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Times Colonist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada • 9

Times Colonisti
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Times Colonist Sunday September 7 1997 The Earl Spencer's Eulogy to his sister Diana, Princess of Wales Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997, at Westminster Abbey, London I STAND BEFORE you today the representative of a family in grief, in a country in mourning before a world in shock. We are all united not only in our desire to pay our respects to Diana but rather in our need to do so. For such was her extraordinary appeal that the tens of millions of people taking part in this service all over the world via television and radio who never actually met her, feel that they too lost someone close to them in the early hours of Sunday morning. It is a more remarkable tribute to Diana than I can ever hope to offer her today.

Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard: bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no Royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic. Today is our chance to say thank you for the way you brightened our lives, even though God granted you but half a life.

We will all feel cheated always that you were taken from us so young and yet we must learn to be grateful that you came along at all. Only now that you are gone do we truly appreciate what we are now without and we want you to know that life without you is very, very difficult We have all despaired at our loss over the past week and only the strength of the message you ga us through your years of giving has afforded us the strength to move forward. There is a temptation to rush to canonize your memory there is no need to do so. You stand tall enough as a human being of unique qualities not to need to be seen as a saint. Indeed to sanctify your memoi would be to miss oul on the very core of your being, your wonderfully mischievous sense of humor with a laugh that ben! you double.

Your jo) for life transmitted wherever you look youi smile ami the sparkle in those unforgettable eyes. Your boundless energy which you could barely contain. Bui your greatest gift was your iniuilion and il was a gift you used wisely. This is what underpinned all your other wonderlul attributes and if we look lo analyse what was about you that had such a ide appeal, we find it in your instinctive feel for what was real I impurlanl all our lies Without your God-given sensitivity, we would be immersed in greater ignorance ai the anguish of AIDS and HIV miIIcuts, ihe plighl of the homeless, Ihe isolation of lepers, the random destruclion of land mines. I liana explained lo me once thai was hei innermost feelings of suffering thai made il possible loi her lo conneel with her constituent) ol the rejected.

nd here we come lo another truth aboul hei Foi all the status, ihe glamor, the applause, Diana remained throughout I u'i insecure person al heart, almost child like in hei desire lo do good loi others so she i ould release hcrsell from deep leelings ol iiiiwonhiness winch her eating disorder were incrclv a symptom. The world sensed llus pai ol In i harai lei and cherished her loi her vulnerabililv whilst admiring hei lor her honest) I he lasi nine I saw Diana wa on lul) I hei birthday, in London, when lypieall) was not taking lime lo celebrate her special day wild friends bin was guest ol honor al a special charity fund laising evening She sparkled ol course, bill I would tallici chei ish ihe days I scnl with hei in Man li hen she i nine to isii me ami uiv i luldicn in oui Mr Mr m1 Hf 'Sr 'B Ml MMmI 1 ASSOCIATED PRESS The Earl Spencer delivers a eulogy to his sister, Diana, Saturday at Westminster Abbey. but an sing openly as you planned. lullv lesneel the heritage mlo which the) have both been bom and will always respect and encourage them in their royal nil we. like you, recognize the need lotto experience main differenl lol the home in South Africa.

I am proud ol the fact (hat apart from when she was mi dis pla) meeting hesideiil Mandela we man aged lo contrive lo slop ihe ever present paparazzi from gelling a single piclure "I her thai meant a lot lo hei These were days I will always treasure. Il was as if we had been transported back lo our childhood when we spenl such an enor motis amount of lime logelhet ihe two youngest in the family. Fundamental!) she Im I not i hanged at all from the big sister who mothered me as a baby, fought ith me al sk hurl and eiiduied tin -f Ion- n. unie)s between our parents' homes with me al weekends. Il is a tubule lo hei level li idcdness and strenglh thai despite the most hane like life imaginable allet hei elnldh khI.

she remained intact, Hue to heisell There is no doubt that she vva looking lot a new diiecliou in hei hie al this tunc She talked endlessly ol getting liom England, niainl) because ol ihe in iimenl tnat she received at the hands ol the news papers I don't think she evei undcistood whv her genuinel) go(Kl intentions were sneered al bv ihe media, whv there aiX'aied lo lie a permanent quest on their hcliall lo bring hei down II is baffling. M) own only explanation is thai genuine goodness is threatening to those at ihe opposite end ol ihe moral Spectrum. It is I point to mnemba thtil bl all the ironies aboul I )iana. peiliaps the greatest was this a girl given the name of the ancient god dess ol hunting was. in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.

She would want us today lo pledge ourselves to protecting her beloved boys William and 1 1 any from a similar late and I do this here. Diana, on youi behalf We will not allow them to suffer the anguish that used to regularly drive you lo tearful despair. And beyond that, on behalf of your mother and sisters. I pledge thai we. your Moot I laniily, ill do all we cm lo continue the imaginative wa) in which you weie steeling these two exceptional voung men so thai their souls are not simpl) immersed iitv anil tradition aspects ol life possible lo arm them spin 1 1 1 a 1 1 and cmoiioiiallv fa ihe veais ahead I know you would have expected nothing less from us.

William and Harry, we cared desperately lor you today We are all chewed up with the sadness at the kiss ol a woman who was not even our mother. How great your suffering is, we cannot even imagine. I would like to end bv thanking God for the small meieics he has shown us at this dreadful lime. For taking Diana al her most beautiful and radiant and when she had joy in her private life. Above we give thanks loi the lite "I a woman I am so proud to Iv able lo call my sister, the unique, the coin plex, the exliaoidinaiv and iircpU fable Diana whose Ivauly, both internal and external, ill never be extinguished Irom s.

OUI 111.

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