maintain their estate without a baby boy. The spencers would lose their title and likely their land after diana's father died edward. It was so frustrated with his wife. He forced her to go to a clinic in be examined for fertility problems while lady althorp did eventually give birth to a son on named charles in nineteen sixty four by then it was too late. She never forgave her husband for his treatment of her and their marriage continued to decline kline. Sadly this period diana's life likely set the stage for her own marital troubles. She would experience as an adult. Diana's parents finally finally divorced in nineteen sixty seven. Both parents fought for custody of the children but ultimately edward one. It's likely edwards. Status doesn't earl helped his claim life continued as normally as it could for the next few years in nineteen sixty seven seven year old diana hannah began attending sill field private school in gayton norfolk then in nineteen seventy three when she was thirteen. She started at west heath girl school in sevenoaks. Okay kent diana struggled academically in fact when it came time to take her all levels which are standardized tests that prove english students have competently completed their education. She failed twice. Diana was very shy and struggled to make friends. She spent a lot a lot of time alone. Preferring to play piano swim and practiced ballet in solitude as she grew up she came to appreciate the time she could spend alone away okay from the drama of her family but in nineteen seventy six when diana was fifteen the relative peace she had found for herself was blown apart when her father announced that he had married rain mccorkell dale the countess of dartmouth edward hadn't mentioned to his children that he was in a relationship with rain. Let alone that he planned to propose until the engagement was already. Official rain was known for her drinking and partying. She turned diana's diana's peaceful childhood home into in the words of the guardians lucy mangan a las vegas style gin palace diana founded all repulsive diana would refer to reign as acid rain in hatefully chant rain rain go away whenever she stayed with her father and new stepmother. We don't know what punishment diana received as a result but it's safe to assume it didn't help the domestic situation two years later when she was seventeen. Diana moved into her mother's flat in london. She took cooking classes and did something that most nobles never dreamt of. She got a job. She didn't need the money but she loved the idea of giving back to her community. By nineteen seventy eight diana was working as a dance instructor and also picked up work as a playground assistant. She found that she had a gift for helping people especially young children children for the next few years she enjoyed life in london with her mother and busied herself with as many part time jobs as she could these included working thing as a nanny a party host a nursery assistant and a house cleaner but in july nineteen eighty when diana was nineteen her life changed forever when her friend philip pass invited her to prince charles thirty first birthday celebrations at a country estate as prince prince his birthday included several days of partying and has an english prince several games of polo now from diana's perspective you might be able to to say that she and charles made a connection at this party and quickly fell in love as part of a whirlwind romance but the real story is a bit more complicated catered than that in the years leading up to this fateful nineteen eighty birthday party charles had been engaged in passionate but messy romance dance with camilla shand the couple had dated throughout the early nineteen seventy s but they broke up in nineteen seventy-three allegedly due to charles roles moving overseas to serve in the military however a likely additional reason is that camilla was seen as too low born to be a suitable wife. Hey for the heir apparent to the english crown under social pressure from her own family camilla married andrew parker bowles in nineteen seventy three and became camilla parker bowles however when charles returned from his military service he and camilla maintained a seemingly very friendly relationship relationship that transitioned into a rather open affair at some point in the late nineteen seventies the royal family apparently had no problem with charles carrying airing on the affair so long as he eventually settled down with a wife who was deemed quote suitable to serve as the future queen consort in the words of lord mountbatten uncle to charles father prince philip quote in a case like yours. The man should so his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before before settling down but i think for a wife he should choose a suitable attractive and sweet character girl before she has met anyone else she she might fall for translation. It's okay for a man of charles standing to have affairs so long as he finds a sweet virginal woman to marry so in nineteen eighty thirty one year old charles was on the prowl for a wife someone whom he could perform his royal responsibilities ladies with while he's still maintained his relationship with camilla and as luck would have it this was exactly when he encountered diana at his birthday party. Charles ended up asking diana to join him that summer on his royal yacht britannia diana agreed and the official courtship began word soon spread about charles and diana's relationship both his mother the queen and even his girlfriend camilla urged charles to marry mary diana who was seemingly a suitable kind of girl following this trip charles diana to meet his family including his mother queen elizabeth the second at the royal family's favorite scottish residence bowel moral on november seventeenth nineteen in eighty diana met queen elizabeth the second her husband prince philip and charles grandmother elizabeth bowes lyon the queen mother her queen elizabeth. The second later said she enjoyed meeting diana and found her well-spoken that afternoon. Even at this early stage in diana and charles charles's courtship the press buzzed around the couple that were fascinated with the young prince's love life but there was something especially interesting about diana hannah she was not a royal family member and a crown. Prince hadn't married a non-royal in over three hundred years. Even stranger charles and diana only met thirteen times before he proposed