Diana was a shy 20-year-old woman when she became engaged to Prince Charles and was thrust into the media spotlight. Through her marriage to Prince Charles, she joined one of the most famous families in the world and became an object of intense media interest. Diana’s personal difficulties are well documented. However, to appreciate the accomplishments of Princess Diana we should not focus on these human weakness, which without exception, are common to us all.
Diana had a sincere and genuine interest in other people. Her heart of sympathy extended to many people, in whatever situation they were in. She often spent time visiting the homeless, or terminally ill patients in various hospices. True, these were often photographed, but this wasn’t her motivation for seeing patients. It is said by some hospital staff that, Diana would sometimes visit in the evening, away from the glare of the media. When she did meet patients they responded very positively to her. Princess Diana had a great capacity to get on with people, whatever their social status. Friends and nurses tell how she had very positive life energy, which was infectious in its capacity to uplift people.
“Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back if only they had the chance.”
– Princess Diana
At times Princess Diana resented the intrusion of the media into her private life. But at other times, she realised the importance of the media in highlighting important social issues. Diana played a significant role in de-stigmatising people who were HIV positive. At the time there was a lot of fear that HIV could be passed on through touch alone. Princess Diana allayed many of these prejudices by being photographed embracing people who had the disease. Another campaign which Diana thought incredibly important was the campaign to ban landmines. She supported a ban on landmines because they are responsible for so many post-conflict deaths and injuries. Often it is young children who are most affected by the legacy of landmines. Princess Diana was the most high profile figure to support the ban on landmines. Pictures of her walking through an old landmine site in Angola were displayed around the world. Her role is thought by many to be crucial in the passing of the Ottawa treaty banning the use of landmines.
Princess Diana was a unique royal; by engaging in her charity work on a deeply personal level she became a real “people’s princess”. People from around the world could identify with her. In particular they appreciated her heart-centred approach to life. She was not just appreciated in her home country the UK, but around the world. She captured the heart of America and received much support and encouragement even from American newspapers.
“After giving her time and property to charities and causes ranging from the treatment of AIDS to the abolition of landmines, her destiny is clear. She will never be the queen of England, but she will be the queen of our hearts.”
– Newsday, July 7th, 1997
Spiritual Teacher Sri Chinmoy wrote:
Yours is a temple-heart of sympathy,
Self giving and oneness delight”
Diana: Princess of Wales by Mario Testino
Diana: Princess of Wales by Mario Testino at Amazon.
Princess Diana: Her Life Story, 1961-1997
Women who changed the world – Famous women who changed the world. Features female Prime Ministers, scientists, cultural figures, authors and royalty. Includes; Cleopatra, Princess Diana, Marie Curie, Queen Victoria, and Joan of Arc.