Remembering ‘The People’s Princess’ through her beauty, generosity and humble demeanor; it appears the more difficult she found it to cope with Royal pressure, the more the world fell in love with her. Lady Diana captivated the globe, during her life and after her passing, which is marked by today’s anniversary, exactly 16- years- ago; on August 31, 1997 Princess Diana lost her life during a car accident at the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.
Reports indicate that Diana and boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed, son of famed Entrepreneur Mohamed Al-Fayed, were being chased by photographers in their Mercedes through the streets of Paris at the time the crash occurred. Hospital officials made numerous attempts to save her life, but she was reported in passing just after 4 am at a Paris Hospital.
Being part of Generation Y, I vividly remember watching the Breaking News the night of the crash and the funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997, which is said to have captured the attention of more than 2.5 Billion people in over 60 countries around the world via the television.
Diana Spencer was an assistant pre-school teacher, when she began her romance with Prince Charles in 1980. The two married on July 29, 1981 and had two children, Prince William in June of 1982 and Prince Henry a.k.a. Prince Harry in 1984. After a courtship that was smudged by allegations of infidelity, Buckingham Palace publicly announced that Queen Elizabeth had sent letters advising Prince Charles and Princess Diana to divorce in 1995.
Here are some facts, you may not know about ‘The People’s Princess’…
– Princess Diana waited 3 years to date Prince Charles, after they met at her family Estate while he was dating her sister.
– Diana was 20 years- old when she married into the Royal Family
– Diana picked her own ring… a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon Sapphire, set in 18-carat white gold and surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds; made by Crown Jewelers Garrand, it was £30,000, which is estimated at £94,800 today.
– Even after her divorce Diana remained at her apartment at Kensington Palace, and was considered a member of the Royal household, being that she was mother to the future heirs to the throne.
– Most notably Princess Diana was an avid proponent of promoting good will around the world; she fundraised for dozens of International charities and stayed as an active member of 6 organizations after she divorced Prince Charles, including: National AIDS Trust, Leprosy Mission and President of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children since 1989.
– Princess Diana’s international efforts to campaign for the banning of landmines, led to her famous 1997 tour of an Angolan minefield. She was interested in the injuries incurred by children long after conflicts were over, in fact just days before her passing she had toured the consequences in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
– Princess Diana’s work of raising awareness of landmines influenced the signing of the ‘Ottawa Treaty’, which created a ban on the use of anti- personnel landmines (the Treaty was signed after her death).
– During her term as Princess, one of Diana’s most memorable moments came in 1991; Diana was photographed hugging an AIDS patient, at a time when skepticism and false connotations of the disease were rampant.
In closing one of the most memorable moments I have in correlation to the Princess was visiting one of her memorials in England, inside Harrods Department Store. At the time of Diana’s death, the Al-Fayed Family owned Harrods; the memorial displays the engagement ring Dodi Al-Fayed had purchased just the day before the accident. If you are visiting London, take a trip down the famous Egyptian escalators and spend a moment reflecting upon the grave impact Princess Diana’s life had on the world.