Princess Diana, the People’s Princess that left a Philanthropic Legacy
Diana Spencer was born into an aristocratic family and had all the material things in life a young girl could wish for. Her life however was one of sadness and disappointment especially so from the time her parents divorced. She was only 19 when she met Prince Charles and thrust into the limelight for which she was not ready. Her short life was full of personal tragedies that are well known to everyone; but it’s her genuine interest in people and love of children that led her to spend time with the terminally ill and the homeless, away from the public eye and the glare of the media. It was Diana’s sincere and sympathetic nature that made everyone who met her respond to her in the most amazing way and it’s this characteristic of hers that her close friends talk about.
A Fairy Tale gone wrong
Just like her childhood, Diana’s fairy tale marriage began to crumble when rumors started circulating about Prince Charles’ affair with a former girlfriend of his; Camillia Park Bowles. Unable to cope with the stress and sadness that began to unfold in her life once again, she underwent severe bouts of depression and eating disorders. Yet she managed to come out of it by dedicating most of her life to helping others and getting involved in charitable causes to give meaning to her life. She used her fame and position to the utmost to bring awareness of many dreaded diseases such as cancer and leprosy in order to raise money for research and treatment.
Ironically, it was after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996 that Diana came into her own. Unshackled from the bonds that made her a Royal Princess, she was now free to concentrate on her charities and especially on the ones most close to her heart. Apart from the various cancer benefits she chaired, she vigorously campaigned for causes such as homeless youth, AIDS, the Leprosy mission and very specially seeking and providing funds for those injured by landmines. Being an outcast of the Royals did not in any way detract from her popularity; rather it brought more sympathy for Diana with the whole world gone completely berserk with their love and admiration for a woman whom they thought had been greatly wronged.
Although Princess Diana resented the paparazzi that intruded on her private life, she realized how important they were to highlight social issues and she very cleverly used them to support her charities and other causes. It was Diana that changed the way people looked at those who were inflicted with HIV and put their fears to rest. She also played a significant role in supporting the ban on landmines and photographs of her walking across cleared landmine sites were published in many newspapers and magazines right across the world on many occasions. Diana’s involvement in this particular issue is said to have been the turning point in passing the treaty on banning landmines.
The Legacy left by the “People’s Princess”
It is said that Diana, Princess of Wales with her genuine love for mankind and especially for children, and the old and forgotten, was able to do so much more as an individual to draw attention to countless issues than most other organizations put together. Diana will always be remembered for her philanthropic legacy than for being a Royal and although her untimely and tragic death at the young age of 36 robbed the world of one of its most endearing celebrities, she will always be loved and remembered not as Diana, Princess of Wales; but as the “Peoples Princess”. It’s only fitting to end this with Diana’s own words “…..Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back if only they had the chance…..”