Have you been asked where you were on that fateful night? I have been asked and I remember it clearly, as if it happened yesterday. I was standing in line at the checkout at Wal~Mart in Big Spring, TX when it was announced over the intercom that the woman we will always call “Princess Diana” was in a car accident. A few hours later, her death would be announced.
Her death was not just a blow to her family and friends, but to an entire generation who could now look up to the monarchy in a different light than they had before. When Charles and Diana married–a lot of us got up early or stayed up all night to not miss it. When the two princes were born, we welcomed them into our world as well as their family did.
Diana was also cool and could relate to a lot of our generation as well. After all, she did get into a lot of the acts that were part of Live-Aid–including Duran Duran. It was through her that most realized that the monarchy are not politicians but they are people. They have feelings, desires, hurts like the rest of us. I cut them slack then–but still avoided going to theaters and such. I knew at that time that things were changing with the tide–slowly.
Many a girl wanted to grow up and live the fairy tale life that Diana seemed to have, until it came to an end not too long before she was so cruelly taken from the world. Was it the paparazzi that was to blame? Evidently even though only in part. After her death, the reality of her existence was brought to light in an ugly fashion–and then a lot of us realized that while she inspired and motivated us to do good and to try to bring change around ourselves, we were grateful for what we had and we handled our own paths in our own way–which she was able to do before the end.
Perhaps the greatest legacy she leaves is that the monarchy is now more open with the public, and as a result has become more acceptable to it again. Her brother was right–she will always be “the People’s Princess”…Only Princess Grace of Monaco inspired so many prior to her–this girl included.
Even my three sons felt sad at Diana’s death and got up to watch her memorial service. Their hearts went out to William and Harry, who are very close in age to them. One night they thought that I was in an accident after that and saw a car like mine on the news. They ran up to me and hugged me and were saying, “Why didn’t you call us!? We thought you were in that wreck?!”, etc…This was another moment I got some perspective and made sure I had a cell phone…
Both women learned to live on their own terms within the circles which they dealt with. Both were taken much too soon. On September 14th, that will mark the 3oth anniversary of the loss of Princess Grace…Ironically, I was watching TV when the program was interrupted to announce her death. It seems that both were lost such a short time ago. Time definitely does fly, but it has also enabled me to put things in perspective.
Life is too short and precious. We should be living as these women did live–on their own terms. That was the greatest inspiration given to me by both being that we still live in an age where in some areas, the desire to do this can make life difficult. I will live the rest of my life on my own terms.
I am grateful to have lived during a time where I was familiar with both princesses.
I think now there is another Queen girls look up to even though she isn’t spoken of much and that would be Queen Rania of Jordan. This is a woman who actively and tirelessly works to ensure that there are equal educational opportunities for boys and girls alike. This often gets risky for her and her husband, King Abdullah II. However, in the eyes of the west, I believe that they will become icons in our time.
If you really want some inspiration go here: http://www.queenrania.jo/ I have no clue why she is not covered more by the media in this country. It is not Jordan that we are at war with. The goals she supports should be supported by educational organizations throughout the entire world. Like these other two princesses, she lives on her own terms and she is definitely living in an area where that can be a challenge.
On this day I would normally be reflecting and missing Princess Diana and Princess Grace so much, but not this year…This woman, Queen Rania is giving hope and is a ray of light. I wish her every success possible, and I am almost certain that both Princess Grace and Princess Diana would be supporting her goals if they were still among us.
That being said, we should look forward and not dwell so much on what we cannot change. Queen Rania, I think, is also going to impact generations not only in Jordan but around the world.