Today is the 15th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death after a horrific car accident in France in 1997.
I remember exactly where I was when I was told that Princess Diana had died.
I was behind the wheel of my white Barina, pulling into my parents’ driveway, a CD blaring, when my father motioned for me to wind down the window.
I rolled my eyes.
He’s going to complain about me parking him in, I thought.
‘There’s been an accident’, he said. ‘With Princess Di.’
Words then floated from his mouth. I heard something about Dodi being dead. Paris. A car. Seatbelts. Diana was alive but badly injured. That’s what we thought.
I tumbled inside the house, past my mum who squeezed my arm and whispered to no-one in particular, “I hope nothing has happened to her beautiful face.’ (Fifteen years earlier my mum had slipped away from her secretarial desk in the city and stood in the crowds to catch a glimpse of Princess Di on her first Australian tour. She was tall, so much taller than you think, my mum had reported back to me that afternoon, as I lay on my bed, face in my hands, desperate for details. And her skin is exquisite. LIke peaches and cream).
Together we sat, my mum and dad and me, silently in front of our family TV as afternoon faded into evening. Waiting. Watching montage after montage. Waiting. For what would happen next. .
Diana was dead.
And I wept. As though I knew her. I felt a little like I did.
Is that stupid? Probably. But I cried for days and days and days. Yes, I’m one of ‘those’ people. Crying for a woman I never met.
It’s a little hard to believe that it’s fifteen years since Diana died.
She wasn’t perfect. I know that. Nobody is. But I simply adored her nonetheless. ‘
She comforted and soothed the desperate. She hugged and cuddled and giggled with the HIV positive. She campaigned against Land Mines, for the homeless, for the marginalised. And she lavished her boys with the type of open love and affection we had never really seen from a British Royal before.
It’s a little hard to believe that it’s fifteen years since she died.