The ‘90s was a magical era. Those who were fortunate to be alive back then remember it as the era of hope, love, and happiness. One of the most beloved figures who best symbolized that era was Princess Diana.
Over three decades later, the story of Princess Diana still fascinates us, as audiences tuned in to watch Netflix’s season 4 of The Crown, which dealt with the late Princess of Wales’ story arc. And audiences weren’t disappointed. Diana’s character was depicted brilliantly by Emma Corrin. Many have commented on how the newcomer successfully nailed the part, from the romantic beginnings of the young Diana up to the point when her dreams came to an end as her marriage fell apart.
In every fairytale, the princess lived happily ever after. Sadly for our Princess, her life was far from a fairytale. There was no hope, no love, no happiness in her marriage. While it’s easy to point out her husband’s lifelong affair with his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles as the reason behind Diana and Charles’ unhappy marriage, there’s something more fundamental we can learn from her sad tale.
The Saddest Story of Princess Diana’s Life
In every fairytale, the princess is rescued by her prince. Feminist outrage aside, this arc in a fairy tale symbolizes the male’s willingness to fight for the woman he wants. And of course, the princess he fights for is the embodiment of virtue. Applying this to our everyday reality, it simply means that a good man, when he sees a woman who represents the good he sees in himself, would do everything he can in order to pursue her.
Sure, there are always women who are independent and don’t need or want a man in their life. However, for the true romantics out there – the women who are like Princess Diana – it’s an important aspect of their life that they should find a man to build and share a family with. And in order for her to be happy, it’s crucial that her life-partner is someone who properly embodies the role of masculine leadership.
A Masculine Man Will Gladly Fight for You
Diana might not have been the one for Charles, but neither did he fight for his One True Love when he allowed Camilla Parker Bowles to be hitched to another man. And Prince Charles knew that Camilla’s husband didn’t love her like he did. This was perhaps his greatest failure as a man, and it stemmed from his lack of masculine leadership.
Camilla was as much a victim as Diana, for had Charles “been a man,” she wouldn’t have had to have been relegated to the status of his mistress. And had she married him, she probably would have had children with the future King of England too. But Charles was weak, and he was bullied into a life he didn’t want for himself. If you don’t actively pursue the woman you love, then you’re a weak and passive man.
The Husband as a Leader
Prince Charles was known to be unfaithful throughout his marriage with Lady Diana. When it’s naturally the husband's role to be the leader, should it come as a surprise then when the princess followed his lead and engaged in the same infidelity herself? Obviously, Prince Charles can’t be blamed for Diana’s own infidelity since her action was of her own free will. However, we do know that Diana was willing to make their marriage work, but it would have been impossible for her to succeed when her own husband wouldn’t lead the way.
There's a good reason why men are traditionally expected to assume the role of leadership as the head of their family. Like great generals who could successfully lead the troops towards victory in a battle, the husband as the head of the household leads his family towards success. Prince Charles' failure to lead by example sets in stone the collapse of their marriage. You could be a great mother and a loving wife, but if you’re left without a strong leader, you’ll end up lost and stumbling alone in your relationship.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy for Princess Diana was, because she was such a feminine woman, she required a very masculine man who was strong enough to lead as a husband in her life.
Diana’s early death highlights just how short life is. And while the past is gone, no doubt we’re still able to learn from Diana’s life. We learn that, as a woman, our best chance of living happily ever after is to build our life with a strong and faithful man we can look up to as a leader.