Being born in a Republic I was not automatically a fan of Royalty. I thought it was a silly and expensive folly created to attract tourists. But then came Diana and everything changed. Thirteen years old I sat glued in front of the TV watching this beautiful cream puff float down the aisle at Westminster Abbey with the world’s longest train.
The details of Diana Spencer’s wedding made such a deep impression on me, that at my wedding the train was the most important part of the dress. Yes, I did have puffed sleeves and marched down the aisle in a monstrous church to Trumpet Voluntary. How many others, have the same story to tell?
When I went to London in the late 1980’s as an Au Pair, my darling friend and I tried as hard as we could to worm our way into these private nightclubs where Diana and Fergie were said to dance the night away. I remember one particularly desperate attempt at social engineering that ended our any further efforts in this direction, we resigned to dancing at the Hippodrome like all the other tourists.
But we did so love Diana. She was smart, funny, well dressed and kind. Everything we wanted to be, a humble princess. She held the little children with AIDS at a time when everyone else would have turned away. Instead of romping about she donated so much time to charities and encouraged other to give generously. She was Mother Teresa in a pastel suit.
I am pretty sure that Diana was a favorite among many men too. They thought if a fella with floppy ears like him can get such a great gal, well there must be hope for me too.
But then the story gets sad. We loved poor Diana to death. Our hunger for wanting to know more about her created an entire industry. One that would do anything to get a story. Diana could trust no one. Our adoration of Princess Di helped create the situation where paparazzi were so desperate to get something to write about.
It makes me think about a part of The Ballad of Reading Gaol from Oscar Wilde.…Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword! Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold. Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die….
So my gift to you dear William, with the deepest respect for your mother, is to let you be.
And for you Kate I will refuse to buy any newspaper with you or your beloved on the cover that promises juicy details from your life. I will turn off TV programs with people claiming to have inside information. I will block internet sites with the latest photos of you going to the shops. I will cancel my subscriptions to magazines filled with your beauty secrets and analysis of your wardrobe. I will not purchase mugs, tea towels or silly hats with your names printed on them.
I will give generously to charities you support and keep you in my prayers.
Wishing you a wonderful life together!