Yesterday marked 20 years since the world woke up to the news that Princess Diana had been fatally injured in a car crash in a Paris Tunnel. The nation mourned and her death caused a huge change in protocol with regards to how the Royal family acted.
Even though many of us never knew her on a personal level, we each loved her and she became the People’s Princess and the Queen of Hearts.
Diana, was the fairy-tale Princess who was swept off of her feet by the future King, man a lot older than her, who hid a deep dark secret that tore the fairy-tale and happy ending apart; his love for another woman. Camilla Parker-Bowles, a married woman with children.
And through all of the upheavals of a sad and tragic marriage Diana remained determined and resolute that she will raise her two children in a manner that would reflect, kindness, compassion and above all love. She moulded her children to care, and as the world has watched those two Princes grow from boys to men, we can see how much of Diana’s compassion has been gifted to these young men. In a way she influenced us all to be just a little bit kinder.
Her charity work changed the way people thought of Aids sufferers… a stigma around aids patients did exist. People genuinely thought that you could contract aids by touching a sufferer. Diana tore down those barriers. She shook the hand of an Aids sufferer. She refused to wear gloves. She showed the world that you can hug and shake the hands of an aids sufferer and not catch Aids. She taught us all a lesson or two in the way we should treat Aids sufferers.
And when it came to the death of her friend Adrian Ward-Jackson, the true warmth of her caring compassion and love was shown as she kept a bedside vigil and comforted the family after the death of their loved one. The People writes:
Learning that her close friend Adrian Ward-Jackson, 41, was in the terminal stages of AIDS at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, Di left Prince Charles and the children behind and anxiously rushed to his bedside.
Over the next three days, Diana visited Ward-Jackson, a successful art dealer, at least twice a day. As the end neared, the Princess settled in for an eight-hour bedside vigil on Aug. 22, during which she stroked her friend’s hand and comforted his family. When an aide asked her when she planned to leave, Diana replied, “How could I leave him now, when he needs me most?”
That night she left the hospital at 10 P.M., instructing nurses to call her if Ward-Jackson’s condition deteriorated. Sadly, the end was nearer than she imagined—just three hours later he died. When she was notified at Kensington Palace, Diana rushed back to the hospital at 1:30 A.M. and paid her last respects by kissing Ward-Jackson lightly on the forehead. She stayed with his grieving family until 8 A.M. “She proved to be a very, very special friend of Mr. Ward-Jackson,” said a nurse. “Those last hours would have been much harder for him but for her support and kindness.”
She tore down the barriers and helped stop the stigma that was associated with people who were suffering from Aids. But it wasn’t just Aids suffers that benefited from the kindness of Princess Diana… people injured and maimed through landmines benefited, because she made the world sit up and listen and helped to abolish landmines.
From Aids, to Landmines to Leprosy, Diana showed the world that we can help. She showed the world the way forward in treating people with illnesses. And today her legacy lives on in her two boys who have followed in the footsteps of their mother and today are raising awareness to the charities and causes Princess Diana held close to her heart.
There will never be another Princess Diana, and on the 6th September 1997, when the world said their final farewells to a wonderful lady, within our hearts, Diana will forever stay. Her death changed the monarchy forever. Her death, bought the Queen closer to her subjects. Her death, has left a scar on the hearts of two young boys, but they should hold comfort in the fact that, as they have grown into men, they are a legacy to their mother. And we see Diana in them each and every day.
Her brother said in his eulogy to Diana ~ “Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.” ~ Diana did not need any titles, because she was, and will always be the public’s Queen of Hearts.
Naturally Diana made mistakes, like all of us… She was an ordinary girl thrown in a world of protocol. A world where the stiff upper lip was the order of the day. She at times wore her heart on her sleeve. And through rejection she found comfort in other men. There can be nothing worse than living a one-sided love marriage, knowing that the man you love is not in love with you at all. Knowing that his heart lies with another woman. And feeling backed into a corner… and needing to survive Diana opened her heart to the world. She spoke of her marriage, she spoke of her eating disorder, she confided in others, who then betrayed her. Diana was just a normal girl trying to live in a regal world of stone and duty.
Diana showed us all, a way forward, a way to bring happiness into the lives of the less fortunate, but isn’t it time, after 20 years, we allowed Diana to Rest in Peace. She will never be forgotten by her family, she will never be forgotten by us, the public. She will live on in our hearts forever, so for the sake of those close and near to her isn’t it about time we just let her rest in peace?