March Celebrity Edge: Diana: A Defense of Divorce

***Editor’s note: some of you have asked for me to post my earlier columns from 944 Magazine. Here you go! Enjoy. c

Divorce was the best thing to ever happen to Princess Diana.It wasn’t until recently, walking through the new Atlanta Civic Center exhibit, Diana: A Celebration, that I realized the truth: It was the divorce, not the marriage, that truly defined who Diana was to become.

As a little girl, I was one of more than a billion people who watched as Lady Diana Spencer walked down the aisle. Seeing her fairy tale wedding, it was easy to accept the Disney-induced delusion of happily ever after. I believed that marrying a prince was the best thing that could ever happen to a girl.

Containing 150 personal items from her life, both before and after the palace, the moving exhibit also includes video clips from the princess’ life, including a standout shot of her crying in a red coat, after kissing Prince Charles goodbye. Years later, she revealed those tears weren’t a result of him leaving, but were because she felt so lonely even when he was home.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you I’ve never been married, so I don’t know what it feels like to be divorced. But, I have endured countless break-ups and one thing I definitely know for sure: Whether you want him back or not, the best thing you can do is pull yourself together and concentrate on being your best self — that person you were when he fell in love with you in the first place.
Remember when Nicole Kidman, in the wake of her divorce from Tom Cruise, remarked to an interviewer that it was nice to wear heels again? It’s a trite example, but I think it represents a larger exploration of her independence, and a revival of parts of her personality that were dormant during her marriage.

I’d assert that what all three women have in common is that they didn’t take separation and divorce lying down. Instead they showed courage, and used it to embrace their unexpected solitude. I once heard divorce compared to a series of sequential car accidents slamming into you over and over again.

In my case, after breaking up with the man I expected to marry, I didn’t tell my mother for a week. I was too embarrassed to say it out loud. I remember feeling like people on the street could somehow see that I’d been demoted, reduced to being just half a couple.
I think we all go through something similar. But then, like Nicole, we pull our high heels out of the closet and start living again. In Diana’s case, she dropped her affiliation with 95 percent of her charities and chose instead to focus on the handful of organizations most meaningful to her.
Much is made in the exhibit — on display through June 13 — of how her fashion sense matured in the wake of severing her obligation to palace protocol. But I find it more remarkable that she raised 7 million dollars for charity by selling a collection of her dresses at a New York auction.

Could she have done these things as a married woman? Of course. But, in defense of Diana’s divorce, it wasn’t until afterward that we finally saw the woman she was truly meant to become. 

Corinna Allen is the entertainment reporter for Better Mornings Atlanta, airing daily from 5 – 7 a.m. on CBS 46.

2 Responses to “March Celebrity Edge: Diana: A Defense of Divorce”

  1. Hey girlie. This is really great. Thank you so much for sharing it. It really resonated with me, as I’m sure it does with most women.

    • corinnaallen46 Says:

      Thanks you so much for visiting, and for taking the time to write. I am always humbled and amazed to hear that my writing has reached anyone — let alone touched them. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing. Where can I keep up with your work? Best — c

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