Diana-The Princess of Hearts & What More She Could Have Done if She were Alive
Diana Frances Spencer alias Princess Diana is well known as the ‘People’s Princess’. On 31st August 2017, it was Princess Diana’s 20th Death Anniversary. She was born on 1st July 1961. In 1975 after Diana’s father inherited the title of Earl Spencer, she became Lady Diana. She belonged to the British royal ancestry and had an aristocratic upbringing. She spent her growing up days in Park House, located on the Sandringham estate. She was educated in Switzerland and England.
1 Early Experiences
A lesser known fact is Diana, academically wasn’t so bright and did fail twice in her O-level exams. Nevertheless, her brilliant community spirit was recognized very early, with an award from West Heath. She was an accomplished pianist and swimmer. She studied tap dance and ballet. To support herself she took many a low paying but interesting jobs. She had worked as a kindergarten assistant, a dance instructor, a hostess at parties and also as a nanny. Undoubtedly, she was an independent woman and a liberal thinker. She was the first Englishwoman ever to marry an heir to the British throne, and the first royal bride to have a paying job before her engagement.
On 29th July 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Diana and Prince Charles took their vows. Diana was just 20 years old. It was a “fairy-tale wedding” and was globally televised, with 600,000 spectators in the streets to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. At Goldsmith’s Hall, in March 1981, Princess Diana with Prince Charles made her first public appearance. But soon this marriage became a scandalized affair. In the 1990s, the marriage started to fall apart and on 28 August 1996, the divorce was finalized. Diana retained the styled Diana, Princess of Wales title as she was the mother of her two sons, Princes William and Harry.
3 Areas of Work
From 1980s Diana became associated with innumerable charities. Breaking the confines of conventional royal involvement in charities, the Princess became seriously interested in matters of grave health-related illnesses, involving all age groups. She began working with HIV/AIDS victims, cancer, leprosy and others. She fought against the social stigma attached to such diseases, even when it was still not known whether the diseases were contagious. Princess Diana was the first British royal member to freely come in physical contact with AIDS patient. She held hands with AIDS patients to de-stigmatize the issue. She said, “HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it. What’s more, you can share their homes, their workplaces, and their playgrounds and toys.”
Nelson Mandela said,” When she stroked the limbs of someone with leprosy or sat on the bed of a man with HIV/AIDS and held his hand, she transformed public attitudes and improved the life chances of such people”. Diana, in Moscow, was honored by the International Leonardo Prize for “the most distinguished patrons and people in the arts, medicine, and sports”. She made tireless visits to Royal Brompton Hospital every week, to comfort the dying and seriously ill patients. She opened the Landmark Aids Center in Southern London in 1989 and The Richard Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts in Leicester (May 1997). For her works on the elderly, she was given a gold medal in Italy.
4 Against Landmines
Princess Diana also fought against landmines. Together with the HALO Trust, her efforts rose international awareness about landmines and its hazardous effects. Pictures of Diana in a ballistic helmet and flak jacket, touring an Angolan minefield despite the dangers went global. Her celebrity status and efforts on this exclusive trip made a huge impact. It leads 122 governments sign the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty in December 1997. Unfortunately, she was no more to witness it.
5 Death & Funeral
On 31 August 1997, Diana’s car crashed in the Pont de l’ Alma tunnel in Paris. Her companions were dead. Diana initially survived the accident but soon succumbed to her grave injuries. She was just 36 years old. Her loss was a tragedy that came as a shock to the entire world, resulting in a lot of scrutiny and conspiracy theories. An inquiry started in London in 2004, where the accident was said to be a result of negligent driving by Paul and to the pursuing paparazzi.”Unlawful Killing” was the jury’s verdict returned on 7th April 2008.On 6th September Diana’s funeral procession began from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey. She now lies peacefully within the grounds of her family home in Al Thorp Park. Her brother, Earl Spencer’s words on Diana’s role:”Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world, she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard-bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic”.