Paying tribute to Lady Di, the “People’s Princess”


Princess Diana’s reputation haunts popular culture even 25 years after her passing, whether it be through a piece of art by Bansky or a song by Elton John. Her relatability can be crucial. It’s important to keep in mind that, of all the ironies surrounding Diana, this one stands out as the greatest: a young woman given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting ended up being the target of the most modern-day hunts.

Princess Diana: An enduring pop culture legend

Princess Diana: An enduring pop culture legend© John Stillwell/PA Wire/empics/picture alliance

At the funeral of his older sister 25 years ago, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, delivered a moving — and at times vehement — eulogy that is difficult to forget.

Diana, Princess of Wales, her then-partner Dodi Al-Fayed, and the car’s driver Henri Paul were all killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997, in Paris when she was 36 years old. Trevor Reese-Jones, her seriously hurt bodyguard, was the only one to survive the collision.

Although her passing alone caused shockwaves around the world, the circumstances surrounding it led to an outpouring of sadness and rage.

How Princess Diana Is Shaping the Royal Family 25 Years Later | Time

Lady Di, formerly known as “the world’s most photographed woman,” was pursued by photographers as her driver rushed through a tunnel just before the accident. Her death was attributed to tabloid media, who also faced the fury of her brother, her two kids, Princes William and Harry, and the general public.

However, French investigators held driver Paul entirely accountable for the collision in 1999 since he was discovered to have been operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication.

At 2008, the jury in a British inquiry found that Paul and the subsequent paparazzi cars had driven gravely negligently, resulting in an illegal killing.

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Using or used by the media?

Whether it was through her wardrobe choices, Andrew Morton’s best-selling tell-all book from 1992, or the 1995 interview with journalist Martin Bashir that recently drew criticism for the BBC “falling short of high standards of integrity and transparency,” opinions about the princess’ personal involvement in attracting media attention have been divided.

Diana famously referred to the adulterous affair of the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and his now wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, when she said: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” in an interview with Bashir for BBC’s Panorama.

In addition, she discussed her personal issues, bulimia, and attempts at suicide brought on by the strain of the strict palace lifestyle and protocol.

Princess Diana's fashion legacy to be celebrated at Kensington Palace | Diana, Princess of Wales | The Guardian

She was a devout and loving mother, a glamorous fashionista, a down-to-earth royal, a devoted pop music enthusiast and dancer, and a sympathetic supporter of the sick and destitute. Despite all of this, she was still tremendously popular with the general public. calls it “one of her finest humanitarian deeds” that she defied royal protocol in 1987 by shaking the hand of an unidentified AIDS patient while not wearing gloves. She would later use her fame to support a variety of causes, including her opposition to landmines and support for the arts.

She thereby solidified her position as a cultural figure. And ever since, every little detail of her life has served as material for countless accounts of Diana’s story, including documentaries, interviews, movies, a prize-winning Netflix series, and even a critically-panned musical.

Queen of hearts

On August 31, 1997, after she was declared dead, a clearly disturbed Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister at the time, addressed the media and coined the phrase “people’s princess.”

Photos from 7 Ways Princess Diana Forever Changed What it Means to Be a Royal - E! Online - CA

Blair stated, “You know how challenging circumstances were for her at times, I’m sure we could only guess about, but the people everywhere — not just here in Britain, worldwide — they kept faith with Princess Diana.” “They admired her, adored her, and accepted her as one of them. She was the “princess of the people.” And in our hearts and in our memories, she will always be remembered in that way.”

She was given various titles after she wed Prince Charles; but, after their divorce, she lost her HRH title, which apparently hurt her. Furthermore, it implied that she would never succeed to the throne of England.

But she said in her now-famous Panorama interview that she’d rather to be known as: “I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts, of people’s hearts.”

That may explain why nearly 2.5 billion people watched her funeral 25 years ago and why she continues to be a captivating topic of popular culture today.

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