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Astrology Articles
Article Title: Princess Diana: From Lonely Princess to Queen of Hearts
Date Published:
- by Edith  Hathaway
The sudden passing of Princess Diana has touched the hearts of her many fans as well as many who are surprised to find themselves so affected by her life and death. Some are making parallels to the death of John F. Kennedy in terms of her recognition and mourning world-wide. Although not a political leader, she had become a philanthropist princess, contributing to over 80 different charitable causes, and engaging in numerous freelance missions to the ill and afflicted around the world. Furthermore, due to her considerable beauty and charm she was the world’s most photographed woman.

In addition to bearing two sons, and enduring an ill-fitting marriage, her role as Princess of Wales enabled Diana to capture a level of public attention inconceivable as a private citizen. Increasingly, in recent years, she used that role to publicize issues that she believed in – from the very personal (for her), such as bulimia and eating disorders, to funding for AIDS patients and research, and most recently the landmines so prevalent in war-torn countries such as Angola and Bosnia-Herzegovina. But Princess Diana’s personal goal was “to be queen of people’s hearts.” In 1995 she said: “Someone’s got to go out there and love the people and show it.”

Karma, Rebirth, and Vedic Astrology

From the vantage point of Vedic astrology, karma and rebirth are understood to be major factors in the unfolding of our lives and destinies. That is, a birth chart describes just one of many, many lives we will experience in different incarnations. Karma is the Sanskrit word for “action” – in terms of thought, word, and deed. One reaps what one sows, and often from previous incarnations one cannot trace with the conscious, or rational mind. Certainly the raising of conscious awareness and the spiritualizing of consciousness will speed up the karmic process. But always the karma must be burned, or experienced – for good or for ill. Even good karma eventually runs out.

Vedic astrology traces these patterns of the individual and has various techniques to measure the unfolding of the karma, notably the dasa systems, or planetary periods.

Beware the “Official” Birth Chart

In examining the astrological birth chart of Princess Diana, the first noteworthy factor is that – similar to the case of President Clinton: see my article in this same website – the “official” birth time (7:45 PM BST, or Zone -1, July 1, 1961, Sandringham, England) does not accurately describe Princess Di or the events of her life, whereas the unofficial time (2:15 PM BST, or Zone –1, same mo/day/yr./location) indeed does describe her.

Diana’s mother was quoted as saying that she was born “just before the start of play at Wimbledon, a little after 2 PM.” Di’s astrologer Penny Thornton, 1986-92, used a birth time of 2:15 PM and shared that with British astrologer Nick Campion. Another of Di’s astrologers, Debbie Frank, has quoted a time of 7:45 PM. Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace has continued to stand by an “official” birth time of 7:45 PM, a birth time that appears to be most widely used and accepted by Western tropical astrologers at the present time. Please note that Vedic astrology uses only the sidereal zodiac, which is currently running almost 24 degrees behind the tropical zodiac. At the time of Diana’s birth there is a difference of 23 degrees 19 minutes between the zodiacs, using the Lahiri ayanamsha.

Using Vedic astrology, we see that the 2:15 PM chart gives Princess Di a Virgo Ascendant, whereas the 7:45 PM time gives her a Scorpio Ascendant. The placement of the Ascendant and its constellation is crucial to understanding how the character and life will unfold.

A Scorpio Ascendant might look tempting initially because it places natal Venus in Taurus in the 7th house, creating a Malavya yoga, and describing Diana’s beauty, charm, and artistic orientation, Venus also casting her aspect on the 1st house of physicality and personality. However, that same Venus in its own sign of Taurus, occupying the 7th house of marriage, and aspected by the great benefic Jupiter, should have made her married life a lot happier than we know it was. She was in Jupiter dasa (a far more fortunate planet for Scorpio Ascendant), and would not have wanted to leave a marriage under such fortunate circumstances. Also, natal Moon in Aquarius is in an easy trinal position to natal Sun in Gemini. The 5-9 house relationship of Sun-Moon should have created greater marital harmony, both for her own parents, (who split in 1967, when she was 6 years old) and for herself, generally creating greater peace of mind in relationship.

