A Love Letter to Lady Diana
You were the object of light and humanity in an environment of strict tradition, conformity and suppression. You endeavoured to venture along a path that no one in your position had done before, a path of activism, one that made real change. You were a loving mother to your sons, a loyal wife despite adversity and a humanitarian. Only 20 years old when you married Charles, you fell into a poisonous world which drew you in and then became an enemy. You were a Princess for the people of Britain, yet that very same nation harassed you without cease.
Opening yourself up to us, you gave us your smiles and your conversation yet we would not leave you alone. We were insatiable, we demanded more and more of you, intruding into your life taking every little piece of you, despite you giving so much of yourself to us already. Despite an incompatible marriage to a man without any respect for you, despite the constant persecution of the media, you still shone with your charismatic charm. You said, “I would like a monarchy that has more contact with its people”, well your presence achieved that.
Your advocacy for anti-landmine activism and that daring walk across a landmine site created contact with people who had suffered injury and fatalities caused by landmines and warfare. When you shook hands and sat on a hospital bed with an AIDS patient, you created a bond with patients all over the world and sought to destigmatise an illness that has long carried prejudice on its shoulders. When you chose to exclude the vow to obey your husband a vow that was traditional for royal marriages, you stood up for women around you who were tired of patriarchal tradition.
When you sat for hours at the bedside of hospitalised children, you showed love and compassion for those who needed it most. When in the face of a public divorce you told the world of your mental health problems and bulimia, you showed people facing similar hardships that they were not alone. The night you stepped out in that dress, the very night your estranged husband publically announced his adultery to Camilla, you extended a hand to all of the people who had been lied to and cheated on.
Your story is one of tragedy, a tragedy that many of us have shared years after your death. My heart aches for the young woman who believed she had achieved her fairytale, only to find that she was living in a nightmare. I am so sorry that people did not treat you better. You really were a candle in the wind, a brilliant flame of beauty and compassion despite the tumultuous environment around you. If your candle had not been blown out prematurely, you would’ve continued to leave an imprint on the world. You would've been present at LGBTQ+ marches, you would’ve been a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. You would've given a helping hand to the millions of lives affected by the current pandemic we are living in.
Diana, you were not only a princess by title but a princess by nature- a woman of grace, beauty and empathy. The world will constantly be in debt to you for your short but remarkable presence.