Thursday, 31 August 2017

Twenty years of hurt









Time has flown.

As the headlines are full once again with pictures and recollections of one of the most-mourned women in history, twenty years on from the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, so the memories flood in.

There is little I can meaningfully add to the endless analysis of her legacy, so I return to what I said in this very blog ten years ago:
They say everyone can remember where they were the exact time they found out about the awful news about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. And yes, I know exactly where I was... Waiting for a ferry early in the morning from Roscoff in Brittany to Plymouth, there was a hastily scribbled A4 sheet of paper pinned to the information booth - "Lady Di dead".

Not understanding the full implication of this, we went back to the car and my boyf at the time translated the local radio reports from French into English. It was true! Our Royal Princess, fashion icon and "friend" was indeed gone for ever - and ironically died in a car crash in the capital of this very country.

The journey home was peculiar. I felt the news had not yet sunk in - not just for me, but also for the hundreds of passengers on board, many of whom were obviously just learning the dreadful news from looking at the widescreen TVs in the breakfast lounge. The gradual stunned silence that fell over what would normally be a chaotic crowd of returning Brits and French back-packers was eerie.

It may be crass to say that Diana herself in any way changed our world, but her death certainly made the biggest emotional impact I have ever known upon the public in Britain and across the globe. International media had made her THE face of a generation, and in death Diana eclipsed any megastar status she could ever have dreamed about.

Many people can make accusations about a "conspiracy" surrounding her accidental death, or about "the real Diana", but in many many ways she continues to live on (in pictures) as the young, beautiful woman we want to remember - an ethereal spectre of a most unusual era in British history.
They were sad days...


RIP, Diana. We still miss you.

4 comments:

  1. Just read someplace that the millennials don't think much about her. One was quoted as saying she'd never have a haircut like that. I've not spoken to youngsters here about JFK, but I imagine they think of him the same way they think of George Washington or Lincoln. I guess every generation has their icons & rarely do they translate to future generations. I never thought Elvis would kind of fade from sight, but I'd say he kind of has. Monroe....still known, but hardly what she was.

    Of course, Diana did change the monarchy. Maybe a little like the Tea Party changed the republican party which begat the shit stain.

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    1. How I hate that meaningless epithet "millennial"! Kids are kids, and there is no point in asking them about anything until they have matured (which seems to be later and later in life these days). The sheer bloody ignorance ["It's before my time" - aaaargh!]that some younger people wear as a "badge of honour" is quite terrifying... Jx

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  2. I have a bit of a problem with the whole notion of royalty, but I did like Diane (maybe because she wasn't born into it)

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    1. I have no problem with Royalty - but I think Diana brought a streak of mischief into their carefully-controlled cabal; the like of which hadn't been seen since the days of that "other" rebellious Princess, Margaret. She had to go, but they never really regained that traditional air of mystery again... Jx

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