I don’t bother learning actors’ or singers’ names. I can’t tell you the name of a song or the lyrics. And yet why I was so intrigued with Lady Diana Spencer I have no idea. I hear it said that ‘every girl wants to be a princess.’ Not me. I didn’t identify with her at all, and yet she captured my attention and holds it till this day. The 26th anniversary of her tragic death reminds me of where I was when I heard the news. In 1997 my husband and I went to a nice restaurant and left our young son with my dad and his wife. When we picked him up, they both came to the door and told us that Princess Diana had died. It was that big of a deal to me and everyone knew it. I stayed up to watch her funeral. I even cried when they showed an envelope on her casket that was addressed to ‘Mummy.’
When she first came on the scene in 1981, she was so authentic and seemingly innocent. I watched as the media too became enthralled with her every move. We all witnessed the transformation of a young lady into a Princess who used her position to work on making the world a better place. I was away in college when she married Prince Charles. Back then, we didn’t have DVR’s so I stayed up all night to watch the wedding live. The spectacle didn’t disappoint. Her dress had a 25’ train and a tulle veil attached to her tiara that was 153 yards long. It was epic.
When the Princess Diana doll in her wedding dress became available in 1987 by the Danbury Mint, my mother purchased one for me. I still have it. After she died, my husband mentioned that the doll would be more valuable now. And it is, but not so much so that I would sell it.
When she gave birth to William in 1982, a friend from college who was from England said, ‘Another mouth to feed’ while rolling her eyes. She was unimpressed with the Royals, not even Princess Diana could soften her heart.
As she matured, Di became more and more confident. Even when she no longer was a Princess, the media still followed her and she continued to increasingly be more savvy with the world platform.
Relatively recently, her clothing was on display on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. We happened to be there for a soccer tournament, so my husband drove me to the ship and stayed in the car while I walked through the display. This is another instance where I’m deviating from my usual behavior because of her. I’m often the one that opts out of museum-type excursions. I was hoping the wedding dress would be there, but it wasn’t. It was still fun to see many of her outfits. She had a remarkable flare for style.
Side note. I titled this blog ‘Let Di be a Lady’ because while at a bar someone told my friend to act like a lady. Lady Di had just been introduced to the world and my friend retorted, ‘Let Di be a lady!’ That became an inside joke for years.
I woke up this morning thinking that the paparazzi had taken pictures of her as she was dying. Those have never been revealed, but someday surely they will be. Not something I would want to see. But it’s probably inevitable. It is so sad that she left this world early, but as Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu rightly said, “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.