I did a huge amount of research a decade or so ago on Diana’s birth, since there was a difference of opinion as to whether she was born in the afternoon (14:10) or the evening (19:45). Astro-databank (Astro.com) endorses the 19:45 time of birth.
I initially used the 19:45 time of birth, even basing a whole interpretation on it for my book, Synastry but on the second occasion I worked with Diana, she pointed to her chart and asked why 19:45 was significant. I explained it was her time of birth. “But that’s not right,” she replied, “I was born just before the men’s finals at Wimbledon”. In a telephone call on November 29th, 1988, Diana was to refer to her time of birth again, this time mentioning it was her mother who had told her she was born “Just before the start of play at Wimbledon.” And, indeed, this afternoon birth was confirmed by her mother in an interview some sixteen years later. An afternoon time of birth was given to Andrew Morton: Diana, Her True Story.
For the record: on July 1st, 1961 Wimbledon still had a week to go until the finals. However, there was a men’s match on the Sunday she was born, and according to a review of the day’s matches, it began a little after 2:00 pm.
In her final interview — Frances Shand Kydd – The Last Interview: Hello Magazine Number 820 June 15 2004 — Diana’s mother talks about Diana’s birth
“The day Diana was born was beautiful and sunny and the Sandringham cricket team were [sic] playing outside the window on the local pitch. Just as Diana came into the world there was an enormous roar and applause – the local traffic cop had just scored a century.”
A few years ago, I managed to get in touch with the Sandringham Cricket Club to establish how long the cricket matches tended to go on in the early sixties, and was told “until late afternoon usually – around 5-ish”. Sadly, the policeman who scored the famous century as Diana came into the world, died before I began my investigations, which would have further pinpointed the exact time of birth.
Her mother’s memory of that day combined with the “family lore” that Diana was born just before the start of play at Wimbledon make a compelling case for an early afternoon birth. Most mothers recall the time their children came into the world – at least whether it was the morning, afternoon or evening. And Frances hadn’t lost her mind or her memory when she was interviewed in 2003!
In 1980, when Diana’s name started to be seriously linked to Prince Charles, the then president of the Astrological Association, Charles Harvey, wrote to the Buckingham Palace Press Office, requesting Diana’s date and time of birth. He was told: 2:00 pm on the 1st July. Not so very long after that, Buckingham Palace came back with a revised time of 7:45 pm, which, of course, was the time we all used thereafter.
The cause of the confusion almost certainly lies in the time each parent recalls Diana’s birth. For her mother – afternoon – for her father – the evening. But you have to remember back in 1961, fathers did not attend the births of their children. Diana was Lord Spencer’s third child, and he may well have been at his London club/week ending somewhere altogether different from Sandringham on the day she was born, and thus remembers the time he was informed of her birth, not the actual time she drew her first breath.
The divorce between Lord Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd was as bitter and acrimonious as it possibly could be, and although there was a short rapprochement between Diana and her mother in the late eighties, they hadn’t spoken for some years at the time of her (Diana’s) death. Perhaps this also explains why the 19:45pm time has endured – Diana being closer to her father.
Diana is a person of huge and abiding historical interest and we should have the correct chart for her. Diana simply was not born at 19:45 in the evening – people are just going to have to get over their prejudices – but “before the beginning of play at Wimbledon” and on “a beautiful and sunny day”.
Diana oozed Libra-rising, and with an early afternoon time of birth the Sun and Mercury occupy the 9th house, accounting for the Sagittarian dimension to her character and her interests. Her childhood was a hymn to Saturn conjunct the IC, Jupiter in the 4th house and the Moon in the 4th opposing Uranus – her mother, incidentally, was born on the cusp of Capricorn/Aquarius, so her Sun fell on Diana’s Saturn/IC combo. In the early afternoon, Neptune is in the first house, albeit some distance from the Ascendant, accounting for her identification with suffering and her strong sense of persecution. She died in her prime and will remain one of history’s great tragedies – one of history’s great victims no less.
At the time of her death, Neptune was conjunct her IC/Saturn (27 degrees Capricorn) and Saturn was conjunct her Descendant at 19 degrees of Aries; plus, Venus at 16 degrees of Libra was applying to an opposition with Saturn flanking the Ascendant-Descendant axis. At the time of the fatal car crash the MC-IC axis and the Moon-Jupiter opposition squared her natal 8thhouse cusp. That all four angles of her natal chart were involved at the time of her death adds yet another layer of evidence for the 2:00-2:15 time of birth.