We all deal with grief in our unique way
It’s hard to believe it’s 20 years since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. As a tribute to their mother, William and Harry agreed to take part in a documentary, Diana our Mother, which I’m sure many of you watched this week. Of course, we all remember feeling so sad for William and Harry at the time, but it wasn’t until I watched them being interviewed that I fully realised the impact her untimely death truly had on those boys. It’s easy to think that they are royal so somehow their incredible wealth and privilege helps cushion the blow. It was apparent as soon as William and Harry began to talk about their mother just how painful the memory still is. I can relate to that – 25 years ago this week my wonderful daddy, Allan Burnett, died. That feeling that life will never be the same again is hard to deal with. I can’t think of anyone else, certainly in my lifetime, whose death would have been so shocking and for whom the whole world seemed to be united in grief as Diana, Princess of Wales. Then there was the speech given by Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, where he said Diana hadn’t needed a royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic. He appeared to criticise the press and paparazzi by saying she was the most hunted person of the modern age. He also talked of her blood family as opposed to the Royal Family. His speech was controversial at the time but no one could deny it was heartfelt and this was a man suffering from intense grief. Of course, we all were. Diana’s death touched us in a way that took us by surprise. It was as if when something as awful as that could happen to someone so loved and so wonderful, we were all somehow less safe and the world was more scary. And, of course, we kept thinking how on earth her boys would manage without her. Grief comes to us all and although some of us appear to deal with it better I think we just process it at different times. Certainly for Prince Harry, I think we realise that his somewhat wild, but never bad, behaviour was probably his way of dealing with his grief and now, for the first time, we are seeing an incredibly passionate and caring young man emerging who seems happy in his private life. This week has been dominated with the Charlie Gard case. Charlie’s parents now need to be able to say goodbye to their son and grieve in private. The whole media circus surrounding this controversial case has deprived them of time with their son in the last few weeks. Maybe they were wrong with their pursuit of further treatment but maybe if it had happened sooner it could have done some good. We will never know. Now is the time to leave them alone and let them just be Charlie’s mum and dad. We all, however, have to return to normality as soon as we can and life goes on. There are millions of people going through the same thing and their grief is just as bad as William’s, Harry’s and Charlie’s parents. That’s why the princes are perfect ambassadors for bereavement charities. It seems to give people so much comfort when they can talk to others who have been there. Diana’s legacy is the compassion of those two boys. She seemed to care very deeply for the charities she became involved with. She didn’t unveil the plaque or cut the ribbon and then just go home but she became wholeheartedly involved. Charles too though, is a passionate man. The Prince’s Trust does incredible work with young people and Prince Charles’s work for the charity seems to go way beyond what is required of him. Charles isn’t an outwardly emotional person because he has been brought up to adhere to protocol and not show his feelings, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel things deeply. Our Royal Family is changing. Feelings are being talked about and more compassion shown, but the Queen, whose ability to show how much she cares while remaining totally calm and serene will, some day, be a hard act to follow. Have a good week, Yvie X
Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith boycotted the Academy Awards in February last year as a stand against the lack of diversity among the nominations. Fast forward to July 2017, and Pinkett Smith is starring in Girls Trip, a female-driven movie focusing on four African American women as they embark on an outrageous reunion weekend in New Orleans.
It’s already enjoyed the biggest opening weekend for any live-action comedy in the US this year and looks set to enjoy a huge reaction in the UK too.
Maryland-born Pinkett Smith, 45, who has two children, Jaden, 19 and Willow, 16, with Smith, shares her thoughts on the movie’s success, what it means for the industry and how her other half might react to her on-screen antics.
The movie has had a fantastic opening weekend in the US, how are you feeling? It’s a wonderful feeling for so many reasons – to have a movie starring four women; to have a movie starring four African American women that so many audiences of many different backgrounds came to support. It really goes to show you what women can do
●when we really support each other, when we flow each other power. I always say one woman is every woman so no matter what our backgrounds are we have universal stories that we share and so I feel like Girls Trip is a prime example of that.
Have you found men are enjoying it as much as women? That’s another beautiful thing about Girls Trip, it’s not gender-specific. I’ve heard a lot of guys have gone to see this movie and not only liked it but loved it and so it goes to show girls can make movies that go beyond just “girls”, you know a so-called “chick flick”. Men can make moves like The Hangover and women can go and enjoy those and so this movie is definitely, in my opinion, breaking a lot of barriers in a lot of different ways and that makes me far more happy than even the box office. But then you need the box office in order for studios to
●even want to make movies like this again.
Money talks, so do you see this having a huge impact on the movie industry? It [money] does [talk] and it [the movie] also means a lot for women.
●The idea that just continuing to pave the way and to show improvements so that other women will be able to make movies like this as well.
There are outrageous moments in the movie, did you ever catch yourself on set and cringe?