Twenty-five years after she passed, people all over the world still remember the Princess Diana death anniversary so vividly. Perhaps even the royal family did not expect the love, loss, mourning, and devastation that reverberated after her death. She touched the lives of so many and made a lingering impact, especially on those who wish to follow in her footsteps today.
A Tragic Loss, A Senseless Death
Who was with Diana when she died? On the night Diana, the Princess of Wales was tragically killed in a car crash around 10 pm, she and her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed was supposed to have dinner at the Imperial Suite at the Ritz in Paris. But problems began the moment it was revealed that the couple was to set foot in the city.
Dinner Gone Wrong
What day Princess Diana died? It was on August 31, 1997, when this nightmare of an event happened. Paparazzi followed them everywhere they went. They tried to go to dinner at about 9:30 but were swarmed by the Paparazzi, so they were forced to pick another venue.
At around 12 am that night Diana allegedly confided to a friend that something was amiss and felt something terrible was about to happen. The paparazzi in motorcycles simply wouldn’t leave them alone and recklessly drove around their car.
They finally decided to use a decoy car in the hopes of getting the paparazzi off their trail. It would later be discovered as per the prosecutors that their driver Henry Paul who was called in from home to drive their car was three times above the legal drinking limit.
The Deadly Car Chase
Dodi and Diana later slipped into their decoy Mercedes but the paparazzi weren’t fooled. Instead, they employed high speeds to keep up with the couple’s vehicle. Unfortunately, both Dodi and Diana were reportedly not wearing any seatbelts. As their car entered a tunnel at full speed the car hit a pillar. They instantly rolled over and rebounded.
Both Dodi and Henry died instantly as photographers swarmed their vehicles. At 12:40 am first responders arrived at the scene. Diana and her bodyguard were still alive at this time and were immediately rushed to the hospital.
Diana bled heavily from the chest and when she got to the hospital she suffered a cardiac arrest that ended her life. Lady Diana Spencer was pronounced dead at 4 am. She was 36 years old.
A Loveless Marriage
At first glance, Diana seemed like a perfect fit for the royal family. Beautiful, demure, and aristocratic. She was very much in love with Prince Charles. And even before her fairytale wedding, it was clear she would become a massive global celebrity. Eventually, things turned frosty between her and the British heir. And her bombshell interview only confirmed people’s suspicions and rumors that have been going around for years.
She was even quoted as saying, “Well, there were three of us in this marriage so it was a bit crowded.” The third party she was referring to was Mrs. Camila Parker-Bowles, who Prince Charles eventually married on April 9, 2005—eight years after Diana’s passing.
The People’s Princess
Her failed marriage could have easily made her angry and bitter, and just choose to lead a private life. Away from the glitz and glamor and utter chaos that comes with the territory of being a celebrity. But instead, she chose to leverage all this attention to help and serve others, and shed light on all her advocacies.
Princess Diana devoted her life to serving others, especially those who did not have a voice. She was either Patron or President of more than 100 charities, which were part of her royal duties. A lot of these charities helped and represented homeless and disabled persons, children, and those who were infected with HIV/AIDS.
A Brave Risk-Taker
Diana bravely traversed minefields in Angola and Bosnia for her landmine clearance advocacy. She also visited leprosy patients in India, Zimbabwe, and Nepal, and opened her country’s first AIDS ward located in London. Here, she famously shook ungloved hands with one of the patients. This challenged the false and prevalent assumption at that time that HIV/AIDS could be transmitted this way.
The charities Diana is still associated with to this day are Centrepoint, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, The English National Ballet, The Leprosy Mission, The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust, and The National Aids Trust.
What made Diana’s life remarkable was it being a different age back then. Twenty-five years ago you cannot support a charity by just putting out a post or a tweet. She was involved in a lot of work and effort, and at times she took a lot of risks.
Loved By All, Forgotten By None
Princess Diana death anniversary undoubtedly reminds us that, there is only one Diana, and none of the younger royals to this day could rekindle her magic and charm. Where did Princess Diana live before she died? In Kensington Palace, which was flooded with flowers and tributes to remember her by. Probably one of the biggest impacts she made in her country was to make the royal family a bit more relatable, relaxed, and down to earth. And in some ways, a bit more human. She will always be remembered as a devoted mom and the People’s Princess.