#WCIW: Princess Diana
The People’s Princess.
Humanitarian. Devoted Mother. Style Icon.
Twenty years after her death, Princess Diana remains one of the world’s most influential women for all generations. She was the epitome of the modern woman. She was a style icon. She was a mother. She was an activist. She was a complex, emotional, passionate public figure who tried her best to use her social status to affect real change in the world.
In her time, she became a prominent philanthropic force and used her wardrobe as one of her most powerful tools of communication. Diana embodied glamour, intrigue, duty and deep tradition which made her the most famous face on earth. A single photo of her could ensure that a magazine, tabloid or newspaper would immediately fly off the shelves.
Diana worked tirelessly on behalf of charities around the world using her fame to raise awareness of many important humanitarian issues. During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, when many public figures would not even dare to speak about the virus, Princess Diana visited AIDS patients in hospitals, sat on their beds, touched them with her bare hands. At the time, many feared that skin-to-skin contact with an infected person would cause others to contract the disease. Diana helped to put that misconception to rest. She used the media’s fascination with her to bring awareness to other issues, as well. She walked through an active minefield in Angola to show the world the horrors of the weapons, and to support a Red Cross effort to create a world-wide ban on them. She visited homeless shelters in London, New York, and across the globe, sometimes even taking her sons with her so that they would not live their lives sheltered and unknowing in palaces.
The media attention that Princess Diana brought to her causes and charities during her lifetime can still be felt today while her legacy continues to grow in the lives of her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The Princes have been adamant about supporting their own causes, which recently have included a platform on mental health--a taboo subject that was close to Diana’s heart, as well. Together, along with William’s wife, Catherine, they have created an organization called Heads Together, which is working to break the stigma of speaking out about mental health and treatment. The trio even released a short video during which they very openly discussed the issue and how they have dealt with it in their own lives--particularly after the death of Princess Diana. It seems a fitting legacy for such an amazing individual.
For her iconic style, global humanitarian work, and lasting legacy through her children... Diana, The People’s Princess, is this week’s #WCIW. To learn more about Heads Together and the fight to normalize mental health, please visit headstogether.org.uk.