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A Royal Memory

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While Mother Nature unleashed monstrous tornadoes across the Deep South, a prince prepared to marry his Cinderella. It seemed almost wrong to watch a fairytale unfold across the pond after a nightmare destroyed part of our country. Though I had reservations in waking to watch Prince William wed Kate Middleton, I couldn’t help but think of my mom.

Upon the wedding announcement of William and Kate, my mom immediately said, “Baby girl, we have to watch this together.” Though I was too young to see Princess Diana marry, my mom and dad did not miss it, and, in the following years, Mom made sure I knew all about Princess Diana. In the summer of 1986, my mom was able to introduce her little girl to her very first royal wedding. We eagerly watched Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson marry in Westminster Abbey. My memories are faint, but present. It was one of those mother-daughter moments you hope will never fade.

As I grew up, my youthful fascination with Princess Diana—or, as I liked to call her,”the real life Disney princess”—turned to deep admiration. Her fairytale was not to be, no matter how hard she tried, for her prince had long loved another. Still, she held her head high and carried on with grace and unparalleled strength. Here you had a woman who did so much good for so many, and yet people seemed to crave being relentlessly cruel to her. I always saw her as someone who truly deserved to live happily ever after.

On August 31, 1997, fate not only robbed Diana of her happy ending, but it stole a truly beautiful soul from the world and a mother from her young sons.

On September 6, 1997, Mom, Dad, and I, along with billions of admirers, said farewell to Diana, Princess of Wales. It is one memory I wish we never had to make.

Fast-forward to the eve of the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Amidst the joyous fanfare and preparation in the U.K., the United States awoke to devastating loss. How could one possibly celebrate during this time? My only thoughts were to help all those in need…help all who had lost livelihoods, homes, and loved ones.

It was then that I thought of my mom, and in the next instant I thought of someone else, another mother…one who lost precious time with her children: Princess Diana. Looking at everything, I realized how terribly delicate time is…how we need to savor every single second with the ones we love. I was resolute about helping the victims in any way possible, but for a few hours Friday morning, I needed to be with my mom.

So, at four in the morning, a daughter and her mama watched Princess Diana’s son marry his soul mate. On that morning, a mother and her daughter made a memory of a lifetime, while a lost princess watched from afar as her son began his happily ever after.

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