20 Years On: Princess Diana’s Legacy
After the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales, people came together to remember the beautiful life of a beautiful woman. Through her irresistible smile and her kindness, she made the world remember there is good in everyone. She helped break stigma against HIV/AIDS and the royal family was made more personable after her death. She changed style, and she changed the way people thought.
Twenty years later, Princess Diana is still remembered.
A young and shy girl, Diana was engaged to Prince Charles. Immediately people were struck by beauty, but her humorous and calming demeanor left people enthralled with her. At nineteen years old engaged, and at twenty married, people didn’t have to question what the future King found in the new princess.
It was only a matter of time until she was spoken about so openly. It was a question of what the princess wore that day or when might she have a child. Between Charles and her, it looked like sweet happiness. Two sons later, Princes William and Harry, things were rocky between Prince Charles and her, which ended their marriage.
Her life as a princess wasn’t easy. Being thrust into the spotlight with many people looking to be the next queen wasn’t an easy task. There was a certain appearance to be kept up. There was a certain way to act. However, Diana’s natural and loving fashion shone with every step she took, even if the monarchy didn’t like it.
Princess Diana was a rebel in the monarchy, paving the way for her son Harry. Princess Diana played by the rules sometimes, but when it came to humility and love, it was a rebellion against tradition. Her sympathy for the sick and less fortunate resonated around the world, and only grew as she did.
In the spotlight from the media, she gleamed. Her smile lifted a million hearts. In her time as royal, Diana worked with over 100 charities, but after her divorce, she began to focus on six charities, which lasted with her until her death.
It hadn’t been nice between the prince and her, and the whole marriage fell apart. Charles cheated on his beautiful, young wife with an old flame, and Diana was left in the dust. He shared his feeling openly, and he tried to put her in a corner. However, the Princess of Wales fought back, gaining public attention for not going lightly, unlike many of the monarchy’s other problems.
After the divorce was finalized, the monarchy disowned her. Being the mother of future king, is what kept the “Princess of Wales” title, but she was stripped of security and other things. She wasn’t a normal woman but thrown into a normal world, who wanted nothing more to tear her down. While she had supporters, now she had nowhere to be.
However with this extra time and energy, she set forth to forge her own path in history.
With her young sons at her side, she took her sons to visit the homeless. Her point was to make sure her sons knew the people that allowed them to be in their position. This included drug addicts and prostitutes.
For much of her life, and long before other people started to accept the LBGTQ+ community, Princess Diana fought for the rights. Rumors have it that once Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury once took Diana in drag to a club.
During her time as a royal, the Princess of Wales made frequent tours of hospitals, visiting sick and dying. At the height of HIV/AIDS epidemic, when people feared the disease and anyone who had it, Diana touched a patiently, holding his hand compassionately as he spoke. She was the first royal to ever touch a HIV/AIDS patient, and one of the first celebrities to ever speak about it openly.
An iconic photo and moment is when Princess Diana walked through an old landmine field while she wore a vest and mask, the only things to give protection. She fought against landmines being used, and only a few months after her death, an international agreement was signed that banned landmines. Her fighting, bravery and strength pushed her way through the landmine, and it helped push the law through as well.
Her death struck like a freak hurricane, bringing nothing but water and confusion. Anger too sprouted from her death, toward the paparazzi who stalked her and toward the monarchy that didn’t treat her well. Prime Minister Blair perfectly named her the People’s Princess, for that was what she was and will continue be.
Through her kindness and compassion, Princess Diana is remembered. While it might be her grace, smile and fashion to also make up the woman, it was also her ability to get up and do something. There is a reason she is remembered twenty years after her death, and it was her ability to be human. Unlike the robots some might see in the monarchy, she was human, to reach out and touch.
Her legacy also lives on through her two sons, Princes William and Harry, who prove that compassion and kindness will take you far in life. They go to the same charities that their mother so dearly loved. They make time to visit the places that she so held so close. They remember who allows them to be in the position that they are.
Forever Diana, Princess of Wales, will be remembered as the People’s Princess because she belonged with the people. She didn’t raise herself above. She led with her heart, and she held out of her hand for people in need. The People’s Princess is more than just a memory, but it is a way of being. Growing up I was told to be like Princess Diana, to have grace and compassion like she did. It is her nature and nurture that will continue to live on, as she continues to grace us as the People’s Princess.