June 17, 1910, Diana Mitford was born in London. The well-known woman would be highly controversial and hated by the conductor layer in England when she appeared as a sympathizer for national socialism.
Diana Mitford was born on the 17th of June, 1910, in the fashionable Belgravia district of London. However, she grew up in the Mitford family home in Oxfordshire. Diana Mitford was a British nobleman among seven siblings, six of whom were sisters. The Mitford sisters were well-known in England’s society, books and gossiped were written about their life in the press. They were also cousins of Clementine Hozier, Winston Churchill’s wife. Two of the sisters were famous writers, Diana was known as the glamorous and considered very beautiful.
In 1929, 18-year-old Diana Mitford married the brewery heir Bryan Walter Guinness and they had two sons. The couple organized magnificent celebrations, which came to the attention of famous people, including politicians like Winston Churchill. As Diana Guinness, she was at the centre of the 20th-century society, the British historian David Irving writes.
In the early 1930s, Diana Mitford came to show sympathies for national socialism. She started a relationship with Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, and divorced Guinness.
In 1934, she attended the Nürnberg Days in Germany with her younger sister Unity Valkyrie Mitford who introduced her to Hitler. A year later, Diana secretly married Oswald Mosley in Joseph Goebble’s home with Goebbels and Hitler as wedding witnesses. Later that same year, the couple appeared publicly at the Berlin Olympic Games, but the wedding was held back to 1938, when the couple’s first son, Alexander, was born. They also gave birth to their son Max in 1940.
The time just before and after the outbreak of WWII would prove to be difficult. The weeks before the outbreak, Hitler warned Diana and her sister Unity that England would start a war against Germany and recommended them to return home for safety.
Diana returned home while Unity stayed. When Britain and France declared war on Germany, Unity tried to take suicide by shooting herself in her head. She survived, but would not be the same and died as a result of her injuries in 1948.
In 1940, Mosley was arrested under Regulation 18B, a law instituted in 1939, which gave the British state the opportunity to imprison sympathizers for national socialism. When Diana was arrested and sentenced to a female imprisonment, her son was eleven weeks old. The democratic regime held her imprisoned for three years because of her views. In 1943, Oswald and Diana Mosley were released and were allowed to sit in house arrest until the end of the war.
After the war, the couple lived for a few years in the English countryside, but were refused passports and forced to flee by boat to Ireland. From there, the couple went on to settle in an exclusive house in Orsay, near Paris, where they were neighbours and close friends to Britain’s abdicated king and his wife: Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
In 1948, Oswald Mosley formed the Union Movement, advocating a united Europe. Even Diana was active in the movement and founded and ran the magazine The European 1953 which brought forward the ideal Union Movement, which could be described as pan-European socialism. In detail, Diana, in an interview a year before her death, mentioned that she did not like French nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen. She felt that Europe should be united and opposed to the kind of nationalist isolationism that Le Pen stood for.
Together with her husband, she also founded Euphorion Books, a book publisher who, among other things, released the German fighter pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel and Niki Lauda’s autobiography. In 1977, Diana’s autobiography, A Life of Contrasts, became an international bestseller.
In 2003 Diana Mosley died in Paris 93 years old.