Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Tatiana  de Rosnay

Madelyn  Curran 

Princess Diana's Royal Life and Death

Tatiana de Rosnay: Discovering Family Secrets

Tatiana De Rosnay’s novels revolve around the discovery of family secrets and the lives of the people who resolve them. Julia Jarmond, of Sarah’s Key, is determined to figure out the story behind Sarah Starzynski, a young girl during the Vel d’Hiv in Paris who crossed paths with Julia’s father-in-law back in 1942. Antoine Rey, of A Secret Kept, does everything he can to understand who his mother really was and what she was hiding from the rest of the family, thirty years after she has died. Rose Bazelet, of The House I Loved, hides her rape from her husband, Armand. She is constantly reminded of this trauma and its consequences and never finds the courage to tell Armand the truth before he dies. The central characters of Tatiana de Rosnay's novels discover more about themselves as family secrets are revealed. Although members of these families originally keep these secrets as a means of self-preservation, it is only when the truth comes out that the characters feel some kind of closure, which allows them to reestablish a connection to their family.

The theme of family secrets in de Rosnay’s novels is similar to that of Princess Diana as most people believe her death was planned, executed, and kept secret by the British royal family. Princess Diana was known as “the People’s Princess” due to her community outreach efforts and connection with common British society. More than twenty years after Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997, there is still no definitive answer as to who her murderer was. However, evidence suggests that people even as close as the royal family, her boyfriend’s security crew, and the paparazzi, all could have been involved. As soon as the car crash happened, thoughts surrounding Princess Diana’s death spurred conspiracy theories. Despite a rigorous investigation, there remains no clear consensus concerning her murderer. While most remember the tragedy of Princess Diana’s death, in her lifetime, Diana worked compassionately with people suffering from HIV/AIDS and raised two sons, William and Harry, who continue her philanthropic work and advocacy.

Major Works Consulted:

Andersen, Christopher. The Day Diana Died. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
de Rosnay, Tatiana. Sarah’s Key. New York: St. Martin’s, 2007.
---. A Secret Kept. New York: St. Martin’s, 2009.
“Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason.” TLC. Accessed February 26, 2018. vshows/princess-diana-tragedy-or-treason/full-episodes/princess-diana-tragedyortreason.
Photo Credit: “Tatiana De Rosnay.” Amazon.