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  #841  
Old 09-03-2017, 09:39 PM
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I think Diana was popular, but more of a celebrity type popularity than a royal figure type popularity. There is a difference.

I think a lot of the grief at Diana's death was shock and sadness for a life cut too short and two boys left without a mother. That's why people reacted so strongly.
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  #842  
Old 09-03-2017, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
I'd like to start along another line:

Regardless of your opinion of Diana now, where were you and how did you experience the day Diana died?
I was washing dishes after dinner when there was a breaking news report on the television about the accident. It didn't sound like Diana was actually injured very severely from the first reports. It was very shocking when they announced later in the evening that she had died. I kept thinking it had to be a mistake. And I was grieved for William and Harry--I had lost a parent suddenly as a college student, my brothers were about William and Harry's ages--it was very hard.

I was actually quite irritated at the demanding headlines of the tabloids about the Queen being in Balmoral and the flag at the palace. And I thought how stupid it all was, that Diana and her boyfriend decided to try to outwit/outrun the press and died, that she had been living in a reckless way with a kind of creepy boyfriend-- rather undignified behavior.

I taped a lot of the funeral on my VCR as I had to work that day--I watched it in private because I knew I'd cry. I was so relieved that the cameras in the Abbey stayed off of the boys, that they allowed them that much privacy.
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  #843  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:02 PM
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I was at the beach in Ocean City MD for the holiday weekend with my sister. The news of the accident came on the tv. I remember staying up late watching the news in my hotel room.
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  #844  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:22 PM
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We were visiting my husband's family, staying at his sisters ...we'd all been out to dinner...came back in and saw something flash across the TV...they said that Diana had been in an accident but only had minor injuries a broken leg or arm....but I kept watching to hear more detail...then later just stunned to hear she had died. Very surreal. Of course I thought about those poor boys. When they had her funeral I stayed up all night watching that, will never forget the card Harry put on the casket.


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  #845  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:47 PM
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I arrived home from church around midday and heard she had been involved in an accident but was walking around with a broken arm. I changed channels to go to the football before actually leaving to go to the Sunday afternoon games.

No one said anything about her while I was there - I didn't of course, speak to everyone at the ground - around 44,000 but those around me were too interested in the live action in front of us to worry about an accident on the other side of the world.

When I finally arrived home some 7 hours later I still hadn't heard that she had died but saw that when I flipped to the news before going back to watch the replays of the football games I hadn't been at.

The night of the funeral I was with the same people at the same venue watching our team play again and the ground was even fuller than it had been the week before with many people saying 'it is good to be somewhere where people aren't commenting on Diana'. The rule was very quickly made - no discussion of her, her life or her death - as we enjoyed a normal Saturday night.

At church on Sunday the minister had the same hymns as were sung at the funeral service and that was the sole acknowledgement he made. He later told me that he was told by his Bishop that he 'had to have those hymns'.
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  #846  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:56 PM
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If Diana was alive:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Would the "public sympathy-pendulum" have swung towards Charles by now? So that he would now be much more popular than he is today.
That had in fact started to happen before she died.

Charles: Accepted, but still controversial. His approval ratings were at around 70%, and both his 'positive' and 'going to be a good monarch' ratings were at 60% and he got a lot of credit from the media before this 20th anniversary. Not bad for a man who has received so much criticism.

So it must be frustrating for Charles to see it disappear before his eyes, and his positive ratings is now down from 60% to just 36%. But he's turning 70 next year and we are probartly going to se William and Harry praising him in documentaries etc, and I hope that will be enough to heal the damage done to him this year.

Is he going to be popular/beloved and admirred like his mother? No way, but I think/hope that he vill be respected.

Another person I'm impressed with is William: He has received more criticism than Charles in recent years, but his approval ratings are at 75 to 80%, not bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Well, Royal Norway, everyone, every single person, is entitled to their own opinion on the subjects of these threads, and I would hope that no one poster is taken as a guru and the absolute last word on everything. We are all entitled to disagree with each other if we wish.

