I have been obsessed with the Royals since the day Charles and Diana announced their engagement. I remember my Dad had on the World News or something one evening. They were talking about a Prince and a beautiful girl that was going to be a princess. What? You can BECOME a princess? I was instantly bitten with royal fever.
I would beg my mom to buy every single magazine with Diana's picture on the cover. I still have them all.
I have books, magazines, dolls, porcelain palaces. My most prized Diana possession is a hard bound edition of the Dresses auction catalog from Christie's. No one is allowed near it but me. I know the power of a toddler so this is stored away high above her head.
I remember my Dad getting up early with me to watch the wedding. I look back now and think this is completely out of character for my Dad but at the time I didn't even question it. He probably fell back asleep in his chair while I watched but we were still there together. He died two years later.
I followed the trials and tribulations of Princess Diana all throughout her royal life. I remember the day Prince William was born. I was at my grandmother's and I would keep going in the house to check on the news to see if the little baby was there yet. It sure seemed to take a long time for William to finally show up.
I honestly could not believe it the day the Palace announced that Charles and Diana were divorcing. I had read hundreds of books on the British monarchy by then and just did not see how that would ever be allowed.
I remember being so upset when I heard the news that Diana had been in the car accident. I stayed awake all night watching CNN for more information. Then when the word came that she had died, I was simply devastated.
Some people find that bizarre that someone would feel so strongly over a celebrity's passing. But I did. I think a large part of it was that my own mother had died suddenly four months prior to Diana. I missed my mother so much. I can tell you that there wasn't a single day for a year after my Mom died that I did not cry for her. And then to hear the news that Diana was gone was heart wrenching. Diana was something my mother and I shared. She started my Diana collection for me by bankrolling all the magazine and book purchases until I was old enough to do it myself. If she ran across a magazine she didn't think I had, she'd bring it home to me and we'd look at Diana's pictures and talk about her. With Diana gone, that was another connection I had lost with my own mother.
Even though I was in my twenties by then, I just remember my heart aching for those boys. To see them face her death and for them to be so strong reminded me that I had had a lot more years with my Mom than they would ever have with theirs so I needed to be grateful for that.
And, of course, the person that Diana was with the people that she met was extraordinary. We miss people like that when they are gone. She was a privileged girl who fell into a relationship of great wealth and importance but she did bring joy and awareness to a lot of people in her life.
And now that her first born is marrying, it just reminds me of all the things that I've experienced since discovering royalty so many years ago on that news program. Tomorrow morning I will be watching as this beautiful couple begins a life together. I will think about the times I have shared with these royals. Engagements, weddings, babies and funerals. I lived through some myself and I witnessed many of theirs.
It will make me remember my Dad and my Mom and I will smile. And cry. I'll definitely cry, too. Doesn't everyone cry at weddings?