The “Dianassance”

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You’ve probably seen the TikToks, the tweets, or the Instagram stories. You may have seen the new season of The Crown on Netflix or listened to the chart-topping podcast You’re Wrong About’s series on her. Or maybe you’ve just noticed more people sporting the big sweatshirt/biker shorts look. Whatever it may have been, it does not take a detective to realize that the People’s Princess, better known as Diana, Princess of Wales, is having a huge moment right now. 

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Diana has always been a beloved figure, since she first was introduced to the public during her engagement to Charles, Prince of Wales. She was dubbed as “England’s Rose,” due to her eye-catching beauty and pleasant demeanor. Throughout her marriage to Charles, and even after their divorce, she was known for her commitment to those in need and her soft spot for the disenfranchised. Notably, she was integral to the United Kingdom’s, and the rest of the world’s, understanding of HIV and AIDS, as well as breaking the stigma around the illness. 

She was also hailed for inventive fashion that transformed the landscape of celebrity style for years to come. Donatella Versace once said that she doesn’t think that “anyone, before or after her, has done for fashion what Diana did.” Most fans of her have a favorite Diana look, whether it be something bold, like the iconic black Christina Stambolian “revenge dress,” or something whimsical, like her sheep sweater. Diana made everyday street fashion what it is today.

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Princess Diana can also be credited for changing the landscape of celebrity gossip. British paparazzi followed her every move and had moles placed in every facet of her life. They followed her on private island vacations and custody visits with her children. The British public, and everyone else, was obsessed with gossip about Diana, whether it be about her suspected affairs or new boyfriends. Diana’s subsequent death was due to that demand, where her and her new partner, Dodi Fayed, were killed in a car crash while being chased by photographers. 

While admiration for the Princess spans all ages, genders and races, one group that seems to feel a special connection to Diana is black and brown mothers, especially within the United Kingdom. While there have been no formal studies to document this phenomenon, many credit it to the similarities disenfranchised women feel to a young woman trapped in a painful relationship. Black and brown women also admire her seemingly selfless kindness and good nature.

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Many young people who were previously unaware of Princess Diana have been introduced to her as of late, especially after the November release of season four of The Crown on Netflix. This has spawned tons of teen-created media, especially TikToks, that document the tumultuous life of Diana. People have been shocked by the intimate details of her betrayal-filled marriage, as well as her daring fashion choices. New fans have also begun to turn on Charles, and his new wife, Camilla, Duchess of Wales, due to their affair during his marriage to Diana. Netflix has a plethora of Diana-focused media besides The Crown, including the documentary Diana, in Her Own Words. 

It is not a surprise that new love for England’s Rose comes back with every new generation. She exemplifies everything one would expect from a princess, while also being relatable to those who are imperfect while trying to seem perfect. As Elton John said in the 1997 version of Candle in the Wind dedicated to Diana, “Your candle’s burned out long before/Your legend ever will.”


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