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Maureen Messent: What would the 50-year-old Princess Diana be like?

Maureen Messent: What would the 50-year-old Princess Diana be like? Princess Diana would have been 50 today, had that car crash in a Paris tunnel never happened. What would she have been like? Maureen Messent speculates.
SHE left us with unanswered questions. She shot through the world like a comet, dragged the reactionary House of Windsor kicking and screaming in to the 20th century and bequeathed us two splendid young men.
Then we woke up on an August morning in 1997 to the news she was dead – killed in a Paris car crash as she dallied with one lover to make her true love jealous. But suppose there’d been no accident. Suppose Diana was alive today, last seen at her son’s marriage to Kate Middleton, as eye-catchingly svelte as ever?

Most likely she would have kept a home in Britain until her sons left school or university, but her real home would have been in America – Diana, who was not bright, would have been instinctively wise enough to know she needed a second husband with clout enough to set her up in an American setting rivalling the Kennedy’s Camelot.

She always said she wanted a daughter. Isn’t it likely this blue-blooded little girl would have grown with the attention appropriate to Diana’s child, become an icon of the American dream while still in her cradle?

And Diana’s new husband? He’d have been old American money, an Ivy Leaguer with a spread in Kentucky say, and a power-base in New York from which his wife could sashay daily to lunch with fund-raisers and giggle at gossip behind her bejewelled hand.

All the time, though, she’d have been in daily contact with William and Harry, her overriding loves. Look at the princes today if you doubt that deep bond: Diana fought – and won – the battle to spare them the regimented House of Windsor childhoods that stunted Charles and his siblings. That picture of a very small Charles shaking the queen’s hand as he met her after another long Royal overseas tour may be sweet. But it revealed then, as now, an isolated child, unused to affection.

William and Harry, at similar ages, were caught hurling themselves in to their mother’s arms after an absence. Or roaring with laughter as they and she emerged drenched from a fun fair log flume ride. No prizes for knowing it was Diana Spencer, not Elizabeth Windsor, who showed innate maternal wisdom.

Age doesn’t mar beauty, merely matures it. At 50, Diana would have shuddered at the thought of face-lifts or body enhancements. These, she would have known, were for the insecure, the less well-bred who felt diminished by wrinkles and minor sags. Why would this woman, mother of a future king, feel insecure? The cameras she chased in her salad days, she would know now, wouldn’t go away. They would need her more than she needed them. At the time of her death, Diana was in love with cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan, a plump Pakistani who’d take her to lunch in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sundays, who had introduced her to his closest friends.

By: Maureen Messent|Birmingham Mail