This year, everyone’s favorite princess would have turned fifty-eight. Still, even though Princess Diana left this world in 1997, her presence and legend live on. She is the twentieth-century icon, and if she were alive, she would still be only fifty-eight. Her public life started at such a young age that her tragic ending reminds us of how young she was when she died too.
If only she had survived that horrible car accident, she would have already had four grandchildren to look after and be proud of. Maybe she would remarry, find someone who made more sense for her. Princess Di was only nineteen when she was engaged to the future king of England. Still, in her teen years, she was a target of every paparazzi in the state. The public was thirsty for this intriguing and mysterious princess-to-be.
The media would do just about anything to dig some dirt about her, mentioning such things as climbing through the classroom window at school and renting the apartment next to hers. Could you imagine that kind of pressure? But Princess Diana managed to brave it all out.
The public both dissected her to pieces and adored her. At some point, everything she did was considered wrong. She never got the chance to establish her role in the narrative around her in the years which followed her split from Prince Charles. And she never got to sort out her personal life after she became the promised princess.
Princess of Wales Was One Brave Woman — 20th-Century Breaker of Chains of Prejudices
The tragedy seems even greater due to the fact that Di never got the chance to see her boys all grown up. She didn’t get the chance to meet her daughters-in-law or hold her first grandchild. However, she remains, to this day, an ever-present figure and one of the most significant members of the royalty, not just of the last century but ever.
We feel her presence still. She is an inspiration. She is a fashion icon. She is a courageous woman, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter. She is a never-ending tale. Her death sealed that deal even harder.
Nick Kent, the producer of the HBO documentary about Princess Diana’s life, has stated for E! News that she was a brave woman who liked to break stereotypes and strict rules. She was the one to embrace causes before they became mainstream. Diana decided to shake hands with a man who had HIV/AIDS in London, and that act became legendary, Kent has added. This photograph went viral. It was one of the biggest taboos at a time. The very idea of someone having physical contact with a person infected with AIDS was unimaginable.
Princess Diana’s humanitarian work and influence were exceptional, but we cannot even comprehend just how big it was. These days, every celebrity stands for something, but at the time, Diana was considered a pioneer in this section, which was very brave of her. Her mission to comfort others and her gentle heart were the main reasons why the world fell in love with her.
Andrew Morton, her biographer, spoke to Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, who told him that all of her humanitarian work had been very good for her. This was during the time when her interaction with AIDS patients was at its prime and received global coverage.
Anyone could do the old-fashioned remote charity. It took some guts to genuinely care about the people in need and give yourself to them. According to her brother, Diana was one of a handful of celebrities to have close encounters with people suffering.
Diana’s Legacy Will Live Forever Trough Her Sons
The Princess of Wales’ son Harry co-founded Sentable. This is a charity which provides help to people in the African states of Lesotho and Botswana, which are affected by HIV/AIDS. Hence, her family has continued her legacy.
Britain’s Prince told the E! News back in 2007 that his own humanitarian work represented the continuation of what his mother had started and a way to repay her. On August 31, at a memorial service commemorating the ten years of her death, Harry said that both he and his brother viewed their lives as divided into two periods.
The first one was when they were blessed with her physical presence, and the second represented the time when she was beside them in spirit. He also added that she was like both a mother and a father to them. Harry said that they had taken for granted the time they had with their mother, forgetting to cherish those moments of fun, love of life, and joy.
Prince Harry and Prince William managed to organize a Wembley Stadium concert for Diana. It was held on her birthday. They also brought some of Diana’s favorite artists, such as Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Joss Stone, English National Ballet, and over two dozen more.
William has stated for an interview for E! News that his mom loved musicals and dancing. When the reporter asked him whether or not we were going to see his dance moves, he just replied that he hoped not. However, just like his mom, William actually loves to dance.
Moreover, as Ashley Gething, the director of “Diana, our mother,” has told E! News, the Princess of Wales loved to make practical jokes and was quite naughty. Gething made this discovery while filming a documentary. She has also added that Diana had this whole different fun side to herself, but it was not something that William and Harry liked to talk about. In fact, she found this after conducting many interviews with the princess’ closest friends.
Everyone adored Diana’s spontaneity, her laugh, and her excellent sense of humor. A lot of people frequently used the word “touched” when describing their relationships with her. She apparently touched everyone around her in an emotional way. However, Gething thinks that it was a combination of personal warmth and laughs what really pierced through the hearts of everyone who loved Diana. She has added that she didn’t understand this before, but after making this film, she does.
The Funniest, the Naughtiest, and the Best Ever: Lady Di and Fergie
The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who spent much time with Diana, said that whenever the two of them got together, she would be, the funniest, the naughtiest, and the best ever. The two of them liked to crash Prince Andrew’s stag parties, dress up together, or take the queen’s Daimler around Balmoral just for a fun ride.
In 2015, on Meredith Vieira Show, Duchess Fergie was asked what kind of a grandma Diana would have been. Fergie’s reply was that she would have been the best one and that she loved her sons so much that she would have been the proudest grandmother ever. All of Willam’s and Harry’s achievements would make her feel this way.
Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana’s relationship was famous for being cold at one point but hot at other. After an embarrassing misstep when Ferguson ended up crossed off Kate Midleton and Prince William’s guest list when they got married back in 2011, she insists upon mentioning those good old days constantly.
Fergie insists on saying that both Diana’s sons are extraordinary men and that Catherine is incredible. She added that she believed that Diana would have loved the fact that everyone kept talking about goodness more. Meanwhile, Harry kept insisting that Fergie should receive an invitation to his wedding with Meghan Markle last year.
Even though the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana headed south after she gave birth to Harry in 1984, Di’s relationship with the public was just beginning to warm up. Namely, she had a vision of a monarchy which would have more interaction with ordinary people one day. Diana believed that this was her mission, along with exposing her boys to as many life experiences as she could at an early age.
Princess Had Planted the Seed of Knowledge and Mental Healthcare Awareness
Diana told Martin Bashir at the BBC Panorama back in 1995 that she liked to take her sons along for projects on homelessness. She took them along with her on her mission to support people dying of AIDS, even though she told them that these people had cancer. She added that she brought them to all sorts of places where none of the children their age in the family have gone before. Diana was pleased that her sons had the knowledge about the world, even though they might never use it; she was pleased to have planted the seed, and she hoped that someday, the seed would grow.
All Princess Di ever wanted was to have her sons understand a wide range of human emotions, every little insecurity, distress, and each hope and dream. However, the most significant cause Diana fought for was to raise mental health awareness. This was something that she could never have imagined in her days prior to getting involved with the royal family and before having a public life.
This is precisely why Diana stood her ground and shared her struggles with self-harm, bulimia, postpartum depression, and suicide attempt in the early 1990s. These acts opened up a path which many celebrities now follow, which is about being honest about their own struggles. They show us how we all suffer and fight no matter what are last name or title is.
In 2016, William, Kate, and Harry started Heads Together. This was a campaign where Harry told the world about his behavioral issues and therapy he had been going through for years after the tragic death of his mother.
Princess Diana also mentioned her shrink, Maurice Lipsedge, who helped her cope with her self-doubts, which followed her ever since the public got to know her. Lipsedge managed to recover Diana from her eating disorder. He was also the one to help her realize that she wasn’t the only person who struggled with these issues, as she herself told Andrew Morton, who wrote a book about the Princess of Wales.
The Divorce: The Things I Do for England!
Diana, unfortunately, never felt any sympathy or understanding from her husband, Prince Charles. His family never supported her. The media waited for Diana to make the wrong move, just so that they could sell more headlines. The pressure she was exposed to was enormous. This whole issue resulted in Princess Diana and Prince Charles effectively announcing their separation in 1992. Their official divorce occurred in 1996.
From 1991 to 1992, Diana struggled with the thought about whether she should stay in the royal family or not, as Andrew Morton wrote. He stated that Diana felt a great impatience when it came to changing the whole monarchy machinery instead of despairing about her broken marriage. She felt a business-like indifference towards Prince Charles and Camila Parker Bowles’s affair, rather than the rage of a hurt and jealous woman.
Her serious commitment to get the best out of her position in order to help those in need prevailed over the doomed marriage, and this was what kept her going. Diana’s most prevailing concern at the time were improvements and the control over system reforms. Diana had an internal joke with her friends saying: “the things I do for England!”
However, the royal bureaucracy was something real, and both they and the media used Diana as a figure of idiosyncrasies during the 1990s. During her Morton interviews, Diana recalled how much she wanted to attend the funeral of Grace Kelly in September 1982. The two princesses met, and Diana talked about how sweet this American movie star was.
She told Morton that she recalled telling Prince Charles about the importance of the fact that the outsider (Grace Kelly) married into a prominent royal family because Diana could relate to this. Ultimately, Princess of Wales asked for the queen mother’s permission to attend Kelly’s funeral.
Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, and Princess Diana
Diana said that she went there and did her part, and everyone was all over her. People were saying how good she was, and she remembered thinking to herself that this was quite interesting. We believe that both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton can relate to this matter.