on february sixth nineteen eighty one with a ring that consisted of fourteen eighteen solitaire diamonds surrounding twelve carat blue salon sapphire. It was the same ring currently worn by diana's daughter-in-law kate middleton duchess of cambridge at only nineteen years old. Diana said yes to charles into royal life. It may have seemed that she was set but her real challenges were just beginning up next. We'll explore the hostile bureaucratic landscape of the british keke and it's dark effect on diana. What if your doctor didn't know what was wrong with you. Medicine isn't always an exact science. Sometimes it's a guessing game when the world's most renowned experts can explain what's wrong were left with a medical mystery par or cast newest original medical mysteries brings high stakes storytelling and intrepid investigation to the hospital in the first medical procedural for the podcast space medical mysteries follows desperate patients battling mysterious symptoms as determined doctors race against the clock for a diagnosis. How do you cure are you didn't know existed follow medical mysteries for free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts or visit par cast dot com slash medical medical mysteries to listen now and be sure to ground after our show to hear a clip of the first episode of medical mysteries carter and i have some exciting news for you starting now you can listen to historical figures episodes that are older than six months completely ad free exclusively exclusively on stitcher premium. We're always looking for ways to improve the listener experience. We found an amazing partner in stitcher to bring you episodes ad free six months after they are released again. This'll only affect episodes older than six months. Nothing else will change. We'll still be releasing new historical figures episodes wherever you listen to podcasts fasts for free month trial go to stitcher premium dot com slash podcast and use promo code podcast that stitcher premium dot com slash park asked asked and use promo code podcast now back to the story after nineteen year old lady. Diana spencer agreed to marry charles charles prince of wales in february of nineteen eighty-one. They continue to move fast. The date was set for their wedding. Just six months later in july. Ally diana soon found. She didn't have the happily ever after she'd imagined as she was. Ill equipped for the media attention. She faced she began to question ask if she was worthy of the royal family this extreme anxiety was amplified by the way charles treated her he began to make remarks about her her weight and even told diana she was getting chubby. After their engagement wrought with feelings of inadequacy diana developed bulimia in late february wary nineteen eighty-one just a few weeks after her engagement every time she made herself sick she felt a huge release of tension that that feeling became addictive to make matters even worse. Charles didn't exactly have is only for his future wife in the months loans leading up to the wedding in july of nineteen eighty one the same month. She was set to be married. Diana came to suspect that charles was still carrying on his affair with camilla. She discovered that charles had commissioned a bracelet for camilla and diana even went to his office to find the piece of of jewelry and confirmed the suspicion for herself. She confronted charles who at that time was known to be seen wearing cufflinks that each bore the letter c you see and see or charles and camilla charles seems like he wasn't exactly hiding what was going on and why would he his relationship. This ship with camilla had transitioned into a public ongoing affair. He didn't see any reason why he should give that up just because he was getting married naturally we though this didn't sit with diana at all she was so distraught by the whole affair that she considered calling off the wedding ultimately it was diana's sisters sisters sarah and jane who convinced her to go through with it. The wedding was a massive global publicity event that was going to draw the eyes of millions aliens of people from around the world. The ordeal was simply bigger than the feelings of just one person. Even though that person was the bride to be diana couldn't back down and so the wedding went forward as planned on july twenty ninth nineteen eighty one the day of the wedding the streets around saint paul's cathedral were lined with over six hundred thousand spectators trying to catch a glimpse of diana in her wedding gown seven hundred and fifty million more watched the event from their televisions at eleven twenty a m diana entered the cathedral wearing an ivory avary dress designed by famed dress makers david and elizabeth emanuel it featured a twenty five foot train and ten thousand a hand sewn pearls to put it simply. The dress was bold. The twenty five foot train was seen by some tabloid writers as ostentatious and counter intuitive in that address seemed to draw attention to itself rather than the future princess who is wearing it but that blip of controversy was quickly snuffed <unk> out by the massive popularity of copycat styles from her very first day as the princess of wales diana had established herself as a fashion icon once she was in the church diana knelt before the altar and pledged herself to her new husband and the british monarchy honor key diana from i take the child's philip author george charleston drew with that twenty year old diana became the princess of wales and the third highest biased ranking woman in the royal family following the wedding thirty two year old prince charles and the new princess of wales moved to kensington into palace a grandiose royal residence overlooking kensington gardens in london now married diana had one very important task to produce the next british air on november fifth nineteen eighty-one less than four months. After the wedding princess diana revealed she was pregnant with their first child but the pressures of royal life were still mounting. Diana was expected to accompany charles to royal events around the world old at the same time she had to prepare to give birth to the heir to the british throne and do so without ever seeming tents or strained. This stress was so intense. Diana actually attempted injure herself early in the marriage when she was twelve weeks pregnant. She threw herself down a staircase in her home. At the time. There was some debate as to whether this event