August 31 in history:
The Princess of Wales died in France on this date in 1997. Princess Diana, formerly Lady Diana Spencer, was 36, and had been divorced from Prince Charles for just one year. Diana and two others died after their car crashed into a pillar inside a Paris tunnel, as the car was trying to outrun photographers. Despite conspiracy theories suggesting Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were murdered, official inquests concluded that the car’s driver was negligent and apparently drunk.
The Lady of the Lake is the leading female character in the musical “Spamalot,” based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Sara Ramirez won a Tony Award in 2005 for originating the role of the Lady on Broadway. Ramirez, born August 31st, 1975, is known to television viewers as Dr. Callie Torres on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
July 29 in history:
Two famous brides in British history on this date…
On July 29th, 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots married for the second time. Her new husband was Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. The marriage lasted less than two years. There was an explosion in Henry’s bedroom, but some sources say he died of strangulation, not from the blast.
Lady Diana Spencer became the Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles on this date in 1981. Their marriage ended in divorce 15 years later.
The TV comedy “How I Met Your Mother” centered around architect Ted Mosby’s search for a bride. Ted was played by Josh Radnor, born on July 29th, 1974. Radnor also starred in the Broadway version of “The Graduate” as Ben Braddock, who disrupts a wedding and runs off with the bride, his girlfriend Elaine.
In the movie “Rumor Has It,” Jennifer Aniston’s character believes her family inspired the story for “The Graduate.” “Rumor Has It” was released in 2005, the year Aniston divorced Brad Pitt. They were married on this date in 2000.
July 29th also is the birthday of a “McBride”: country singer Martina McBride (born 1966).
July 1st in history:
Canada celebrates its version of the 4th of July on this day, marking the date it became a dominion of the British Empire on July 1st, 1867.
It was on Dominion Day of 1980 that “O Canada” officially became the country’s national anthem.
Twenty-year-old Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales by his mother in a ceremony at a Welsh castle on July 1st, 1969. On that same day, future Princess of Wales Diana Spencer was celebrating her eighth birthday.
In a 1982 TV movie about Charles and Diana, the Queen Mother was played by two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland. At the time of her 100th birthday on July 1st, 2016, de Havilland — best known as Melanie in “Gone With the Wind” — was the oldest living winner of an acting Oscar.
It’s also the birthday of Canadian actress Genevieve Bujold (born 1942) who received an Oscar nomination for playing a royal wife, Anne Boleyn, to Richard Burton’s Henry VIII in “Anne of the Thousand Days.” Fellow Canadian Dan Aykroyd was an Oscar nominee for “Driving Miss Daisy.” Aykroyd was born on this day in 1952, and became famous as an original cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” His most popular characters include Elwood Blues of the Blues Brothers, alien driving instructor Beldar Conehead, and Ray Stantz in the original “Ghostbusters” films.
A court ruling of concern to the First Family, the Reagans, on June 21st, 1982: John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shootings of President Reagan and three other men. Hinckley was committed to a mental hospital.
On that same day and year, there was a new addition to the British royal family. It was Prince William, the first child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Upon his birth, William became second in line to the British throne.
Later in 1982, the sitcom “Family Ties” premiered on NBC. The parents on that show, Steven and Elyse Keaton, were played by two performers born on June 21st, 1947: Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter.