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The final knife in Princess Diana’s back

The final knife in Princess Diana’s back

The final knife in Princess Diana’s back
March 06
12:00 2022

A piece of the world died when it lost Diana, Princess of Wales. The news of her passing rippled around the world. Grief struck the hearts of everyone enamored with the real-life Disney princess. She belonged to the people. She was one of them. She was real, classy, beautiful, smart and generous. She was rebellious and revolutionary. And she was cheated on. And she struggled with an eating disorder. And she was alone. 

Queen Elizabeth II has just released a statement revealing Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will take the throne alongside Charles. Camilla will act as queen consort when Charles inevitably becomes king. The queen consort, which is the wife to the bloodline monarch, is a societal rank equivalent to the king without political and military power. 

The queen had maintained that Camilla would never be queen out of respect for Diana. This change was the final blow. She had been, very publicly, cheated on. She had been embarrassed in front of the world. Years after her death, the royal family still has not let go of their grasp of Diana’s legacy. To this day they remind the world that Diana will never be queen.

Princess Diana’s legacy is flooded with iconic moments. The day after Prince Charles revealed he had been cheating on her, she premiered a cultural shift for women everywhere: the all too remembered “revenge dress.”

Donning a skin-tight black cocktail dress, Princess Diana was front-page news for her bold wardrobe and the undeniable message it sent: a metaphorical middle finger to Charles and the royal family.

In 1995, Diana bravely revealed her struggles with postpartum depression, bulimia and self-harm during the downfall of her marriage. She was the first member of the royal family to shatter the persona of perfection. As a birthright of royalty, Princess Diana had already been a global icon, but she was also a human being. 

Since her death in 1997, 11 actresses have played Diana. Notably, Emma Corrin was praised for her work in “The Crown.” At the time of publication, Kristen Stewart is nominated for an Academy Award for portraying the late royal in “Spencer.” It is undeniable that the people’s princess’ legacy is still prevalent more than 20 years after her passing. 

The announcement of Camilla’s queen consort role comes in the wake of the queen testing positive for COVID-19. Despite Charles’ own age of 73, he is not likely to be survived by his 95-year-old mother. He will be king. He will have a queen. 

One of Diana’s greatest impacts was her humanitarian work. She was the first royal to meet hospitalized AIDS patients without protective gear. For many, she contributed greatly to the destigmatization of HIV and AIDS. She was instrumental in helping fund cancer research, raising over $1 million. She even took her sons to visit homeless shelters where she advocated for better homeless youth resources and support. 

While Camilla does do important work for survivors of sexual assault, literacy and osteoporosis, most of her humanitarian work involves luxurious country tours across the globe with her husband. One of these travels brought them to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where their laughter at Inuit throat singing was highly criticized online as “disrespectful.” 

Their royal rule promises to be conservative, as they are far past the usual retirement age, and near the average age of death. Camilla will likely continue her international tour, giving a speech here and there. But she will never be as personable, down to Earth or as remembered as Diana. 

Princess Diana did not die in vain. Her legacy will never be ignored. She will forever be the people’s princess. In some of her most famous words, “I lead from the heart and not the head”. 

Featured Illustration by Erika Sevilla

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Alyssa Fields

Alyssa Fields

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