I made many decisions in my life. Some good and some bad, though I believe all meant to be all part of my journey, all for a reason. But bringing you into the world and becoming a mother was, is, and will always remain in a separate category. You are one of the best decisions I ever made... you are one of the best days of my life.
Joy does not begin to express the emotion and pride I feel now though, because as I write this, one of my best days is about to experience one of his. And if I were there beyond spirit and in the flesh, this is what I would say:
William, you were born with much, if not most of your future already planned, a difficult fate for me to digest as a mother. But this -- this day, this marriage, this love -- is a choice. Your choice. And what a flawless choice you've made. So embrace her, respect her, and just as you always do, give her everything you are.
Treat your new role as a husband neither as a duty nor an expectation, but as an opportunity and a gift. I prayed for the Royal family to welcome true love over love based in "should" or "supposed-to" - though I never expected it to become a reality. But it has. True love is now winning. So protect your new role as a husband in love and protect it fiercely. Know it is sacred and make it your own.
If I were there I would tell you to be kind, gentle, reliable, and open. Make certain your wife feels safe not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Do not speak for her, speak with her. Do not live for her, but with her. Do not lead for her, but lead with her. Dry her tears, as you always did mine. Be honest, be faithful, and invite your marriage to be the space in which you are your fullest and most genuine self.
Everything else, sweet Wombat, I have no doubt will be found inside your remarkable self. Just listen closely enough... especially in the moments it seems other people's voices are working tirelessly to scream over your own.
And Kate, gorgeous, poised, and real - I am so pleased that William has chosen you.
I know people will compare you to me, they will wonder if you should or shouldn't be like me, should or shouldn't look like me, and so on. Know this my love: the only woman you are responsible to represent is yourself.
My legacy, I believe, is often misunderstood. I did not leave this earth hoping people would remember me by assuming they should be as much like me as possible. I left with hope that people would be inspired to be as much themselves as possible. And that includes you, my daughter.
The truth is, I'm thoroughly impressed with you. You are prepared, in love, and moving into this next chapter of your life with the proper information. You know what to expect, and you also know who you are. This combination is one that is rare, and one that you are blessed to embody.
If I were there I would say...
William and Kate, when I became a mother I knew there would be pressure and expectations to behave a certain way. And while I respected those expectations and understood them to the extent that I could, I knew motherhood was a role that would have to come from my heart, from my soul, and from myself. From my perspective, there was no other option. So, that's what I did. And I have no regrets, only pride as a result. Today as you become a husband and wife, I want to offer you the permission to do the same.
Pave your own path, create your own story, be your own selves, love each other truly, madly and deeply. That is all the advice you need.
May today not only be one of the best days of your life, may it be just the beginning... the beginning of choosing the life you deserve. With more than love and three hugs for you both, cheers to your true love.
In spirit, in the stars, and in your hearts,
(photo credit of William and Kate: Mario Testino)
View gallery: Diana: A Mother's Love