was merely an accident but diana herself came forward years later to say she she did it because she felt so inadequate in the royal family. She didn't try to hurt herself again. At least not in any way publicly known unsourced quotes indicate that she engaged in other methods of self harm like cutting and may have even considered suicide but it's difficult to determine where we're the rumors end and the facts begin regardless from early on in her marriage. Diana felt suffocated by the tight hold that the royal family had on her life. She courted more controversy. When she gave birth to her. First child on traditionally in england a royal child was born at home mm-hmm but diana wanted her child to have the best medical treatment so on june twenty first nineteen eighty two. She gave birth to her first son william in the lindo wing of saint mary's hospital in london. This was the first time in history that an heir to the throne was born in a hospital queen elizabeth elizabeth. The second was upset about this decision but diana was uncompromising. She gave birth the way she felt was best animosity. Only we continue to grow between princess. Diana and the queen diana began to address more boldly at public events with her husband and to show affection to her child oiled public. All of this was seen as highly inappropriate in the eyes of the monarchy but diana didn't really seem to care. She did the exact ax same thing with the birth of her second son harry over two years later in september of nineteen eighty-four like william harry was born in saint mary's ariz hospital diana was determined to break tradition with her parenting style. She couldn't give her son's totally normal lives. They were royals and and so she but she did want them to get a sense of what it was like to live. As a common british citizen according to patrick jephson diana's chief of staff diana made shore william and harry experienced things like going to the cinema queuing up to by mcdonald's going to amusement parks those sorts of things that that were experiences that they could share with friends. Diana also disregarded the royal expectation that her children needed a nanny and decided to attend to william in harry herself. She drove them to school picked out their clothes and even planned their outings. Diana made her children the number one priority the in her life. She made sure all of her royal obligations like visiting hospitals were scheduled around them and there were a lot of royal events wants to attend diana average two hundred royal engagements a year in the nineteen eighties. She realized her visits drew media attention to impoverished communities entities and suffering people and she could use that media attention as a beacon for charity and social change. The best example of this came in nineteen nineteen eighty-seven when the twenty five year old diana took up the cause of aids research throughout the nineteen eighties. The aids epidemic had spread fear across the world. The public didn't understand how the disease spread so people were terrified to even touch victims of the disease public leaders were even reluctant lucked to say the word aids because it was considered such a dirty subject on april nineteenth nineteen eighty-seven diana arrived at london middlesex. Oh sex hospital to speak with some aids patients that day. She shook hands with one of the patients without wearing gloves. This may not seem like a huge gesture now but back in the nineteen eighties touching an aids patient unprotected was considered dangerous. A photograph of the handshake circulated pleaded around the globe in a matter of days and help to both humanize aids patients in de stigmatized disease but not everyone saw diana's china's work as heroic in fact queen elizabeth. The second publicly stated that the princess should get involved with quote something more pleasant. Diana jonah defended her actions saying quote h._i._v. does not make people dangerous to know you can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows knows they need it. What's more you can share their homes their workplaces and their playgrounds and toys while diana was battling the a stigma around aids. Her relationship with charles grew worse by the day by nineteen eighty-seven only six years into their marriage. He was growing growing coal to her and would leave for days at a time officially. Charles reported that the thirteen year gap in their ages was beginning to strain their relationship ship but diana couldn't help but wonder if something more scandalous was afoot. Diana decided to confront charles ex girlfriend camilla she had reason to believe that their relationship had never actually ended even though years had passed and they were both married to other people camilla continued to flaunt oughta bracelet charles had made for her at public events. Diana finally approached camila at a party in nineteen eighty. Nine charles was apparently alarmed at the two women wanted to meet watched as they found a private room. Diana later reported. She was terrified to talk with camilla but she was to to hurt and upset to give up when they were alone. Diana asked camilla about her involvement with charles camilla played coy and pretended not the understand what diana was talking about but by the end of the conversation she scolded diana for trying to learn the truth camilla said quote. You've you've got everything you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world to fall in love with you and you've got two beautiful children. What more do you want. Diana responded. Did i want my husband. Following this encounter. Diana and charles had another fight about his infidelity. According to diana charles got angry scolded her until she cried. He didn't comfort her and even worse. He continued his relationship with camila. The rest of the royal family didn't seem to mind that diana was suffering without any kind of social support. She sought solace with a childhood friend. Brand named james gilbey in the early nineteen ninety s their affair became sexual and came to light in nineteen ninety-two courtesy of a seventy year old retired bank manager named cyril reenen seattle and his wife enjoyed listening to noncommercial radio frequencies in their spare time time it was in one of these listening sessions that he recorded diana in james gilbey talking intimately on the tape gilbey affectionately action league called diana squidgy and squid and diana talked about her