Saturday, September 1, 2007

Guest blogger

The following entry was prepared by my wife, Lisa, as we discussed the fascination so many people (especially women) have with the late Princess Diana. Happy reading. Eric

Can it really be ten years since the death of Princess Diana? There are still so many pictures and video of her looking beautiful that it is hard to believe. So, my dear husband wants to know why we are so fascinated with her.

Why she captured the imagination of so many, in a country that was built on Democracy and in defiance of royalty? Why so many remain captivated by her life? Why did we get up at all hours to watch her wedding? Why did we cry at her funeral?

He wants a woman’s point of view so here are my thoughts.

I am a few years younger than the Princess. So, she first came into the world spotlight when I was an awkward teen discovering boys and dreaming of romance. A real life Prince is a fairly unique concept in recent decades. The thought of meeting and marrying a "commoner" is the stuff fairy tales are based on.
I was 14 years old when I watched the whole wedding and pageantry at my Uncle’s house on a family vacation. I remember laying on the floor totally transported to another world. Wondering at the poise it must take to be so young and yet stand up in front of all of those people and become their princess. It seemed like a daunting concept.

Diana had that shy sweet quality that made her so likable. She wasn’t the "perfect" beauty, although beautiful. She made mistakes such as saying one of Charles’ many surnames out of order (She did. Go back and watch the tape.) Or wearing a skirt without a slip and having her photos taken.

As she settled into her role of mother, it again seemed the fairy tale; the first-born son, the adoring crowds and an apparently doting husband. No one knew yet of her heartache. First William and then Harry made a perfect family. More of what we as young girls dream of. Her public face grew beyond being a Princess into her outreach and making a difference in the world. Who could ask for more? It seemed like happily ever after.

Then reality.
Real life has oh-so-few "happily ever afters" after all. But even with the growing revelations about her marriage and ultimate divorce, somehow I could still be happy for Diana. She still fought her way to the top of the heap.

Managing to retain her grace and most of her dignity even as more and more was revealed about her private life. Her boys seemed to shine in the face of it all, as did she. She was getting on with her life despite it all.

Her death was such a shock. My middle son was only a month old so we were in the real "no sleep days" with him. Still, we stayed up late as the news started to break.

All I thought about was how horrible to die when her kids were so young. They were walking and talking but they were still so young. So many things in their lives she would miss. Wondering if she had enough time to have the influences on them that she wanted to have. Wondering if I would with my young sons if something ever happened to me.

Somehow in watching her sons turn into men, the fascination continues. So interesting to see what they have made of themselves despite the tragedy of their mother’s death. So interesting to wonder if they will live out the fairy tale that eluded their mother.

So today, I believe some of the fascination remains because we need to have fairy tales. Despite ourselves, we still root for the underdog, the little guy, over the ones in charge and the snobs of royalty. More than anything, we want a legacy that outlives us and the love of our sons or daughters when we are gone. All these things, Diana continues to give us even ten years after her death.


Anonymous said...

A beautifully written piece that well-captures the essence of why we are all so taken, to this day, with The People's Princess. I well remember watching both her wedding and her funeral in awe and in great sadness respectively. She was something to which to aspire. Beauty, wealth, presence tempered with sadness and a social consiousness. I watch her mostly grown sons and think how proud she would be of what they have become--handsome, wealth, presence--tempered with sadness and a social consciousness. Alas, we have far too many princes and princesses in our lives today.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Lisa for a lovely piece. I have been fascinated with her life as well. I am the same age as Diana would have been. I remember watching the wedding and thinking exactly about the fairy tales. I remember watching the funeral and crying the whole way through it. I have a fascination with English history and I felt that the funeral was the end of all the wonderful historical stories that I had read and the death of my fantasy and dreams.

She would be very proud of her articulate sons and their good hearts.

Thanks again.

Ed Esposito said...

Well written Lisa! Now everyone else will know where Eric gets his inspiration (hint: not Diana...)



Anonymous said...

Eric: You lucky dog!

Anonymous said...

Loved reading this. Thanks for telling me to look it up! You really captured it. we all grew up with fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White. Diana was a real life fairy tale that unfolded in the papers and the news. You could only dream what happened to Cinderella, but you could following along with Diana.
Eric, thanks for featuring your lovely wife!