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Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Prince George

by Ilana Angel

July 24, 2013 | 10:27 am

Diana, Princess of Wales. Photo by Nick Parfjonov

After being pregnant for about a year and a half, Catherine and William finally had their baby, a son.  It is very exciting. I got caught up in the hoopla and watched the live feed outside the hospital for the big announcement.  I think they are a lovely couple and it is such a happy time for them. They are the future of the Monarchy and their story is a romantic, but realistic fairytale. I wish them health and happiness always.

To see them walk out of the hospital with their son was wonderful, but I could not help but think of Princess Diana. I was home with my brand new baby when Diana died.  I remember watching the news and praying that she would be okay.  When it was announced she passed away, I went to get my son out of his crib, I held him close, and I cried.  I cried throughout the night for a woman I did not know, but loved. I remember that night well.

When I was a young teenager, my family lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Princess Diana and Prince Charles came to Canada for a visit.  It was pouring rain the day they came and people were waiting for them in Point Pleasant Park.  I waited in the park for hours to get a glimpse of Diana.  When they came I maneuvered my way to the front and I saw her up close.  I actually reached out to touch her coat and it was a moment I truly treasure.

She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was a Princess and I loved her. To see Catherine today, in a polka dot dress, as Diana had worn when she introduced Prince William to the world, made me cry. I remembered the woman I admired and cried for so many years ago. I remember when she died I thought if someone like her could die, so could I. It shaped how I love my child because there are no guarantees.

As the days led up to the birth of the new Prince, I found myself thinking about how Prince Charles would handle commenting on his grandchild.  Would he acknowledge Diana? No. The bigger question was would he refer to his wife Camilla, as being a grandmother? I held my breath to see what Charles would say, or not say, about William’s mother. When he finally released a statement, I read it and cried.  It was perfect and I was moved by it.

"Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild. It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy. Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone's life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future." – Prince Charles

For Charles to acknowledge this is his grandchild and not Camilla’s, mattered to me.  Had he said it was their grandchild it would take away the moment from Diana.  This is her first grandchild, and it is heartbreaking that she is not alive to share in it all. Sad things happen all the time, and being a royal does not prevent you from experiencing sadness like the rest of us.  Prince Charles was kind, decent, appropriate, and respectful to Diana’s memory.

While all babies are royalty to their parents, this little boy will grow up to be the Kind of Great Britain, and I imagine he will be raised as William was, and that will add to the legacy of his grandmother.  She was a wonderful mother and allowed her children to be as normal as is possible in their situation.  I think we will love Kate as a mother in the same way we loved Diana.  At the end of the day, when you take away titles, they are just people like us.

The divorce of Diana and Charles was scandalous.  It was like a soap opera with the key players sleeping with everyone but each other.  I was not a fan of Charles of Camilla during that time.  The truth is he was a pig and she was disgusting.  That said, they have love.  They had love then, and they have it now. I am happy for them that they were able to be with their beshert, but the cost paid was high, and those choices contributed to Diana’s death.

Every family has drama and skeletons.  No family is perfect, or without scandal, and the truth is that the royal family probably has more than most. The spotlight is on them so we hear about it all. In the end who cares? What I do care about is that Diana be remembered and given the title of grandmother.  William always honors his mother in subtle but lovely ways, and this week Charles did the same. I am grateful and keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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