Princess Diana 20 Years On

I remember where I was when the late night crash killed Princess Diana: in Maine, visiting with my brother-in-law Paul and sister-in-law Jeanne. Jerry was there; I have a favorite picture from that weekend of us on the bay-facing porch, drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. We were happy, optimistic about life in general, our life together after the kids were grown and gone to their own adult lives. I think it was Tour de France weekend then too. I turned on the TV early to see the race, and instead saw news of the fatal crash.

Diana is remembered as a wonderful mother, and rightly so. She was badly treated by Charles and the royal family, and she acted badly in some ways herself. But she is remembered for her beauty, for her love of William and Harry, for her charitable work, for her beautiful gowns, for her strength in creating a life for herself outside the disapproving confines of the royal family.

Think how often it is that you remember where you were when someone died — it’s a handful of times, right? Diana is part of that small number for me, for whatever combination of reasons.

Her sons are a fitting legacy for what she held as truly important. I’m glad that they continue to honor her, and to remember. Their loving documentary, 20 years after the crash, would matter a lot to her, I’m sure.

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