Portrait of the Healer Idealist®: Princess Diana
“This is me, this is me!” exclaimed Princess Diana when she was read Dr. David Keirsey’s portrait of an INFP. In 1991, her masseur, Stephen Twigg, had given her a copy of Please Understand Me to help her understand the spiritual journey she was undertaking. Her excitement came as Stephen read the Healer Idealist (INFP) portrait, which in part says:
“Healers care deeply and passionately about a few special persons or a favorite cause, and their fervent aim is to bring peace to the world and wholeness to themselves and their loved ones. They base their self-image on being seen as empathic, benevolent, and authentic. Often enthusiastic, they trust intuition, yearn for romance, seek identity, prize recognition and aspire to the wisdom of the sage.” [Please Understand Me II]
According to Diana: In Pursuit of Love, a book released in the Summer of 2004 by Andrew Morton, Diana’s unofficial biographer, Diana was astonished and amazed by the portrait’s accuracy. At that time, Diana was in the midst of dealing with her dissolving marriage to Prince Charles while at the same time beginning to recognize her “potency as an international icon,” and the fulfillment she felt from helping others in great need. Taking the Keirsey Temperament Sorter confirmed what Diana had known by her intuition, that her gift was that of a Healer. She used this new-found knowledge as a foundation to what she wanted to do with herself for the rest of her short life. The portrait of the Healer Idealist goes on:
“It may be that Healers seek unity within themselves, and between themselves and others, because of a feeling of alienation which comes from their often unhappy childhood. INFPs live a fantasy-filled childhood… They are the Prince or Princess of fairy-tales… Healers come to see themselves as ugly ducklings… They wonder, some of them for the rest of their lives, whether they are OK. They are quite OK, just different from the others — swans reared in a family of ducks.”
Interestingly, Diana fit the description of Healer Idealist to a tee because she was initially viewed as fairy-tale Princess, who felt like an “ugly duckling” but really was a “swan.” To the outside world she was viewed as one of the beautiful people — she seemed to have it all. However, inside Diana felt like an “ugly duckling,” or, as she put it her own words at one time, “lower than a Bosnian peasant.”
She became the most popular princess in modern history, despite all the power of Windsor and St James courts arrayed against her because she overshadowed Charles publicly, and eventually would not keep quiet about his mistress and lack of love for her. She became a famous public example of the Healer Idealist, despite her monumental self-doubt and the power of the British Crown. Prince Charles and the Queen should have realized temperament is powerful force, and nothing can get in its way.
Even in childhood Diana lacked self-confidence. Her parents had divorced when she was young and her mother, Frances, left but failed to get custody of her children, partly because Frances’ own mother, Lady Fermoy, had sided with Diana’s father. Diana, only six at the time, did not understand why her mother left. She felt abandoned and blamed herself for the failed marriage as kids often do in that situation. This kind of childhood turmoil has a very great impact on a Healer. Dr. Keirsey says, “Healers find it difficult to believe in themselves and to trust themselves.”
She grew up as a shy but likable student but didn’t excel in her schooling. Being the third girl of a nominally aristocratic family, no real plan was made for her regarding her schooling or career, so she was quietly allowed to drop out of a finishing school in Switzerland at age 16. Without high-paying skills, she worked as a quasi-nanny, baby-sitter, and charwoman for her upper crust friends and family, appearing very much like a Cinderella. As many Healers are, Diana was a natural with children, and started working at a kindergarten.
Blossoming into quite a beauty, she was probably on the path of becoming a schoolteacher when she was acquainted with Prince Charles, who was being strongly pushed by his Royal parents into getting an acceptable, pliant, royal wife and to produce an heir to the throne. The beautiful Lady Diana Spencer, young at 19 compared to the Prince at 32, was definitely from an acceptable British family, her father being the Eighth Earl of Spencer.
With a fairy tale wedding and delivery of two children, Diana created a very positive public role. Almost too positive — the Brits and the world went gaga over Diana, virtually ignoring Charles. Moreover, Charles had found his young, naive, and emotional needy wife not to his liking. Additionally, he found her sicknesses caused by bulimia to be annoying and he soon started to ignore her as well as becoming verbally abusive. Not able to verbalize her frustration, she cut herself and tried to commit suicide.
“In their mating role, Healers have a deep commitment to their vows… Healers cling to their dreams, and often find it difficult to reconcile a romantic, idealized concept of conjugal life with the everyday living with another person.”
Duty aside, the Prince would probably have been happier continuing as a bachelor, keeping to his hunting and polo life style forever. However, mistresses are very common in the circle of Royals, and it wasn’t long before Charles went back into the arms of his past girlfriend, Camilla, and the St. James’ courtiers helped with a royal cover-up.
At Windsor, Queen Elizabeth II, a straight and narrow, closed lipped “Inspector Guardian” was not happy with Charles’ implicit decision, but was not the type to rock the boat or jeopardize the monarchy — she had sacrificed too much and done her duty for almost 50 years. Elizabeth’s response to Diana’s complaints was typical — “do your duty, besides it’s all in your imagination.” The queen, herself, had put up with her Philip’s wanderings and brusque “German” ways. Diana early in her marriage realized that the Queen and the Queen Mother had no support to give to her except to advise her to “keep a stiff upper lip,” as the Brits would say.
“It’s so bloody dishonest, a damned farce,” Diana had exclaimed about the maintaining of the illusion of the happy royal families for Charles and Andrew. Absolutely devoted to her boys, as any Healer would be, she realized however, that the Queen had the power. Custody and access to Diana’s children was in the hands of the Queen of England by law. Diana had a new-found understanding of her mother now, because she was in a similar situation, not having control of her own children because of the British aristocracy. Because of this, she was cautious, compared to her sister-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, on what she was to do.
Diana was locked in a gilded cage and realized that if she didn’t do anything, she would die there. She had a suspicion, for good reason, that her apartment and phone line were bugged by the family. The fish bowl of a life at Kensington palace, with all the servants whose loyalty could not be completely trusted, made her paranoid. Having been unsuccessful at love in this restrictive environment and bottled up by the court, she looked more and more at what she could do with her life, without being dependent on Charles and the resources of the monarchy. Diana said, “I love going round places like Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I’m not so gripped by those getting better. It’s the ones on the way out that I feel a deep need to be with.”
In the late eighties and early nineties Diana had been making secret visits to see London’s homeless at the Passage Idea Centre in Victoria. She realized that her style of ambassadorship, visiting the less fortunate and the down and out, could have great impact — compared to her official, Windsor sponsored royal tours. Her vision as being an ambassador-at-large for the British people and advocating for causes like the banning of landmines, could work without the support of the royal family, who were tightening the purse strings in the hope that she would fade into the background.
In her last interview, just before her tragic death, she said, “Yes I do touch. I believe that everyone needs that whatever their age. When you put your hand on a friendly face, you make contact right away; you communicate warmth that you’re close by. It’s a gesture that comes to me naturally from the heart.”
Originally published at legacy.keirsey.com.