Known as the “Queen of Hearts” and the “People's Princess,” Princess Diana was a much-loved figure celebrated for her compassion, philanthropy and rebellious spirit. From the moment she stepped into the limelight in 1980 to her untimely death in 1997, she captured the world's attention as a style icon and human rights advocate.
But behind the glamor and drama of her life in the British Royal Family, what was Princess Diana's true personality type?
Based on our analysis — which hasn't been easy since Diana appears to have spent much of her life in search of her own identity — we believe that Diana could have been an INFP and an Enneagram Four. Read on to learn more about this extraordinary and complex woman.
TypeFinder Personality Type: INFP, The Healer
INFPs are driven by their feelings and values. As the empathetic idealists of the Myers and Briggs system, they have the ability to see potential in everything and everyone. In fact, they often see it as their life's work to understand themselves and others, and will often go to great lengths to do so.
As Sally Bedell Smith wrote in her book, Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess, Diana “searched frantically for her own identity... Her marriage to the future King of England thrust on her a public identity that she could never square with her muddled sense of self.”
I/ Introverted: This might surprise those who remember Diana as a social butterfly who effortlessly charmed everyone she met. But the media dubbed her “Shy Di” for a reason, and the Princess certainly had a habit of ducking her head to avoid the gaze of others. Sure, INFPs are sociable and engaging with those they know and trust. But they're also private and introspective, and need quiet space to recharge.
N/ Intuitive: As an Intuitive type, Diana was imaginative with a strong intuition that enabled her to see beyond the surface of things. She loved escaping into books as a child and was known for being a dreamer who could often be found lost in thought.
F/ Feeling: It's well-known that Diana found the Royal Family to be unfriendly and emotionally cold. She, on the other hand, wore her heart on her sleeve and was known for being warm and empathetic to those she met. She revealed her wish to be the “Queen of Hearts” in a BBC interview, and in another interview said, “I want to walk into a room, be it a hospital for the dying or a hospital for sick children, and feel that I am needed. I want to do, not just to be.”
P/ Perceiving: INFPs are spontaneous and and don't like to be boxed in by rules and expectations. Despite living in a world constrained by royal protocols, Diana had a penchant for hugging her subjects and showing public displays of affection that rebelled against the rules. The lighthearted moment of her running barefoot with other parents at her children's sports day (and losing the race!) showcased her offbeat nature. “I like to be a free spirit. Some don't like that, but that's the way I am,” she said.
Cognitive Functions for Princess Diana
Fi / Introverted Feeling: Fi is all about the values that come from within. As her dominant cognitive function, Introverted Feeling made Princess Diana deeply value-driven. For example, in 1987 she opened the UK’s first HIV/AIDs clinic in London, at a time when the virus was thought to be capable of transmission through touch. It was here that she shook the hand of an AIDS patient without gloves. “HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug, heaven knows, they need it,” Diana told the press. This single compassionate act changed society's perceptions towards HIV/AIDS.
Ne / Extraverted Intuition: Diana's Extraverted Intuition function enabled her to take information through her intuition, finding patterns in ideas as she talked or created. “She was an entirely intuitive person,” said journalist and historian Paul Johnson, in Bedell-Smith's book. “She was not particularly good at rational processes, but she could get on well with people because she could grasp ideas if they had emotional importance to her. She was very quick, and quick to sense what people wanted.”
Si / Introverted Sensing: This tertiary function is relatively less dominant but still played a part in Princess Diana's life. Introverted Sensing gave clarity to her value-led internal world, adding a more solid sense of right and wrong to her moral system, which was often based on her real-world experiences. This is evident in her humanitarian work. In her lifetime, Diana was patron of more than 100 different causes and walked the walk quite literally across landmine fields and at the bedside of leprosy patients, among many other charitable missions.
Te / Extraverted Thinking: As her inferior function, Extraverted Thinking was Diana's achilles heel. Te is a logic-oriented way of problem-solving that automatically seeks a more practical and efficient way of doing things. Diana admitted this wasn't her strength. “I don't go by the rule book... I lead from the heart, not the head.”
More Facts about INFPs:
- INFPs makeup 6.3% of the population
- Commonly found in counseling, writing and the arts
- Second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction
- Personal values include Autonomy and Creativity
- Other famous INFPs include John Lennon, Keanu Reeves, Isabel Briggs Myers, Kim Tae-hyung (V)
Enneagram 4: The Individualist
Some Enneagram teachers believe that Diana was an Enneagram Type Two, and that could be the case. However, if you watch interviews of her speaking, you will see that she used an abundance of self-referencing language, emotion-laden and metaphoric stories, and personal anecdotes, which often had a deeply sad and vulnerable undertone.
She struggled to make eye contact with her interviewers, but at the same time was extremely open when talking about her personal issues in public. Most Twos would hate the idea of revealing so much about themselves. This is why, on balance, we think Diana was an Enneagram Four – introspective, expressive, sensitive, reserved and mysterious.
Enneagram 4: Inwardly
Introspective and reserved. As part of the ”withdrawn" Enneagram stance (which includes Types Four, Five and Nine), Diana often appeared to be reserved and introspective. She was known for her quiet, reflective demeanor, which added to her enigmatic and intriguing public persona. There was a lot more to the People’s Princess than the public ever saw.
Fears rejection. As a Four, Diana would have had a healthy fear of rejection. Fours often feel different, which makes them anxious about being accepted for who they are. “Diana was tormented by feelings of emptiness and detachment; she feared abandonment; she had difficulty sustaining relationships; and she kept those closest to her on tenterhooks,” wrote Bedell Smith.
Feels misunderstood. “I am continuously misunderstood by those around me," Diana wrote in 1981, which is a common sentiment among Fours. This feeling was a major reason why Diana collaborated with writer Andrew Morton in a revealing biography. “I think I was so fed up with being seen as someone who was a basket-case because I am a very strong person and I know that causes complications in the system that I live in.”
Enneagram 4: Outwardly
Self-referencing. Enneagram Fours often live their lives as if they are the main character in a dramatic movie because they find it easy to connect with their own experiences and explain them through storytelling. Diana would often invoke self-referencing language in interviews and public speeches, including “There were three of us in the marriage..." to describe her husband’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Highly creative: Fours are known for their creativity, which was evident in Princess Diana's fashion choices and how she frequently sought out art as a hobby and therapy. An accomplished pianist, she once walked over to a piano and played a passage from Rachmaninov’s notoriously difficult Piano Concerto No. 2 to a room full of surprised listeners
Honest and vulnerable. Diana was renowned for her emotional honesty and vulnerability, which made her relatable and endeared her to the public. There are almost too many examples, from her open discussion of her bulimia to the moment she spoke her mind very candidly on BBC Panorama, sharing her depression to millions.
With her Myers-Briggs and Enneagram types, Princess Diana was a sensitive, authentic and expressive individual who valued honest emotional connections and forged her own path in the world. These unique characteristics shaped her unique public persona, making her an enduring figure in history.