August 31, 2017 – Today marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. She, along with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, died as a result of injuries sustained after their driver, Henri Paul, slammed into the 13th pillar in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris. Henri Paul also died. Trevor Rees-Jones, Diana’s and Dodi’s bodyguard, suffered permanent injury.
I previously wrote a tribute to Diana for The Washington Post Magazine, and I do not believe I can improve upon it. Since it is jumbled together with other letters to the editor if you view it here, the letter, printed on December 21, 1997, is reprinted below in its entirety.
I AM 36, THE SAME AGE DIANA WAS when she died. Although I was born six months earlier than she, it was I who looked up to her. She helped me find myself; I would not be the woman I am today without her influence. Contrary to what Richard Cohen would have you believe, a person need not negotiate a peace treaty or be elected prime minister to make a positive impact on the world. Princess Diana radiated love to the world around her. She touched the lives of two generations of women, and we will remember her grace, her style and her loving heart for the rest of our lives.
ELSA L. FRIDL
There will never be anyone like her. May she rest in peace.