November 2020 Guest List: Diana, Princess of Wales

November 2020 Guest List: Diana, Princess of Wales

By Tarleton Walmsley

In the summer of 1997, I was 14 years old and not at all interested in the Royal Family, to the point that I didn't really understand the impact of Lady Diana's passing in August of that year.  I'm still mostly uninterested, but like everyone else I've been binging The Crown and there's no denying the growing fascination I have with Diana. I know I'm super late to the conversation and I wish I'd been paying attention back in the day instead of writing bad poetry and obsessing over Billy Corgan. And yet, it's my imaginary dinner party, so join me in inviting Diana over to dinner this month. 

There are so many things already written, already said about Diana. But if I had her over for dinner, we'd start with sapphires. Why? Because that is my birthstone, I adore sapphires and diamonds, and I think we'd connect over our shared love of them. Plus her crown-turned headpiece look is *everything* (see above photo).
We would also talk about Diana's charity work, and specifically I'd love to know what it was like helping to change people's perceptions of AIDS/HIV in the 80s--back then it was still thought that HIV/Aids could be passed from person to person simply by touch, and yet Diana made international news when she shook hands with a patient without wearing any gloves. The gesture went a long way in raising awareness about the disease, and helped change people's flawed perceptions.
Finally, we'd talk music and dance. According to this season of The Crown, and a little Googling on my part, Diana loved both. I'm super curious if she and bestie Elton John ever came up with some song and dance numbers together. One would hope, and who knows. Maybe there's some lost footage out there waiting to be discovered. 


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