Something had to happen, so the Earl of Spencer sent his daughter to Switzerland. The right choice appeared to him to be the girls' boarding school "Institut Alpin Videmanette" in Rougemont near Gstaad. Home skills, sewing, cooking, hostess skills, etiquette - all of this should prepare Diana for life. Yet whilst daddy thought of virtues befitting a housewife, she looked forward to going skiing.
In November '77, on the occasion of a hunting party with a party afterwards, the 16 year-old Diana drove to her father at Althorp Hall. A visit from those in the highest society had been confirmed. If that were not a reason to overcome the dislike of the stepmother for the space of a weekend! Her sister Sarah had been friends with Prince Charles for a little while now, and now he had confirmed his attendance! At this hunting trip the somewhat chubby boarding school pupil in a thick jumper and rubber boots literally tripped up before the feet of the prominent guest - Prince Charles. The heir to the throne was fascinated by the charm of the young Diana. Certainly he knew the young girl from his childhood, but it was now that he took note of her for the first time. She was so happy, full of a passion for life and amusing. Finally a girl who didn't gaze at him longingly. How could Diana then have come to such a daring idea? She was after all just the little sister of the heir to the throne's girlfriend.
In December '77 Diana completed her studies at the boarding school. She returned to Great Britain and moved to London, to her mother. Finally life was supposed to start for Diana. She was so excited.
Never having to go to school again. Earning a little bit of money would be the best thing. But what should Diana do? She had no qualifications for a job. Perhaps an apprenticeship? But which? Something like being in an office between nine o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the afternoon? Certainly not! Good, when one has a pair of friends with whom one can spend the time. Also good when one can lodge free of charge by one's mother for the time being. The conversations of the friends were always over one theme: young aristocrats. They giggled and fooled around, none of them had yet had any experiences with the other sex. Their favourite activity was shopping. Together they roamed through department stores and boutiques, tried on whole collections under the strict gaze of the sales staff. Bought was - if at all - only little. The young Diana had very little money in her pocket, but a few years later the shops were to be greatly compensated. Already then she loved expensive designer fashion, had to however make do with a jumper and jeans.
To her concern Diana was a little chubby, therefore she began to try out certain diets. She was completely convinced that only a true beauty would get an eligible bachelor. But her self-confidence was not yet especially pronounced and she suffered with an inferiority complex. When she was bored she watched American soap operas on the television. Diana dropped on to the sofa, nibbled chocolate bars and biscuits and had a guilty conscience about her figure. Yet she often didn't manage to satisfy her huge appetite. The more insecure Diana felt, the more she ate. A behaviour which would later bring her many problems. When she felt ill after eating so much she laid in bed and cried. Then she pictured being eternally alone, with a dismal existence as an old maid. Diana was not built for being alone. She needed company. She felt at her best when surrounded by a whole group of friends. Typically Diana had never in her life had a best friend. Already when at school she was always together with more than one person of the same age. And in London she doubly enjoyed herself when she was able out with many female friends. The group gave her security and helped her to conceal her shyness.Yes, Diana could be completely silly and boisterous. She was always available for small pranks, and she developed her own individual humour and wit. The girls could have a good laugh with Diana, she was extremely popular.
In September '78 her father suffered a stroke and needed four months to recover. Diana was very worried about her father. Diana completed a ten-week course at this time, worked as a baby-sitter and served drinks at the parties of befriended families. This could not possibly be how she would spend her life!
In November 1978 followed the next invitation to the palace - and that was much, much more exciting! Prince Charles celebrated his 30th birthday and invited Sarah and Diana. It was a welcome change in her otherwise completely bland life. The relationship between Sarah and Charles was in the meantime over, as Sarah made a great mistake. In reply to a reporter's question, as to whether she would love Prince Charles and marry him, she answered that she would not love him, and did not want to marry him. In January '79 the next invitation was already issued. Diana and her sister Sarah were invited by the queen to a hunting weekend at Sandringham. The turning point came on her 18th birthday when she could come into the inheritance of a relative from America. £63,000 - that was a respectable sum! With this money Diana bought a flat in South Kensington, London. And she obtained a position as a kindergarten helper. She only worked for three days per week, but she really didn't need to do any more. After all, Diana never expected to find fulfilment through a job, so she didn't worry about starting a career. She moved into the flat with three of her friends. Now finally the dream of freedom and self-determination could be achieved. Her first own car awoke the feeling of possessing wings. Yet unfortunately she soon wrote it off.
Diana had a few admirers, but she never thought about binding herself down to a man. She preferred to cruise the bars and clubs of London with her female friends. Diana constantly enlarged her circle of acquaintances and improved her self-confidence and own strength. These were lovely, uncomplicated times. She never considered which path her career would take. After all, at 18 life is just beginning, and the man of her dreams would already be waiting for her somewhere. That he would have to come from high society was without question. An attitude that she shared with all the daughters from old English aristocratic families as self-evident. There were certainly enough admirers, but Diana wanted to save herself for her dream prince. In July '79 Diana and her sister Jane followed an invitation of the Queen to Scotland at Balmoral Castle, but no romance was in sight.