Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our Real Princess

I hate to introduce a sad note, but it's 13 years since our Real Princess Diana died. I was in a nursery buying plants on a Sunday when the girl behind the counter told me. She let me use her office phone to call my friend J who confirmed it. I was so sad and so shocked. We all felt we'd grown up with her. All the tv stations ran the story and everyone was talking about it. I was in disbelief but when I saw the flag draped coffin being carried across the tarmac I knew it was real.
My mum bought us every magazine she appeared in during the 80s. I loved looking at her clothes and jewels. It's hard to explain to young whippersnappers the force of her glamour and the obsessive interest that the world had in her. I went to work on the Monday and couldn't take it so went home early. It sounds crazy but her death really affected a lot of people.
She was so beautiful, so glamorous, so human and so flawed. I always wonder what she'd be doing now had she lived, what she's look like, what she'd be wearing, and who'd she be married to. She was in her late 30s when she died and at her most lovely I think.
I miss her.


  1. me too. i was driving home late from an event i had catered and turned on the radio to the news. i was in shock, i couldn't believe it. my favorite picture of her is when she is in her riding clothes casually lounging with her sons. she was perfection.


  2. I think everyone remembers where they were when they heard Our Princess had passed away. I was on a snow trip at Lake Mountain that day with my parents, and we heard about it when we reached Marysville to return our hire gear.

    She truly is missed.

  3. I cannot begin to tell you the sadness that overwhelmed us in England when we heard the sad news about our Princess... I had to go to London the next day - everyone was in shock there and sort of dazed. I miss her too FF and often wonder as you do, what she would be doing today. x

  4. I love, love, love Lady Di. I was 13, listening to the Top 40 when they broke into a song and ran out and told mum. ANd we just cried and cried through the funeral, from when the carriage first came from Kensington Palace, to when the boys joined her....

    She was so beautiful. I love the footage when she and the boys see each other again, and just run into each others arms....

  5. I was in Hospital holding my newborn daughter (who was only a day old), when a midwife told me (quite soon after the accident - the midwife's husband was a journalist at a TV Station).
    It seemed so surreal - I always thought we were going to hear that it was a mistake - that they had somehow got it wrong.
    Sadly not.
    Because of this (my daughter's birthday), I will always remember, not only just the date, but exactly how long ago it happened.
    I, too, often wonder what she would have looked like now - how she would have dressed as a women in her 40's, how her life would have turned out.
    We will never know.
    I think it was her vulnerability, empathetic nature and flaws (but, of course, also her style, poise and glamour) that endeared us to her so much.
    RIP Diana

  6. Oh, I remember the moment I heard about it. I went to London later that year and it was so spooky standing in the cathedral where her funeral was held. Those black and white tiles were so strong in my mind - and those sad and brave little boys. I thnk she'd be very proud of them.

  7. We were at our dacha outside Moscow with some friends. We received a call from a colleague and at first I thought it was simply a joke in poor taste. I was never the staunch admirer that you were although I really wished her well. However, I cried my eyes out during the TV coverage of the funeral - the simple wreath with 'Mummy' really affected me. I thought it was terribly unfair that those boys would have to grow up without her as it was patently clear that she loved them completely.

  8. What a lovely tribute. Princess Diana certainly was an icon for our generation and we can all recall what we were doing on the day of her tragic accident. For me, it was the lead up to my wedding day. Her funeral was held on the eve of our big day. A very sombre start to our celebrations and I'll never forget watching the funeral procession with my family and friends. So sad watching her lovely boys say goodbye to their mother, not to mention the floral arrangement on top of her coffin with the 'mummy' card on top. Heartwrenching.

  9. I remember very clearly. I also remember the funeral and my then partner being very annoyed with me that I 'ruined' a weekend away by being glued to the TV to watch it...well who wouldn't? This is one of the reasons why he's now a then, not a now!

  10. I remember staying up all night so I could watch the wedding on TV...saw her when she came to our town, waited for hours in the rain to catch a glimpse of her loveliness.
    I was shocked when I heard that she had passed away...such a wonderful and lovely woman...she had such a huge heart full of love.
    We need to remember her...and it doesn't feel like it's been 13 years already.

