Diana Frances Spencer, the youngest daughter of Edward and Frances Spencer, was born on July 1, 1961. Her father, then Viscount Althorp, became the eighth Earl of Spencer upon her grandfather's death in 1975. Upon her father's ascension, Diana's family moved from her birthplace, Park House, to the family's ancestral home at Althorp. As a child, Diana was educated both at Riddlesworth Hall and West Heath Girls' School.
Diana had two older sisters, Sarah and Jane, and a younger brother, Charles. Her parents separated in 1967, and her father remarried in 1976, this time to the daughter of the romance novelist Barbara Cartland. For most of her childhood, Diana remained in her father's household.
According to Biography Online, Diana was a lackluster student, not passing any of her O-Level examinations. However, she did excel at sports and music, and was known to be an accomplished amateur singer. Throughout her childhood, Diana also exhibited strong skills in dance and reportedly nurtured ambitions of becoming a ballerina.
Diana also was known for her strengths in domestic science, according to the official website of the British Monarchy. As a student at West Heath, Diana was awarded a school prize for regularly being the most helpful to her schoolmates.
In 1977, Diana left England to attend finishing school in Switzerland at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Rougement. Upon returning home in 1978, Diana worked several jobs, first as a nanny for an American couple residing in London, then as a kindergarten teacher in Pimlico. It was while serving in this last position that she became engaged to Charles, Prince of Wales.