Friday, July 1, 2011

Diana Remembered

It's hard to believe but Princess Diana would be 50 today.

I was in high school when she married Prince Charles. Ever an Anglophile, I got up at 4 a.m. to watch the nuptials on TV. (My dad, not a big fan of the British royals, made me go back to bed. Party pooper.)

Shy Di became quite the glamorous beauty. Here she is dancing with John Travolta in the entrance hall at the White House in 1985:
By U.S. Federal Government, via Wikimedia Commons
I remember where I was when I heard the news of her death on Aug. 31, 1997. I had just returned from vacation when I flipped on the TV to CNN and saw her picture beside the dates 1961-1997. I broke down and cried.

Soon after we pulled an all-nighter at the newspaper where I worked to publish a special issue in her honor. Diana died just before Mother Teresa did, and my friend and co-worker questioned why the princess was overshadowing the nun whom many considered a saint.

While I understood her frustration, the difference was that Diana's death at 36 was unexpected, while Mother Teresa, at 87, had led a long, full life. Diana's sudden passing was made all the more tragic because it appeared that she had finally found some measure of freedom and happiness.

One of my favorite photos of Diana is also one of the last taken of her:
Source: Mario Testino via ozz on Pinterest

What do you remember most about Princess Diana?

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