Remembering Princess Diana

It’s been ten years since Princess Di passed away, and again she is in the headlines, remembrance ceremonies, concerts, talks from the Royal Chef, books, and a tour of her dresses. Some of them are on display at the Appleton Museum in Ocala. I haven’t made it to the exhibit yet, but I will- she had some fabulous dresses…

I never met Princess Di personally (I am three degrees away from her in the six degree game). I worked for someone once who worked for the Queen, and I had a good friend who shook hands with the Queen at one of the garden parties. I did however have the chance to see Di in Leicester Square (London). I happened to be downtown (passport business) and saw the square roped off and a throng of people waiting.

“What’s going on?” I asked one lady.

“Princess Di is coming!” She answered, all excited.

All the current British stars were descending onto Leicester Square for the movie premiere “Where Angels Fear to Tread,” but it was Diana whom they all awaited. And eventually, she did arrive, her limo driving in the opposite way of everyone else’s (for security purposes). She wore a white & silver gown and yes, she looked like a real Princess, sparkly and glowing. How could the public not love their Princess? Someone who had risen from taking care of other’s children to sparkly and glowing? It was a Cinderella story. And her death brought a tragic end to the tale.

I was in Portsmouth the day Princess Diana died. My sister had just been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor and we had left the South Hampton hospital to stay at her boyfriend’s brother’s house at Northend for a couple of days, so our moods were somber already, to say the least. It was early one morning when I went downstairs to get my sister a glass of milk to take with one of her pills that I passed by the telly, still on, even though no one was in the room, and a BBC reporter was saying Princess Diana and Dodi had died in a car crash. At first I thought it was a farce- some comic sketch, then I realised it was real and raced back upstairs to tell the others.

I went to London soon after and went down to Buckingham Palace with my friend Di to pay our respects. There were people crying on the tube and the walkways through the park by the palace were waist high in flowers-I had never seen so many flowers at one time- there must have been millions- no exaggeration. It was truly a time of mourning, not only for England, but for the lives of those around the world that had been touched by Princess Di.

We watched the funeral on the telly, drank too much tea, then went to the pub and drank too many pints…some of my mourning was for Diana, but the other part was for my sister’s destined fate. So I will always remember the day Princess Diana died, but for a very different reason.

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