concern that he might have gotten her pregnant unfortunately for diana to who reporters from local newspaper the sun caught wind of cereals recording of diana and quickly acquired a tape on august twenty third nineteen ninety two. They released it to the public. This tape quickly became an international scandal nicknamed squidgygate after the unusual pet name gilbey used for diana. It proved that diana was unfaithful to her husband and the crown this controversy may diana deeply paranoid about the press and the royal family she began to suspect that she was being recorded or even bugged in her everyday life but she was not going into back down easily in the early nineteen nineties. Diana decided to fight fire with fire. She was going to reveal to the world the dark dark underbelly of the british monarchy they would understand who their future king really was up next. We'll hear one of the most scandalous stories in the history of the british monarchy now back to the story in the early nineteen nineties princess diana's china's public image was suffering her affair with james gilbey had become a global story and she was now being accused of harming the royal family's image mitch in nineteen ninety-three. She described her feelings at a public luncheon. Dr was not aware of how overwhelming attention would become nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and and my pass in the life in amana. It's been hard to bath. The more diana made the public aware of her situation the more sympathy they offered her. They wanted to understand what was going on. Behind the scenes of the british royal family. Dan took the opportunity to sit sit for a series of interviews with her friend journalist andrew morton to document her side of the story in these interviews diana revealed graphic details of the long affair prince charles had with camilla she even divulged recorded phone conversation between charles and camilla from nineteen eighty nine in the conversation between the two of them was to be blunt graphic. This story which came to be known as camillagate was so scandalous that charles was right to the throne came into question. Diana herself said the tape was disgusting and prove that charles wasn't fit to be king both charles charles and diana were using the media as a weapon against each other exposing the others worst secrets to the press and the world by nineteen ninety two the couple was officially separated the prime minister of england john major formally announced the separation into the public charles even went on t._v. and confirmed to the world that he had been engaged in affair with camilla since nineteen eighty-six six though in reality they had likely been carrying on since long before that date diana enjoyed her time away from her estranged husband but became came acutely aware of how the constant negative attention on her marriage might affect her two sons she made the conscious choice to take a step back from public events in the interest of giving her sons some semblance of privacy over the next few months i will be seeking a most suitable way of combining lining a meaningful public role. We've hopefully a more private life. This vicious back and forth was too much for queen elizabeth. The second tend to bear on december twentieth nineteen ninety-five she sent letters to charles and diana advising them to divorce as soon as possible for once diana and queen elizabeth agreed on something in february nineteen ninety-six thirty four year old diana publicly announced announced her divorce this to upset the british monarchy who wanted to manage the publicity surrounding the split diana's audacity was seen as uncivilized behavior a few contentious months later in july nineteen ninety six the couple finally agreed to the terms of the divorce diana china would remain in kensington palace with her two sons she would also receive a lump settlement of seventeen million pounds or about twenty seven million dollars dollars each year after the split she would receive an additional four hundred thousand pounds or six hundred thousand dollars but diana would no longer carry carry the title of her royal highness and was prohibited from talking about the divorce in any capacity. The divorce was finalized on august twenty twenty nine. Th one thousand nine hundred ninety six after the divorce charles was free to go back to camilla not that this was any particularly major your change for him since they'd been carrying out the affair for over a decade over the next few years diana continued to raise money for aids research in in nineteen ninety-seven thirty five year old diana auctioned off seventy nine of her most iconic dresses and donated all of the proceeds to support aids aids research and she too soon found new romance far away from the british crown in july of nineteen eighteen ninety seven just after she had turned thirty six diana begin dating dhoti a forty two year old egyptian billionaire in film producer who had worked on films like hook and chariots of fire the couple embarked on a six week vacation across the mediterranean sea much to the delight the world press which was still very invested in diana and her love life and ianna seemed very invested in dodie she even had william and hairy than fifteen and twelve flown out to spend time with her and dodie on the trip tabloid reporters eight this up at that time dodie was still technically engaged to the american model kelly fisher the fact that he absconded with a princess no less and was now meeting. Her children was just too good of a story to resist diana who had spent years being torn apart by paparazzi for her apparent failure to live up to her duties. As the the princess of wales actually leaned into this attention she even sent word through her own press contact to prepare for some sort of announcement on august thirty first unfortunately will never know what that announcement was intended to be august thirtieth. Thank nineteen ninety-seven was supposed to be just another day in paradise. Dodi and diana woke up that morning and the sun drenched luxury of dodi's ody's yacht and set about preparing for their return trip to england diana had not seen her children in weeks and was eager to return home but i she in dodie had a dinner reservation in paris they boarded doty's private jet at eleven thirty that morning and landed in paris at three he twenty then they split up for a few hours. Diana had a hair appointment and doty had an