There is always some sort of enigma attached to the Royal families, no matter where they belong to or what prized seat of Monarchy they hold, whether it’s the princely affairs of the Danish Kingdom, the exuberance from the heartland of Spain or of the highest privileges associated with the United Kingdom.
About 18 years ago, the world and definitely the United Kingdom lost a definite symbol of pride, compassion and eternal love, when it lost a diamond among the many jewels in its Royal crown in an unexpected fatality. This loss of life was of profound magnitude. And, there are many reasons for it.
First that purely from the standpoint of the nobility of a culturally rich Kingdom of England, the Royal family lost a great Princess and someone who would have surely gone on to become the Queen’s successor. But, most importantly and away from the lavish but staple domestic chores of the most celebrated family of England, the world lost a true and rare champion of Human Rights and someone who was a special ambassador for Peace.
Diana, the late Princess of Wales led a tumultuous, but privileged, highly celebrated and yet somber life whose memorable 36 years on earth spelt flawless magic inspiring millions around the world. Yet, at the same time Diana’s existence shook the inner workings and corridors of a decorated Royal Kingdom in London, England whose gold plated existence lacked the familiarity, solidity and humility that this beautiful soul so deserved.
To understand the controversial life of the People’s Princess and one who was loved by all in equal parts, being adored, worshipped and respected in the same breath as she was often torn apart and ruptured in public light, it is important to delve deep into the complex life of Diana, the world’s most photographed woman
An unlikely marriage that was never quite a marriage
The late Princess of Wales, Diana was born in a modest country house of Sandringham, in Norfolk, away from the princely charms of the Britain’s Royal family. The fourth child in a large middle- income group, Diana’s upbringing was amidst parents whose marriage didn’t quite last the way their children would have wanted to. This led a young Diana, question- as a young girl- the very ethos and vulnerability associated with the societal norm. She was closest to her brother Earl Spencer who the general public last saw hold the centre-stage as the giver of a memorable speech during the loss of his sister’s life in the tragic events that unfolded back in Paris in 1997.
Diana who herself was only 19 when she met with and married Prince Charles(1981), the Prince of Wales and the only son of the Queen and Duke of England, was always enthusiastic and going a little out of her way to make her marriage work. Perhaps, one could hold her own parent’s failure at sustaining their marriage for dampening Diana’s hopes and instilling in her complexes that she found hard to part with. Though Prince Charles was a loving husband, his own highly complicated love affair with his ex, Camilla Parker Bowles, the Dutchess of Cornwall often played the devil in a marriage that
was perhaps never to be. The couple were very much in love but one would often see Diana’s being subjected to vast amounts of criticism in the press that was highly biased towards Prince Charles’ life’s assessment and in painting the less experienced and new entrant member of the Royal family as being one who hardly cared about their marriage. Truth be told, Diana was a loving wife who went out of the way to conceal on many occasions the torrid love affair her husband courted with the rather bemusing and volatile Dutchess of Cornwall.
It wasn’t until 1995, when upon the publication of her popular biography that brought to the public eye for the very first time a torrid account of Diana and Charles’ tumultuous love life that Lady Di herself opened her heart on the Panorama BBC interview.
A life lived under the public eye
Britain is home to some of the best, widely read and most popular newspapers. Diana’s life whether it was her attending to a round of Royal duty with husband Charles, or if beside her kids at an amusement park, was splashed massively across the English press who continued to haunt her till the last moment of her life. In her interview Diana, heartbroken and ruptured to her very soul by Prince’ agonizing treatment of one of the world’s most beautiful women shared her misery amidst living with the Royal family. She openly accused Charles and his ‘side of the family’ for mistreating her and failing to understand her life and her wishes, most of which she had sacrificed in the wake of giving her family a priority over other things.
What many often overlook is the sheer amount of effort and rigor that Diana tasked herself with in nurturing her beautiful sons; Prince William and Prince Harry, who largely grew under Diana’s tutelage, care and warmth and were often neglected by their father who preferred spending time with Camilla and playing rounds of Polo and watching Horse Jumping over family affairs. The adorable Princess would walk her sons to the school and in a bid to save her collapsing marriage tagged along her kids to her emotionally torrential trips to Australia and New Zealand with Charles giving her best to save her marriage even as her mind lay with her children.
