Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The news media is all agog about the Memorial. Will there be an outpouring of sentiment by the English or are there enough English citizens left in Great Britain to remember? Ten years hath wrought much on that ancient island of Kings.
Much to make it less English.
Yes, I do remember where I was when Diana died. I was on my way to Washington, Pennsylvania to take my oldest daughter back to college. We stopped in Arkansas on the way to see my late father and mother-in-law, C.C. and Anna. It was their anniversary and the last one they would celebrate. My father-in-law had cancer and had finally been persuaded to put his dearly beloved into a nursing home.
She had suffered from Altzheimers for several years and he had tried his best to care for her himself. He refused to mention the dreaded “A” word, even though most of us suspected that she had the disease. My mother-in-law had been in the nursing home for only a few weeks and my father-in-law missed her dreadfully. They had been reunited on August 31st, 1997 to have an anniversary dinner. My daughter and I were visiting with him and the news flash came on the television that Diana had been in a terrible accident in a tunnel in Paris.
C.C. wasn’t much concerned about the news and we were concerned about him so we didn’t focus on it. We left soon because he was in great pain and we didn’t want to distress him. He preferred to be alone in his pain. He died twenty five days later.
Witnessing that kind of pain in a very proud man who didn’t want to scream out in front of his granddaughter made the death of Diana seem insignificant to me at the time.
I was among the 2.5 billion people worldwide who witnessed Diana’s funeral on television on September 6th but that day was my birthday and I didn’t want to dwell on such a sad event.
It’s almost as if the United Kingdom has gone the way of Diana. Spurned by her husband, she turned to other men for solace. When the divorce came, she lost her treasured title, Her Royal Highness. She chose to chafe the Royal family by cavorting on a yacht with a Muslim, Dodi Al-Fayed, son of an enemy of the royal family, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Her relationship with him led to her death.
But what of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry the Eighth? I remember visiting the place of her execution on the Tower Green twice during a span of years we visited London.
Henry the Eighth, in an attempt to have a son and heir, turned to Anne, perhaps with the idea of making her his mistress. She refused, he became besotted with her and eventually, in order to divorce Katherine of Aragon to marry Anne, Henry separated the Church of England from the Church of Rome. When Anne’s first child turned out to be a daughter, the future, Gloriana, Queen Elizabeth the First, within three years Anne was out of favor, accused of adultery and beheaded.
History does tell instructive stories and the story of Anne Boleyn could have been illuminating to Diana, had she ever studied it.
Yes, Diana, Princess of Wales was a beautiful bride, a radiant mother and a glowing celebrity.
An English rose.
Had her husband actually loved and cherished her, the story would have ended differently. But it didn’t.
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