December 10, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz….

22 years ago, on 31st August 1997, Lady Diana lost her life, at the age of 35, in a road accident in France. The whole world was shocked, not just because she was the ex-wife of Prince Charles, but more because of the image that she had generated over the years, as a gentle and popular lady, the world over.

Diana, Princess of Wales 1997 picture courtesy of Wikipedia

She is still being missed by everyone, even among those who have got their own reservations about the Royal family. Lady Diana has equally been loved in every part of world, by people of all ages.

Born in a family close to the royal family, Diana was brought up like any English girl. She was very ordinary and friendly. She shared a flat with friends during her studies, and worked in a kindergarten before getting engaged to Prince Charles in 1981.

She became instantly popular among the masses the world over, due to her softness and simplicity. She became an international celebrity due to her active support and participation in international social projects.

However, with all this going on, her personal life with Prince Charles was not as good as people had expected. Soon the news about their unhappy marriage started surfacing. A divorce was the ultimate answer. Prince Charles and Lady Diana were divorced in 1996. It was another shock to her fans the world over. They wanted her to have a happy married life, but unfortunately, realities of lives are sometimes bitter.

So the story of Lady Diana continued, and her fans continued loving her, after the initial shock of her divorce. Indeed it was a big shock for the Royal family also, as they were not used to a divorce in the family. But the reality was apparent. Everybody had to get adjusted according to the changed circumstances.

Then all of a sudden the world was shocked again, most particularly the fans of Lady Diana. The news of her death in a traffic accident in France came as the most sensational news on 31 August 1997.  Her car, driven by her driver, crashed in a tunnel in Paris while fleeing from the paparazzi. She was travelling with Dodi Fayed, her boyfriend, who also died in the crash.

A number of conspiracy theories started erupting, once the initial shock of her death was over. The father of Dodi Fayed raised certain questions about the events leading to the death of Diana and his son. Separate investigations were carried out in France and Britain, which ended with the same results.  However, conspiracy theories about her death still remain and a number of her fans  take these theories seriously.

Still shocked by the incident, I remember watching live on television, her funeral and burial on 6th September 1997. However, apart from everything, what really made an everlasting impact on me that day was the song that Elton John sang at the funeral. I am sure a great number of people did and still like that song. For me, in particular, this particular song has become directly attached to Lady Diana. Though the song was originally written for Marilyn Monroe, I am sure it did not gain as much popularity before the death of Lady Diana.

I still love to listen to this song time and time again. Here are the words of the song “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John

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 to 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 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,
among 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,
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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