I wasn’t through with my first decade when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. I vaguely remember watching and being, of course, mesmerized by her flower girls. It was a beautiful beginning. In later years, I remember catching shots of her on magazine stands–the wonderful picture of her boys running into her arms on the deck of a ship, the whimsical shot of her (again with the boys) on a log flume in (I think) Disney. The stories, of course, got darker–bulimia, marital problems, infidelity. Then, there was the tragic end.

Young Lady Diana with her loving and vulnerable heart struggled to find herself under the constant glare of the international spotlight. She became even more fascinating because her life was so complicated. As she grew, she shed her slouch and, later, practically trademarked a bold and winning smile. By the time of her divorce, the world knew she had been constantly seeking love without satisfaction. But she went on, with head high, organizing for her next cause and guiding her boys to the verge of adulthood. She defined herself separate from the tremendous forces that were trying to shape her. She was so vulnerable and so strong.

I, like many, was inspired.

When Prince William announced his engagement this week, the love between him and his Kate just emanated from the pictures. Here were two strong, stable young people, mindful of their responsibilities but clearly happy and rooted in one another. They appear to have the kind of love Diana spent her whole life seeking.

Now, instead of thinking of a tragic Paris car crash, I can think of those beautiful images of her with her boys–and the fine young man her little prince turned out to be.

Blessings on William and Kate.

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