Prince William and Kate Middleton

And so it begins…

Hardly was the announcement of Kate Middleton’s engagement to Prince William out when the nit picking began.  First it was a report about Ms Middleton’s style of dressing – how much skin she could or could not show without appearing common. Then came the comparisons between her and her would-have-been mother-in-law, Princess Diana; followed by professed shock at the amount said to be set aside for the young couple’s wedding in April (40 million dollars, alleged a source).

And now the latest clamour is about her weight: how skinny, or not skinny, she ought to be.

Every bride wants to look her very best on her wedding day: Kate Middleton is, or should be, no different. But to hear, or read, the brouhaha going on in the British media at the moment, one would think that just because she is marrying a prince Ms Middleton should stifle that which makes her human like the rest of us by not exhibiting this most common of bridal’s fretting.

One can’t help but wonder what Princess Diana would have thought of all these.

As a tribute to their love for her, it is alleged that the British public left between 10,000-15,000 tons of flowers at St. James Palace, Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace, after her death in a car crash on August 31 1997, in Paris. The flowers, along with thousands of poems, letters and children drawings were their way of expressing their love, and sorrow over the death of their beloved princess.

Ten years later, on August 31 2007, the 10th anniversary of her death, the British public still mourned their “Princess of Hearts” – as Diana was often fondly called – as more flowers were laid at Kensington Palace, her former residence.

These are all good initiatives to honour a woman who did a lot to alleviate the sufferings of the less privileged, especially that of children – she was one of the few public figures who openly touched and hug AIDS victims.

But one wonders what they would ask for, if the dead had a say in the kind of tributes they were offered.  What kind of tribute would Diana, the “People’s Princess ” request from her people, if she could speak?

With the current craze to excavate and dissect even the most minute detail of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s life, that, indeed, is a question worth asking.

Those who knew her during her lifetime knew of Diana’s great love for her children, Princes William and Harry.  Even within the confines of the ultra-formal life of the British monarchy – and probably because of it – she was never at pains to hide the love she had for her children.

The say that to whom much is given much is also expected.  If British public really values the memory of their “Princes of Hearts,” and the impact of her selfless services to the less privileged, isn’t it time it rewarded her selfless services by giving back something that would be of more value to her than mountains of flowers?

If Diana, the Princess of Wales could speak now, I bet that like every mother the world over, her heartfelt request would be for the benefit of the children she left behind; that those who profess to love her should allow her children the one thing that would have meant the world to her, which she never had – a certain degree of privacy in their personal lives.

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