Perhaps it was the radiance on her wedding day which captured people's imagination. She looked so beautiful. My childhood from the age seven was about a glimpse of her from newspapers and "not even " glossy magazines.
Magazines in the Philippines in the 80's were mostly newsprint that one buys in the sidewalk. But we had a monthly supply of Good Housekeping from America (God Bless my godmother!), which sometimes feature a few photo shoots of Princess Diana and her family. Newsweek and Time magazines also provided news on the Royal Family, so we read and were updated. The pictures they painted was such a fairy tale.
Then as early as like 1987 (or was it '88?), rumours were surfacing about cracks in the marriage. I even played a puzzle game (based on an American game show) with my classmates sophomore year in high school just to assuage myself that yes, fairy tales do come true.
Of course I was a fool, relationships and marriages are hard work. People who thought they were in-love in the beginning then discovered they have nothing in common, separate. What chances do arranged marriages have for bliss and longevity? (Although I had a discussion in Singapore with a colleague about her happiness and contentment on her arranged marriage. Really?).
So, Princess Diana's union with the Prince of Wales fell apart. I concluded he was a fool for enticing a 20-year old into a world of heartache. After that I just wanted Princess Diana to find her joy. If it was another union or working on her charities, so be it. She auctioned her dresses for a cause, that was very kind of her, to give of herself to others.
When she died in an accident, I was bawling, perhaps the only celebrity who made me so sad. I cried for her youth and her potential to find comfort and serenity. But she was ever so brave for taking the cause of Land Mines. I didn't even knew about land mines before she pushed that issue into the forefront.
Despite her soft voice and ideal family, I find Kate Middleton features a bit too sharp. She doesn't have the delicate charms of Princess Diana. She has a degree from Uni, masters in history of art. She should be relatable. Plus her mom's company Party Pieces is so convenient for my daughter's birthday parties as well. But I couldn't dissect any resonance.
While Princess Diana was the manor born, did not even study for a degree and yet she was the one who could project charisma. Maybe it was the clothes she wore but I reckon it's the age of social media and the internet. There are a lot of celebrities in these modern times. Reality television like TOWIE, Love Island et al has catapulted a lot of unknowns into front pages of Hello! magazine.
But then they are the Royals (ceremonial, ribbon-cutting purposes) -- magazines, newspapers and websites would find them newsworthy, whether it's having their photographs taken in their tour of Commonwealth nations or the choice of school for their children. Although I haven't seen any outpouring of grief in the scale of the Diana funeral in the 20 years since her death. Not even Michael Jackson nor the Queen Mother.
So why did I get so upset when she died when I didn't even know her? Because, my dear Prince William, she had the allure of an angel? Or my life was so boring compared to her headline-grabbing session at the gym? I don't know, she just did and she still does after two decades. Despite the mean things trolls say about her. Well, trolls, sorry, you don't have as much impact with your dead-end lifestyle.