Reflecting on Diana, Princess of Wales
This is a little different to my normal Career Confidence Blogs and it’s more a personal reflection.
Over the last few weeks I have been reminded of how the death of Diana, Princess of Wales affected the collective consciousness.
In hindsight, back then we lived insular lives in comparison to our new social media selves- no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Opportunities were limited by location and information was provided en masse; our individual feelings inconsequential against those of the very British ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ establishment.
The Summer of 1997
The summer of 1997, had been a fun sunny time for lots of people, we had a newly elected government and Brit Pop was streaming through the radio as we neared the end of the millennium. Cool Britannia was awakening; The Spice Girls were fresh and Blur, Oasis and Pulp were super bands. They were exciting times.
For my friends and I, it was like trying to squeeze every drop of fun out of the your last few days on holiday and that weekend in August was no different. I had been to the races on Saturday and won! A rather lovely showbiz day supporting the Royal Variety club where I rubbed shoulders with beautiful Gabby Roslin and awesome David Jason, both well known talented entertainers. It was such a hot sunny day followed by a balmy summer evening more like the Med than the UK.
The next morning, I pattered out to make a cup of tea and popped the telly on without taking much notice. Vaguely, I was aware of a rather sombre newsreader and carried on making breakfast.
With the kettle on, I went back to draw the curtains and could believe my ears when he said that Diana, Princess of Wales had been in a car accident. I didn’t (or couldn’t,) register that he said she had been killed.
Like so many other people that morning it was unthinkable and I’m sure the furthest thing from our minds.
Princess or Pioneer?
Although I never met her, Diana had been this fairytale figure since I was 10 years old. We all watched as this sweet teenager transform in front of our eyes into this Princess complete with flouncy dress, tiara and golden carriage. In hindsight, it was her open display of emotional intelligence that was ahead of it’s time that made her magical.
Rather than remain a broken women, she then transformed into a leading humanitarian figure and began to make a global impact. Along the way she found her own voice, her own style and kept her sense of humour no matter what she faced.
At the time of her death, it seemed rather surreal and looking back it seems even more so. People from all walks of life, parts of society and nationalities felt a huge sense of bereavement and loss. Even though many of them, like me, had never met her.
Tears of awakening
There was a huge outpour of grief, love and of course tears. Many cried more over her death than they had for loved ones. Not to create a sense of drama, but because like me they just felt something bigger, something unexplainable and something that could not been seen or touched only felt.
The ‘stiff upper British lip’ was discarded and the pursuit of emotional intelligence began to take root. As a nation our collective consciousness was transforming and recognising the power our hearts could have over the actions of society.
Personally, I didn’t want to get on any ‘Drama train,’ but my dormant empathetic DNA was activated and like so many others I felt this overwhelming sense of loss and pain. It highlighted some of the un-compassionate relationships I was wasting my time with and I started to see things in a different light.
The Queen – the film
Years later, I would work on the film The Queen and experience another perspective on the story. I worked on the scenes where they filmed the funeral and even on set there was a sense of respect, peace that I hadn’t seen on other film sets.
One of my Spiritual teachers told me that Diana’s death had sparked such a release of energy and love that it tilted the axis of the earth ever so slightly.
It certainly catalysed a change of perspective and made the empathetic realised that they were not alone in a world dominated by the intellect. We could look around us and see that there were in the company of others.
For myself, there have definitely been times where I felt as though it’s been two steps forward and one back! I am not at all where I thought I would be 20 years ago. My path both in terms of career and personal life have not turned out as I anticipated in 1997.
It also feels weirdly odd and very grown up to think I can say things like 20 years ago !
Did your life plan turn out the way you thought it would or did your Soul have other ideas?
Looking back over the last 20 years what’s different for you today in comparison to then?
Watch the video above for more…