The Death of Princess Diana
An Astrological Interpretation
by Garry Heaton

As the world laments the cruel twist of fate which deprived Princess Diana of her new-found happiness, astrologers will inevitably be asked whether her life was destined to end so suddenly. Diana never seemed to have lasting love in her life. Her mother left during her early years and her marriage to Charles soon dissolved into a loveless cold war. Nor was her affair with James Hewitt the romantic escape she hoped it would be for he would soon betray her to the press for personal gain. Finally she found Dodi Fayed, son of the Harrods tycoon. Though many doubted the sincerity of the playboy's affections it seemed to all who observed her every movement through they eye of the lens that Diana had at last found real love. Yet, in the last moments of their lives it seemed as if fate beckoned them away from the gaze of the world and over the edge of Lovers' Leap.

Although the crash which ended her life on 31st August was an accident, astrologers can say with confidence that the timing certainly wasn't. Diana Spencer was born on 1st July, 1961 at Sandringham [ 52N50 ; 0E30 ]. Two birth-times have been suggested - 14.00 and 19.45 BST. The first, which yields a Libra ascendant, was given by Roger Elliot from sources close to the Princess when her engagement to Prince Charles was anounced but this was quickly corrected to 19.45 by Buckingham Palace. Penny Thornton published the 19.45 time, giving a Sagittarian ascendant, in her book "Synastry" in 1986 but in 1992 claimed Diana's true birth-time was 14.00. Diana herself has given both times on different occasions but her long-time friend and astrologer Debbie Frank insists the 19.45 time originally confirmed by the Palace is correct. I have chosen the 19.45 chart to represent Diana as I think the resulting progressions and return charts are overwhelming.

Astrological Houses and Death Indications

Of the main house systems Porphyry, Alcabitius, Placidus, Regiomontanus & Campanus all place Uranus, the North Node, Mars & Pluto in the 8th house of death. Only Koch and Equal houses show an empty 8th house. I will be refering to Porphyry house cusps for the rest of this article.

The 8th, 1st and 4th houses are most important in analysing death. Saturn and Pluto are the universal significators and I find the quincunx aspect appears frequently along with contacts to the nodal axis. Diana's 8th house of death contains Uranus, the North Node, Mars & Pluto, all of which become significators. The last degree of Cancer is on the 8th cusp so the Moon is also involved. For the 1st house we have retrograde Jupiter ruling the ascendant and Saturn just inside the 1st though close to the 2nd. Notice Jupiter in quincunx aspect with Pluto in the 8th. The 1st and 8th houses are connected at birth by the death planet (Pluto) the death house (8th) and the death aspect (quincunx). Readers noting one or two of these factors in their natal chart should not be alarmed as the rest of the analysis shows a mulitplicity of factors which, taken together, account for Diana's death.

Progressions & Transits

I have always found progressed mutual aspects to be as relevant as progressed aspects to natal positions and Diana's chart proves the point. 4 progressed factors line-up in a dramatic FINGER of FATE configuration at the time of her death. Progressing the angles by Kepler's solar arc in right ascension - the only method which accurately represents the true solar day (1) - we find 29 SCO 40 on the MC and 24 CAP 50 rising. Progressed Saturn is retrograde at 25 CAP 12 so we have the planet of mortality casting a shadow over the point of life. This symbolism is repeated by the transit of Saturn at 19 ARI 39 approximately trine the natal ascendant. The progressed finger of fate is completed by progressed Uranus at 25 LEO 23 and the progressed Moon at 24 GEM 47. Here we have two 8th house significators making quincunx aspects to the two 1st house factors but there is even more in Diana's progressed chart. Below is a list of progressed 8th house cusps by the main quadrant systems:

  • PORPHYRY:                                6 VIR 27
  • ALCABITIUS:                                5 VIR 11
  • PLACIDUS:                                  25 VIR 33
  • REGIOMONTANUS:                    24 VIR 33
  • CAMPANUS:                                20 LIB 24
  • KOCH:                                          0 VIR 32

By the Porphyry method the progressed 8th cusp conjoins both natal and progressed Pluto. The Alcabitius progressed 8th conjoins natal Pluto but not progressed Pluto so does not show a contact in the progressed chart itself. None of the other methods show a conjunction with anything.