As regards Diana's popularity in 1997 and now, if Diana wasn't popular then what were those huge mounds of flowers in front of the Palaces paced by Britons and visitors alike for, then? If she wasn't popular then, why did people wait for sometimes eight hours to sign condolence books? If Dians isn't popular and remembered today then why the literally hundreds of documentaries and articles produced for the 20th anniversary, several of which her sons participated in?
1. Young beautiful scandalous ex wife of the heir to the throne who had turned in to a soap opera with several lovers etc and who, yes, was loved by her fans, but not by a majority of the UK population as most polls showed when she was alive.

2. And then she dies tragically in an accident and two young boys are left behind with the world and media as witnesses.

3. The world (including the Queen and the royal family) was in shook and Dianas fans were of course heartbroken and they took to the streets.

4. The Queen and Charles then said in statements that they were "deeply shocked and distressed by this terrible news."

5. The immediate response of the British people was to turn on the press. So what did the press do? Turn it round and blame HM. With hindsight we know what the Queen did in looking after her grandchildren was the right thing and almost all commentators/experts have rightly defended the Queen (during the past 10 years) for her actions in 1997 when she put family before duty for the first and and probably last time in her life.

6. And yes, the grief was enormous: One million people in the streets, all the flovers and over 32m watched the funeral on televition etc. But if another beautiful young person had been married to the heir to the british throne during the 1980s and 90s and did some charity work etc (as they are expected to do), then we had got the same reactions to that persons death.

7. But as I've been reading in articles from 1997 and told by family members (other british posters have written about it here over the years as well), members of the public complained to the BBC about to much coverage, other sat at home and was angry at the media and the Queen received thousands of supportive letters who was disgusted with the way she was treated.

8. And the british broadcaster Jeremy Paxman once says, that he was more impressed with the fact that hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets for the procession from the Queen's Chapel to Westminster Hall for the 101-year-old Queen Mother + the more than 200,000 members of the public who queued for hours to pay their respects as she lay in state in much colder weather than it was during the funeral for the young and beautiful Diana who was tragically killed in an accident.

9. Many in the press (expessaly the guardian) speculated that the death of a 101-year-old Queen dowager (who hadn't been consort for over 50 year) wasn't going to bring people out in the streets? Well they were wrong, as usual.


Quote:
Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Look a tragic accident took the life of a very popular lady. Her children now venerate her memory and so it should be. Some things done well at the time, others not. I don't believe, other than Charles and the children there was much grief in the family. Harry questioned if his Mother was dead, when in the church, at the service they thought was important, her name wasn't mentioned. She wasn't royal anymore, sorry. The BRF wanted a closed, small out of our way funeral. What they got was an extravaganza. They never understood it. If, nothing else, Diana's death made them realize they were not the center of the universe.
All those things have been proven wrong in recent years - here's what we now know:

1. The Queen took the decision to have ceremonial funeral, been mentioned in several interviews with former palaces officials since 2012.

2. From a Newsweek article I posted in the funeral thread - from Dickie Arbiter:
Quote:
Not everyone agrees with the significanec this version of history gives to Diana's death. Dickie Arbiter, a royal commentator who formerly worked in various senior roles in the Palace and was one of two press secretaries on duty when the princess died, says that while the royal family has clearly had to move with the times over its history, “the institution has been evolving for 1,000 years, it constantly adapts and changes and because of Diana’s death it didn’t suddenly switch from being one thing to another.”

Of particular frustration to Arbiter was the drive to bring in outside PR advisors like Lewis, which he saw as a “knee-jerk reaction” to a non-existent problem. “I believe that we got the funeral arrangements absolutely 101 percent right,” he says, and speaks of his frustration in particular with spin doctors from then-Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office, who assisted with the management of Diana’s death and funeral. “They were the Downing Street lot, the new kids on the block, and they thought they knew everything,” he says.

