Today, Aug. 31, is the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. The untimely and tragic death, the culmination of a tragic fairy tale life, keeps Diana in our minds as a forever young and elegant princess.
I remember that night as if it were last night. My husband called me from work, stunned as were all the journalists in the newsroom. When the report suddenly popped up on their computer screens there was a loud collective gasp. Men and women, young and old, even the seasoned and jaded journalists were deeply, emotionally affected.
“Are you sure?” was my reply in complete disbelief at the irrational news. As I flipped the TV channels in search of more details, the local evening news was mum on the subject.
Yet, it was true, Lady Diana had died in Paris, my birthplace, and the next morning at the baby shower in honor of our soon-to-be-born son, the first words out of everybody’s lips were about Princess Diana.
We remembered Diana. We exchanged stories about staying up to watch her wedding in the middle of the night when none of us owned VCRs yet. We talked about her engagement, her dresses, her charity work, the paparazzi. We chatted, we laughed, we had a private memorial in between the excitement and joy of a wonderful and unforgettable baby shower.
I remember Diana’s funeral. Again, as I had done for her wedding, I was glued to the TV screen in the middle of the night, paying homage along with the millions of other people worldwide and the thousands upon thousands lining the streets crying and bringing their offerings of flowers, cards and mementos in person.
We remembered Diana, a true princess even in her passing.
To this day, move after move, I keep all the Paris magazines about Diana my grandmother sent me when I was a young teen. Cover article after cover article, Diana graced the photos and kept the issues flying off the shelves worldwide.
I remember Diana, our English rose, today on her 10th memorial anniversary, but also everyday as I look at my rose bushes, because the prettiest of them all are my Diana, Princess of Wales roses — tall, blushing pink blooms that never grow old, keeping their petals to the end and ever-beautiful at every stage, blossoming from shy bud to confident mature rose.
Goodbye England’s Rose … for now.