The Passing of a Princess

Today’s daily prompt instructs me to describe a circumstance in which I was overcome by an intense emotion that I was not expecting. I am rarely overcome by intense emotions (except when my notebook freezes up), but here goes…

1997. Sunday morning. I was watching the news the night before when it was reported that Princess Diana of Wales had been in a car accident with her boyfriend, Dodi al Fayed, and her chauffeur. Her condition, of course, looked very critical at that moment as she was hospitalized, and I recall being very concerned. I never kept up with Princess Diana’s life and trials very much, as I had my own fluffy little thoughts going on at the time. The most I knew about her was that she was a good, kind person who seemed unappreciated by others around her, knew when to close the door on a loveless marriage, devoted herself further to even more charitable works than she had already been doing, and finally seemed to have found true love with Dodi. They seemed so happy together. I sincerely hoped that such a sweet person who had so much to live for would pull through the accident, so I said a little prayer for her and went to sleep.

Morning. I was sitting at a desk in my bedroom applying makeup when my mother opened my door and stood in my doorway. I picked up the tweezers to pluck my eyebrows.

“Diana’s dead.”

My heart stopped and the tweezers shot across the room. In the moment, all I knew was that I couldn’t function. Hot, stinging tears threatened my carefully applied eyeliner. All I could do was hold my face in my hands and groan with intense disappointment.

Diana… the beautiful. Who had only just begun to live.

I can’t recall a time before then that I had been so strongly affected by the death of someone I didn’t know personally. The media, often intrusive to celebrity life, seems to have one virtue in that it connects the observer with people we otherwise would not have a connection with and sometimes facilitates caring toward others outside of our immediate circle of friends and family. All around the world. Though I never followed Diana’s life story closely, my mother did, empathized with her trials, and talked to me about them often. I suppose I had, therefore, acquired an indirect sort of familiarity with Diana. Along with my mother, I had begun to root for the Princess as she seemed to make her way toward a more fulfilling life. It all just seemed so very unfair.

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2 thoughts on “The Passing of a Princess

  1. I remember this as well, though I was stil in elementary school.. I remember seeing her sons on the cover of a magazine and being so so sad for them… That moment I actually remember more than when I learned she had died.

    Have you seen the movie Amelie? It has a scene where she learns of Princess Di’s death. Reminded me of yours.

    • I’ve heard of the movie but I’ve not had a chance to see it yet… I heard it was a good film. Would like to catch it on NetFlix sometime.

      I thought about her sons too. Still saddens me to this day.

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