The Turning Point for Princess Diana

Will her sons protect her as she moves further into history?

By , Columnist

Diana was the future Queen Consort of the United Kingdom for 15 years, from 1981 until her divorce in 1996.

This is the moment when Diana starts to slip away into history; the tipping point after which the public's experiences of her as a living Princess will be outweighed by the time without her.

Diana was the future Queen Consort of the United Kingdom for 15 years, from 1981 until her divorce in 1996.

She died in Paris 15 years ago, on August 31, 1997. Fifteen years of service to her country, balanced by 15 years of absence.

As her public ages, and her era fades, how will she be recorded in history?

So far, not very kindly.

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Her former colleagues in The Firm (also known as the senior royals in The House of Windsor) spent the past year celebrating a Diamond Jubilee. In the official summaries of the events and personages that made up The Queen's exemplary reign, how was Diana commemorated?

Not at all.

In the thrilling series of photos that played across the face of Buckingham Palace the night the Jubilee celebrations peaked, which picture did they show of the most photographed woman of the 20th century?

None.

One million people gathered on the streets of London to hail The Queen on her Jubilee. The same number had stood silently in London during Diana's funeral.

Diana was a person of great significance to her country and to the world. The campaign to minimize her in her country's history is shameful.

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Diana's only recent significant public recognition has been from her sons. Prince William spoke of her on his engagement day and placed her ring on his fiancee's hand. Prince Harry often mentions his mother as a role model in his charity work, and both sons are taking up her special causes.

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Within her own Spencer family, Diana was remembered this year when her brother Earl Spencer named his new daughter Charlotte Diana.

Recent biographies of both Diana and Prince William make ill-founded allegations that Diana had personality disorders. These attacks on the Princess have gone undefended by the press offices at Clarence House and Buckingham Palace.

Harry is soon to be 28 and William is 30. They have done an admirable job in preserving family unity by welcoming the former Camilla Parker-Bowles as their stepmother. They now need to turn their energy to preserving the reputation and public memory of their mother, or the campaign to vilify and trivialize Princess Diana will be successful.

DListed, Zimbio, Daily Mail

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Charlotte Germane dishes the dirt on gardening in newsletters, radio shows, newspapers, and blogs. Follow her on Twitter to get the latest trowel-full of news. She live-blogged the Royal Wedding for The Morton Report and has series of royalty columns here.

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