Scorpio Ascendant also places Mars-Rahu in the 10th house. (Rahu is the north Moon Node.) As ruler of the Scorpio Ascendant, Mars receives Dik Bala (directional strength) in the 10th house. Although one is not surprised to see the Ascendant Lord in such a place of prominence for a very visible person, Mars does not properly describe how she was known. She was not an athlete, though she was physically very fit, nor was she known as an emotionally aggressive person. With natal Mars in the 10th house opposite natal Moon, she would have experienced more antagonism in her public life, and probably taken many more controversial leadership positions.

If she was controversial, it was in stepping away from the traditionally tight- lipped, restrained mannerisms typical of the House of Windsor. However, this only ended up endearing her more to her ever avid public. As she evolved, she walked this delicate tightrope very skillfully, becoming more known for how she spoke publicly of the many different issues, personal and worldly, which touched her. With Virgo Ascendant, natal Mercury and Sun occupy the 10th house. Thus, her greatest visibility was through the media, who hounded her, and through using her celebrity status to speak out.

As karaka (significator) of the 1st house, Sun receives Dik Bala in the 10thhouse. In its strongest possible house placement, a 10th house Sun gives excellent public recognition, especially combined here with the Ascendant Lord Mercury, strong in its own sign of Gemini, though Retrograde – perhaps accounting for her slow start in speaking out. In the early days, she was known as “shy Di.” In terms of her great physical beauty, this is always possible with strong placements in the sign of Virgo, including the Ascendant. The Mars-ruled constellation of Chitra rises in Virgo. Chitra means image, or reflection. Its symbol is the pearl, or the shining jewel. With Chitra on the Ascendant we have the always active, on-the-go person. It describes someone beautiful or brilliant in appearance, who wears colorful clothing and jewellery, and is much appreciated by the opposite sex.

In the Virgo Ascendant chart, natal Moon moves back to late Capricorn, joining the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the same sign. This creates a powerful yoga in the 5th house of children, including a Gaja Kesari yoga between Moon and Jupiter – which, if not afflicted, can confer tremendous fame and wealth, allowing one to rise way above the rest of the crowd. The Moon-Jupiter-Saturn combination in the 5th house also confers wealth and status through marriage. (From Virgo Ascendant, they are rulers of the 11th, 4th and 5th houses, respectively. Jupiter and Saturn together here make a Raja yoga, or a yoga which pushes one into prominence.)

Furthermore, Moon in Capricorn aspects its own house, the 11th house of gains, sudden windfalls, friends, and popularity, thus greatly strengthening it. Her untimely death is being mourned by world leaders who knew her, as well as powerful people in many fields of endeavor who regarded her as a friend. Also, natal Sun-Moon now move into a 6-8 house relationship, which more accurately describes her unease internally and externally with her own marriage and that of her parents. Note that in many ways the Virgo Ascendant chart describes greater difficulty and suffering in the area of married life. Both malefics Mars and Saturn aspect the 7th house of marriage, creating separation and difficulties.

Also, Mars in the 12th house accounts for Kuja Dosha, a condition that , unless also occurring in the chart of the marriage partner, can cause major difficulties in the marriage. (Prince Charles has natal Mars in Scorpio in his 5th house, not constituting Kuja Dosa.) And finally, this point is confirmed in the Navamsa (9th harmonic chart), where planetary enemies Sun and Saturn jointly occupy the 7th house of marriage in Saturn’s sign of Aquarius. Meanwhile navamsa Venus, planet of love, occupies the 6th house, which – as 12th house from the 7th – indicates loss or sacrifice in marital matters.

In the Scorpio Ascendant chart, there is not enough indication to account for Diana’s being propelled into a situation of such enormous wealth. However, in the Virgo Ascendant chart, Venus is a Dhana and Bhagya yogakaraka, a planet capable of bestowing great wealth and luck – if not otherwise afflicted. In Diana’s case, Venus, ruler of both 2nd house of wealth and 9th house of good fortune and foreign travel occupies the 9th house in its own sign, aspected by Jupiter, the greater benefic, with no afflictions. An unafflicted benefic in the 9 th house, such as this, can make someone popular even after death, and there is a good karmic effect arising out of this popularity.

In each chart, because of its degree rank, Venus is the significator for the husband and his status. However, in the Scorpio Ascendant chart, a much happier marriage is described, as I said earlier. Although the marriage endured legally for 15 years, it has been described as a “royal blood feud.” The seeds of trouble were evident from the start, with personal differences widening the rift, and Prince Charles refusing to give up his longtime love connection to (then- married) Camilla Parker Bowles. This triad continued for the entire duration of the Charles/Diana marriage.

