“I would like to be a queen in the hearts of the people.”
Princess Diana of Wales, dubbed “The People’s Princess,” lived a life full of privilege, style, and tragedy. Her life played in front of the world as she was often followed by the intrusive paparazzi of the tabloid press. One billion people around the world watched Lady Diana of Spencer marry heir to the throne, Charles, Prince of Wales, in an over-the-top royal British wedding. She captivated her public with her shy demeanor and refreshing style. A remarkable beauty, many felt a connection to her natural poise and charm.
She sparked a new interest in the monarchy having Prince William (1982) and Prince Harry (1984). A new young family positioned for the royal life. All seemed perfect for the young princess, but her life was plagued with infidelities from her husband and pressures to uphold royal obligation and traditions. Charles rekindled a romance with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles. Diana deeply resented the relationship while her advisers urged her to uphold a united front for the sake of humiliation. She later admitted to suffering from serious psychological issues stemming from this period. Charles and Diana separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.
While on vacation during the summer of 1997 with her boyfriend, Emad Mohamed “Dodi” al-Fayed both were involved in a tragic high-speed car crash in a Paris tunnel. Paparazzi in cars and riding on motorcycles were following the vehicle driving Dodi and Diana closely. The car was severely damaged as a result of speeding and loss of control. Images of the shattered vehicle were splashed on the covers of every newspaper around the world. The shocking news of the beautiful princess and her dashing boyfriend produced a massive outpouring of public mourning as her faithful set up memorials around Buckingham Palace gates.
Famed for campaign against land mines, support for AIDS sufferers, and other causes. Diana was one of the first high profile women to attach themselves to a disease that people were afraid to touch. Her compassion for suffering people was not in vain as she could empathize from her own personal struggles. Diana touched the lives of those around her and will always be remembered as a woman of great humanity and good will, the work continues through her legacy. As this is Women’s History Month, we should all do our part to inspire change.
Graphics by: Trina
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