Megan Markle said that it was very important to know that her husband’s mother was one of us. She received the engagement ring made with a center stone from Botswana and two beautiful diamonds from Princess Diana’s own collection. She also added that even though she felt sad for never getting the chance to meet Diana, she found some comfort in meeting Diana’s family. Meghan said that by meeting them, she felt like knowing a part of Diana through them and through her husband.
Meghan had an experience similar to her mother-in-law’s. After the great news leakage about her and Harry dating, over the next three years before their marriage, Meghan was haunted by media and an object of tabloid scrutiny chasing after reaching top-selling headlines. Harry did his best to try and prepare his wife-to-be for the dirty and painful struggle with the media. Fortunately enough for the two of them, love conquers all, and no headline could shake their relationship even though we cannot imagine how Meghan must have felt in those moments.
Meghan decided to commit to another thing that Diana liked — humanitarian causes. In fact, she was involved with charity even before she met Harry. It’s highly likely that this was the thing that brought them even closer together after that famous blind date where they met in 2016. As it happens, just like any other late 1990s American girl, she became fascinated with Diana. Meghan watched the global spectacle and tragedy on TV regarding the death of an icon. Before going out on a date with Harry, Meghan remembered asking their mutual friend if he was nice. After getting a positive response, she agreed on going out with Harry.
The Lives of Diana’s Boys
William and Harry, accompanied by both of their wives, represent organizers and patrons devoted to philanthropy. Such full-time royal stature became a huge part of their family’s work in the modern United Kingdom and beyond. However, their commitment to the public service and global charity was going to be their role from the moment they were born no matter what.
It was their mother’s way of connecting with people in need that made them enjoy the roles they would have to accept anyway. William and Harry don’t just do it because they are supposed to; they do it to honor their mother, who raised them to be empathic and genuinely care for the needs of other people.
Harry told Newsweek in 2017 that he intuitively knew that Diana would have been proud of him if he managed to continue her excellent work and carry on the legacy. He also said that his mother had a huge part in showing him an ordinary way of life. This included meetings with the homeless for both of her boys, he added. Harry is very grateful that his mother did so, and that she never let her children lose contact with reality.
Harry says that he doesn’t believe that people will ever realize just how ordinary his and his brother’s lives are. He even does his own shopping. However, he’s under pressure every time he goes to the supermarket about being recognized by someone who will try to snap a picture of him. But Harry decided to overcome this because he is determined to live a healthy and happy life. He also says that he is very lucky to have become a father now and that his children will have their own children eventually.
Harry claims that even if he was a king, no one could take away his shopping trips; he wants to do this on his own. He was raised to know different. But after hearing the details about his life, we can witness a significant influence of Diana. It looks like her seed has grown to full potential. Princess Diana, mission accomplished!
All Diana ever wanted was the two of them being aware of the fact that they were so loved. On the other hand, she wanted to make sure that William and Harry never lost touch with real life. Diana had a mission to teach them about the illusion of life and how beautiful it could be.
Young William said to his mother that he wanted to be a policeman when he grew up so that he could look after her. Harry interrupted this statement by telling him that he couldn’t be a policeman since he was supposed to become a king.
As Diana explained, she had to change her approach when it came to raising William, who was born second in line to the throne. She had to act subtly. She said that even though people might not be aware of this, she certainly was. Diana had to walk on eggshells when it came to the relationship she maintained with the monarchy. She was aware that her mother-in-law had the title and had been doing her job for the past forty years. Diana couldn’t just step in and change the order of things.
Through the responsibilities of the members of his family and his father, William was learning and got some insights into what was waiting for him. He wasn’t just waiting for his life to unfold locked upstairs with a governess.
Diana was trying to raise her older son the right way and prepare him to succeed his grandmother. She said that if she were capable of writing her own script, her husband would go away with another woman and leave her with their boys to carry the Wales name through William who would become the queen’s successor. Diana would be behind them along the way, without feeling trapped. Instead, she would feel even better this way.
On the other hand, Prince Charles firmly opposed her opinion, stating that this would never happen for as long as he lived. Nowadays, Harry and William’s father is married to Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla. The two married back in 2005 since Prince Charles never wanted to be a king. However, even though Camilla wouldn’t assume the title of the queen, there are some speculations on her being such an important member of the royal family that she just might have some chances by now.
Just as Diana wanted, her sons are very open to the world and “plain” life. They travel the world, devoting their attention and funds to children, the sick, veterans, less fortunate people, speaking frankly about problems such as grief, anxiety, and depression, protecting wildlife, and doing their best to be good fathers and husbands. They live their lives with their mother engraved in every decision and action they take. We are confident that she is proud of them wherever she is now.
