FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
A Candle in the Wind
Posted:Aug 30, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Today (August 31), the world commemorates the 20th death anniversary of Diana Princess of Wales. Princess Diana appeared on the British socio-political landscape when news of her romance with Britain’s heir to the throne Prince Charles broke and her fairy-tale wedding which was watched by millions across the globe in real time.   
 
It was also a time when Britain was going through a period of depression with its economy in tatters and austerity measures taking their toll on the public. British society was in a state of socio-political tumult.   
 
A time when Britain’s ‘Iron Lady’ Ms. Margret Thatcher, also known as, ‘Thatcher The Milk Snatcher’ for her role in overseeing the abolishing the government programme providing free milk to school children, was Prime Minister.  
 
A time the British establishment literally killed Irish freedom fighter Bobby Sands - making no effort to prevent his death when he went on a hunger strike to highlight the plight of the Irish population.   
 
It was a time when Britain’s unemployment stood at 2.5 million, a time when striking workers forced the British government to withdraw plans to close down the country’s coal mines which would have led to thousands more workers being out of employment and literally thrown into the streets.  
 
It was a time when British society was disunited, divided and in disarray. With two female leaders – the Queen and Prime Minister Thatcher, who had left their youth far behind them, were distant, cold and out of touch with the masses of their country.   
 
It was into this bleak scenario the youthful, down-to-earth, beautiful, young and vivacious Diana appeared on the scene -- a breath of fresh air sweeping across a broken nation.  
 
Though Diana herself had hardly done anything to inspire such inspiration… the fairy-tale wedding was a welcome distraction to the nation.  
 
But fairy tales unfortunately, are merely tales and cover darker secrets. And so it was with Diana and her fairy-tale marriage to the heir apparent of the British throne. The fairy-tale marriage unravelled in a glare of ugly publicity, when Diana learned her prince charming was two-timing on her with an old flame -- Camilla-Parker Bowles by name.  
 
Though emotionally devastated, Diana was a hands-on mother to her two sons, as revealed in Prince William’s interview on the BBC documentary “Diana, 7 Days,”   
 
She also gave a human touch to the British monarchy normally cold and distant from its subjects. She walked among her people, stopping to chat with the old and aged. Visiting schools where students from underprivileged backgrounds studied, helped fund charities to help victims of landmines and those suffering from the AIDS virus. She visited the slums in India with the iconic ‘Mother Theresa’.   
 
Diana also stood apart from other royals as she threw herself into the charities she helped fund and found. Not one to sit back and simply help collect funds needed to help the charities in their field work, Diana visited the sick and the suffering rather than avoid them. Legendary photos show Diana embracing AIDS patients.   
 
She literally showed the world it was safe to interact/embrace persons suffering from AIDS in an era when the victims were shunned by society.  
 
She went fearlessly into lands being cleared of landmines wearing an armoured vest bearing the legend ‘Halo Trust’. She walked among those risking their lives to clear the landmines.  
 
And wherever Diana went, the press was sure to go. The publicity she received helped raise the millions needed for the causes she championed. Diana and the press needed each other. Anything Diana did was newsworthy and the press hunted her.  
 
And so it was on August 31, 1997 chased by a pack of pressmen, Diana died in a horrific car crash which shocked the world and devastated her countrymen. Even today, 20 years after her death, an unsavoury recording made by a close associate is being made public.  
 
Though Diana almost single handedly popularised Britain’s fading conservative monarchy with her humanism, the royals paid her back by stripping her of the title ‘Her Royal Highness’ when she divorced her cheating husband. Another instance of a woman punished for the infidelities of a man. The cheat remained heir to the throne while Diana was publicly humiliated.   
 
The life and spirit of ‘Diana Princess of Wales’ was aptly summed up in Elton John’s musical oration at her funeral, “A Candle in the Wind” and we call on the media to let Diana who was also referred to as the ‘People’s Princess’ to Rest In Peace. 
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
read-more
Aimed at consolidating cooperation between the armed forces of India and Saudi Arabia and explore new avenues of defence cooperation, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, visited Saudi Arabia on from 4-8 February 2018, writes Anil Bhat
 
read-more
Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
read-more
Representatives from ten Asia Pacific governments, parliaments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and international institutions - including from six South Asian countries - gathered in Bangkok to reflect and share knowledge and learnings on climate change finance and gender-inclusion as part of the Regional Dialogue on Climate Resili
 
read-more
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen “conveyed that mediation was not wanted at this stage” when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke to him last week, Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujrric confirmed Thursday, writes Arul Louis
 
read-more
Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
read-more

The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
read-more

Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “China's Belt and Road Initiative: Nature, Implications and India's Response”

 
read-more
Column-image

What is history? How does a land become a homeland? How are cultural identities formed? The Making of Early Kashmir explores these questions in relation to the birth of Kashmir and the discursive and material practices that shaped it up to the ...

 
Column-image

A group of teenagers in a Karachi high school puts on a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible— and one goes missing. The incident sets off ripples through their already fraught education in lust and witches, and over the years ...

 
Column-image

Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
Column-image

'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...