You will have heard the story by now. Prince marries hard working commoner after a brief engagement – a modern fairytale- but I can tell you it wasn’t like that. How do I know? I was there.
I first met Cindy when her father began dating my mother. An only child of older parent she was used to being indulged. When her mother died unexpectedly her father poured all his love and energy into her. When he met my mother, she, keen to win his approval did the same thing leaving us, her daughters, out in the cold. Cindy was an attractive girl in rather an obvious way: long blond hair, a nice figure and beautifully presented. She filled her days with good works, making sure that the papers always spelt her name correctly. When the Gala was announced, she told us she was too busy with her “work” to be bothered with such a trivial event so imagine out surprise when she arrived dressed to impress and honed in on the Prince. No-one stood a chance. She was at her charming best and the Prince was smitten. An engagement followed soon after.
They say history is written by the victors and this was certainly the case with Cindy. She fed the media stories of her troubled childhood and unhappy family relations. These stories, initially fodder for gossip columnists and royal commentators, later made the front pages of mainstream media where they were established as fact. This, along with the efforts he had made to find and be with her after the Gala, reinforced the fairytale. In the end they married. While I don’t begrudge her success I can’t help but resent the rewriting of events and of family history and I wish that the public knew Cindy as I do.
© Julie Henderson