The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter: Always a Southerner, never a Royal

A huge portion of America has probably been clinging to their throw pillows and couch cushions just waiting for the final details of King Charles’ coronation in the United Kingdom to be announced.

This week it was revealed that Prince Harry will be attending his father’s coronation. Wife Meghan will remain in California with the children. All media outlets have been more than generous with their reporting.

Journalists have long attempted to explain people’s interest in the Royal family. Millions of Americans follow their happenings. The attraction could be just the uniqueness of their monarch style of governernment combined with our distance from it. It allows it to be viewed almost like a soap opera – countered by the nations literal ties throughout history.

I was a child when the then Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer got married. I was nine-years-old in 1981 and my awareness was limited to what the three network channels our rooftop antenna allowed – ABC, NBC, and CBS. There was also The Mobile Press Register, and the magazine covers I would read while waiting on my mother to check out at the grocery store. They were sources that showed only the beauty and romance surrounding it all. And somewhere within it all I decided that I wanted my hair to be cut like Princess Diana’s.

I ran it by Daddy, who had no issue with it. My mother was all for it. She figured if nothing else, short hair would be easier to fix every morning when getting ready for school.

Within a few days she drove me to downtown to the beauty shop in Thomasville where my Aunt Gale – a beautician – worked.

I went prepared. I took several picture of Princess Diana. She said she thought she could do it and with one flick of her wrist, she cast the cape around me, bumped me up a couple notches in the chair, and started snipping.

When she had finished, she spun me around to the mirror.

Fewer times in my life have I felt more disappointed.

Aunt Gale had done a fine job with my hair...but I still didn’t look anything like Princess Diana, and I didn’t look like myself anymore either.

But Aunt Gale was standing there waiting, and Mama was sitting there watching, and I am sure I tried to act like I was happy with it. I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. It wasn’t like they could glue it back on.

When we got home, I walked down to the garden and cried. I also committed myself to having long hair, and at 50, I still do.

The American audience for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 exceeded the audience for her wedding. It was topped only by the audience for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September of last year.

People will undoubtabley watch King Charles III’s coronation with the same interest. Queen Camilla will hold a deeply symbolic gold staff topped with a cross, and a second staff made of ivory surmounted by a dove during the service at Westminster Abbey on May 6. The one made of ivory has been held by every Queen Consort at coronations since 1685.

Watch, admire…but keep your own hairstyle.

Amanda Walker is a columnist and contributor with, The Birmingham News, Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at or at


Reader Comments(0)