Being born into the Royal Family is like being born into a mental asylum. Marrying into it is not something to be taken lightly.
That’s a statement that epitomizes the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Born in a family of British nobility, she was married into an institution that did not have the same worldview of its role in modern British society that she did. The monarchy, a facade of chauvinists over the years, soon became her enemy.
At the age of 20, she had the responsibility up bringing up a king. Her marital life became a mess in just a few years with her husband’s infidelity. But she knew her duties as a mother. While the royal kids had traditionally been home-schooled, she sent her son William to a nursery school to make sure that he had a sense of the world out there. To the disdain of the Queen, she took them to amusement parks and shopping stores to show them the life beyond the protocol of the Palace.
Some nights, she would take them to streets and hospitals in London to show them the suffering of common people. She showed them that everything around them was not so polished as they had been made to believe. She did everything she could could to show the children that there was life beyond the monarchy.
While at odds with the monarchy, she didn’t abandon her goodness and compassion. She developed an intense interest in serious illnesses and health-related matters outside the purview of traditional royal involvement, including AIDS and leprosy. Diana’s extensive charity work included campaigning for animal protection, against the use of landmines, working with the homeless, youth, drug addicts, and the elderly.
She said –
We, as a part of society, must ensure that young people – who are our future – are given the chance they deserve.
Even though she had been relieved of her royal title of “HRH”, she used her celebrity to bring attention of the world to issues that mattered. There was a naivete about her that enabled her compassion. She was so good at giving love.
On her death, thousands of people all over the world lined up outside UK embassies in foreign countries to pay their last respects to her.
Outside the Buckingham Palace and the Kensington Palace was a sea of bouquets five foot deep.
More than one million people lined the streets of London, and flowers rained down onto the cortege from bystanders. Two billion people watched her procession worldwide.
A friend of hers once recalled her saying –
Where do you go after you have been married to the heir to the British throne? Who would take me on?
Well, the people did take her on.
She was the People’s Princess…the stuff of which only fairy-tales are made…