The Pain That Lasts Forever
In 2017, William spoke for British CQ. There, he said that sometimes, he would like to hear Diana giving him some advice. He added that he would be the happiest person in the world if only his mother met Catherine and got the chance to watch his children grow up. William is devastated about the fact that his children will never meet their amazing grandmother.
In 2017, on the twentieth anniversary of Diana’s tragic death, a slope of retrospectives and documentaries emerged, making Harry and William talk more openly about the whole event and the traumatizing aftermath.
William said that he was in a better place about his mother now, and it took almost a lifetime to get there. He added that he could finally speak about her more openly and honestly. This makes him remember Diana better and that he can talk to the public about it.
At least he had someone close to him who understood this pain that would always be present, his brother. William said that the tragedy that had fallen upon them served as a means to bring Harry and him closer together. They had to survive and be strong because that was what she would want them to do, William stated at the Campaign Against Living Miserably charity event.
He added that the fact that they had lost their mother at such a young age helped them walk such a steep road ahead together. William said that Harry and he are like-minded. And this is no surprise since they shared a specter of identical emotions, grief, sorrow, rage, and acceptance, only to come out as a stronger individual after.
Harry and William actually spent their childhood together, only to be separated geographically in their adolescence years. They reunited in 2009 during a helicopter pilot training and formed Royal Foundation together a decade ago. They managed their humanitarian work and became even closer because of this.
As for this decade, the two royal siblings are neighbors at Kensington Palace, making a happy trio with Kate Middleton. This lasted until Harry and Meghan found each other, and the younger brother decided to tie the knot. Now, two love birds made a nest of their own, setting up a household together.
This process lasted for months. It started with last fall’s news of the Duchess and the Duke of Sussex announcing they would leave Kensington’s Palace. William and Kate are the occupants of a four-story 1A apartment, at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
The Firm’s Spotlight Never Shuts Down
Now that the separation is complete, the final announcement was that Harry and Meghan were about to form their own foundation. After Harry married, many royal experts advised him to have an office of his own.
Obviously, Princess Diana would have just wanted her sons to be happy. Certainly, she would have been more than full of understanding about Harry and Meghan wishing to distinguish themselves from The Firm, or at least take a break from the 24/7 Firm’s spotlight.
Diana found out the hard way that the dust wouldn’t settle once her marriage with Prince Charles ended — on the contrary. She wasn’t able to search for new love because of the ever-present media coverage. It’s no wonder that both of her sons issued statements in which they requested the media dedicate themselves to doing a better job respecting women in their lives even though they did so a decade apart. What Diana might have wanted is that someone did the same for her when she was only nineteen and left for the vultures to feast on her life.
During her last years, Diana did her best to remove herself from the spotlight of the public. She even considered moving to South Africa to be with her brother Charles. All of these plans failed due to the violent ending of this thirty-six-year-old icon.
This infamous event was followed by one of the most significant outpourings of worldwide public’s grief. In Britain, hundreds of residents walked the streets demanding that the royal family does more for Diana. They made her the “people’s princess,” and the public adored her for being there for them, listening to the common folk’s issues, and being sensitive and emphatic.
This made William and Harry guard themselves against the media. Yes, when you see them filling headlines nowadays, both of them look perfectly charming, allowing photographers to shoot them while conducting their job. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that both of Diana’s boys are careful when it comes to public events and media.
The sad fact remains — Diana regretted deeply giving the interview to Bashir. Paparazzi were fighting to take the best angle of her lying inside the wrecked Mercedes in Paris on that unfortunate evening which took her life. Neither William nor Harry can ever forget this. And this is perfectly understandable — no one could go through this much and stay without scars.
In memory of their mother, princes will continue to spread her ideas and aspire to make the world a better place for as long as there is a single person out there who cares.
A Tragic Ending
Diana never had any joy out of being proclaimed the 1980s Marilyn Monroe. She used to say that her sitting down and saying “hooray I am wonderful” would never happen. She also added that the minute she would even think this, she would get in deep trouble with herself.
Diana said that she performed her duty as the Princess of Wales and that her time was allocated. If life took her somewhere else, then she would go there. She was willing to embrace every life change.
Diana stated in the Morton tapes that she dreamed of being able to go to the movies, the opera, or at least being able to take a simple walk. But these actions would all cause a stir, so she made peace with the fact that she could never be a “normal” person in need for some everyday fun.
Diana concluded the Morton interview by saying that she didn’t want her friends to think that she had abandoned them. She just didn’t have the time to sit and gossip. Princess Diana had things to do, and her time was precious. Unfortunately, she never got the chance to live her life, which ended tragically, stripping her boys of the opportunity to have their mother when they needed her the most. The tale of Princess Diana is a modern fairytale which never ends.