When Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in the early morning of August 31, 1997, England experienced an unprecedented outpouring of public grief. Her allure was so great that 2.5 BILLION people around the globe tuned in to television broadcasts of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died at the age of 36.
What was her allure?
During her 15-year marriage to Prince Charles, the son of Queen Elizabeth II and the heir to the British throne, Diana became one of the most famous, most photographed people on the planet. Her life story was fodder for numerous books, television programs and movies and her image appeared on countless magazine covers, including those of People and Vanity Fair. After her death, she remained an iconic figure and a continual source of fascination to the media and entertainment world.
Diana Spencer was from a long line of British Aristocracy – unlike her future husband – the House of Windsor is of German descent. She was born on July 1, 1961, in Norfolk, England. On July 29, 1981, at the age of 20, “Shy Di”--as the voracious British media dubbed her--married Prince Charles at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, in a ceremony that was watched by hundreds of millions of TV viewers around the world. On June 21, 1982, Diana gave birth to Prince William. A second son, Prince Harry, was born September 15, 1984. Charles and Diana separated in 1992, amidst allegations of infidelities on both sides, and the couple was officially divorced on August 28, 1996. After her divorce, Diana continued the humanitarian work she’d begun as a member of the royal family, campaigning to raise awareness of the deadly AIDS epidemic and to ban the use of landmines, or explosive devices planted on or in the ground that often cause death or injury to civilians.
These facts are all make for a fascinating person, but what made Princess Diana so special that mourned her passing as if they had known her personally?
Because we did feel like we knew her personally. Though she was rich, famous, beautiful and a Princess, she was unhappy in her marriage and suffered from an eating disorder. She bucked the Monarchy (known as “The Firm”) and exposed her flaws and her dysfunctional marriage and family with the world (her ‘subjects’). We loved her not in spite of her flaws, but because of them. She was vulnerable and talked about making decisions from her heart not her head. She was openly affectionate with her children and with her charity work – being the first public person to touch a person with AIDs. She wanted to be,” the Queen of people’s hearts, not of this Country.” The fact that she died a year after her divorce (almost to the day) and was finally seeming to find some happiness in her personal life made her passing all the more tragic.
During her life, the Monarchy was threatened by her popularity while simultaneously disapproving of her actions. She was courageous enough to say she wanted to change the Monarchy that caused her great misery. Ironically, they have adopted her rulebook and are now imitating her posthumously.
RIP Princess Diana
Posted on Wed, August 28, 2013
by Ms. Dolphina filed under