Cape Town – This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the death of Diana – The Princess of Wales – The People’s Princess.
After her death on 31 August 1997, we first heard her new, unofficial title – "the People's Princess" – when then Prime Minister, Tony Blair gave a public speech to a nation in mourning.
"She touched the lives of so many others in Britain and throughout the world with joy and with comfort. How many times shall we remember her in how many different ways – with the sick, the dying, with children, with the needy... People everywhere, not just here in Britain, kept faith with Princess Diana. They liked her, they loved her, they regarded her as one of the people.
"She was the People’s Princess and that is how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and our memories forever."
Princess Diana’s death and the subsequent speech came just one year after her infamous tell-all Panorama interview with British journalist, Martin Bashir in which she may have connoted to the title herself. So we think she would’ve gladly accepted and honoured the given name.
When asked about marrying into the royal family, and the significance of what it all meant, Diana told Martin that although it was challenging, she wasn’t "daunted by the responsibilities" of her role as Princess of Wales.
"As for becoming Queen, it’s, it was never at the forefront of my mind," she said.
When asked specifically if she ever thought she’d become Queen, Diana said no, followed by an honest, quite heartwarming, response.
"I don’t see myself being Queen of this country," she said. "I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts."
The public often praised Princess Diana for her charity work and level of compassion for all those around her – so even though she was officially stripped of the title "Her Royal Highness" after her separation from Prince Charles, she continued to be a light in most people’s lives giving true meaning to her new title.
So although Princess Diana may not have been Queen, she will always be the chosen princess – the People’s Princess.