At the first planning meeting for Diana’s funeral, Arbiter recalls, the question was raised as to whether Diana’s coffin would be borne in a hearse or on a gun carriage (in the event, the latter was chosen). “One of those Downing Streets said: ‘you can’t put it on a gun carriage, that’s too militaristic,’” says Arbiter, “until it was pointed out to them that, hang on a minute, she was commander in chief of the London regiments. So she had a military connection.”

For Arbiter, these changes are just a reflection of a changing world. “We are a touchy feely society, we are a celebrity society today,” he says. “You go back 40 years, we weren’t a celebrity society, we weren’t a touchy feely society. Life evolves.”
Diana's ceremonial funeral was very simple without military contingents - why? Because she wasn't a monarch/consort, so it was desided that her charities was to walk with the princes from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey.

And if Diana’s coffin had been driven in a hearse to the Abbey, her funeral had been a non event when it comes to pomp and pageantry, so Diana fans can thank the palace for her funeral, not Blair and his people.
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  #847  
Old 09-04-2017, 05:21 AM
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Actually when the news came across here that Diana had been in an accident in Paris, I was packing to go on a camping trip with my then husband to be. We camp with no electrical amenities so most of the period between the announcement of her death and the funeral happened without me being aware of it. It just didn't really register with me, at the time, of being overly important. I didn't feel a sense of grief or dismay but did think that someone's life had ended way too soon. Life went on.

The moment Diana died, her life became frozen in time. As with iconic figures that died suddenly like Marilyn Monroe from suicide to JFK and his assassination, the legends and myths surrounding these people started to grow complete with conspiracies. They became larger than life to use an expression which sadly is suitable. To this day, Diana is still a big cash cow for the media and its easy to see how it influences the public opinion of Diana to this day.

She was human with her positives and her negatives as we all are. She is lovingly remembered by her two boys that lost her at a young age as she should be. She is a historical part of the British Royal Family bringing about an openness about life within the family as if it was a glorified soap opera for the entertainment of the masses which fascinates people to this day.

Life does go on though.
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  #848  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:05 AM
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Although public mourning is hardly a subject for competition the Queen Mother was a member of the BRF from the moment of her marriage to the Duke of York in 1923 until her death in March 2002. Although she was Queen Consort for only 15 and a bit years she was hardly a forgotten figure.

As her life was lived in the glare of the public spotlight for nearly eighty years you would expect a huge amount of mourning for her. By contrast Diana had barely sixteen years in the spotlight and the world coverage of her death, the mourning in London and her funeral was unprecedented. As the Queen was supposed to have remarked after viewing all the flowers. 'They didn't even do this for my father.'

As for Dickie Arbiter, (a man who reputedly angered Charles and the Queen when he later wrote his book of memoirs) he surely made a mistake in his remark to the Blair government people about Diana having 'military connections' and therefore needing a gun-carriage. I believe Diana gave up all her honorary Colonelcies and other military high ranks when she divorced in 1996. As a divorced woman at the time of her death none of these would have remained.
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  #849  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:48 AM
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Actually as a divorced member of the royal family, it would have been right and proper for Diana to have a private, family funeral and internment with the Spencers calling the shots on the whole thing. No big fuss or muss would be made should Sarah, Duchess of York suddenly die in a car accident somewhere.

The whole pageantry of Diana's funeral down to the gun carriage, IMO, was stage to placate the people that felt it was due to Diana's memory. The uproar of a flag flying at half mast over Buckingham Palace which had never been done before even for Kings and Queens upon their death was to placate the mobs. Blair with the help of Alastair Campbell coining the phrase "People's Princess" raised Diana back up to a "royal title" which she was no longer entitled to in people's minds. The public called the shots of what they deemed was right and proper and in doing so, threw their monarchy out the window for a short amount of time.