Since the progressed finger of fate is at 24/25 degrees the planets involved all aspect natal Venus in the 5th house of love affairs at 24 TAU 25. Even progressed Mars, the only 8th house factor not yet mentioned, aspects Venus by trine from 23 VIR 40 so the stage was certainly set for the great romance. Marriage was probable but for the disaster when we consider progressed Venus (3 CAN 45) conjuct natal Mercury, ruler and occupant of the 7th house. Progressed Mercury (5 LEO 50) also aspected ascendant-ruler Jupiter - another marriage indicator though one beset by much conflict and opposition from others.

It seems it was transiting Pluto, at 2 SAG 56, which put an end to her marriage prospects with its quincunx to Mercury and its approximate square to violent Mars in the 8th. Mars and Pluto are conjuct at birth, giving extra 8th house weight to the transiting square. Mars, as 8th house significator, was also active by transit, trining the Sun from 10 SCO 28. The Sun can also be taken as another death planet here as Leo is intercepted in the 8th. The nature of the aspect is secondary to the fact that, again, two 8th house factors come together. If we allow a slightly wider orb of 1.5 degrees we also find another 8th house pair - transiting Sun (7 VIR 35) separating from a conjunction with Pluto. I sometimes think even the cosmos often has a problem getting everything to within one degree.

Another quincunx - transiting Uranus (5 AQU 30) to natal Pluto - brought two 8th house significators into deadly relationship but the sudden, accidental death her 8th house Uranus carried with it was delivered first to Jupiter, her ruler, by conjunction. Her other 1st house planet, Saturn, also received a conjunction - from transiting Neptune the great loosener of ties. WIth Saturn in her 1st house, Neptune brought her glamorous image from its natal position in the 10th, down to her body to be cast in stone (Saturn). She was released from the ties to her life and the body which she tried so hard to discipline.

The Solar Return

Diana's solar return, relocated for her residence at Kensington Palace (51N30 0W12), shows the early degrees of Libra rising - the beginning of a relationship. Venus, in royal Leo, is in the 11th house of social activity but is exactly square to deadly Pluto in the 3rd house of transport & short journeys. The exactness of the aspect is alarming but not enough in itself to show death. What is more ominous is that this Venus is in the natal 8th house.

Mars rising rules her 7th house of relationships and marriage but it is fallen and squares the Sun in the 10th house of reputation. This Mars was therefore a dangerous one despite its romantic sextile with Venus. Saturn, also in fall, is in the 7th so either her partner was unsuitable and a danger to her life or the relationship was fated. My personal view is that this solar return was warning her against an unsuitable partnership. The danger to her life is written clearly in this chart with the Moon in the 8th house conjunct the fixed star Alcyone of the Pleiades - the weeping sisters. The Moon right at the end of the sign yet still in close aspect to retrograde Neptune in the 4th house of endings.

The Lunar Return

Her lunar return again has Libra rising with Mars in the 1st house, this time squaring Uranus in the 4th house of endings. Venus is in the 12th house of self-undoing and Saturn is again in the 7th, this time retrograde and exactly opposing the rising degree - a danger to life. Neptune is also on the same angle as in the solar return figure, this time within about one degree. The paran created here by Saturn and Neptune, so close to the angles, suggests suffering and maybe worse. The lunar return is also a full moon, suggesting culmination.

