August 31, 2022 marks 25 years since Diana’s tragic and unexpected death. The princess, who spent the summer of 1997 on the covers of magazines (as usual), was in love and finding her calling as a humanitarian leader, as well as freedom without the Royal Family. At 37, he had everything to finally find happiness. If it weren’t for the increasingly hungry paparazzi on their heels.
The strength of Diana’s name and popularity remains unabated, if not stronger, 25 years after her death. It’s on the level of a few, like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, her dirty image continues to sell and seduce generations. Unlike the two artists, who created movies and music, Diana Spencer was just a princess, but a princess who changed the way we look at fairy tales.
Passionate fans reject narratives of emotional instability and paranoia that would align with Prince Charles‘ version of the breakup. However, the confirmation that journalist Martin Bashir reinforced Diana’s worst fears to manipulate her into doing the landmark BBC interview, a vital point for the bellicose break not only with her husband but the institution that protected her, suggests that there was a degree of insecurity in Diana. She was convinced of the existence of plots against her life and the reporter’s false documents corroborate the version that she was not feeling safe or supported. Sadly, the greatest sadness is making sure the princess is gone with the sorrows of her broken marriage still alive in her heart. At the time of her accident, she firmly believed that Camilla Parker-Bowles and herself had been replaced by Harry’s then-nanny, Alexandra Pettifer, better known as Tiggy. That was a lie. What really happened was that Charles’ widowhood allowed him to marry Camilla and now she will become the Queen Consort when he ascends the throne. In short, Diana’s fears were confirmed.
It’s no surprise then that, a quarter of a century after her death, the flea behind the ear doesn’t itch. The convenience of a car accident, just as Diana warned that they were being set up, contributed to the public’s acceptance of Camilla over time. If technology had not reduced the planet through social media, the legend of Diana would still certainly exist, but the impact of her defenders and fans would be less voluminous. Even today, in fact, even more, today, questions are asked about how the accident happened, how she was rescued alive to die hours later from internal bleeding, how the only living witness lost her memory and never spoke of the final minutes before her death. If to this day it is suspected that Marilyn’s death was not accidental, imagine a princess on the run.
And there’s no way. The film Spencer, which recounts Diana’s life before the split but already in a state of mind of total distrust, alluded to the princess’ fears in the scene where she asks “do you think they’re going to have me killed?”, used in the trailer without context. In the feature, Diana interrupts a hunt and therefore fears that she may be at risk. Of course, not a subtle metaphor. And The Crown, which comes at the end of the year, after the fantasy fevers of House of the Dragon or Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, will also address that period that Charles wished was already almost forgotten. I suspect that 25 years later, the headache may just be starting.
In the face of all the media exploitation, there are victims we still forget: William and Harry. The princes who are broken today apparently have opposing views on how their mother was and what she wanted. If they who are her children do not agree, who are we to come up with an answer? And more than that, why are we getting into this? Diana practically spent her life in public, her image adored and making millions to third parties. Even her death didn’t give her the rest she deserved. It’s not saying that we should simply forget about it, but, give space for her sons to have something just for them. Diana’s spirit deserves a rest. And peace.