  11. Oh FF, I miss her too. I remember sitting with my Mum on her bed bawling at the funeral on the abc...while Dad sat in the loungeroom refusing to "watch that car crash of a family!" and her anniversary today makes me think of how much I miss my Mum now that she too has passed. Di always had such great style and grace, and I only wish I carried myself with a tiny part of that each day.

  12. Totally agree! I'll never forget sobbing at the sight of the coffin covered in beautiful white lillies with the handwritten note from young Harry which said simply "mummy".

    Diana was so much to so many!

  13. Dear FF I recently saw an exhibition of some of Diana's frocks when we were in Bath. The experience was one of filled with affection and joy at how wonderful she was which such style. Sadly is was also heart breakinginly moving and almost unbearable to remember what we lost that day.
    My own dear girl had just started to avidly follow Princess Diana in the many magazines that featured her in the months before she died and it was a delicious experience to have my young 4 year old fashionista critique Diana's gowns and outfits.
    On the day she died it was L's 5th birthday party and as the mothers filtered in we got snippets of the crash and the party turned into a surreal experience as we the awful truth became apparent. My little girl cried herself to sleep in my arms that night as she told me "But mummy she was a REAL princess".
    Yes she was and I miss her too and wonder what she would have done with her life.
    Kate Bx

  14. I recently borrowed a book from the library that takes inspiration from Diana and the tim eof her death. FF and readers may enjoy it. http://www.amazon.com/His-Lovely-Wife-Elizabeth-Dewberry/dp/B002YNS15M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283224897&sr=1-2

  15. I remember my mother waking my sister and I up early, early, early in the morning to watch her get married. Watching her get out of that carriage in her amazing wedding dress just took my breath away (and is the reason why I wanted a carriage at my own wedding many years later)
    I insisted that my mother buy me a sweater like Diana had, one with the sheep all over it and I wore it all the time. You don't really have much use for sweaters in Texas very often but I didn't care, Di wore it so by gosh I was as well.
    I was at my parents house for a visit and my mom woke me up to tell me that she was gone, I didn't believe her and had to turn the TV on to make sure. I think we both cried all day that day.

  16. Oh, I remember where I was. I was pregnant with my first son at the time and I was in the audiovisual department of Harvey Normans when the news came on the TV's. I was so distraught, I sat on one of their sofas in my pregnant weepy state, in total disbelief. I often see pictures of her and wonder to myself what would she be doing now. She'd still be a style icon and be even more glamorous and poised. Loved her. A-M xx

  17. Beautiful post, thank you FF.

  18. I, too, sometimes wonder what she'd be doing now. She was definitely in her prime. We were packing up from a camping trip at the Lake, when I turned on the car radio and heard the news. I was visiting my grandmother for dinner when the funeral was on. It was so surreal. I will never forget those poor, brave boys of hers marching along.

  19. Dear Faux Fuchsia, Naturally one mourns the death of any young person, and to die so tragically is of course particularly dreadful as in the case of the late Princess of Wales. However, I cannot share the views of her expressed here, nor can I applaud the mass hysteria at the time, encouraged by a very cynical media, of people who had no connection with her whatsoever.

  20. Hi FF
    Thank you for the memories.

    I was studying for some uni exam when the news came on the radio. I didn't believe it at first, that Princess Diana had been in a car accident. I rushed out to tell my mum (who is a big fan) and she thought it was a bad joke...

    Minutes later, the final tragic news broke.

    It was a quiet corner of Perth but we all were so shocked at the time. Even the most surprising people.

    I will always remember that Mariah Carey / Boyz II Men duet as being Perth's song to rememberTthe People's Princess by.

    Rest In Peace, Diana.

    SSG xxx

  21. Dear FF. No one can replace Diana. But don't forget, you are our style icon now. Put on a brave face. Gosh that JB cardi is an effective piece of outer wear.

  22. Well I had just had a lie in and come out of the shower when I got a phone call to say I was going to have to go into work due to Princess Diana's death. I switched on the TV and was stunned and then I had to put on my best clobber get into action and then spent the next week working flat out. I was seconded from my PR job to one of the Lord Lieutenants to work on the funeral and undertake informing the press etc. I was flying out after the funeral to my sisters wedding in Greece. I remember the day of the funeral because my work was done. I had to get a special delivery from the Post Office to get my plane tickets as every person in the country was glued to the tv or in London to form a procession. People even formed a procession for miles for the funeral courtage as it made its way from London ot Northhamptonshire.

