Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Heart Diana

I was 12 years old, in Year 8, and on my way to school on the bus when I heard on the radio news that Prince Charles had announced his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer.

I wasn't into watching the news at that age (I'm still not) so I had never seen her before, but I imagined by hearing her name that she was an older (well Prince Charles was my Mum's age...old) aristocratic looking lady with dark hair.  When I saw her on the news that evening I was quite surprised by how young she looked.  At the time of their engagement on the 24th February, 1981 Diana was only 19, Charles was 32. And I remember thinking that her outfit was 'a little bit daggy'.

Well, it was!

It wasn't until the wedding on the 29th July, 1981 that I fell in love with Diana. Watching that wedding with my whole family was something I will never forget.  As an idealistic young 12 year old with her head full of romantic notions, this was a fairytale leaping to life right before my eyes. I thought she was perfect, I thought her dress was perfect, I wanted to be a princess too and sit in a horse drawn carriage with a prince of my own. (At the time Prince Edward was looking like a contender, he still had hair.)

This could have been me and Prince Edward
I followed her religiously from that day forward.
I read every magazine article. Then I started cutting out and keeping the articles and pictures in multiple scrapbooks (I think I got up to five, maybe six (I just counted them, there are EIGHT!)).
I bought every book I could afford about her.
I recorded television interviews and documentaries and watched them over and over and over.
She was my idol.
I loved that she loved children, so did I.
I loved that she seemed 'old fashioned', so was I.
I loved that she seemed shy, so was I.
I loved her fashion, I loved her spirit, I loved her.
So can you imagine how I felt the day she died?
I suspect a lot of people remember exactly what they were doing when they heard that news.
I was making heart shaped place cards for my sister's wedding.
I heard on the breaking news story that she had been in an accident and had been taken to hospital.
At that point I was clutching my chest thinking, "Oh my God, imagine if she had have died??!!"
And of course, she did.
I cried, I mean loudly, openly sobbed and wept.
I stood in front of my collection of books and scrapbooks that I had spent hours upon hours collating...
I was heartbroken.
I felt enormous sorrow for her two young boys.
I felt like I had lost a dear friend.
And even though most of my friends at the time did not have Diana collections, many of them sobbed with me.
I felt warmed by the flowers left outside the gates at Kensington Palace.
I just kept thinking, "I hope she can see this. I hope now she knows how much people loved her."
Because I'd read all of her biographies, I knew how troubled she had been.

So, why am I posting about this now?
You may or may not have noticed that one of my favouite blogs listed on my sidebar is "All Things Princess Diana".  It posts pictures and new websites. This morning it had a link to this...

I clicked on it and was immediately taken back.
There are so many photos.
Diana for me means so, so many memories.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one sitting with a box of tissues (and using nearly the whole thing) watching her funeral on TV.

These are some of my favourite photos of Diana...

To me, she is an angel.


  1. When her & her hubby came to Asutralia I was actually lucky enough to meet them. She will always be remembered by those that love her

  2. I wasn't into her from the start like you were, but I do remember that when I was a teen I found out about all of the philanthropic work she was involved in. I can't remember exactly which particular project it was, but there was an article with a picture of her with an injured boy - perhaps anti-landmine campaigning? I think he was missing a limb. I remember that she had this beautiful look of compassion on her face, and I remember having a surge of admiration for this woman whom I'd never really taken notice of before. Unfortunately someone close to me found out that I liked her, and used to say horrific things about her in my presence just to tick me off... but that's another story.

    I didn't cry when she died, but I was surprised at how sad I was to hear it considering I've obviously never met her. Some people were making fun of the public outpouring of grief that followed her death and being cynical about it, and I'm usually a bit cynical too, but I remember thinking that in this case it made perfect sense. We had lost someone very beautiful, in all senses of that word.

  3. I adored Diana and I have read just about every book written about her. Clearly we now know a great deal more about her, but I suspect it was her imperfections and great beauty that made her, in my eyes, anyway, someone I thought was wonderful.

  4. I too loved Diana, she was only 1 year older than me, so I was intrigued how she could marry a man as old as Charles and into the royal family to boot. I too followed her religiously, and was devastated when she died. My family banned me to the bedroom so I could watch the funeral and wail in my own company.

    I think she made such a difference to the Royal Family. Often, even now, when I see photo's of William or Harry I get a little pang thinking how proud she would have been of them.

    ps, my engagement ring was the same style as hers.... not as large of course.

  5. She really was one of those flawless women who was just beautiful in every way. R.I.P. Diana.

  6. i remember being on my way to visit my brand new god-daughter and niece...her father rang and said God took a princess to heaven to make way for his new princess..lame but something I will always remeber

  7. i called an english friend (we were living in France then) in the morning because his wife had had a riding accident in front of us the evening before and i wanted to know how she was. he picked up, babbled and howled "it's a tragedy" - i was so shocked, i obviously thought first that HIS wife had succumbed to what seemed minor injuries!
    i remember watching the wedding with amusement as a teen then was completely disinterested of the whole royal stuff and i still am. But I watched every single documentary about Diana in the week before her funeral and was sobbing on my couch when I watched it and that Elton John Song killed us all. She was one of a kind, sadly, I only realized when she was dead. It's nice to see how many still remember and love her :)

  8. I also had at least 6 scrapbooks about her, and while the obsession waned as I grew, I loved her too. I remember writing to her and getting a letter back from her lady in waiting. Will definitely check out that site.

  9. I loved Diana, or more to the point (as a 10 year old) I loved the idea of her. I remember watching her wedding and dreaming of a dress like hers. I had scrap book folders full of newspaper and magazine articles. I had jigsaws of her.
    As I grew older I realised it was just a fairy tail and her real life was far less romantic.
    I did, however, have the same music as I walked down the aisle... always loved it.

  10. Aww. i love her too, she actually reminds me a lot of my mum (weird I know, but she does...)


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