As you may know, there are conflicting reports of Diana, Princess of Wales’ birth time, so I was interested to hear a fellow astrologer explain how she had approached the issue – and how she reached her conclusion. The following article by Kristianna Harris shows just how tricky an unreliable birth time can be to rectify.
Studying royal natal charts is particularly interesting, because exact birth times are usually available and reliable. For instance, the birth information for Louis XIV of France, has come down through history as September 5, 1638, at 11:11-11:13 am in Saint Germain-en-Laye, France. A natal chart for either birth time (with only a two minute difference) produces the same portrait of character and personality that corresponds with the person and life of the ‘Sun King.’
The importance of knowing the actual birth time (or the lack of it) used in erecting a natal chart shows with ‘the People’s Princess.’
In 1986 after five tumultuous years of marriage, Princess Diana sought the help and guidance of astrologer Penny Thornton in an effort to find solutions to her unhappiness. Diana’s exact birth time was not recorded, so the initial ‘guess time’ of 7:45 pm turned out to be wrong. Many websites today still publish this wrong natal chart based on the time of 7:45 pm, July 1, 1961 at Sandringham.
Seen over hundreds of years, the pattern of British monarchs is an emphasis of planets (and other positionings) in the the ninth and tenth houses. This oft-repeated pattern of the British monarch includes Saturn or Jupiter…. or both Saturn and Jupiter positioned in the 9th and/or 10th houses. The reliability of royal birth times…. results in accurate charts and the pattern emerges for anyone to see! Royal spouses with a profound impact on ‘the public’ also tend to have groupings of planets and positionings in the 9th and/or 10th houses.
Having been the personal astrologer to Diana…. Ms. Thornton wrote in July of 2001 on the Astrolutely.com web-site:
“When I began my association with Diana I was also working on an incorrect time of birth. It was at least a year before she said to me one day: ‘You know, Penny, I notice you’ve got my time of birth time as 7:45 pm. It wasn’t. I was born just before the start of the men’s finals at Wimbledon – about 2 pm.”
“Thus, instead of adventurous, extravagant and independent Sagittarius rising, Diana had gracious, graceful, charming and diplomatic Libra on her ascendant –– a perfect recipe for the ‘fashion icon’ that she became and her involvement with the British relationship organization Relate.”
The detail of “I was born just before the start of the men’s finals at Wimbledon – about 2 pm,” is compelling. While not an exact birth time, a specific starting place in a 24-hour period is very helpful!
The message and timing mechanisms of a 2 pm chart would be hugely different from a chart done for 7:45 pm. Ms. Thornton decided on a 2:15 pm birth time…. resulting in a Libra ascendant and it appears she continued to use that time as Diana’s astrologer.
After however, doing multiple, possible natal and progressed charts (‘rectification’) with 2:00 pm as a starting point…. I suspect Diana was actually born around 2:30 pm which also gives a Libra ascendant. When the transits based on a 2:30 pm time, are applied to all Diana’s charts (natal, progressed and horary) the correlations with actual events are astounding!
Diana was an immediate ‘star’ with the Public. A natal birth chart for 2:30 pm places the Sun, Mercury, Uranus, North node, Mars and perhaps Pluto in Diana’s critical, ‘royal’ 9th and 10th houses…. which is consistent with her massive, celebrity appeal and impact on the public around the world. The results of a 2:30 pm time are extensive.
Among many examples…. significant, dated events in Princess Diana’s life correlate with the 2:30 pm birth time in a fascinating way:
1) In Diana’s natal chart: Saturn is conjunct the chart’s nadir (4th house cusp); a very unusual positioning and indicating profound and troubling challenges (Saturn) in the childhood home from the beginning of Diana’s life.
2) In Diana’s progressed chart at five to six years of age: progressed Jupiter is now conjunct the progressed 4th house cusp (mother, family, home) indicating a ‘big’ (Jupiter) change in these circumstances. Diana’s mother left the family home when Diana was six years old, leaving Diana and her siblings in their father’s custody.
3) Diana’s progressed chart at 20 years of age. The progressed Moon and Neptune are now conjunct the progressed ascendant in Scorpio (1st house cusp), indicating incredible magnetism and glamour interestingly, only three weeks before her marriage.
4) Event chart for her marriage: July 29, 1981, 11:20 am, London. (Yikes, Pluto to the natal ASC. ed)
5) Diana’s progressed chart for her 36th birthday in 1997: August 6, 1961, 2:30 pm, Sandringham. (Note Moon in the 8th, as well as Pluto on the MC. ed)
6) Event chart for the accident: August 31, 1997 at approximately 12:25 am in Paris, France.
Again and again, starting with Diana’s birth through the day of her death, transits to critical positionings (indicating significant action) based on the 2:30 pm birth time hit ‘spot-on’ for events in her life. Especially transits over the angles of the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses. By comparison, charts based on the 7:45 pm time are puzzling.
Regardless of the source, birth times need to be scrutinized. If the birth time is accurate or very close to the real time of birth, the chart’s messages and observable events in the native’s life will correlate and make sense.
Thanks to Kristianna Harris for sharing this compelling piece of research.
What do you think? Sagittarius Rising or Libra Rising?