Diana Princess of Wales
This year marked one of the biggest occasions in British history in over 30 years. Prince William announced back in November of 2010 that he would marry his long time girlfriend Catherine Middleton. For the royal family this secured the line of succession and signaled the beginning of 6 months of endless media coverage. But with this engagement, the media dug up the memory of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and dragged the question of her death back into the spotlight.
In her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in November 1995, Diana Princess of Wales famously said that although she would never become Queen, she wanted to be queen in people’s hearts. She was already immensely popular with the public in Britain and worldwide, and there was no doubt that she was already queen in many people’s hearts, a state of affairs that continued after her death in 1997.
I remember hearing the news as if it was yesterday. Despite the fact that it was a Saturday night, I was sitting in my apartment in the District when the phone rang. Anytime the phone rings at a late hour you know something is wrong. Because really is there any good news coming on the other end of the phone line after 11 pm? The first words out of her mouth only supported that belief. “Did you hear about Diana,” she asked. “She’s been in a car accident and it isn’t looking good.” I spent the early Sunday morning glued to CNN and MSNBC for updates and then came news that she didn’t make it….. Diana was dead. And just like that, I lost a dear friend.
Thirteen years after her death, Diana still finds her place on numerous newspaper and tabloid covers around the world. After the 10th anniversary of the night when she lost her life in a car crash caused by an inebriated driver trying to avoid the paparazzi, one might have thought she would finally be granted the right to be left alone.
Although this is more or less the case for the general public, who will probably only gather in small groups this year, it seems that bizarre new stories are still emerging, to the delight of the press.