Wow, has it really been 10 years since Princess Diana died?
We were at church on August 31, 2007 when our pastor made mention of it. It took my wife and I by total surprise, especially since, back in those days, we didn't have Internet access and had no way of finding out in advance of the print media. He showed us a copy of the San Jose Mercury News that had her untimely death splashed across the front page.
Overall, I thought of the princess as a nice lady who seemed to give far more than she received. It's strictly a lay opinion: I've never been to England, nor have I ever met anyone who knew her personally. I pitied her, because she seemed doomed in a marriage where Prince Charles, who was in love with Camilla Parker-Bowles, was compelled instead to marry a woman he didn't really love. As wonderful as Diana seemed, if you don't love a person, then you don't love a person. I hope the Royal Family keeps that in mind with Princes William and Harry, but I'm not the most optimistic: British kings have had mistresses for centuries, ostensibly because they were compelled to marry a woman that not only did they not fall in love with, but they never learned to love.
Years ago, sometime around 1995, I met an English immigrant in Texas who had a very low opinion of Diana. I guess the older generation of Britons are mixed on their feelings of her.
About a month after Diana's death, my wife and I went to a Blockbuster video store in Monterey, Calif. (where I was stationed at the time). The clerk was from England, and he absolutely adored Diana. "Of all places to die," he said, "why did she have to die in France?"
Looking at Diana's picture above, her smile reminds me a little of the Mona Lisa's. It's a smile that doesn't quite engulf, or even touch, her eyes. Makes you wonder if she was unhappy about her life even at the time this picture was taken.