Princess Diana agreed to a divorce from Prince Charles on Feb. 28, 1996, just two weeks after transiting Saturn moved into Pisces, thus ending a 7 ½ year period known in Vedic astrology as Sade Sati. (This is true only for the Virgo Ascendant chart.) Sade Sati occurs when Saturn transits the 12th, 1st, and 2nd houses from natal Moon. This period confers greater responsibility on the person, and the cares of the world are on their shoulders. In part, this explains her long drawn-out marriage to Prince Charles, when major difficulties came so early on, though they were shielded from public view until the late 1980s. A formal separation December 9, 1992, as announced to Parliament by the Prime Minister, was not followed by a legal divorce decree for another 3 years, 9 months (Aug. 28, 1996).

Karmic Patterns: Transits and Dasa/Bhuktis
At Time of Death


Many Westerners would like to see death as avoidable, something you can postpone or insure against indefinitely. Eastern wisdom from the Vedas, out of which comes Vedic astrology, cautions us that this earthly life is but one small piece of a greater whole, but that to cherish and live this life completely, surrendering to our karmic debts, and conquering only where appropriate – that is also surrendering to our Greater Purpose, called Dharma.

Princess Di’s Dharma was one of great wealth, public visibility, happiness through friends and children, and through public acts seen as good deeds benefiting many people, especially children worldwide. (Note the rich 5th house of children, both from the Virgo Ascendant, as well as from the natal Moon in Capricorn. Venus in Taurus is there.) But marital happiness would mostly elude her. Any successful physical/sexual union would no doubt occur clandestinely, as in the case of the five-year long hidden affair with her riding instructor, James Hewitt. Astrologically, this is described by natal Mars-Rahu in the 12th house of private or secret endeavors. This same combination, however, typical of astrology’s immense complexity, also describes her marital difficulties – due to the natal Mars aspect on the 7th house of marriage, as well as her tireless activities on behalf of the poor, the ill and the afflicted (also 12th house).

Further, Mars – the planet of aggression and accidents – is placed in the house (of death and cause of death) from the Moon in Capricorn, using Virgo Ascendant. In short, it foretells the possibility of a sudden and violent death. This is true when natal Mars is posited in the 8th house either from the Ascendant or Moon. (For example, John F. Kennedy’s natal Mars in Aries was in the 8th house from his Ascendant, also in Virgo.) But all the planetary factors have to pile up in order for the event to occur.

On Aug. 1, 1997, transiting Saturn turned Stationary Retrograde at 26 degrees 32 minutes Pisces. (Again, all positions mentioned in Vedic astrology are sidereal zodiac.) An exact Saturn opposition to one’s natal Ascendant is very hard on one’s physical well-being, and can place one in constricting situations from which one can try to escape. This, after a long and gruelling Mars-Saturn opposition across her 1-7 house axis since Dec. 16, 1996. For the 2:15 PM chart, Princess Di’s Ascendant occurs at 26 degrees 28 minutes Virgo, only 4 minutes from the exact Saturn station, and 39 minutes ( or only 2/3rds of a degree) from the transiting Saturn position at the time of her death. By Aug. 31st, the date of her death, transiting Mars had moved out of the opposition to transiting Saturn (since Aug. 4), but a partial Solar Eclipse was due to occur Sept. 1st at 15 degrees 44 minutes Leo, close to her potentially treacherous natal Mars-Rahu in her 12th house of hidden, and sometimes claustrophobic places. In this case, death came the day prior to the Solar Eclipse, at high speed in a tunnel, pursued by seven photographers, driven by a drunken chauffeur, and accompanied by her super-rich new boyfriend. (Mars- Rahu is a combination which can always indicate an explosive chemical combination, whether by drugs, alcohol, or atom bomb. Albert Einstein had Mars- Rahu in Capricorn in his 8th house. O.J. Simpson has Mars-Rahu in Taurus in his 10th house, using a Leo Ascendant chart.)

