‘Ar Di’ – the legacy of the people’s princess

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Princess Diana Spencer left behind a long-lasting legacy. Her son Prince Harry, despite famously distancing himself from the Royal Family in stepping back from his duties, recently flew across the Atlantic for the unveiling of a statue in his mother’s honour. Upon seeing it, he mouthed a single word: “amazing”.

Princess Diana is widely accepted as my generation’s favourite royal – her popularity has been bolstered through the creation of internet memes, as well as Emma Corrin’s award winning portrayal of her in the Netflix series ‘The Crown’. Numerous social media groups, particularly on Facebook, have been set up in her honour. Members of these groups affectionately refer to her as ‘Ar Di’.

“I wonder what Ar Di would have ordered at Spoons”
“If Ar Di had wheels she would be a bike”
“Ar Di would have been in the queue outside Flat White”

These are just a flavour of the kind of quotes found in the archives of social media, where people from all over the world join together to discuss the Princess and preserve her memory. Her legacy, however, is far more than the laughter and joy brought by such light-hearted foolery on the internet.

Princess Diana overturned the cold and distant image of purple royalty, and extended a warm hand reaching far into the depths of society.

By far the most important aspect of Princess Diana’s legacy is that she helped the Royal Family to look compassionate, namely because she was involved in much notable charity work. She was frequently pictured comforting the vulnerable in society – lepers, the terminally ill, and the victims of land mines.

She is also widely regarded as a gay icon for her charity work with gay men suffering from AIDS. Despite the fact that Diana was herself from a privileged, noble background, she overturned the cold and distant image of purple royalty, and extended a warm hand reaching far into the depths of society. Whilst doing this, she always radiated happiness.

What makes Princess Diana’s legacy even more ‘amazing’ is the fact that, during much of her time in the spotlight, her marriage was crumbling. In the 20th century, the image of an independent woman with a warm heart being actively and progressively engaged in society, despite issues in her personal life, was empowering.

Princess Diana’s image was one of encouragement for women around the world, because it showed that even whilst dealing with marriage troubles, one could still muster the courage to do good and live a fulfilling life.

Of course, Prince Harry’s tight relationship with his mother is very well known – he stated in his now famous Oprah interview that part of his reason for stepping down was because he didn’t want to lose another woman close to his heart, as he felt the pressure of the media and public attention building upon his wife Meghan Markle (and baby Archie).

Meghan’s struggles with the British press suggest that history is repeating itself and the paparazzi are still crossing boundaries with female Royals, infringing upon Meghan’s personal life just as they did with Princess Diana’s.

She wanted to be a “queen of people’s hearts”. She achieved this wish, and continues to hold this very legacy posthumously.

Noticeably, Harry and Meghan are upholding Diana’s legacy by continuing their charity efforts, even across the ocean. When put into the limelight, one is presented with an excellent opportunity to make a positive impact on the world, and that was certainly something Princess Diana did.

She made the most of her time in the spotlight of the public eye to highlight the struggles of the vulnerable; those who have fallen through the cracks. As such, she left behind a legacy that encompasses those often forgotten by society.

In an interview just a couple of years before her death, the Princess said that she wanted to be a “queen of people’s hearts”. She achieved this wish, and continues to hold this very legacy posthumously. Not only has she essentially become a cultural icon, but she arguably remains by far the most socially influential of the Royals.

As we look at the ‘amazing’ Princess Diana statue commemorating her would-be 60th birthday, let’s remember the long-lasting legacy that she created. Let’s especially commemorate what she represents to the LGBTQ+ community, to the emboldening of the independent woman, and all those across the world who celebrate Ar Di as the queen of their hearts.

Image: paisleyorguk via Flickr

One thought on “‘Ar Di’ – the legacy of the people’s princess

  • TLDR: people liked Diana because she wasn’t stuck up. No way, seriously? So like they could relate to a member of the royal family, and suddenly instead of a quasi-God fearfulness, there was an attitude of admiration. Because like the Good Samaritan, she was the mother the nation was missing, she was Mary, she gave birth to some kids but we only hear of wonder kid Jesus, sounds like an ego boost.
    Most nice people are unhappy, it’s mentally draining to be nice in this world because sometimes you finish your first year and have a panic attack a week before results day, sob down the phone to 999 who ask if you’ve been taking drugs/ got 5 different heart problems/have a warm chest. And then 6 minutes of gasping to breathe later, say um basically the ambulances are busy 🙁 rip. Drive yourself to A&E, or hang up. Lol we’re not like other health services, we’re quirky and different and ask a person who can’t breathe if they’re pregnant 🙂 you think I have males in my life? My head’s exploding and you care more about my future children that’ll be born when I find a man who has the emotional maturity of a person, not a carrot. Carrot and stick hahahahahahahahahaha jokes.
    And you’re like rip (literally) fr bro I can’t breathe, like George Floyd/Britney Spears. The oppression is insane but like it’s chill because that happened a month ago and it’s my parents birthdays so I can’t be a rubbish daughter and ruin them so I guess I’ll pretend to be happy and normal lol. Also these adverts you’ve got are creepy, I just got one that had this dark stone angel saying you’ve got one unread message from your guardian angel??? Um I’m aware it’s 3.39 am and I haven’t slept in 20 hours but I’m a tad busy preserving Di’s memory.
    She’s in heaven okay, she’s been rewarded after the chaotic, restrictive conservatorship that was the Royal Family. This is people adapt to their surroundings, she was chosen by men for her kindness – her male family members, her less than ideal husband, the male-dominated CofE that the Queen is the head of in the UK.
    The thing is it’s actually the queen we should be celebrating. Diana was a troublemaker because being kind to strangers is illegal in the UK, has been for some time, before you were burnt at the stake, now they just section you and put you under a conservatorship lmao.
    Queen Elizabeth II damn she’s lived through a lot of rubbish, all the wars, no wonder she’s got OCD, lining up her dolls as a child etc, she’s been burdened with a country that’s falling apart. So basically NTA?

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