It has been about 22 years since the tragic loss of one of the world’s most iconic public figures, Princess Diana.
She was an unforgettable woman and affectionately known as ‘The People’s Princess.’
While she was royal, she was also incredibly relatable to everyday people and those whose lives she managed to touch during her 36 years of living.
I was always fascinated by her when I was a little girl and this past summer I had the chance to read her story in Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words, by Andrew Morton and was able to take a look into her life and all that she endured from being a child of divorced parents to having a complicated relationship with her parents, experiencing life as a single young woman, being wooed by a prince, marrying into the royal family, and later facing issues and challenges in her marriage and life that many women can relate to.
Infidelity, insecurity, betrayals, loneliness, and struggling with an eating disorder were different things she endured while trying to be a good wife, mother, and maintain her role as a princess.
If a woman like Diana, as beautiful, bold, interesting, and unconventional as she was when challenging protocols and systems that had likely been in place for centuries was struggling with her self-image and worth and feeling alone and isolated in an unhappy relationship and trying her best to be at peace and make others happy too, and managed to move through those situations with determination, resilience, and a spirit of kindness and sincerity, then it’s not surprising to see how relatable she was and how she continues to have an impactful legacy.
She was shy and strong. Honest and outspoken. And incredibly vulnerable and brave. And she was different.
Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words reads, “Inside the system I was treated very differently, as though I was an oddball and I felt I was an oddball, and so I thought I wasn’t good enough. But now I think it’s good to be the oddball, thank God, thank God, thank God!”
That statement speaks volumes. It’s okay to be the “oddball” or someone different that just doesn’t fit. The way she moved through this world will never be forgotten.
Her spirit is certainly visible through the lives and actions of her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and how dedicated they are in honoring their mother’s legacy through their humanitarian efforts, their giving, and their genuine compassion and concerns for the well-being of others.
Princess Diana was not just a princess whose duty was to her husband or her title or even just to herself. She cared about other people. She served others. She took risks and gave so much of herself and was able to relate to the pain and hurt and loss and loneliness of others and empathize with them and give those she encountered a sense of hope. Having the opportunity to pour into the lives of others and being able to relate to them, and have them relate to you, whether you’re a princess, a mom, someone’s child, teacher, co-worker, neighbor, or friend, or whoever or whatever you may be to someone else, does matter and can make a difference.
Thank you, Princess Diana, for showing us how.