What Princess Diana Meant to Me
The death of Princess Diana 20 years ago is a “John F. Kennedy” moment for me; meaning I’ll always remember where I was when I learned that Princess Diana had died in a car crash in Paris. I was 12, the same age as Prince Harry, and it was almost like learning my own mother had died. To me, Princess Diana and my mother will always be inextricably linked. My mother adored Diana and, like many women, tried to emulate her style and haircut. But their link is way deeper to me because they were both beautiful, loving, kind, fun and graceful. So now whenever I see pictures of Diana, I always think of my own mother.
There are many, many good documentary news series on TV these days remembering the life and death of Princess Diana. (I’ve been watching them all.) She was so fascinating to people, and even now she’s totally captivating to watch in old footage. She was absolutely beautiful, but despite her beauty and privilege she always seemed a little sad or withdrawn. I think her true happiness was her children. I love seeing images of her with William and Harry. She’s like a different person in those images, more comfortable, freer, happier and bursting with love. I think that’s the saddest part of losing Diana. Not what she could have achieved with her fame or philanthropic work, but the time she could have spent as a mother and grandmother for her family.
I don’t go by the rule book… I lead from the heart, not the head.
After 20 years, I think it’s remarkable that Diana’s legacy is still so relevant. Think about it: a Princess in Britain left an impact on a 12-year-old American girl for more than half of her life. She was something wonderfully special, just like my mom. Mom didn’t live in the spotlight, of course, but she was beautiful, graceful, giving and kind. What a wonderful legacy to leave.