Where were you when Princess Diana died?
If you’re a woman over the age of 30, that’s a question that will immediately transport you back to a moment in time when there was only one news story, only one image on every screen, on every magazine and every newspaper. It was a personal tragedy for a few, and a tragic, historic landmark for millions more.
It was 20 years ago. August 31, 1997.
Mia Freedman writes:
I was lying in bed feeling intensely uncomfortable. It was a Sunday morning in August 1997 and I was heavily, heavily pregnant. Just a couple of weeks from my due date. The kind of pregnant where you can no longer sleep and you have to get up to go to the toilet throughout the night.
I was drinking a cup of tea, in bed, reading the newspapers because the Internet was not yet a thing. The TV was on in the background. And then……. breaking news. Princess Diana had been in a car crash with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed. The paparazzi had been chasing them. In Paris.
In her own words: “I am performing a duty as the Princess of Wales, but at least when I finish my, as I see it, my 12 or 15 years as Princess of Wales, I don’t see it as any longer, funny enough, I always knew I would never be the next queen, put it that way.” ■ من أقوال اﻷميرة: “سوف أقوم بواجبي كأميرة ﻹمارة ويلز، ولكن سوف انتهي من القيام بتلك الواجبات، على ما أعتقد، بعد اثني عشر عاما أو خمسة عشر عاما على أقل تقدير، كأميرة ويلز، لا أعتقد بأنني سوف أبقى أميرة لفترة أطول، إنه أمر غريب حقا، لطالما شعرت بأنني لن أصبح الملكة القادمة لبريطانيا، هذا هو ما أعنيه.” ■ #princessdianaforever #humanitarian #princessofwales #princessdiana #gb #hertruestory #kensingtonpalace #uk #thebritishroyalfamily #theroyalfamily #thebritishmonarchy #queenofhearts #instagood #instaroyal #instalike #di #fashionicon #peoplesprincess #style #glamorous #icon #foreveryoung #uk #الأميرة_ديانا #أميرة_ويلز #أميرة_القلوب #الأميرة_ديانا_لﻷبد #بريطانيا #لندن #قصتها_الحقيقية #أميرة_الشعب
This didn’t seem so remarkable. Diana had been in the news constantly during that European summer – our winter. She’d been photographed kissing Dodi and sitting coyly on a diving board that came off the back of his giant boat as they holidayed in the Mediterranean. It was enchanting and I gobbled up every image. We all did. Every bit of press coverage. It would be easy to airbrush that now with what we know about the role the paparazzi played in her death. So easy to pretend I wasn’t complicit in the economy which ultimately led to her death. But we were all complicit in a way. Not in her death, of course, but in the industry that was fuelled by our insatiable appetite for photos of Diana.