We believed in happily ever after and watched with stars in our eyes as Diana exited her carriage in her beautiful princess dress, walked down the aisle and pledged her love to Charles. (We also set our alarm clocks so that we could watch the wedding live.)
Most of us felt horribly betrayed when, years later, it was revealed that Charles' true love was Camilla and he'd been having an affair with her throughout most of their marriage. We cheered when Diana made her public appearance after the divorce in the "little black dress", showing Charles exactly what he'd lost.
And we listened in horror as we awoke on that Sunday morning to the news of her car accident and death in August of 1997. This time, we watched with tears in our eyes as her funeral was televised all over the world. (We watched from an airport in Dallas, Texas on the way to Hawaii.)
This past Sunday, I took a break from my retail frenzied world, and went with a friend to the Frazier Museum and viewed the Diana: A Celebration exhibit. It was a wonderfully touching tribute to a woman who was so much a part of my memories.
I loved viewing parts of her childhood and since she was only a few years older than me, we shared some interests (although I never had a real live camel at one of my birthday parties.)
The exhibit contains many photos and mementos but two were my favorites.
First: the Wedding Dress, veil, shoes and parasol
My Second favorite thing was the Prayer Book that Mother Theresa gave to Princess Diana.
Imagine my surprise (and delight) to discover that it was a copy of the Daily Light. Since I've used a copy of this for years, I felt an additional kinship to both Diana and Mother Theresa. (After all we had in common, I'm sure she wouldn't mind me calling her by her first name.)
As we left the exhibit, my friend and I discussed all of the ways Diana's life had changed the world around her. She not only changed the way we viewed AIDS patients, she reminded us of our responsibility to care for those less fortunate than us and to fight the injustices of the world. She changed the way royal children were raised (no nannies) and I think William and Harry are better people because of it.
I guess the most important lesson of all is that while life doesn't always have the "fairy tale" ending you envisioned, you can still make a difference.