In 1997, Princess Diana – now known as “the people’s princess” – was killed in a car crash in Paris. She was just 36.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of the royal’s death, Jamie Lee Curtis has penned a post about her “great role model”.
Taking to Instagram, Curtis explained that Princess Diana – along with her sons, Princes William and Harry – paid a visit to the cast of 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda.
“She was to visit our set deep in the gardens of Pinewood Studios with her children and we waited for her all morning,” recalls Curtis. “Then, when we took a break midday, I raced via golf cart to my dressing room to use the restroom.
“While I was in there someone came knocking on my door saying that Princess Diana and her children had arrived on set and as I raced back in the golf cart, they were already walking away.”
The actor continued: “The next day I wrote her a note explaining my nature break and how disappointed I was not to tell her, in person, how much I admired her.
“A hand-delivered letter from Kensington Palace, on her stationery, came the next day thanking me for mine and understanding completely the need for nature to take its course. We exchanged a hope that we would get to meet in the future.”
Describing how she felt to learn of Diana’s death just a few short weeks later, Curtis continued: “I remember turning off the television knowing what the media was going to do. I picked up a book on meditation which was next to my bed by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfeld.
“In it, it said that at the time of death, people who try to live mindfully, ask themselves only two questions. Did I learn to live wisely? Did I love well?
“I thought about her and her life and the choices she made and how brave she was, how she reached out to that young man with AIDS before anyone did, the minefields, mental health and so much more and how much she loved her children, the image of them running into her outstretched arms after a long trip.
“It gave me comfort that although her life was short, it was complete.
“She was a great role model for me. An example to live by. I honour her this day.”
Curtis is not the first to criticise the media for the role paparazzi played in Diana’s death.
Just a few weeks ago, Prince Harry admitted that the lack of respect shown by some photographers over the death of his mother left him furious.
Speaking in Diana: 7 Days, a new BBC documentary, he said: “I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her through into the tunnel were the same people that were taking photographs of her, while she was still dying on the back seat of the car,” recalled the prince.
“William and I know that, we've been told that numerous times by people that know that was the case.”
Harry continued: “She'd had a... quite a severe head injury, but she was very much still alive on the back seat, and those people that... that caused the accident, instead of helping, were taking photographs of her dying on the back seat.
“And then those photographs made... made their way back to news desks in this country.”
Harry has made a point of opening up about how his mother’s death has affected him, in a bid to raise awareness about mental health.
Earlier this year, he said that he had come close to “a complete breakdown” on numerous occasions after repressing the death of his mother.
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” said the royal, speaking on podcast Mad World.
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”
Images: Rex Features