Princess Di and This July

Who gets a cold in July? It’s ridiculous! I’ve suffered a cold from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day until Easter, but I never thought I’d be down and out for the Fourth as well. What I’m calling a ‘cold’ might as well be termed mono for the lethargy I feel.

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However, it’s giving me a lot of time to read. I’m completely absorbed in The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown. Did I tell you I went to her wedding? Well, not actually in person. But, all of my friends and I dressed up in our fancy dresses and jewels that July 29th in 1981, and sat before the BBC as if we were really in St. Paul’s Cathedral. I’m only six months older than Diana was, and her life has enthralled me.

Tina Brown’s book is better than any biography I’ve read on Diana because it gives the background in intimate detail of every event you saw and every photograph you remember viewing. She writes in a wonderfully piercing way, which borders on the sarcastic, and cuts right to the core of what went on behind the public’s purview.

In September, Charles and Diana were spotted for the first time on an official engagement at the annual Braemar Gathering and Highland Games, a relief to Diana, because even watching the whirling sporrans of Highland Dancing and Tossing the Caber was better than mooching around Craigowan waiting for Charles to return with a dead fish. When the national anthem struck up, the Prince whispered to her, “They’re playing our song.” Diana started to giggle, causing the Prince to forget the discipline of a lifetime and silently crack up, too. It could have been a delightful moment of new marital complicity, but the filthy look the Queen sent across froze them both.” p. 213

It’s great to get an inside picture of a woman I’ve both admired and pitied. It’s good to know that even a princess gets colds, feels ill, or fails to meet both external and internal expectations. Just like other women her age.

12 thoughts on “Princess Di and This July”

  1. I think we were all enthralled with this woman who, at least at first, seemed to have a fairy tale life. What a great vision I have of you sitting dressed up with your friends, watching the wedding! Like when Kennedy or Lennon was shot, we all remember where we were during that wedding, and when she was killed. That poor woman. Sorry you have a cold…there's nothing worse than having one when it is HOT outside! I say just sit outside and let the sun bake it out of you!

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  2. I listened to the audio version of this last winter. Here's a comment from my review:Part of the time Diana is portrayed as an innocent among the lions and part of the time she seems to come across as a savvy media manipulator. Perhaps that’s the thing that makes people want to continue to read about her. She really does seem to have been a woman of striking contrasts. Part spoiled petulant child, part a woman who wanted to create her own place in the world.

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  3. Sandy, I'll bet you have pictured us perfectly! And, I am letting the sun shine down on me. Vitamin C, right? Suzi, your paragraph is so eloquent! It says, in a very succinct and accurate way, exactly what Tina Brown was saying in her 400+ pages and what it's taken me years to fully discover.

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  4. Aw – thank you. I think what I learned from the book was that it wasn't so much a difference between the young Di and the Di after the marriage was clearly over. She really had those contrasting qualities all of her life. That was what came as a bit of a surprise to me.

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  5. You summed up my feelings perfectly – I've both admired and pitied Diana, too. The mental image I have of you and your friends dressed for the wedding makes me smile. What fun that must have been!A cold in July is the worst (I really hope it's not mono!)…take care of yourself and feel better soon.

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  6. I changed your address in my sidebar, but I hadn't done so in Google Reader where I read most posts. Thanks for your visit recently. My stitches come out tomorrow, and I will be happy for that.I attended Diana's wedding too, but I wasn't dressed up, and as I watched her wedding, I also watched her funeral as I'm sure you did too.Feel better.

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  7. Diana was a fascinating woman and this book sounds like a good one. I, too, followed her life. I'm a couple of months younger than her and was married 11 days before her. Of course, my wedding was not so elaborate or well attended ;o)

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  8. I remember her wedding so well, as it fell just after my own (I was married on July 24, 1981.) I was back home from my short honeymoon (Catalina Island) and sick in bed with a terrible head cold. I felt such a connection to this woman. Married within the same week. Five months apart in age. We both had a child just a short time after we were married. Our marriages fell apart for similar reasons. I even wore my hair like hers! 🙂 I, too, was completely fascinated with her and was so sad when she died. It hit me quite hard, as a matter of fact. Much more so than any recent celebrity deaths, that's for certain!Hope you are feeling better soon, Miss Bellezza!

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  9. I remember hearing of her death with such shock and horror, such as I've not felt for any one "unknown" to me before. I'd just come in from a late night date, and although I don't usually turn on the television for some reason that night I did. When I heard them announcing that she may be dead, it was just breaking news, I thought I was watching Saturday Night Live or something. Like it was a terrible joke. I was riveted to her funeral on tv as well, unlike yesterday's. It's interesting how so many of us felt a connection to her. I think that was one of her special charms, that she had the ability to connect with people across countries and culture. Plus, she was just so darn beautiful.

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  10. I hope you're feeling better. I have a cold, too, which my lovely husband gave me.I remember watching Diana's wedding as a child, transfixed by the fairy-tale scene in front of me. Too bad it ended so horribly for someone who seemed like such a wonderful lady.

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