Royals

When will it be time to stop talking about Princess Diana?

Twenty years on from her tragic death, is it time to leave Princess Diana's memory in peace?

With last night's Diana, Our Mother documentary, her now grown-up sons Princes William and Harry finally took charge of their mother's legacy 20 years on from her tragic death in a car crash in Paris on 31st August 1997.
And what a legacy it is: celebrated for her forward-thinking charity work, which included raising the profile of the danger of landmines and removing the stigma associated with AIDs sufferers, as well as her fashion sense, there's no denying that the public perception of the People's Princess is an overwhelming behemouth with a life of it's own.
Indeed, Harry touches on the subject during the programme, commenting on the overwhelming public outpouring of grief that stemmed from her death, which he found puzzling: 'How is it that so many people who have never met this woman, my mother, can be crying and showing more emotion than I was feeling?'
That there is still a great amount of fondness for and interest in the late Princess of Wales is evident in the breadth of documentaries and TV programmes dedicated to her life: there are at least 3 more scheduled just for 2017. Last year, Kensington Palace mounted one of its most popular exhibitions focussing on her clothes. This summer, some of her personal affects are on display at Buckingham Palace. If you want a piece of her, you can buy it at auction: most recently, her Audi convertible sold for £80,000.
Equally, the Duchess of Cambridge is constantly drawing comparisons with her late mother-in-law for everything from the clothes she wears to the charities she supports, while Prince Harry is often praised for the similarities he shares with his mum - namely his approachability, work ethic and even his cheeky nature. Camilla, the woman Prince Charles had an affair with and who he subsequently married, has had to remain cautious of drawing criticism from those who are still firmly in the #TeamDiana camp.
Her sons have consistently kept their mother's memory alive through events - such as the Concert For Diana in 2007 - as well as drawing on their experiences of grief for their support of mental health charities such as Heads Together. Earlier this year, Prince Harry hit the headlines when he shared his struggles with depression and anxiety following her death with Bryony Gordon on her inaugural Mad World podcast.
For the first time, William and Harry spoke candidly about Diana as a mother in the documentary.
Yet with this last, legacy-defining documentary, is it time to finally draw a line under the People's Princess? Tortured during her lifetime by the paparazzi (William reveals photographers would spit at her to get a picture of her crying) with her every move fodder for innumerable column inches, perhaps it is time to leave Diana to rest in peace.
This story first appeared on Grazia