Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales
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Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana Spencer was born on July 1st, 1961. Her family, the Spencers of Atthorp had been wealthy landowners since the 16th century, which roots embedded deep in English history. Her family has lived on the edge of the royal circle. The marriage of her parents has been attended by the Queen. Her father, Earl Spencer, was an equerry to King George VI. During early years, the young Diana often saw her royal neighbours. She played with royalty, but it would not prepare her for what was to come.

At the age of six, her parents separated, a moment she would never forget. In 1973, aged twelve, Diana followed her sisters to Westheath School in Kent. Although she was popular, she lacked confidence. While at Westheath, Diana had discovered her love of working with children. In 1979, after a brief period at a Swiss finishing school, she was offered a post in a London kindergarten.

Through family connection, Diana had been introduced to Prince Charles. The papers were soon speculating that the heir to the throne had found love in a Pimlico kindergarten teacher. Diana was a shy and innocent 20-year-old girl when she married Prince Charles, a man twelve years her senior. She transformed into Diana, the Princess of Wales, a new and glamorous addition to Britain's stuffy Royal Family, and an instant celebrity. Within three years, she had given birth to two sons, the Princes William and Harry. She was a devoted mother. The fairy tale seemed complete, but there was a sadness few guessed at. Diana and Charles were not the perfect match. They seemed unable to share common tastes, and were soon rarely seemed together.

Diana instinctively seemed to know how to work a crowd. She had spontaneity and lightness that other members of the royal family simply didn't. There were heady days for the monarchy, basking in the international fascination with the newest member of the royal family. Diana had breathed life and glamour into what for many was a rather distant institution, uncertain of its role in a less deferential age. Gradually Princess Diana was becoming the public face of a family and an institution. It gave her a power that later she would both understand and seek to use.

In the early years of her marriage, the Children ease the pain in her personal life. She wanted her boys to have as relaxed and normal life as possible. But even moments like school's sports days were filmed and marketed, sometimes against her wishes, for she wanted to be seen as a caring mother. Inwardly Diana was increasingly tortured. Outwardly she was acclaimed an international celebrity. America, a society be sorted by fame embraced her, and the commercial spin-offs. She and Charles were guests of honor at a White House ball, regarded as Washington social event of the decade. The attention was all on Diana.

The international celebrity soon became a figure of style, wearing designer gowns. She discovered role for herself that no other member of the royal family had had before. Members of the royal family had been patrons of charities before, but Diana went further, holding hands with AIDS patients and breaking down barriers.

Diana: "I found myself being more and more involved with people who were rejected by society, like ... say, drug addicts, alcoholism, battered this, battered that. And I found infinity there. And Irespected very much the honesty I found on that level of people I met, because in hospices, for instance, when people are dying, they are much more open and more vulnerable and much more real than other people and I appreciated that."

She continued with her charity work, but inside, Diana was hurting, surrounded by a world no one stooped to help her. She felt isolated in a loveless marriage. The stuff of fairy tales had already grown cold. The press began to notice the distance between them. Diana believed their marriage had been undermined by the re-emergence of Camilla Parker Bowles, a former girlfriend of Prince Charles.

Diana who used occasions like her visit to the Tai Mahal to reveal her loneliness painted a harsh picture. She felt betrayed that she had been recruited to provide the heir to the throne with love not necessarily part of the arrangement. In the December of 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced a separation of Charles and Diana. With the truth about the marriage known, Diana had hoped that forensic interest in her life would abate. But her celebrity was prized too highly and her sadness only added value. In any case, events had a way of keeping interest alive. Diana had hinted at the pain and anguish the media attention had brought her.

Diana: "I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become, nor the extent to which it would effect both my public duties and my personal life in a manner that's been hard to bear."

In 1996, Princess Diana and Prince Charles were divorced. It was the nightmare she had promised herself would never happen. She had lost her title "Her Royal Highness," but she was a famous woman in search of her role in public life. Rather than hide, Diana was to transform again. Always deeply involved in charity works she became a roving ambassador of worthy causes. She didn't end up the official ambassador she wanted to be, and yet she received more attention than any ambassador could hope for. She made trips to Bosnia and Angola, drawing attention to the human misery caused by mines left behind when conflicts were over. She campaigned for governments to ban the production, export, and stock piling and use of anti-personnel mines. In June 1997, she had visited Mother Teresa who was in poor health. After the years of turmoil, it seemed Diana was reestablishing herself as a confident public figure, lending her reputation to the sisters of mercy. Also in June she auctioned off 79 dresses and ball gowns that had been featured on so many front covers. It symbolized a discarding of the past. Her favorite charities including fundraising for cancer and AIDS sufferers, benefited by three and a half million pounds.

While Diana was trying to emphasize the seriousness of her work, the press and the paparazzi remained fascinated with the mundane details of her life, even like her daily visits to the gym. In summer of 1997, she began seeing Dodi Fayed. On August 31st, in Paris, she met up with Dodi Fayed before going to his father's hotel the Ritz for a private dinner. As they left, they were pursued by modern day bounty hunters, knowing there was a market even for a snap shot even from a motorbike. It led to tragedy in a Paris underpass, which killed 36-year-old Diana.

In the tribute to Diana, Queen Elizabeth II said, "She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her, for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys."

Part of Diana's legacy of a thousand of images charting her life from a obscure teacher to the most recognized woman in the world. She died as she had lived for 19 years in the unrelenting gaze of the publicity. An icon of her time for a world fascinated by fame and celebrity. With her youthful vitality she became the human face of an ancient institution changing forever the public perception of the monarchy. Diana would never have become Queen, but she succeed in becoming what she aspired to be, the Queen in people's hearts.


Goodbye England's Rose

Goodbye England's Rose;

may you ever grow in our hearts.

You were the grace that placed itself,

where lives were torn apart.

You called out our country,

and you whispered to those in pain.

Now you belong to heaven,

and the stars spell out your name.

And it seems to me you've lived your life,

like a candle in the wind:

never fading with the sunset,

when the rain set in.

And your footsteps will always fall here,

along England's greenest hills;

your candle's burned out long before,

your legend ever will.

Loveliness we've lost;

these empty days without your smile.

This torch we'll always carry,

for our nation's golden child.

And even though we try,

the truth brings us to tears;

all our words cannot express,

the joy you brought us through the years.

Goodbye England's rose;

may you ever grow in our hearts.

You were the grace that placed itself,

where lives were torn apart.

Goodbye England's rose,

from a country lost without your soul,

who'll miss the wings of your compassion,

more than you'll ever know.

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  • 来源:外教社 2016-06-28