There has been no change in the passage of time since the passing of Diana, Princess of Wales. But her legacy of advocacy and compassion (not to mention the biking shorts) will go on for generations to come.
On August 31, 1997, Diana passed away at the age of 36 as a result of injuries she incurred in a car accident in Paris. The accident also claimed the lives of her companion Dodi Fayed and the driver Henri Paul. Her sons blame the BBC for the role its bombshell interview from 1995, which was obtained through a scheme of forgery and deceit, played in her death. About a decade later, a jury attributed her death to the reckless driving of both her chauffeur and the paparazzi who were pursuing them. (Her death was also attributed to the reckless driving of her chauffeur.)
Princess Diana showed the world how to use celebrity for good
The so-called “princess of the people” was cherished by more than just the general populace. According to British journalist Bidisha Mamata, she also fundamentally altered the way in which people conceive of celebrities.
She argues that in the 21st century, “we absolutely take it for given that renowned people will also be a U.N. special envoy or that they’ll utilise their status to do good.” “In the 21st century, we take it completely for granted that famous people will also be a U.N. special envoy.” “Princess Diana was an exceptionally revolutionary figure, and she is credited with inventing the concept of the famous person who also does good.”
Diana used her reputation to bring attention to a variety of humanitarian challenges and philanthropic causes. At one point in her life, she was connected to more than one hundred different charitable organisations.
She travelled through minefields in Bosnia and Angola to advocate for the clearance of landmines, she visited people with leprosy in Nepal, India, and Zimbabwe, and she opened Britain’s first AIDS ward in London. She is most famous for shaking hands without gloves with a patient at the ward, which challenged the false and once-common assumption that HIV/AIDS could be spread by casual touch.
When Diana visited a paediatric AIDS unit in Harlem, New York, she was seen cuddling a little sufferer, which led to further media attention.
According to Mamata, “She was an activist during a period when there was so much stigmatisation around AIDS and HIV.” “And she is the one that walked into AIDS wards and said, “No, I’m going to talk to people like they’re normal human beings,” as she spoke with patients there. I’m going to make eye contact, we’re going to talk to each other, and I’m going to bring awareness to the situation.'”
In an interview with Morning Edition conducted shortly after Princess Diana’s passing, the late British historian Ben Pimlott prophesied that Diana would be remembered for her commitment to public service and for infusing the monarchy with a sense of modernity.
He said that she was “a really amusing, smart, sharp, human person with a fantastic rapport and a tremendous compassion.” He also praised her as having a great sympathy.
Even after a number of years have passed, people are still fascinated by the life of Princess Diana and the events that led up to her untimely passing. This includes her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles and the treatment she received from the royal family.
Emma Corrin, who plays her in Netflix’s The Crown, and Kristen Stewart, who plays her in the film Spencer, have both portrayed her in recent months in adaptations of her narrative that have been released in theatres and on streaming sites. Last July, on the day that would have been her 60th birthday, Princes William and Harry unveiled a statue of her at Kensington Palace. The statue was created in her honour. A Ford Escort that Diana used in the 1980s was put up for auction this past weekend, and it brought in a price that was higher than $850,000.
On Wednesday, the anniversary of Diana’s death, mourners gathered in Paris to pay their respects on the bridge that overlooks the underpass where she was killed by leaving flowers, messages, and other tokens of their condolences. A temporary memorial was created by other people and decorated outside the gates of Kensington Palace. In addition, the flag was lowered to a half-staff position at Althorp House, the Spencer estate where Diana spent her childhood.