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Twenty Years Ago Today

It is hard to believe that twenty years ago today, Lady Diana Spencer, later, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris.

We dare say that most people can remember exactly where they were when they heard the news.  Your Two Chums, for sure, were glued to the television to hear the latest on the whole story.

Diana, certainly, was no stranger to the English aristocracy and its way of doing things.  Her father was Earl Spencer and her mother, Countess Spencer.  She grew up living life very close to the royals’.

Her marriage to Prince Charles seemed doomed from the beginning.  It seems that Prince Charles knew that he had to get married and knew that, at the time, his betrothed would have to be “pure”.  He had known and had a relationship with his present wife, Camilla, but he knew that she was not going to “pass muster” when viewed through the magnifying glass.  She married a friend of Prince Charles, Andrew Parker Bowles, and Prince Charles then had to chose a suitable wife.  Diana was the one.

Diana seemed to have a big crush on Prince Charles and accepted willingly.  Not being a “woman of the world”, she probably did not see a lot of the warning signals until it was too late.

We believe that Prince Charles genuinely wanted it to work but……. it just did not.  Their difficulties became very public and, quite honestly, unseemly,  both of them admitting to affairs and, ultimately, their marriage ended in divorce.

Diana had stolen the hearts of the people – The People’s Princess was her nickname.  Everyone adored her and, at her death, the world at large came out to show their love for her.  So much so that the royal family really did not know how to handle it.  The British people were outraged and, unlike the English norm of “stiff upper lip”, they were very emotional.

In the end, she was given a very fitting “last good-bye”  when her coffin, adorned with beautiful white lilies and roses with “Mummy” written on an attached card, was pulled through the streets of London by six black horses and then laid to rest at her family’s estate, Althorp House.

At one point, as the procession passed the Queen and her family at Buckingham Palace, the Queen actually bowed to her coffin – something she VERY rarely would even consider doing.  A mile before the procession reached Westminster Abbey, Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles (in that order) joined the procession and walked the rest of the way behind her coffin.

Diana’s coffin is on a little island in the middle of a lake on the Althorp estate

and there has been a Memorial erected in her honor nearby.

Until 2013, one was able to visit an exhibition in honor of Diana which was staged in the old Stable Block.  Sadly, it has now been closed.  One can, however, tour parts of Althorp House and its grounds at certain times of the year.

She is gone from this earth, but surely will never be forgotten for the compassion and love she extended to the common man and woman, and for the way she used her position to do so much good for so many.  We join Elton John in his words that he sang at Diana’s funeral – Goodbye England’s Rose.

 

 

 

 

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