Today we remember Diana, Princess of Wales. She tragically died on the 31st August 1997.
She was perhaps the most scrutinised woman of the 20th Century, as press from all over the world ferociously fought over the latest image or scandal. This put the Princess of Wales in a catch 22 situation. Caught between an everyday woman and a princess, mother and style icon, homemaker and celebrity; Diana became a unique global icon, marrying the romance of a fairytale lifestyle, with respectfully raising two children. This lead to worldwide appeal to know every detail about the complicated Princess of Wales.
But beyond the sparkling celebrity and painful controversies that surrounded Diana, what we remember about her is her enormous generosity and compassion. She worked tirelessly to better this world and used her influential position to improve the lives of those less fortunate.
As part of her royal duties, Diana frequently visited hospitals and scheduled public appearances to support various charities. During this time, the Princess of Wales’ compassion grew, and her interest in serious illness lead her to perform duties that were outside expectations. She soon championed campaigns to highlight AIDS and Leprosy, which were devastating the third world.
In her home country, she became patroness of charities and organisations that worked with the homeless and drug addicts, crossing the broad class distance to truly make a difference. From 1989, Diana was the President of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.
In the year of her death, the Princess of Wales displayed an intensely public support towards the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Focusing her work in regions that had recently suffered conflict, Diana was concerned that these brutal weapons remained active even after a war had passed, and was becoming an increasing risk to innocent lives – especially children. She worked to pass the Ottawa Treaty. which would impose an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. Although she never saw the acceptance of the Treaty, the UN appealed to nations that produced and stockpiled landmines to agree to the terms of the Treaty and move a step closer to extinguishing the risk of landmines. The campaign received a Nobel Peace Prize and 156 countries signed the Ottawa Treaty.
Diana’s compassionate works remain helped to define her character, and this compassion lives on today.