appointment of his own. He went to repose jewelers to buy a ring which notably was from the tell me yes collection in the twenty plus years since that fateful night much has been made about this this particular purchase and the possibility that it was an engagement ring. We'll never know what dodi's intentions were as he met diana for what was to to be the last meal either of them would ever eat they met backup the ritz hotel and set out for dinner at ben wa paris where they had reservation but the couple found themselves overwhelmed with paparazzi and decided to forego their reservation and return to the rich to eat there after their meal dody and diana said about the somewhat complicated task of getting back to dodi's apartment without being hounded by the press they employed the services services of on re paul the head of security at the ritz paul ensured that a decoy vehicle was dispatched from the hotel and the ploy worked put a number of reporters followed the car hoping to catch additional glimpses of the couple where the coast relatively clear anri then ushered dodie be in diana into the back of a black mercedes s. two eighty along with their bodyguard trevor rees jones anri paul by all accounts had no oh business assisting the couple that night he was supposed to be off and he was certainly unable to drive though there are discrepancies as to what and how much he had to drink the general account is that enrique paul had at least two drinks that night before he got behind the wheel of the car it was likely more than that his autopsy would later reveal that he had a blood alcohol content of over three times the legal limit in france additionally additionally on rehab prescription antidepressants in his system that mixed with alcohol were surely affecting his motor skills. Nevertheless honoree drove the car away from the ritz at that same time. The paparazzi discovered the ruse and returned in time to start following following the s. two eighty it is because of the photographs taken by these pursuing journalists that we know that neither doty nor diana were wearing seatbelts belts that night dodie asked on re to take an indirect route back to his apartment in the hopes that they would lose some of their pursuers along the way on re obliged lied and drove toward the pond aloma tunnel the car entered the tunnel between twelve twenty two and twelve twenty three on the morning of sunday august thirty first nineteen ninety-seven the posted speed limit and the tunnel was thirty one miles per hour on ray was driving at around sixty five five miles per hour soon after the car entered the tunnel it smashed into a white fiat swerved and crashed right into a pillar. The car crumpled under the force of the impact dody and on re were both killed instantly. The first rescuers rescuers arrived on the scene within ten minutes of the collision. Those initial reports indicated that diana was actually fine. She was conscious thus shaken but only with a few visible external injuries it wasn't until they made efforts to remove diana from the car that the real problems became evident. Diana went into cardiac arrest as they polder from the crumpled vehicle. The french rescue workers quickly moved to stabilize table is and resuscitate order now in france. It's standard practice to stabilize an injured victim at the scene of an accident before making efforts to move moved to a hospital in the decades since that tragic night british and american health professionals have criticized the actions that the french rescue workers. I took if they had followed british procedures and rushed her straight to a hospital well who knows how things might have turned out differently. The rescue workers successfully got diana's heart beating again and a doctor on the scene gave her drugs to calm her down minutes later. Diana had another heart attack. Rescue workers resumed administering c._p._r. And then started to make preparations to move her to a hospital. It's notable that p._t._a. Salpetriere the hospital in question was not the closest medical facility to the crash site but the workers who made the call felt it was better better equipped to help diana over an hour after the crash at one forty one in the morning the rescue workers finally got diana into the ambulance silence and started making way for a hospital. The ambulance drove slow out of fear that a fast moving vehicle might exacerbate diana's condition. Her blood blood pressure was dropping at one point. The ambulance pulled over so that the doctors on board could try to stabilize her once again. Diana finally lee reached the hospital at just after two in the morning. The doctors who received only then realized the full scope of her injuries. The sudden severe severe impact of the crash had actually shifted the position of diana's heart in her chest. She was bleeding internally from tears in her cardiac veins. She was in bad shape when she arrived and there was little the doctors could do for her by that point at four in the morning on august thirty first nineteen ninety eighty seven diana princess of wales was declared dead officially the crash was labeled as the result of anri paul's reckless driving but this horrific collision and princess diana's sudden tragic death have ignited conspiracy theories some have claimed the death of princess. Diana was engineered the most popular theory. Is that the british secret intelligence service. Am i six killed diana on behalf of the crown. This theory is best supported by a journal entry from princess diana herself which stated her belief that the royal family would stage an accident to make room for a new queen consort. It's clear the royal family didn't like diana at the time of her death breath but organizing assassination after she had already officially divorced prince charles seems excessive another popular theory is that diana who was pregnant with dodi fads child at the time of her death and the british family didn't want their future king to have a muslim half brother and but no matter how she really died princess diana's loss was felt around the world. Diana's funeral took place on september for sixth nineteen ninety seven in westminster abbey her private burial followed later that day at her family's home or twenty two years after her untimely death princess. Diana remains one of the most famous members of the british royal family. That's just a little ironic nick given she married into and then subsequently divorced