Dodi Fayed's Horoscope

As I write, all that is known is that Dodi Fayed was born on 15th April, 1955 in Alexandria, Egypt [ 31N12 29E54 ] which was 2 hours ahead of GMT. However, a plausible rectification can be based on the Moon at noon in the 25th degree of Capricorn. Neptune, at 26 LIB 55, closely squares this degree and also opposes the Sun at 24 ARI 40, so it's a fair assumption that Dodi's dominant Neptune would be playing a part in this dramatic sequence of events. Since a princess is involved I will assume that transiting Neptune, at 27 CAP 35, conjoins his Moon by transit. This gives Scorpio and Sagittarius as the likely rising signs.

An ascendant in mid-Scorpio puts the South Node in Gemini in the 8th house with Mercury in Aries in 6th or 5th, ruling the 8th. Progressions for the date of the crash show Mercury [ 27 GEM 3 ] approaching natal South Node and conjunct the progressed Node [ 26 GEM 35 ]. Mercury is descriptive of the manner of his death - a speeding car with natal Mercury in Aries.

To fine-tune the rectifiction a diurnal chart is useful but my preference is for the true solar diurnal and not the artificial, clock-time diurnal mentioned in most books. The astronomically-based true solar day is not the same as our 24-hour clock day but is one complete revolution of the earth relative to the Sun. Because the earth's annual orbit around the Sun is slightly elliptical the length of the true solar day varies slightly from day to day. It is measured by the distance, in right ascension, between the Sun and the meridian. When this repeats each day after birth one diurnal cycle is complete. To erect a true solar diurnal find the distance in RA between the natal Sun and mid-heaven. Next find the RA of the Sun in the clock-based diurnal and add/subtract the Sun/meridian arc in RA. This gives you the RAMC of the diurnal. Convert this into longitude in a table of right ascension and derive the ascendant from the table of houses.

With mid-Scorpio as an approximate ascendant, Dodi Fayed's diurnal chart for the day of the crash shows retrograde Saturn in Aries near the ascendant. A birth-time of 20.16 [32] puts Saturn on the ascendant in both the natal and diurnal charts with Pluto exactly on the natal MC. The resulting chart, with 18 SCO 41 rising, shows Mars, ruler of the ascendant, in Gemini in the 7th disposed by Mercury in impulsive Aries in the 5th house of love affairs.

Diana's true solar diurnal gives a descendant of 5 VIR 13 - conjunct natal Pluto and reminding us of the progressed 8th cusp, also conjuct natal Pluto.

The Event Chart

The car which killed Diana, Dodi and the chauffeur crashed at 00.27 (22.27 GMT) on 31st August, 1997 in Paris [ 48N52 ; 2E20 ]. 18 GEM 12 rises - the sign of the media - ruled by Mercury the winged messengers who chased the saloon car on their motorbikes into the fatal tunnel alongside the River Seine.

Just as the dying light of the Sun sets on the western horizon so here Diana's ascendant degree is setting at the end of an illustrious life. Mercury, as ruler of the ascendant, is the car that crashed and all who died with it. Here we find Mercury strong in technically competent Virgo but retrograding from a sextile to Mars and crashing into combustion with the Sun. We should also note that the event took place on a Saturn day and at 00.05 the Mars hour began. Remember, the planetary day begins with sunrise. Both malefics ruled this period of time and with the ascendant ruler retrograding from Mars and into the Sun the volatile nature of the period was magnified.

The Moon in Leo on the IC is Diana, the "Queen of Hearts", the royal lady whose life ended in the 4th house. She applies to Venus in Libra in the 5th house of romance as she speeds away in the car to be alone with her lover. The reaction to her death is shown by the Moon's close opposition to retrograde Jupiter in Aquarius, conjunct the MC. The injustices of media intrusion into the lives of royalty and the famous are questioned, with the possibility of new legislation suggested by some politicians. With her ascendant-ruler, Jupiter in Aquarius, re-appearing on the MC of the event chart we see the symbol of Diana's humanitarian efforts hoisted like a flag, its retrogradation suggesting the end of a woman who was a friend to the world.