    I never really had a moment to think about it or take it all in due to doing my job and thinking of flying out to Athens. The magnitude of the response took everyone by surprise. The first 2 people who entered the Guildhall where I had hastily assembled a book of condolences were men, They had just finished working at the supermarket on the night shift and they were really upset.

    Her death changed our nation and whatever the views on her - she was a wonderful mother, a woman and probably the last true global celebrity.

  23. MID 30s dear, MID. She was 36 wasn't she? My age now, and I am NOT late 30s thank you!

  24. I was also pregnant at the time with my first son. I remember being in the kitchen at my sisters house and we were cooking. We were having fun but after that tragic news we were both in disbelief and so very sad. I still have the video of the funeral somewhere and a book which I bought in remembrance. I have to say I love the image of her when she got drenched at a Pavarotti concert in London - So natural, so elegant always... I guess she was to our generation what Princess Grace was to our Parents generation. I miss her too and also wonder what she would be doing today.... Nice of you to remember her in a post today.. ;-)

  25. I remember where I was when I heard she was separating from Prince Charles and I remember where I was when she died. When I was about 11 I had a 'Lady Di' haircut and wore knickerbockers with a frill-neck blouse. I thought of these things when I heard it was the anniversary of her death today.

    We remember you Diana.

  26. That awful Sunday I went to the antique store down at Sanctuary Cove that used to be so amazing but I don't think it's there anymore. I purchased an estate amyethyst and diamond ring which was actually the first piece of jewellery I ever bought myself. On my way home I heard the horrible news on the radio. I was so shocked. I will never forget that day and everytime I wear that ring I think of her. So very sad. I too think about how she would be today...stunning no doubt.


  27. *sigh* I know what you mean.
    I was only a teenager when Princess Diana died, but I still remember crying while I wrote a diary entry about it. She really did have such an influence on so many people, spanning generations.
    She still is well and truly missed.

  28. What a loss for all of us. I remember the night of the crash a breaking news story coming across the t.v. that she and Dodi had been in a car crash. He was dead but she had been rushed to the hospital. I was so sad on Sunday to hear that she had passed away. I cried while I watched the funeral.

  29. Firstly I would be a great fan of Princess Diana!
    My first daughter was born in July 82 a few weeks after Prince William, also the day they got married in 81 we were having our house phone installed,I was enthralled looking at the TV and their wedding and not really bothered about the phone!
    In 1997 my best friend and I visited the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May and did not visit Kensington Palace due to the fact we were on a coach tour from IRELAND and it was not scheduled so imagine our shock and horror when we heard the awful news!
    I remember I was after attending Mass,it was a Sunday, and on returning home my husband met me at the front door and said Princess Diana had died in a car crash in Paris, I could not believe it! I remember I had a carton of eggs in my hand from the local shop and I just sat down to the TV and SKY NEWS and did not move for what seemed like hours holding the eggs in my hands all the time!
    Just watched (again)!a documentary about her tonight on tv going over her romance? with Prince Charles and the betrayal with Camilla etc. horrible!
    Now there are rumours that her son Prince William is to marry next July the beautiful Kate Middleton, surely sourced by his lovely Mother! She looks so like Diana did at that age she is so natural and lovely I hope they lead a lovely long and happy life together! They deserve it!

  30. I loved what you said, "she was so human, so flawed..". My husband and I use that phrase all the time. Once we see that we cannot possibly be perfect for everyone else, we become "perfect" as we are. Human and flawed! Beautiful piece!


  31. FF - I remember that the news reported that she had a broken ankle. Next thing she had dies from her internal injuries. Like you one of my favourite photos of her is the one on the boat where she is running with arms outstretched towards her boys. Can't believe its been 13 years and means I was only 24 at the time.

  32. Hi FF
    I don't remember the ring thing that Anna talked about but I do remember disbelief sadness and lots of tears. We watched the funeral from beginning to end. Despite her foibles she was magnificient and her beauty and style is missed every day.

  33. Oh my, this gave me goosebumps. I was a whippersnapper at the time but I still remember exactly where I was when I found out. I was over at a friends house and I ran home when I heard, and sat around the TV watching the updates with my family. I remember the whole day in eerie detail, and that's not at all like my memory!

    I went to an exhibition of her gowns when I was in London back in 2003 too, it was amazing - the woman definitely had style.

    xx Kit

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