out of that family over the course of her life beyond the sudden tragic and to some bazaar circumstances of her death diana lived on in the form of her public image her status as a style icon and her very publicized publicized charitable work much of her estate including her dresses jewelry and furniture has been auctioned off or displayed for the public with the proceeds is going to charity and of course her two sons william and harry have come into their own as public figures with their internationally televised weddings things in two thousand eleven and two thousand eighteen respectively as well as their charity work. The tragedy of diana's death stays with us because because of how sudden and unexpected it was but her impact on britain and the world lives on to this day. Thanks thanks for tuning in to historical figures. We will be back in two weeks with a new episode. If you're interested in more in depth discussion of the conspiracy theories we mentioned mentioned in this episode checkout park other show conspiracy theories where my co-host mauling i covered the controversy around princess diana's death you can find all previous episodes of historical figures as well as all of our casts other shows on spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts several of you have asked to help us if you enjoy the show. The best way to help is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram at our our cast and twitter at our cast network. We'll see you next time. Historical figures was created by max cutler is a production of cutler media and is part of the podcast network is produced by max and ron cutler with sound designed by david turk production assistance by ron shapiro paul libeskind and maggie aggie admire. This episode of historical figures was written by michael herman and stars vanessa richardson and carter roy. Now that are episode is over. Here's the clip of the first episode of the podcast original medical mysteries. It's about joseph merrick a man with severe deformities deformities who was first exhibited at a freak show as the elephant man follow medical mysteries for free on spotify and wherever you get your podcasts or visit podcast dot com slash medical mysteries tillerson now on a cold monday morning november eighteen eighty four canvas banner was unfurled over a shop window on white chapel road in in london. The crude painting showed a humanoid creature with an elephant's trunk rampaging through the jungle. It was monstrous unfathomable. It was the elephant man half a man and have an elephant atop headed showman barked at the doctors and students trailing into the london hospital right across the street for just two pence. They could see the specimen for themselves but ladies in delicate health were advised not to step inside the elephant. Man's condition could be quite a shock <music> as the man led the curious spectators in he warned them ladies and gentlemen brace yourselves to witness one who is probably the the most remarkable human being ever to draw the breath of life and then he pulled back the curtain aw standing on the small stage was a horribly disfigured man covered in folds of drooping lumpy skin his his right arm was twice as big as the left ending in a massive finn like hand his feet were oversized flat and and wrinkled like an elephants his head was bizarrely distorted and covered in hard tumors. A bony mass protruded retreated from his upper lip and buried behind the swollen. Misshapen brow were a pair of brown eyes gentle bright right and unmistakably human imagine sitting sitting across the desk from your doctor. The splashy x rays in our eyes are clipped up on the wall. The test results are in a manila folder tilted. Just just out of your line of sight. Questions are already forming in your mind. Is it serious. What's my chance of recovery. Will my insurance pay pay for this. Imagine your doctor looking you in the eye and saying we don't know when our bodies fail. We trust doctors to diagnose. What's the problem but medicine isn't always an exact science. Sometimes it's a guessing game with life or death stakes stakes. This is medical mysteries apar- cast original. I'm ali and i'm richard. Every tuesday will look at the strangest real your life medical cases in history and the experts who raced against the clock to solve them as we follow these high intensity stories will explore medical tickle research that might solve the puzzle next week in part two will analyze all the evidence and try to find an answer you can find episodes this o- of medical mysteries and all other park has two originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts this is our first episode on joseph carrie merrick who became well known as the elephant man in the eighteen eighties this week will explore the development of merrick's baffling and condition and his doctors attempts to diagnose it next week we'll look at his improbable rise to fame in london high society and the research that might have finally explained his illness today according according to the c._d._c. about three percent of all newborns are born with congenital disorders commonly known as birth defects this can include would anything from cleft palates to heart malformations two extra fingers or toes congenital disorders were just as common in the late nineteenth century as they are today but the elephant man symptoms were more extreme than anything his doctors had ever seen from the age of five joseph merrick began to exhibit strange bony growths on his face and skull his feet and right arm grew out of proportion to the rest of his body and his spine was curved curved by severe scoliosis the skin all over his body took on a rough lumpy texture and folds of loose overgrown skin hung down from his head back and chest the condition progressed over the course of his life and by the time he reached adulthood his symptoms were so shocking walking that he couldn't leave the house without causing panic on the streets during joseph's lifetime very little was known about human genetics but his unique set of symptoms helped researchers connect the dots between a few disorders that weren't thought have an underlying cause for the next two you episodes will look at the volving theories about what caused his condition was it caused by trauma. His mother suffered while he was in the womb was was it a combination of skin disorders known as dermatologists and pecci dermott acela and if so how do his bone deformities