• Jill

Remembering Princess Diana


Monday, August 31st marked the 23rd anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing. Maybe you do too. My young daughters were competitive Irish Step Dancers, and we were in San Diego at the

U. S. Grant Hotel, preparing for the next day’s competition, called a “feis.”

As my three girls romped around the hotel room, always a novel experience because we didn’t have reason to stay in many hotels, the news broke on the television that Princess Diana had been in a serious car accident. My mom actually called me in the hotel room (no cell phones then) and told me about the news in case I hadn’t heard it. She said that the news was reporting that perhaps Diana had only broken her arm, so I was hopeful that she would be ok.

And then soon after, we learned via the television that she had died.

My girls and I were quiet for a moment. I‘m not sure they understood the import of the news, but I did. I cried. The many moments after that, the flowers in front of Kensington Palace, the controversy over lowering the flag, the funeral, and those two darling boys walking behind the coffin, I remember it all so very clearly.

I have always felt a special kinship with Diana, because she and I, though a bit different in age, were married in the same year, 15 days apart in 1981. That summer, because of the royal wedding, everyone had wedding fever, and so my own wedding became the highlight of not only our summer, but also of many of our friends and family. We felt so special being married in such close proximity to the royal couple.

I was sad, and in fact, I still mourn over how things turned out for Diana. She was a dear thing, caught in the events of history, who was hunted as the most photographed woman in the world.

But hold on, I was going to talk about my garden! Because…I have a Princess Diana Rose! It was an Anniversary Present from my husband, and it is gorgeous! Cream with pink edging, and somehow it looks like her. Beautiful. Feminine. And it has just the slightest of sweet scents. I am anxious to see its beauty as it matures. I will be happy to be reminded of her in my garden.

It is a lovely tradition that flowers, especially roses, have been named after Royals. The English do love their gardens! Princess Diana also has a white rose and a clematis named after her. Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Anne have roses named after them as well. AND sweet little Prince George, third in line to the throne, just had a daffodil named after him!

It has become more and more common for roses to be named after celebrities, in fact. I also have a Dick Clark rose, and my friend Patricia has a Dolly Parton rose. But the prize in my garden this year, will be my Princess Diana rose, and I honor her today.

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