“I wish to pay personal tribute to Diana, Princess of
Friday 31st August 2007 marked exactly ten years since the sudden demise of Lady Diana Spencer also known as Princess Diana, The Princess of Wales. The abrupt demise, through a ghastly auto accident, on that warm night of August 31st 1997 in Paris of ‘the Queen of our Hearts” as she was fondly called by admirers all over the world signaled the end to an eventful but short life of an iconic figure whose legacy and fairy tale marriage to Prince Charles, the future King of England, shook the world and changed the face of the British monarchy. She was thirty-six years. To celebrate the life of the people’s Princess, a concert held in
The wedding of Lady Diana and the Prince of Wales was the love story of the decade. But the seemingly-perfect fairy-tale was destined not to have a storybook ending. The marriage broke down in acrimony and with revelations of infidelity on both sides. The couple’s separation and divorce seriously damaged the monarchy itself. For Diana it was a painful process which led to depression – for which she claimed she got no support from the royal family.
Diana Frances Spencer, The Princess of Wales, was born on July 1, 1961 in
The billions of people who grieve for her perhaps will follow her lead in working to end the sale of land mines in
For several years, their predictions were correct. Princess Diana, with her aristocratic beauty and spunky approach to her role as the future queen of
When the “perfect” marriage between Diana and Charles began to show some cracks, their conflicts were widely reported in the media. The publication of the book “Diana: Her True Story” by Andrew Morton ended the myth of the fairy tale. The book, based on interviews with some of the Princess’s closest friends and with the tacit approval of the Princess herself, confirmed that her relationship with the Prince of Wales was cold and distant. It told of half-hearted suicide attempts by the Princess during the early years of the marriage, of her struggle with the eating disorder bulimia, and of her obsession with the belief that Charles continued to love a woman he had fallen for years before, Camilla Parker-Bowles. The Prince later confirmed that he and Camilla had had an extra-marital affair.
During a state visit to
She later told of steps she believed her husband’s camp were taking to make her life difficult She gave an unprecedented and remarkably open interview in which she described her post-natal depression, the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles, her tense relationship with the Royal Family as a whole and, most shocking of all; she claimed that her estranged husband did not wish to be king. She also predicted that she would never become Queen and that, instead, she wished to become a Queen “in peoples’ hearts”.
Diana also spoke with surprising candor about her own personal struggles with bulimia and suicide, giving individuals struggling with these issues a role model of openness and honesty. Princess Diana used her media popularity to bring attention to the needs of the forgotten and needy of the world.
On August 31, 1997, demand for pictures of Diana was at an all time high. A candid and revealing shot of Diana could fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars from tabloid editors desperate to be able to splash the most scandalous photos across the pages of their magazines. Predictably, photographers went to great lengths to photograph Diana, following her ceaselessly in pursuit of the one shot that might make them rich. The night of August 31, as Diana left the Ritz hotel in
Princess Diana will be remembered as a woman who was at once supremely regal and at the same time strikingly human. To the millions who followed her charitable work, she was most certainly ‘the Queen of our Hearts’, and she will be terribly missed. But she became a sad figure to many as the story of her failed marriage unravelled. Her critics blamed her for helping to strip the monarchy of some of the mystique so important for its survival. But her strength of character in difficult personal circumstances and the unflagging support she gave to the sick and disadvantaged earned her continued respect. And, to the end, she remained a figure of public fascination and affection.
It is instructive to note that ten years after the death of Princess Diana, a Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, an independent grant-given charity in her name established in 1997 has continued the her humanitarian work in the United Kingdom and overseas (especially in Africa where she had most of her humanitarian work).The charity, has over the years, sought to expand the vision of Diana, a world, in which the rights of the disadvantaged are respected.
By giving grants to organisations, championing charitable causes, advocacy, campaigning and awareness-raising, the Fund works to secure sustainable improvements in the lives of the most disadvantaged people in the
The lesson of her life to our political leaders at all levels of governance is that they should commit their time to the service of the people whose interest they swore to protect and serve. The great Elton John aptly summed Diana’s legacy when he sang in a tribute ‘Your candle’s burned long before your legend ever will’.