fit into the picture finally we'll look genetic research from later decades that might explain the root of his symptoms but first. Let's start with the theory. The joseph himself accepted as the truth maternal impression for this. We have to go back to the very beginning in may of eighteen sixty two womb wells travelling menagerie pass through leicester england. The nasseri was a collection of exotic animals giraffes leopards zebras lions and elephants mary jane merrick at twenty five year old. Sunday schoolteacher was in the crowd around watching the animals prey down the street. She was six months pregnant with her first child and so far the pregnancy had gone smoothly. She kept a a hand on her belly dreaming of all the things they would do and see together wants. Her child was born. Suddenly the crowd swelled forward and mary. Mary was pushed into the road. She fell right in the path of the elephants. She looked up to see a pair of thick wrinkled feet stomping toward her she. She scrambled out of the way just in time. As the elephants brushed past she caught her breath and checked herself or injuries. She and her unborn unborn child had made it out just fine three months later on august fifth eighteen sixty two. Mary gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy. They named him joseph after his father baby. Joseph was in fine health for the first few years of his life. His first medical scare didn't come until age five when he tripped and fell badly injuring his left hip. The wound became infected before it could heal in flaming the hip bone and causing permanent damage to the joint this made it difficult and painful for the young boy to move move for the rest of his life. Joseph merrick would never be able to walk properly. He could only shuffle across the playground with his cane while the other children ran and played to make matters worse while his hip injury was still barely healing. Mary noticed something strange happening to her son's face. A swollen lump was growing out of his upper lip. At first it was only slightly raised as if he'd fallen down and landed on his face nothing to be too concerned about but as the months progressed it grew into a tumor that ran across his right cheek pressing his upper lip outwards gradually other symptoms started to develop his skin especially on his back and chest became loose is an raf his right arm grew out of proportion as did his feet which were turning into thick shapeless stumps and soon the hard hard lump of flesh on his lip was several inches long resembling rather unfortunately in elephants trunk. Mary's mind went back to the the parade. She'd witnessed while pregnant. The elephant encounter must have scared her so badly. It affected the baby in her womb. Joseph was is marked from before birth by the memory of his mother's fear as bizarre as it sounds. This was actually shirley a common medical theory at the time maternal impression or the idea that a mother's thoughts emotions could affect a developing fetus gained leaned popularity in the middle ages. It was believed that if a woman was particularly sad during pregnancy the child might be born with a predisposition disposition towards depression or other mental illnesses or if a mother was traumatized by a certain animal the baby would be born with resemblance to that animal. This idea was based in folklore more than biology by the late nineteenth century. The theory was already falling out of favor. Says doctors gained a better understanding of genetics but while there's no evidence that specific thoughts our fears like a run in with a circus elephant can cause caused birth defects research does suggest that a mother's lifestyle diet and stress levels can impact fetus's development the body stress response response is regulated by the corticotropin-releasing hormone or c. r. h. This hormone is secreted by the hypothetical news. The part of the brain that regulates most bodily functions during pregnancy cr h is also produced by the placenta which can lead to highly elevated levels of stress hormones hormones in the bloodstream and nineteen ninety-six study by developmental psychologist janet a._d._p. Atro- found that in mothers there's who reported high levels of stress or depression their fetuses exhibited higher heart rates and were less responsive to external stimuli. Both of these factors are associated with an increased risk of anxiety and emotional regulation problems in childhood. This suggests that a mother can in a percents pass on anxiety or depression to their child exposure to stress hormones can also impact organ development according to a two two thousand eight study in developmental psychopathology quote during the last trimester of pregnancy exposure to the stress hormone cortisol is critical goal for the maturation of the cardiovascular system the pulmonary system reno systems and overall fetal growth however there isn't sufficient visteon evidence linking maternal stress to more severe congenital disorders like the symptoms five year old. Joseph merrick was exhibiting. It's also also unlikely that one brief stressful event like a sudden fall during a parade would affect hormone levels enough to harm developing fetus but in the eighteen sixties maternal impression due to the elephant encounter was the best explanation anyone could offer and five year old. Joseph seemed to accept it. He grew into a lonely shy child who spent most of his time reading marian courage his love of learning as a sunday schoolteacher herself. She made sure her son's health. Issues didn't keep him out of class. The family's second child william was born without any medical issues to speak of it appeared that whatever was wrong with joseph at least it didn't run in the family but in eighteen sixty seven the same year. Joseph started showing his symptoms. Mary gave birth to their third child. A daughter named marian records indicate that she he was disabled from birth but the exact nature of her disability isn't clear congenital disorders are often caused by hereditary genetic problems even if both parents appear perfectly healthy they still might be carrying genetic mutations that can be passed down to their children. If joseph and marion rian both had similar symptoms. It's possible that they both inherited the same mutation but it's also possible that the two children's health problems were unrelated. There are many factors that can cause congenital disorders and we don't know enough