Diane Louise Jordan
Diane Louise Jordan is a British television presenter best known for her role in the long-running children’s program Blue Peter, which she hosted from 1990 until 1996. She is currently hosting BBC1’s religious show, Songs of Praise. Also noted for her charity work, Diane Louise Jordan is vice president of the National Children’s Home in England.
When in late 1997 I was invited by the Right Honorable Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to sit on the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Committee, I was clueless as to why I’d been chosen. I was in the middle of a filming assignment in the United States when the call came through. Sitting on the bed in my New York hotel room, still with the receiver in my hand after agreeing to the chancellor’s request, I kept asking myself, “Why me?” The rest of the committee seemed to me to be high fliers of great influence or closely related to her. I was neither. I didn’t fit.
But, perhaps, that’s the point. A lot of us think we don’t fit, don’t believe we’re up to much. Yet the truth is we’re all part of something big, and we’re all capable of inspiring others to be the best that they can be. This is what Princess Diana believed. The Princess influenced and inspired many through her life, and now I had an opportunity to be part of something that ensured her influence would continue.
It was out responsibility as the Memorial Committee to sift through more than ten thousand suggestions by the British public to find an appropriate memorial to the life and work of the Princess. It was unanimously felt that the memorial should have lasting impact and reflect the many facets of Diana, so we came up with four commemorative projects: the Diana Nurses, a commemorative 5 pound coin, projects in the Royal Parks, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award, for young people between the ages of eleven and eighteen.
The Diana Award, as it is now known, was set up to acknowledge and support the achievements of young people throughout Britain. Each year the award is given to individuals or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to their community by improving the lives of others, especially the more vulnerable, or by enhancing the communities in which they live. The Diana Award is also given to those who’ve shown exemplary progress in personal development, particularly if it involves overcoming adversity.
I’ve been associated with the Diana Award since it was established in 1999. And now, as a trustee, I’m extremely honored to be further involved, as I believe that the award holders are a living part of the late Princess’s legacy. They represent the kind of brave, caring, idealistic values Diana admired and championed.
Like the late Princess, this award simply shines a light on what is already there, already being achieved. It’s as if Diana herself is telling the recipients how fantastic they are. The Princess said her job was to love people, and through this award she is still doing that.
Recently, I was at an award holders ceremony. I was overwhelmed to be in an environment surrounded by beautiful young people committed to wanting the best. Like Princess Diana, they all demonstrate, in their individual ways, that when we strive to do our best, whether by overcoming personal adversity or contributing to the well-being of others, it changes us for the better. We see a glimpse of how we could all be if, like Diana, we have the courage to expose our hearts.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, From Those Who Knew Her Best)