To Orwell Today,
I so enjoyed reading this and seeing the pictures at VISITING PRINCESS'S PLACES. I am online trying to find a map of Princess Diana's apartments at Kensington. So far, no luck. I am reading Paul Burrell's second book in which he describes the décor of the rooms and shows photos. But I can't see in my mind how the rooms were laid out. I never saw a two-floor apartment before. I enjoyed his first book so much that I wrote to him and he wrote me back. I think he was a really good friend to the Princess. Sometimes I think the Royals get so hung up on being Royals that they forget they are human beings, too. Maybe only an American could appreciate Princess Diana. She sure appreciated us.
I have been an Anglophile all my life. My dream was to go to England. My daughter and I went in 1999 when I was 60 years old. I felt instantly at home. We stayed at a hotel a block from Harrod's, across from the Victoria and Albert Museum. We rented a car and drove around the countryside. I forgot that I wasn't at home in Auburn, AL. USA until I saw the prices were in pounds instead of dollars. That trip was a dream come true.
Thank you so much for writing this page and posting it,
Geralynn M. Morgan
I'm so glad you found the Princess Diana section of my website while on your search for maps of Kensington Palace. To me, Princess Diana is a spirit whose presence can be felt and I think everyone in the world who cried when she died, and remembers her still, are feeling her spirit.
I agree with you that Paul Burrell really was (and still is) a good friend to the Princess. His words ring true. Thank heavens we have someone setting the record straight, especially all that crap about her and Dodi Fayed having any sort of future together. They didn't even have a past - she hardly knew him. She got conned into going on that cruise when a friend had to cancel and so old Al Fayed from Harrods took over and stuck her with his son. Also, she got conned into going to Paris. She was expecting to go home and had been wanting to go home for days upon days. But she was powerless in the clutches of the powerful old men who were always throwing themselves at her under pretense of taking care of her interests.
That's great that you made it to England at long last. It's starting to change alot now. There's no more double-decker buses or old red phone-boxes or those old black cabs and lots of other things are missing too. And it's getting really expensive. But still, there are hundreds of little villages and places steeped in history to see while we still can. There's the old saying "There'll always be an England" but I think, in the future, it will not resemble the England it always used to be.
Coincidently, I just finished reading Paul Burrell's second book THE WAY WE WERE last week and savoured every moment of it [photos scanned above].
I'd been on the lookout for when it came out in Canada as I'd read about its upcoming release and some bad press Paul was receiving over it. That only proves it must be good if the "grey suits" (who run the gutter press) don't like him. He's got too much soul, and, as Burrell says in the closing pages of the book, Britain lost its spiritual guidance a long time ago. Here's an excerpt from pages 255-256 where he explains Diana's spirituality:
"...The princess was a deeply spiritual person. By this, I don't mean she believed in the afterlife or, as her psychic Rita Rogers may have put it, 'the other side'. It went much deeper than that.
"She believed there was a realm beyond the physical presence; answers and meanings that came together to create an individual's pre-planned destiny. It wasn't a belief that stemmed from Christianity: she believed in God and embraced all faiths, from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism, Islam to Hinduism. It was a belief that grew from her own life experience and reading, and she believed that the journey of the soul was far more fundamental than the journey of the body - the shell, as she saw it, of the soul....In that regard, she was someone who 'thought outside the box'. Ultimately, her philosophies combined to bring about one thing: the growth of the human spirit.
"Some of those who work in the media, and others naturally inclined against her, may dismiss this aspect of her character as eccentric, especially in Britain - for me, this country lost its faith and spiritual guidance long ago. It's now a place where anything more than the old prayer is dismissed cynically as 'God squad' or 'wacko'. But as the princess would have said, "Judgments are limitations.'
"Whether her deep sense of spirituality makes you laugh or frown or even sparks interest, this was what the princess was all about; this was how she thought, and those were the deep-rooted beliefs that guided her in everything she did. She was always looking for ways to expand and enlighten herself..."[end quoting from 'The Way We Were' by Burrell]
All the best,
PS - That's so nice that Paul answered your letter. He probably learned that courtesy from Diana. Remember how in both books he says that she used to write "thank you notes" to everyone as soon as she got home at the end of the day? In his mind's eye he sees her at her writing desk in the sitting room with her feet resting on the big soft hippo cuddly and it's wonderful that he shares those photos of her desk and sitting room with we readers.
PPS - Orwell was another author who used to write to readers who wrote him. The latest book, THE LOST ORWELL, includes a letter he wrote to a fan, even as he lay dying in his hospital room, discussing the points she'd brought up in her letter. See also ORWELL SAW GOD IN MAN.
PEOPLE'S PRINCESS & PRINCESS'S PEOPLE and DIANA BETRAYED BY SO MANY
Excerpt from latest Diana book ('The Way We Were' by Paul Burrell). ABC News, Oct 2, 2006
To Orwell Today,
That is very kind of you. I still have not found a drawing of the layout of the Princess' apartment. I will keep looking. I forgot to inlcude this: DIANA SAINT MARTIN'S BELLE
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