about marion's disability to suggest that it had anything anything in common with joseph's in spite of his ever worsening health problems joseph's early childhood was mostly happy then in eighteen seventy three another health related tragedy struck. The merrick family joseph's mother. Mary suddenly fell ill and died from bronchial pneumonia. It was devastating for ten year old joseph. It apparently wasn't as is devastating for joseph senior because within two years of his wife's death he had remarried to the families landlady emma would until emma was a widow with two daughters of her own and the new step sisters made joseph's young life miserable by this point joseph's afflictions flick shins had progressed from mildly unusual to downright disturbing the other children never let him forget it. These now like tumor on on his mouth and cheek had grown considerably making it increasingly difficult for him to speak to make matters worse. Another growth was is forming on his forehead and sacks of spongy skin now hung down from the back of his skull a foul odor emanated from the skin growths no matter how often he bathed twelve year old joseph was always the odd one out whether it was at home or at school to add injury three to insult his hip problems made it impossible for him to run away from the bullies just a year after his father's remarriage. Joseph left school at the customary age of thirteen at the insistence of his stepmother. He got a job at a cigar factory to do his part in supporting the family. This job was fine at first it didn't require much walking and he didn't have to interface with the public but by the time he was fifteen his right handed grown so large and heavy that it was impossible for him to roll cigars. He had no choice but to leave his job. However unemployment wasn't an option. The family's finances were tight and joseph stepmother. Emma didn't have any sympathy for his disability more than once m._s._n. Has played down for dinner with a sharp remark that it was more food than he had earned in a misguided guided attempt to keep the peace joseph's father put him to work at the family shop in a role he thought would be well suited to the boy's condition door to door sales. Why joseph senior thought his disabled shockingly deformed son would find success as a traveling salesman is a mystery story for another day but undaunted by the challenge ahead fifteen year old joseph hobbled through the city lugging his father's wears in one hand and and his walking cane and the other he knocked on the door of each residence knowing that any unsuspecting housewife who answered with simply glee scream and slammed the door in his face. If a male homeowner answered the door there was a better chance they might stand and gawk instead of immediately hitler fleeing in fear when this happened joseph launched into his sales pitch but because of the growth on his lip it was nearly impossible possible for anyone to understand what he was saying as he limped through the streets a crowd of spectators would gather around around staring and whispering. He tried to persevere after all he was used to being teased for his appearance but it was impossible to sell his goods kids when he was constantly mobbed on the streets. Joseph was beaten severely by his father. When he came home without meeting his daily sales quota by age sixteen he stopped coming home at all spending whatever money he made on food and cheap lodging houses his his only comfort was a small painted portrait of his mother which he carried with him everywhere she had always encouraged him to be his best even even in spite of his condition if she was watching over him there was nothing he couldn't overcome but positive thinking couldn't change reality -ality living on his own was unsustainable on the monday after christmas in eighteen seventy nine seventeen year old joseph packed his bags eggs and dragged himself through the iron gates of the leicester union workhouse in an effort to combat poverty already the british government set up work houses where unemployed or infirm citizens could perform menial labor for room and board to encourage the poor to find their own jobs instead of relying on the government. The conditions in the work houses were so horrifying that only the most desperate would resort to applying joseph was given a uniform and lead through the drab stone corridors to his dormitory where he'd share a room with as many men men if they could physically fit inside every morning at six a._m. He was woken up for a breakfast of bread and gruel. He'd worked from mm seven in the morning to six at night. Chopping wood or unraveling old pieces of rope after dinner he went back to the dorms and sat down to sleep because of the heavy masses of flesh growing from the back of his skull lying down strained his neck and made it difficult michael to breathe he had to sleep sitting up with his knees pulled up to his chest. His arms wrapped around his legs and his head resting forward forward on his knees. The next morning joseph would wake up from a very uncomfortable night of sleep and get ready for another day of menial work. This was his daily routine for a soul crushing four years. The only bright spot came in eighteen eighty two about halfway through through his stay. The elephant trunk tumor on his lip had grown to eight or nine inches long and he could no longer move his mouth enough to chew so he was taken to the infirmary. The surgeons had no useful advice on what was causing joseph's condition or how to cure it but they were able to remove of nearly four ounces of flesh from his upper lip just enough that he was able to open and close his mouth again and then it was back to the workhouse house for an intelligent educated young man like joseph being locked away for a lifetime of labor was a depressing prospect. He wanted to see the world he wanted to live life but what was there to do if he couldn't walk or talk or roam the streets without causing a panic nick the answer came from a newspaper advertisement sam tours gaiety palace of varieties. The most buzz worthy musical in leicester joseph knew the place well. It was just around the corner from his childhood home for his next big spectacle sam tour was looking for curiosity's novela tease as some would say freaks of nature. Joseph merrick had found the perfect career coming up. The elephant man's steps into the limelight.

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