The death of Princess Diana was one of those moments in time, where most people recall exactly what they were doing, when they heard the news. For me I was gazing happily at my newborn son, in his baby rocker, when a family member burst in with the news, first of her accident and then of her subsequent death. We were all in shock.
For me she had represented all that was good with the world. She had seemed to bring healing and joy wherever she went. The world had suddenly darkened when we had heard the tragic news. Somehow it had felt like we had all lost our innocence. The beautiful fairytale had now ended with sadness and death. Even my normally sensible father was writing emotionally about the shock and sadness now being experienced in the UK.
I was slightly angered this week to read a sudden rash of negative stories about the princess online. I profoundly admire the dignified way Prince William and Prince Harry have sought to honour their mother and have been deeply annoyed and irritated with those who have tried to muddy the waters. When Princess Diana was here, most of us had recognised that she was somebody very special. Now is a time to give thanks for her life and the gift she gave all of us, by breaking down barriers and reaching out to people with her genuine humility and compassion.