Way back when, Wednesdays

Diana lookalike

Have you ever tried to be like your favourite celebrity?

Never underestimate the popularity of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The Leader Messenger reported on the engagement of Juanita Steele and Jeffrey Smith, on page 11 of the edition dated 23 November, 1983. I was struck by the resemblance between Juanita and the late Princess Diana. Below you can view photographs of the happy couple and also of Princess Diana taken in 1983.

diana-lookalike

So why did women want to look like Diana and style their hair in the same fashion? If you don’t remember Diana, she was attractive and well dressed. However, she was more than just a fashion icon. The world media presented Diana as the young, innocent girl who had married her Prince Charming. Although born into the English aristocracy, she became known as ‘The People’s Princess’, a modern woman who was more accessible than the rest of the Royal Family. Diana wore party dresses and swimwear, she went out dancing and regularly visted a gym outside the Palace in her exercise clothing.

diana-in-pearls

It has been said that Diana could manipulate the media for her own purposes. Depending on your point of view, this can be viewed as clever or calculating. There are some that doubt Diana’s sincerity but her gentle nature appealed to ordinary people, who perceived her to be genuine and caring.

Diana never behaved snobbishly. She was always happy to stop and speak with people and children in the crowd. As part of her royal duties, Diana became interested in charitable causes and in a break with protocol she let young children touch and hug her. She supported children’s charities but she also took on topical issues, campaigning against landmines and promoting awareness of AIDS, a disease which was surrounded by fear, misinformation and controversy. Diana was compassionate and accepting of others. For example, she visited gay AIDS sufferers in hospices, holding their hands to dispel the myth that you could catch HIV through touch.

Diana was also loved for a role as a mum. Breaking with tradition, Diana refused to leave baby Prince William at home, bringing him along on the trip she made with Prince Charles to Australia in 1983. There are many photographs and camera footage of Diana enjoying time with her two sons, at home and on holidays, behaving naturally and showing them affection, which is in contrast to the restrained mood of the older promotional films, featuring the Queen and her children.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

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