The 3 planets in the 4th house can be taken as the 3 people who were killed in the crash. If the Moon is Diana and Mercury is the chauffeur then the Sun must be Dodi. Mercury is overpowered by the Sun's rays so it's possible that the chauffeur, though possibly drunk at the time, could have been acting under directions when he raced away from the paparazzi motor cyclists at 120 mph. Notice also the chain of dispositors. The Moon, for Diana, is disposed by the Sun, her lover Dodi but he, in turn, is disposed by retrograde Mercury, the chauffeur. Mercury is also applying to a parallel with Saturn (45 ' orb) and Saturn rules the 8th house of death and is also the universal significator of mortaility.

The Sun was applying to a contraparallel with Pluto in the 6th house of servants (8' orb), having separated from a square on the 26th. Dodi could have been intent on wielding his influence by encouraging the chauffeur to ignore the speed limit. Although Venus is almost 4 degrees away from the opposition with Saturn, the contraparallel between them is less than 1 degree, making the impact more immediate. In a natal horoscope this aspect often shows nothing more than hard lessons in love but in an event chart such as this it suggests the relationship was destined to end.

Solar Eclipse

2 days after the fatal crash there was a solar eclipse at 9 VIR 34 which, when cast for Westminster, gives an ascendant of 10 CAN 26 - conjunct Diana's natal Sun at 9 CAN 40. The Moon was again conjunct the IC at 7 VIR 20 as was retrograde Mercury at 6 VIR 53 so many of the features of the crash chart repeated at the time of the eclipse. The caring qualities and public appeal for which she became famous rose with her Cancerian Sun's degree with the eclipsed lights in Virgo on the IC announcing the end of a great woman whose joy in life was to serve and care for the sick.

Prince William

Born on 21st June, 1982 at 21.03 BST in Paddington [ 51N31 0W11 ], the significators for William's mother are Mars and Pluto, rulers of the 10th house, Jupiter close to the MC and the Moon. The death of the mother is shown by the 5th house (8th from the 10th) and William's 5th is ruled by Venus in the 5th in a FINGER of FATE pattern with the rising Neptune and Pluto in the 9th. As Pluto is one of the significators of William's mother there is a possible death signature in this pattern.

His Moon is also afflicted twice. Though strong in Cancer, reflecting Diana's natal Sun and Mercury, William's Moon has not yet seperated from the shadow of the eclipse and is also squared by Mars in Libra. Mars, ruler of the mother / 10th applies to a conjunction with Saturn of mortality and the timing of this aspect perfects by secondary progression as the pair are separated by only 10' of arc on the day of the crash. The 4th house is also connected with death so Jupiter, ruler of the 4th from the 10th and conjunct the MC is another fateful testimony.

Capricorn is also intercepted in the 4th from the 10th so Saturn also signifies the end of the mother's life. Progressed Sun, at 14 CAN 36, squared Saturn whilst the converse mid-heaven [ 15 LIB 44 ] also formed a conjunction. The MC itself also represents the mother. The conjunction of transiting Venus [ 15 LIB 47 ] with this progressed aspects adds weight to the fateful testimony since we have already established that Venus rules the 8th from the 10th. This kind of astrology shows us quite clearly that transiting planets bring with them the issues they signify in the natal chart.

We have already seen the applying conjunction of Mars and Saturn become close to exact on the day of the event and by converse secondary progressions the Moon / Mars square also closes in. Converse Mars had reached 4 LIB 10 when William learned of his mother's death - only 47' minutes from exactitude. What was signified approximately at birth became reality when the aspects tightened-up.

We have already seen the power of the quincunx in Diana's natal and progressed chart as well as in the FINGER of FATE in William's natal chart. However, the most convincing evidence for the power of this aspect in death patterns must surely be the transit of Uranus [ 5 AQU 30 ] quincunx William's natal Moon.

