Op-Ed: Why Diana Mattered So Much

Posted Sep 2, 2007 by KJ Mullins
It's been ten years since Princess Diana died. I remember that night watching the news footage and crying. She was a world away from me but like the other million tears shed that night I felt like I had lost the golden girl of my family.
Diana was the girl other girls wanted to be. She had the fairy tale wedding even if the marriage was horrible. She had the two adorable boys. She had the good life. She was a Princess for goodness sake.
And she was real.
She cried. She rejoiced. She screwed up. She pushed through and made something of her life.
That's how she became the "People's Princess."
Not just for the UK, she should have been called the World's Princess.
She was one of us. People could relate to her in a way that other Royal's never understood. She was an adoring Mum. She was a loving daughter who at times was at odds with a parent. She fought with her siblings but stuck up for them to the bitter end.
She was Everywoman.
Diana endured a bad marriage. Chuck wasn't the best hubby in the world. He cheated. She cheated. It was real life and we cared for some reason. The Diana camp outnumbered the Charles camp.
She cried and our collective hearts broke.
She took her sons to Disney and we cheered.
She got a divorce and we understood.
In all the trappings and all the glamour she was real.
She was what we could have been.
Then she died.
The fairy tale had been over already but she was still the "Princess". Somehow she should have been more immortal than mortal. Death in a car wasn't fitting. But it fit.
We mourned.
We still do in some degree. We look at her sons and know she would have been so proud. Not just for the differences that they are starting to make but for the men they are becoming.
They are real. They laugh. They cry. They screw up. They are human.
That is the real tribute to Diana. Her sons are real live young men not robotic tin soldiers. They match to their own tune.
I think Diana is watching them from somewhere and smiling.
She did life. She did it well. And she lives on. Because her boys are real.