|The badge of the Prince of Wales, with the|
motto "I serve"
Amazingly, the four most recent Princesses of Wales spread across more than two centuries. This is partly because there were two periods of time with a female heir (Victoria and Elizabeth II) and therefore there was no Prince of Wales to marry a Princess of Wales. Secondly, one of the Princes of Wales (Edward VIII) did not marry until after he had both ascended and abdicated the throne. So, two and a half centuries has yielded four Princesses of Wales, including two who married the same Prince Wales (the current heir Prince Charles). These four women are Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, Lady Diana Spencer and Camilla Shand, better known as Camilla Parker-Bowles.
|by Nick Parfjonov via Wikimedia Commons|
But, not everyone agreed, and some strongly disagree about the Diana's greatness, noting a negative aspect to her celebrity and behavior. The Royal Watcher @saadsalman719 shared, "IMHO Diana was the most damaging PoW to monarchy (much more than Caroline of Brunswick) because of her celebrity and personal issues which she exploited!" So, clearly we will never all agree on the Saint Diana versus Demon Diana debate regardless of the Camilla rivalry.
Nevertheless the larger-than-life popularity of Diana clearly shines through this poll. Perhaps Larissa Bona @LarissaBona captures the Diana phenomenon most succinctly. "Diana was a global icon," she commented. "She was bigger than her title and has also managed to outshine her ex-husband and keep him forever in her shadow. She's the most iconic Princess of Wales so far." All of which seems fairly accurate for good or for bad to me. (For my own conflicted take on Diana, read my post Diana and Me.)
|by Robert Jefferson Bingham from the Royal |
Collection via Wikimedia Commons
On the downside, within her close circle and extended family considered her a bit selfish, particularly when it came to her almost smothering affection for her children, who called her "Motherdear." Many believe that she prevented the marriage of her youngest daughter Victoria (click for my profile of Victoria) in order to always have a companion with her. In our poll, Alexandra garnered a fifth of the votes with 20%. (Here is my profile of Alexandra.)
|by Kelvin Johnson via Wikimedia Commons|
Even for those, who picked Camilla, it was not necessarily an easy choice. "Camilla and Alexandra were the best," wrote Zef Dahlia/QRC @nelainedahlia93. "It was a hard decision to pick but my choice went to Camilla. Similarly, The Royal Watcher struggled: "My favourites are between Camilla and Alexandra, who have grace, poise and a strong sense of duty!" All of which are appropriate characteristics for women who married men whose shared motto as Princes of Wales is "I serve." (You can read my profile of Camilla. I also have a post about whether she will be Queen one day.)
|from the National Portrait Gallery via Wikimedia Commons|