All Di, All the Time: Mum's the Word

Could it be? Has it really been almost a decade since Princess Di died?

Apparently so. And to commemorate that still unreal anniversary, this summer I’ll be able to choose from no fewer than seven new books about the people’s princess to stuff into my beach bag, with a total of 14 to be published in the remainder of 2007. God, you wonder, how can they possibly find something else to say about her in addition to the gazillions of articles, books (180 titles and counting), and movies (most recently, the much-lauded “The Queen”) that the public has already inhaled over the past decade? (Hint: one of them, “Diana Style,” channels the late Princess through her clothing choices.)

I admit it. I am a shameless Diana-phile. And while I don’t collect the Di tea cozies and commemorative spoons, I do read (somewhat obsessively, the hubby strongly suggests) just about everything that continues to be written about her. So just what is it about this pop culture princess that continues to fascinate me and my fellow adoring Di-addicts? For starters, take the media-anointed “Di,” a breezy nickname that conjures up images of just another gal pal, albeit a veddy, veddy posh one with fab clothes, a to-die-for tiara, and a spiffy accent. (You know, ‘Hey guys, we’re meeting up with Trish and Jess and Di later, wanna come?’)

And while I know in my head that she wasn’t "just plain folks," in my heart there was something about her that I couldn’t help but relate to. I mean, who hasn’t made a mess of things sometimes? Made a less-than-appropriate wardrobe or boyfriend choice? Had some issues with the in-laws? Yet, even now, ten years later, it’s the memories of that giggle, the ready smile, and her touching efforts to reach out to those less fortunate, that remain. That, of course, and her loving devotion to her two boys.

Because our faux friend-who-was-really-a-royal was pretty much universally recognized as a terrific, loving mum. I know I’m not the only one who looks at her handsome sons and, give or take a few typical adolescent missteps writ large on the public stage, thinks “Job well done, Di. You would have been so proud of them.” And when it all comes down to it, what mom among us could hope for a better accolade? That’s why this one is off to order her summer reading list at

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