When her wedding day arrived, I had big plans and permission to stay up all night. My mom and I went over to a friend’s house to watch the festivities with another mother-daughter team. Little did I know that 750 million other people around the world were doing the same thing. The day was filled with yards of ivory taffeta and lace, a sparkling tiara and flowers galore, but what I really remember is that her hair didn’t hold a curl and she messed up Prince Charles’ name during their vows, calling him Philip Charles Arthur George instead of Charles Philip. But you know what? It made me like her even more. At the end of that summer I got my hair cut short, read every book I could on the queen-to-be and was the envy of all my friends when I received the 2-foot Diana doll – wedding dress, tiara and all. Needless to say, Diana grew up and so did I. Her fairy tale ended long before the car accident that took her life, and at some point I recognized that she had flaws, like the rest of us. Her charisma and high ideals, however, made a difference. People still care deeply about Diana because she took the time to care about them. She believed hope and compassion made the world a better place. It might sound simple, but that’s why her spirit is still alive in the hearts of millions. If I only knew that 16 years after Diana’s magical wedding I’d again find myself up in the middle of the night glued to the TV, along with 2.5 billion other people, watching her boys walk behind her casket. On the casket, tucked into a spray of flowers, was a notecard from Harry that had “Mummy” scrawled on it. This time there were no midnight snacks and cups of sparkling cider. I was alone, humming “Goodbye England’s Rose.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! And I did. A preschool teacher was going to marry a prince. So what if he wasn’t handsome? He was a prince. I remember when photographers captured her in a skirt without a slip and the light outlined her legs. While we shared her embarrassment, my mother took full advantage of that moment to remind me why slips are a must. On the day Prince Charles and Lady Diana announced their upcoming wedding, she wore a brilliant blue ensemble that matched her eyes and sapphire-diamond engagement ring. But it was her nervous, shy demeanor, her chewed-on nails and flushed cheeks, that fill my memories. She was beautiful, but not like Barbie or Cinderella. This was genuine, her eyes said so. TEN years and where did they go? I got married, bought a house, had babies. Time flies for me now. But in the summer of 1981, July 29 could not arrive fast enough. I was just 10 years old, and I had Royal Wedding fever. Yes, I was – and still am – a Princess Diana (not Di) fan. My colleagues gasp, my husband chuckles, my boss rolls his eyes, but my affection for Diana remains. From the first time I saw Diana, she melted my heart, but I was too young to know why. I just wanted to follow her every move like the rest of the world.