Princess Diana memories: ‘I grieved for my lost twins the moment the Royal died’
AUGUST 31, 1997, is a day when the world reeled in horror. Beginning as a tiny ripple early that fateful morning, it quickly progressed from disbelief to shock, to horror… until it seemed that the world had stopped.
Life stood still and all that was familiar and comforting ceased. All around were people in shock; their faces etched with disbelief and their lips questioning, “Why?”
It was the day we heard that there had been a traffic accident in Paris. Diana was involved. She was slightly injured – she was badly injured – she was dead.
I know exactly where I was and what I was doing.
For me there were other reasons for that feeling of suspension – the realisation that the world is there but you are not quite a part of it, the feeling that grief has enveloped you, dragging you into the deepest, darkest depths where there is no escape – a great, vast bottomless pit. I was deeply shocked as the news broke and for the briefest moment I was distracted from my own worries – the briefest of moments.
As I watched the horror of the Paris tragedy unfurl I was dealing with the realisation that the baby I was carrying had probably died. On holiday the previous week, the pain had been excruciating. I was unable to move, cemented to the spot, feeling as if I was being punched over and over and over in my side. The shock was intense. Then came waves of sickness which threatened to overcome me, followed by the sign I feared most of all – those dark, red spots of blood.
Fear hit me instantly. Was dark blood good or bad? Should I rest? Should I seek help? And then the pain would subside and the holiday would continue, and foolishly I thought that life would go on. My husband Andrew and I had continued with the holiday in the Isle of Wight for the sake of our two-year-old son David.
Then, on August 31, 1997, in constant pain, the tears coursed down my cheeks unchecked. Something was dreadfully wrong. As I listened to the news unfold I was shocked beyond belief. It couldn’t possibly be true could it? Princess Diana dead? And my baby?
I was rushed to hospital. The nurses bustled around me. “Did you hear the news? Princess Diana has died.” I nodded bleakly adding silently in my head, “My baby has, too.”
My operation was booked for the next day and my night was tortured with that unanswerable question. Why? The nurses chatted to ease my fears. “Isn’t it awful about Diana?” they said. “Isn’t it awful about my baby?” I screamed silently. But what was the point? It was nothing compared to the world’s loss.
They brought a television to help pass the time and I spent the week watching funeral preparations, discussions and recriminations. Diana had died – it was a national tragedy. I grieved for her and for her two young sons and I grieved alongside for the baby I had wanted so much but the horror continued.
It wasn’t a miscarriage as I had thought but an ectopic pregnancy. The tube hadn’t ruptured. They’d been able to remove it in time – the tube and the baby. I’d been lucky, they said. I’d lost my baby but I’d been lucky. It meant nothing to me. I was unable to comprehend that another day of that excruciating pain and I might have been dead, too.
The grief continued and the black hole got deeper. It’d been a twin pregnancy. My lack of comprehension must have been there for all to see. As the confusion showed on my face I was gently told that there had been two babies – one ectopic and one not.
I watched the funeral along with millions of others from the moment I woke until I lapsed into troubled sleep.
I grieved with the rest of the world for the “People’s Princess” – a beautiful woman and mother who worked tirelessly for those less fortunate. I grieved for the loss of a life so young, a life of promise snuffed out unexpectedly without warning and in the most shocking way. I grieved alongside millions of others for the loss of a princess and I grieved alone for my babies – for the hopes and dreams that would never be realised, for the gap in my family that shouldn’t be there, for the lives that were never meant to be.
August 31, 1997, is one of those days for ever etched in history. The day the nation lost its princess. The day my babies ceased to exist.
I am now 53 and mum to David, 22, and twins Robert and Emily, 18. I never met Diana but as we approach the 20th anniversary of her tragic death, I think back to that vibrant and beautiful woman and I still grieve for that loss, for her sons and for the grandchildren who will never know her, and I grieve for my babies, for the young people they would have become and for the life they might have led.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Tragic Death, Robert and Emily, Anniversary, Vibrant, Grandchildren, twins Robert and Emily