Princess Diana funeral: Private burial 'immensely emotional'
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Princess Diana and Princess Grace both died in car crashes – Diana in 1997 in Paris, aged 36, and Grace in 1982 in Monaco, aged 52. But the two women had more than their tragic deaths in common, and were even friends, body language expert Judi James said.
Judi told Express.co.uk that Diana was only 19 when she met Grace, the Princess of Monaco, but there was an instant connection between both women.
She said: “When the soon-to-be Princess Diana met Princess Grace in 1981, the meeting between two iconic women could hardly have been more poignant.
“Diana was a long way from being the beautiful, adored fashion icon she became.
“At 19 she had just become engaged to Charles and was wearing the disastrous, ill-fitting black evening dress that showed off an over-generous amount of her cleavage.
“Grace was close to the untimely end of her life, an elegant, experienced princess in her 50s who was completely established in the roles that were still in Diana’s future.”
Diana and Grace were attending a London fundraiser evening when they met, with the young bride-to-be wearing a black strapless Emanuel gown described by herself as “two sizes too small”.
Grace, meanwhile, wore a purple tinfoil-like gown with long sleeves, her platinum blonde locks tied in a plait around her head.
Judi continued: “There appeared to have been instant empathy between Grace and Diana, with Grace consoling her over the dress and her nerves, allegedly using the very telling, prophetic phrase, ‘don’t worry dear, it will only get worse’.
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“Probably neither woman would have guessed it at the time, but they would have more in common than their marriages into Royal Families.
“It wasn’t long before Diana was learning how to work with the press and how to work the cameras like the professional star that Grace was before she even met her husband.
“And she also discovered, like Grace, her strong natural empathy with the public and children in particular, as well as her ability to use her popularity and profile to champion good causes and promote several charities.”
Both women were photographed with children – their own and the public’s – throughout their lives, looking genuinely interested in what they had to say, making them seem more appealing, affectionate, and loving in the eyes of their respective countries’ people.
Judi noted: “Diana and Grace shared a very similar and powerful form of charisma that allowed them to use their body language, rather than speeches or words, to create strong bonds of rapport and affection with the public.
“Grace’s camera techniques might have seemed like a given, thanks to her Hollywood career, but not all actresses can work off-script and even court popularity and adulation outside of their professions in the way she did.
“Diana had a similar ability to connect with people via the camera lens.
“Royals might be used to being photographed but nobody had leapt through the lens to connect in the very personal way that Diana did.
“It made people feel personally invested in her, with many people feeling they had lost a genuine friend when Diana died.”
Judi explained that both women used “an eye-connect or tie-signs” to “create this bonding” with the public.
She said: “When Grace was photographed cradling her new-born baby her facial expression and her eye-connect with the camera suggests she is sharing this very personal moment of joy with each of us.
“Diana would often throw small sharing glances at the camera too, creating moments of what felt like one-to-one communication.
“This very authentic style of affection from both women meant they were also great with small children.
“We can see Grace’s expression of total engagement and delight as she takes a bouquet from a small girl, and Diana would often find it was the children insisting on the hugs, which would have been a testament to her naturally warm personality.
“Both women were also emphatic when it came to the displays of affection and bonding with their own children.”
Judi added that “the other key ingredient both women shared was their ability to bring some magic into the Royal Families they married into”.
“Their charisma was shared, spread, and sprinkled on their husbands and their children in a series of beautiful family photographs that looked straight out of a glossy magazine,” the body language expert said.
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