Prince Henry

Henry , the youngest of Diana's two children, was born on 15th September, 1984, at 16.20 BST in Paddington Hospital [ 51N31 0W11 ]. The Moon is a singleton in the 4th house, exalted in Taurus but almost 8 degrees from the North Node which is conjunct the fixed star Alcyone, the Weeping Sisters, which featured in Diana's solar return. Vedic astrologers say the lights suffer from being too close to the nodes as the dragon devours the lights, creating eclipses. Western astrology recognises the karmic significance of the nodes and prominent directions involving the nodes support the theory that they represent points of entry and exit between the physical and the astral world.

William's Moon in Cancer is the same distance from the North Node as Henry's and both have the Moon in a sign of dignity befitting Diana's exalted reputation. The parallel progressions involving the nodes are quite striking and confirm the power of these points in signifiying death. Henry's progressed IC, at 28 TAU 28, is conjunct progressed North Node, at 28 TAU 44, and close to the natal position. In William's chart it is the progressed descendant, at 12 CAN 55, which conjoins the North Node. In both charts the angular cusp behind the Moon and North Node progresses to the node on the event date.

Henry also has Scorpio on the MC so Mars and Pluto also signify his mother. Mercury rules the 8th from the 10th and at 5 VIR 13 Mercury is square Uranus of accidents. The power of this aspect becomes apparent at the event when transiting Uranus [5 AQU 50] formed a quincunx to Mercury. Progressed Mercury [ 25 VIR 59 ] and progressed Mars [ 25 SAG 28 ] also squared one-another bringing Henry's mother (10th ruler) into contact with death (ruler of 8th from 10th). For a third testimony there was converse Mars [ 8 SAG 56 ] conjoining natal Uranus, bringing the mother into contact with the Mercury / Uranus death pattern.

The power of the Porphyry cusps is also evident in Henry's chart with progressed Moon, at 23 SCO 56, squaring the 8th house cusp, at 23 LEO 17. As the 5th cusp signifies the mother's death its progression to 17 GEM 24 is also striking in its opposition to Mars, the mother.

The royal family and the world which loved Diana now has the long, difficult period of mourning ahead. Perhaps astrology can help to relieve the sense of futility surrounding Diana's untimely death. With so many horoscopes anouncing the danger to her life it is possible to conclude that her death was written in the stars. Although the anguished "why" of her death remains unanswered, the cosmic timing cannot be mistaken. Diana's chauffeur was not the only driver behind the wheel of fate.

Significant Horoscope Charts [ Porphyry Houses ] relating to the Death of Princess Diana

Princess Diana: 1st July, 1961 / 19.45 BST / Sandringham [ 52N50 0E30 ] / ASC: 18 SAG 24 Source: Buckingham Palace & personal astrologer Debbie Frank

Dodi Fayed: 15th April, 1955 / Alexandria [ 31N12 29E54 ] / rectified to 20.16 [32] (-2 hrs) ASC: 18 SCO 41 / Source: TIMES obituary (no time)

Fatal Crash: 31st August, 1997 / 00.27 (-2 hrs) / Paris [ 48N52 2E20 ] / ASC: 18 GEM 12 Source: Paris Ritz Camera and TIMES account of emergency phone call

Solar Eclipse: 2nd September, 1997 / 00.52 BST / Westminster [ 51N30 0W8 ] / ASC: 10 CAN 26

Prince William: 21st June, 1982 / 21.03 BST / Paddington [ 51N31 0W11 ] / ASC: 27 SAG 28 Source: Nicholas Campion quotes Buckingham Palace

Prince Henry: 15th September, 1984 / 16.20 BST / Paddington [ 51N31 0W11 ] / ASC: 11 CAP 24 Source: Nicholas Campion quotes Buckingham Palace


(1) To progress the angles by solar arc in right ascension find the difference between the natal Sun in RA and the progressed Sun in RA. Add this arc to the RA of the natal MC to give the progressed MC in RA. Derive the ecliptic longitude of the progressed MC from a table of right ascension and the corresponding ascendant from a table of houses.

Copyright 1997 Garry Heaton

Return to theAstrology Deepartment

   InfoLooking Deeper Magazine