It is 25 years since the Princess Diana, was killed in a tragic car accident, but the Diana Effect changed the world for ever. Prior to her death, Diana, Princess of Wales, was on the cusp of a new chapter in her life. Prime Minister Tony Blair had had discussions about Diana becoming an ambassador for Britain. The loss to the world was tragic.
Diana had a teenage crush with posters on her wall of the handsome Prince Charles. Little did she know that one day she would be his wife, yet no dream is too big to dream.
The much-sought-after bachelor, and heir to the British throne needed to marry. A shy, young woman, with an impeccable history, genetically and socially acceptable, was chosen.
Aristocracy knows full well that marriage has a public persona while living with a private face. The fairy-tale wedding, into the family of England’s brand and national treasure, delighted the world. But, even before the long walk down Westminster Abbey, Diana knew there was another person lurking in the shadows of her relationship with Charles. When Diana shared her concerns with her sister, she was told, “Bite the bullet. It’s your face that is on the tea towels and memorabilia.”
Charles carried a photo of Camilla on their honeymoon.
In 1982, Diana performed her major role, in producing an heir to the throne. Diana fought a brave battle against post-natal depression. This is something that afflicts up to 20% of women.
The following year, Charles and Diana embarked on a six-week tour of Australia. Diana broke long-held protocol on insisting their 10-month-old son accompany them. On top of that, the public adored the princess.
‘Dianamania’ was born as she wowed the crowds through her choice of stunning fashion and her endearing presence. In spite, of the hiccups, there were moments when the prince seemed to adore his young wife. Diana gained pop-star status and she was never afraid to meet people at their level.
It was a shame the couple couldn’t have kept a 12,000-mile distance to Camilla. The poison was well-seated in the marriage, and it wasn’t long before the cracks began to appear. Charles could not marry the person he really loved, because divorce could cast no shadow on the royal family. A bitter pill his aunty, Princess Margaret, had been forced to swallow.
The Diana Effect Changed the World Through her Sons
Diana’s main desire was that her sons would be proud of her. She threw herself into her over 100 charity works, which still exist today. Diana received love from the people she met and interacted with, a love she could not find in her marriage.
A woman’s virtue is seen in her children and Diana’s greatest legacy is seen in her two sons. Not only did they go to public schools, but their mother also took them to homeless shelters. The public were not just some far-distant crowds you waved serenely to.
Both William and Harry served in the armed services. William was a search-and-rescue pilot in the RAF for eight years. Harry served in the British army for ten years and did two tours in Afghanistan.
When Diana was only 7-years-old her parents went through a bitter divorce. Her mother’s family testified in court, that Frances Shand Kydd was an unfit mother. Diana’s father gained full custody of the six children and Diana was shipped off to boarding school.
With the breakdown of her own marriage, Diana was facing the same threat of being proved an unfit mother. The Queen has legal control of her grandchildren as they are heirs to the throne. Diana stood to lose that which she loved most in the world, her two sons. Charles would be protected by ‘The Firm’ and get off scot-free.
The Voice of Diana
The royal family closed ranks and were their usual stoic self behind the palace walls. Everything was ranged against the princess, but she needed her voice to be heard. Diana’s decade long battle with bulimia was only a symptom of the hell she was living in.
Diana had the courage to face Camilla, but to no avail. The position was untenable, and Diana needed two things. She could not be named as an unfit mother and the royal family needed to be forced to allow the couple to divorce. If Diana was the ‘lose cannon’, as she was described, she needed to be given her freedom.
Diana surreptitiously prepared tapes that would be the foundation of a tell-all, sensational biography. All hell broke loose with the media having a field day. Prince Charles responded with his own version of events. The marriage became a very public royal breakdown.
The predatory media saw their chance. They coerced and conned Diana into a world-shattering interview, in which she said, “There were always three of us in our marriage.”
August 1996 finally saw the divorce, with Charles and Diana getting joint custody of the two boys. Diana may have lost her royal titles, but she would forever be the Princess of the People’s Heart.
Confusion and Outrage
During her chaotic life Diana revitalized the British monarchy but in death she changed it forever. The death of Princess Diana caused confusion and outrage towards the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth II eventually made an extraordinary, televised address in which she praised Diana, calling her “Exceptional and gifted.” The Queen knew with clarity, that if she wanted to regain the good-will of the people, she had to learn from Diana’s life. She had to connect with the people on an emotional level, just as Diana had done.
No longer could the royals hide behind the palace walls. If they wanted to survive the 21st century, they had to be more accessible to their subjects. The Diana Effect is alive and well and has become the guiding principle for today’s modern British monarchy.
Diana and Kate
Her daughter-in-law, Kate, became Diana’s greatest legacy from the moment Diana’s engagement ring was put on her finger. Through Kate, the Diana effect that changed the world, is alive and thriving. The public appreciate that Kate has taken Diana as a role model and is not trying to compete with the memory of the people’s princess.
Diana was left on her own to deal with a jealous and unfaithful husband. Whereas Kate, the wife of William, was schooled in every aspect of public life. This included watching videos of Diana. Kate eagerly follows Diana’s example when it comes to the education of Diana’s grandchildren and meeting the public.
Clothes that Communicate
Diana used her clothes to communicate with the world. Whenever she travelled, she was careful to select clothing that paid homage to that country, yet still show her wicked sense of humour. It was not unknown for her to wear a custom-made gown along with earrings purchased from the high street.
Kate learned well from Diana, even though she never met her mother-in-law. Like Diana, Kate loves affordable fashion. Kate too, diplomatically dresses in stunning gowns, beautifully cut suits and coats, but in colours and patterns that subtly acknowledge the occasion. Both women had great poise and charm, and both are deeply loved by the public.
Kate paid a silent, but emotive tribute to Diana, by wearing a blue and white polka dot dress, when it was time to introduce to the world,, the son and heir to the throne, George. It was the same pattern, colouring and similar style dress Diana wore when William was introduced to the world.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, favours the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, one Diana enjoyed wearing. Kate knows fully that the public subconsciously compare Kate to Diana. She is happy to embrace Diana as her role model.
The Diana Effect Changed The World
The Diana effect changed the world and the British monarchy forever. Over 60 million flowers were laid in tribute, at the palace gates, when Princess Diana died at only 36-years-old. Two-and-a-half billion people watched her funeral. She was a revolutionary who made change happen.
Single-handedly, Diana not only changed the British monarchy, but changed the world’s perspective towards AIDS and HIV. Besides throwing a glaring spotlight on the deadly crime of land mines, in a walk, her son William would repeat 25 years later. But Diana’s legacy is a lot more than that.
The British monarchy can’t put the genie back in the bottle. William and Kate together, continue the Diana effect that changed the world.
Diana had a massive voice that cost her dearly, when no longer a royal family member, she had to choose between being a star, or disappear into mediocrity. Yet, despite that, she has become an icon to a lot of women. Certainly her dress sense had inspired many woman who have a high public profile.
You too are a voice, in your sphere of influence. Use it to good and know that your voice reaches far beyond your sphere of influence.
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