Pursuit of work toward great noble causes and relentless work for the needy
Amidst the obscure love life that Diana was rumored to be having with many other men, most of whom were in reality Diana’s best friends as she herself revealed during that heart-breaking interview wherein she also mentioned the Queen never wanted her in the first place, Diana never parted ways with either her Royal commitments she was expected to do at every stage of her marriage till it lasted or with her personal engagements.
In a glamorous and stylish life that she lived with grandeur, many berate her for being showy and pompous and effortlessly look away from the many notable causes the Princess of Wales worked painstakingly for. In her eventful life that included more than half of a decade of being at the Royal family, the adorable Princess attached her name to a few million causes all of which were meant for the collective good of the society at large.
Diana traveled with Prince Charles and on most occasions, totally alone, lending a ever helpful hand of support and compassion to the poor, the downtrodden, the alcoholics and those afflicted with AIIDS, a highly disgusting social stigma that the society’s ignorant have created that hurts more than the disease itself. Lady Diana met with Mother Teresa to support the Missionaries of Charity at Kolkata and expressed great desire to fund and provide support for the great saint’ work. She would even travel to war torn districts of Pakistan and was the first to associate her heavyweight name calling for the International Ban on Landmines, a cause closest to Diana’s heart.
One could very well note the emotional attachment and genuine affinity that Diana bestowed ever so willingly upon those who had been left by the society to fend for themselves. These included the most deprived lot of the society, and those who had been abandoned by families owing to alcohol and drug addiction. Throughout her controversial life and one lead under intense media scrutiny, Diana was the first and foremost noble family member who extended her hand in helping lift those who were thrown to be doomed. This sheer selflessness won her the deserving tag of being the People’s Princess and something Diana was proud of being.
Tragic end at Paris
Diana whose marriage fell apart with Prince Charles in the autumn of 1995 was often seen with the billionaire son of Mohamed Al Fayed’s son Dodi, an affluent Egyptian settled in London. She sought in Dodi the comfort and care that her marriage never accorded her. Whether her affair was just or unfair is still being mindlessly debated by a public that seems to have not got enough of Diana in berating her tragic life, but a thing can be said for certain. For the first time in her life, since the birth of her 2 kids was Diana really happy.
In the last week of August, 1997 she and Dodi checked into the highly celebrated Hotel Ritz, also owned by the Al Fayed family and were being chauffeured around by a man called Henry Paul, who many believed was an MI6 informer and the fall guy who is to be blamed for their horrific car crash.
That night on 31 August, 1997 Dodi and Diana in the company of their butler Trevor Rees Jones and driver Henry Paul left in a jiffy in a Mercedes S 280 from the Ritz. The Merc picked up speed in reaching its destination; Dodi’s exotic and lavish private abode near Champs Elysees. While on their way they were constantly being chased by the Paparazzi that many believed had been tipped off about the celebrity couple by none other than Paul himself.
As their high speeding Merc entered a de tour and took to the Pont de I’Alma, it drifted on a high speed curve and whammed across the pillar no.13. The immediate aftermath of the high velocity crash that perhaps resulted with the driver either being mysteriously being plied with alcohol that resulted in him failing to maneuver the wagon or perhaps being disturbed beyond control by the glaring Fiat car that disappeared just as mysteriously as it appeared, left Dodi dead and Diana gasping for her life.
Mystery involving Diana
It wasn’t long before helped arrived on the scene to witness a visibly collapsing Princess breathing heavily. Even then, the Paparrazi’s didn’t hold back from clicking uncountable pictures of a couple reeling in desperate times. For some horrible reason, the ambulance took an hour and forty minutes to transport Diana to the nearest hospital that was less than a mile away. It is largely believed that she was made to succumb to her wounds and upon reaching the dreaded hospital, her body was complicatedly embalmed, something deemed illegal according to French Law.
Diana’s tragic and hitherto unexplained death mostly to the point of a controversy, that many think involves the convoluted efforts of a deceitful Royal Family, England’s Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and the clever French intelligence. But only one thing can be said for certain, Diana’s life was as big a tragedy as it continued to be under mysterious circumstances that called for her ‘elimination’.
Back home in England, the tributes came pouring in an avalanche of grief that left the whole of the world shaken with sadness following the passing of a highly misunderstood life that perhaps gave back way more than it ever took from the society. In Diana, we had an apostle of peace and an evergreen symbol of love that was never quite showered with love that it so richly deserved.