Even 25 years after her death, Princess Diana is celebrated as an iconic symbol of compassion, kindness and altruism. The pioneering royal was known for bravely standing up to the royal family, being a devoted mother (even under public scrutiny), and steadfastly devoting herself to charitable work. Her legacy makes sense, given her astrological profile. Born on July 1, 1961, Diana’s sun sign was Cancer – and this zodiac archetype is a perfect match for the compassionate and caring personality she is internationally known for.
Cancer is one of the zodiac signs of the water, so these sentimental souls lead with their emotions and have a deep capacity for empathy. While Cancers are certainly sensitive, they are also cardinal signs — giving them strong leadership skills and a fierce drive to protect the things that matter to them. As the sign ruled by the moon (aka the planet of moods and vulnerability), these water babies are completely authentic when it comes to recognizing, validating, and feeling their feelings. As Princess Diana herself said in a 1995 BBC interview, “I lead from the heart, not the head… Someone has to get out there and love people.” There is no better way to describe the vibes of the Cancer zodiac energy.
Fun fact: Diana happens to be the Roman goddess who rules over the moon (aka Cancer’s ruling planet), so even the late princess’s name matches her sign’s energy. Could anyone be even more of a Cancer?
While not everyone embodies their sun sign in an obvious way, Princess Diana’s compassionate Cancer shone through in so many things she did and said. Check out eight moments when it was clear that Princess Diana’s zodiac sign was Cancer.
She defied royal traditions around motherhood
Cancer is often associated with maternal instinct, as its energy is inherently caring and comforting. And Princess Diana embodied her nurturing side all her life, especially as a mother. She avoided the royal customs surrounding parenthood and took a much more involved and hands-on approach to raising her own children – despite breaking long-standing traditions in some cases.
For example, according to royal expert Christopher Warwick in Harper’s Bazaar, when Diana’s son William was nine months old, she broke the royal trend of divorce by taking both him and his nanny on a six-week trip to Australia and New Zealand. She also strayed from royal tradition by breastfeeding her own children instead of using a wet nurse and broke protocol by hugging her children in public. As a Cancer, taking care of people and showing affection is very important, so it makes sense that Diana would ignore certain practices in order to fully express her love for her children.
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She had added a romantic secret engraving to her wedding shoes
Cancerians are very sentimental people, so it’s no surprise that Diana went out of her way to make sure her wedding day look was as meaningful as it was fashionable. The shoes she wore on her wedding day were custom made by famed shoemaker Clive Shilton. At Diana’s request, Shilton was reportedly asked to engrave the initials “C” and “D” on her custom shoes — letters that, of course, stood for Charles and Diana. This romantic and personal gesture exemplifies Diana’s sensitive Cancer energy and how much her feelings meant to her.
She spoke openly about her emotions
In the infamous 1995 BBC interview with Martin Bashir, Princess Diana spoke freely about her struggles with postpartum depression, self-harm and other mental health issues. “Perhaps I was the first person in this family to ever have depression or ever openly tearful,” Diana said of her mental health issues and the royal family’s response. “And that was discouraging, of course, because if you’ve never seen it before, how do you support it?” For cancers like Diana, this kind of vulnerability and honesty is a way of life. The energy of this water sign is always in touch with feelings and know that it is important to build connection with other people through the power of emotions.
She showed her empathy and compassion through charity work
Princess Diana wore traits of the Cancer zodiac sign such as empathy, compassion and kindness on her sleeve – in fact, these traits were an integral part of the image. Until her death in 1997, Princess Diana was a human rights advocate and spent her time working for various charities around the world. For example, people have heralded her as an instrumental force in changing public attitudes to HIV and AIDS throughout her years of advocacy and role in opening the UK’s first HIV/AIDS unit in 1987.
She also famously walked through a minefield in Angola to raise awareness around HALO Trust, an organization dedicated to clearing mines left over from the Angolan Civil War. In another memorable moment, Diana auctioned off her clothes to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund and the AIDS Crisis Trust. Her lifelong philanthropic work put her empathetic side of Cancer to the world to see.
She was the mother of many children – not just her own
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Like a true Cancer, Princess Diana’s nurturing nature extended beyond the love and protection she showed her own children. Before she married Prince Charles, Diana worked as a kindergarten teacher (which sounds like a great job for a gentle and creative Cancer). And as a royal, Diana put a lot of effort into charitable work with children. She regularly visited children’s hospitals and in 1992 she became the patron saint of Centrepoint, an organization that fights homelessness among young people. In 1997 she visited Huambo province in central Angola with the British Red Cross and met children who had survived landmine explosions. Diana said it best in a People quote: “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” And given Cancer’s reputation for keeping space and caring for others, this couldn’t feel more accurate.
She was gentle but determined to stand up to the royal family
It’s easy to label Cancers as overly sensitive and emotional — but don’t confuse their frankness with weakness. Cancers are cardinal signs, making them one of the powerful initiators of the zodiac. Princess Diana was an example of this kind of soft power throughout her career, as she always bravely stood up for herself and spoke out about the royal family, even amid public scandals and criticism.
“I’ve been beaten, bruised and mentally abused by a system for fifteen years, but I don’t feel a grudge, I don’t harbor hatred,” said Diana, as reported by Phil Dampier in Diana: I’m Going To Be Me: The People’s Princess revealed in her words. “I am tired of the fighting, but I will never surrender.” Diana’s gentle Cancer steadfastness showed the world that you can be vulnerable while still standing your ground.
She was protective of her feelings
Cancers are represented by the symbol of the crab, whose hard outer shell protects its sensitive entrails. This helps to illustrate why vulnerable Cancerians are so protective of their precious inner feelings and those of others. “When you find someone you love in life, you have to hold on to them and take care of them,” Princess Diana said in an interview with the BBC, as reported by TODAY. “And if you were lucky enough to find someone who loved you, then you have to protect them.” Diana’s tenacity in protecting her emotions and lovingly guarding them aligns with Cancer’s zodiac traits, such as being sentimental and cautious.
She was known as the ‘People’s Princess’
Thanks to her charity work and public displays of honesty, Princess Diana became known as the “People’s Princess” – a nickname used posthumously by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to CNN. While she may have lost the title “Her Royal Highness” after divorcing Prince Charles, this lovingly unofficial title is even more in keeping with her Cancer sun.
In astrology, the sign of Cancer is associated with the fourth house of the zodiac, which represents our homes, families, and emotional lives. It is considered the most personal part of a birth chart, as it faces the tenth house of the public image. This illustrates the way Diana’s raw vulnerability captivated people’s hearts and touched them in a dense way, despite not relying on the traditional public customs of the royal family. In certain branches of astrology, the moon (Cancer’s ruling planet) represents the humans or the general population – so the “People’s Princess” is an eerily appropriate title for this Cancer-born royal.