Rahu as Ender of Cycles

When Rahu occurs at the end of a cycle, including its own cycle, it tends to take away what it brought earlier in the same cycle. The severity of the loss depends, of course, on how well-positioned and protected natal Rahu is in the birth chart. I have already discussed the potential danger of natal Mars-Rahu in Princess Di’s 12th house. And in this case, transiting Rahu at the time of her death was at 25 degrees 55 minutes Leo. It had returned to the sign of her natal Rahu position in Leo, as of June 20, 1997. (Transiting Rahu/Ketu run 18 ½ year cycles.) Rahu’s last transit through Leo ended May 27, 1980, around the time Prince Charles initiated his courtship to the 19 year-old Lady Diana Spencer.

At the time of her death, using the Virgo Ascendant, Princess Diana was in the dasa (Vimsottari system) of Jupiter, in its last subcycle (bhukti) of Rahu, and sub-sub cycle of Rahu, since June 19, 1997. Natal Rahu is in the 8th house from Dasa lord Jupiter, and thus in a very uneasy relationship to it. Compounding and magnifying this factor, both natal Mars-Rahu as well as transiting Rahu are in the 8th house from natal Moon in Capricorn (Virgo Ascendant chart). Also, for Virgo Ascendant, Jupiter is a Maraka (or potentially death-producing planet), and in its last subcycle of a 16 year dasa, had many factors which could pull the final trigger.

In the case of such an extraordinarily public personage as Princess Diana, transiting Jupiter and Saturn would have to play a major part. She was married July 29, 1981, with transiting Jupiter and Saturn closely conjunct each other (Jupiter at 12 degrees 8 minutes Virgo, Saturn at 11 degrees 45 minutes Virgo) on her Virgo Ascendant. She was born during a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. At the time of her death, transiting Saturn was almost exactly opposite her Virgo Ascendant, and Jupiter had returned to its natal position in her 5th house, creating a Parivartana yoga (mutual exchange) between the two transiting planets.

Jupiter’s sidereal period, or one complete orbit around the Sun) is 11.86 years. Its periodicity is often emblematic of Jupiter’s concerns, which relate to husband (for a woman), children, and wealth. At the time of her marriage, July 29, 1981, transiting Jupiter was at 12 degrees 8 minutes Virgo. At the time of her formal separation from Prince Charles Dec. 9, 1992, transiting Jupiter returned to within 5 degrees of orb to the marriage chart, at 17 degrees 10 minutes Virgo, again on her natal Virgo Ascendant. Transiting Saturn at 20 degrees 24 minutes Capricorn, in the 5th house of children, conjoined her own natal Moon-Jupiter- Saturn, and she was in the midst of Sade Sati. Small wonder it was announced there were “no plans for a divorce.” According to Vedic astrology, her royal duties would take her out to at least Feb.16, 1996, when her 7 ½ year Sade Sati period would be complete. As I mentioned earlier, her first agreement to a divorce was on Feb. 28, 1996, the formal divorce decree occurring Aug. 28, 1996.

But with transiting Saturn, planet of duty and obligation, occupying her house of marriage from Feb.16, 1996 through April 18, 1998 (from Virgo Ascendant), Princess Di was still very bound by the strictures of the royal divorce terms (especially a propos her children), and yearning to live a freer life.

Princess Di’s funeral is scheduled for 11 AM BST (Zone –1) at Westminster Abbey, London [Sept. 6, 1997]. Transiting Venus, undoubtedly Di’s strongest natal planet, will be on her Ascendant, in the very last degree of Virgo, at 29 degrees 39 minutes Virgo, in the constellation of Chitra (the shining jewel), where Venus is debilitated, though receiving Neecha Banga Raja yoga, a correction leading to a potentially even more powerful Venus than when it is exalted, or in its best position. Transiting Venus will be in this last degree of Virgo all day, then moves into Libra by 6:10 PM BST.

As we say good-bye to the lady who ever so briefly reigned as Princess of Wales, Venus makes its signature farewell over a Virgo Ascendant, which in itself shows potential for the highest level of beauty, and – helped by a Jupiter aspect – reflects on its opposite sign placement, Venus in Pisces, the highest level of compassion.


- Edith Hathaway


Edith Hathaway is an internationally known astrological consultant, author, teacher, and lecturer. Her latest book is In Search of Destiny: Biography, History & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology (©2012). Available at her website: www.edithhathaway.com and at Amazon USA and Amazon Europe.


Copyright: 1997 © by Edith Hathaway. All rights reserved.


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