Princess Diana died 20 Years ago and sent Great Britain into paroxysms of grief that astonished the world. If the gentle reader does not remember what went on across the pond that summer in 1997 or came of age since he or she would be advised to rent or stream a copy of the Helen Mirren movie “The Queen.” The movie focused on the aftermath of Diana’s death from the point of view of the royal family and then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Why was Diana so beloved?

Diana didn’t do much of anything except being beautiful and gracious and entering into a marriage with the heir to the British throne that started as a fairy tale and ended in divorce.

She did not make any significant scientific discoveries, create great art, or make any political decisions of any significance. Her life in the later part of her marriage to Prince Charles and after was something of a running scandal. She died in a speeding limo next to her Saudi lover without wearing a seat belt running away from paparazzi. Had she had her safety belt on she would currently be a 56-year-old faded beauty still filling the tabloids with copy and pictures and giving her opinions, whether they were wanted or not.

Yet there was something about her

This writer admits to having got up early in the morning to watch the fairy tale wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 that was done with all due pomp and circumstance.

Most people live humdrum lives, often full of struggle and anguish. Getting to watch a heart breaking beautiful girl get married to a handsome prince is a story right out of the Brothers Grimm, but without the grim stuff. Seeing Diana on the news, smiling and waving to adoring crowds, hugging a child in some distressed area, was enough to brighten a grim day.

Maybe losing that when she died too young was sufficient to miss her.

Then too was the tragedy of her life. Diana and Charles were not a matched couple. The age difference between them, as he was in his 30s and her 19 when they wed, was too much. Their interests were vastly different. They had two fine boys. One, William, will be King of England in his time.

The other, Prince Harry, is a soldier, a lover, and a carouser out of legend. If a woman bears such sons, she will have accomplished something of value.

So here is a toast to you, Your Highness. The world became a dimmer place when you left it. The way things are, we could use a little of your beauty and grace to help keep back the darkness.

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