Diana turned the monarchy, in her own way, into a public soap opera, used the press and media to keep her in the forefront of people's minds and died in a senseless and unnecessary accident. Is it any wonder that now members of the royal family have to strive so hard and diligently to preserve a sense of a private life? Like Pandora's Box, its next to impossible to close it off again but they're doing a remarkable job of it so far. The monarchy continues as strong as ever and its continuity is pretty much established. Life has moved on and so have the people.
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  #850  
Old 09-04-2017, 08:15 AM
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Diana was somewhat "more important" than Sarah, due to being a mother of the Heir.
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  #851  
Old 09-04-2017, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
what were those huge mounds of flowers in front of the Palaces paced by Britons and visitors alike for, then?
Lots of psychologists have posited that the kind of mass hysteria that occurred in the week after her car accident, was in fact less about a Woman few knew personally, but that her death was more a trigger for millions to mourn losses they had actually experienced 'in real life'.
'Carte blanche' to weep/wail in a society often held to be 'buttoned up'? A theory that makes a great deal of sense imo.
MANY were genuinely grief stricken at her loss, but many also felt 'bullied' into acting as if they were, by the REAL 'peer pressure' in action here during that surreal period.
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  #852  
Old 09-04-2017, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Although public mourning is hardly a subject for competition the Queen Mother was a member of the BRF from the moment of her marriage to the Duke of York in 1923 until her death in March 2002. Although she was Queen Consort for only 15 and a bit years she was hardly a forgotten figure.

As her life was lived in the glare of the public spotlight for nearly eighty years you would expect a huge amount of mourning for her. By contrast Diana had barely sixteen years in the spotlight and the world coverage of her death, the mourning in London and her funeral was unprecedented. As the Queen was supposed to have remarked after viewing all the flowers. 'They didn't even do this for my father.'

As for Dickie Arbiter, (a man who reputedly angered Charles and the Queen when he later wrote his book of memoirs) he surely made a mistake in his remark to the Blair government people about Diana having 'military connections' and therefore needing a gun-carriage. I believe Diana gave up all her honorary Colonelcies and other military high ranks when she divorced in 1996. As a divorced woman at the time of her death none of these would have remained.
Maybe you and I should start our one thread where we can discuss Diana and compering funerals and all sorts of things (yes I was trying to be funny).

As I wrote in post 849, nobody expected that the non choking death of the 101 year-old Queen Mother was going to draw hundreds of thousands out in the streets, so I agree with Jeremy Paxman, I found that much more impressive than the reaction to the shocking, extremely sad and tragic death of the 36-year-old beautiful Diana who was like a big public soap opera and who behaved like an hollywood star.

And the Queen (according to palace sources) didn't think that the public reaction to her mother's death was going to be something special and said in the speech the day before the funeral that she was ''deeply moved by the outpouring of affection which has accompanied her death'' and that ''the extent of the tribute that huge numbers of you have paid my mother in the last few days has been overwhelming''.

I can't find the article about the Queen being surprised by the reaction to her mother's death right now, but its not a long time ago since I did read it, maybe it was an old guardian article. It was lso mentioned by the BBC at the time of her funeral.

And reactions to the funeral of King George VI was much bigger than that of Diana: The UK grinded to a halt, people wept in the streets (very unusual in 1952), and the crowds was enormous (I've read about estimates from 2 to 4 millions in the streets) and almost all were dressed in black. And when it comes to the flovers? People didn't do things like that in the 1950s. It didn't happen for King Haakon VII of norway either, but it happened for King Olav in 1991.

And when it comes to Dickie Arbiter: He didn't say that she was commander in chief of the London regiments when she died.

I won't be discussing this more now - why? Because the anniversary is over, its time to move on, a prince/princess is to be born, an engagement announcement can come, and a wedding anniversary is to be celebrated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
Actually as a divorced member of the royal family, it would have been right and proper for Diana to have a private, family funeral and internment with the Spencers calling the shots on the whole thing. No big fuss or muss would be made should Sarah, Duchess of York suddenly die in a car accident somewhere.

The whole pageantry of Diana's funeral down to the gun carriage, IMO, was stage to placate the people that felt it was due to Diana's memory. The uproar of a flag flying at half mast over Buckingham Palace which had never been done before even for Kings and Queens upon their death was to placate the mobs. Blair with the help of Alastair Campbell coining the phrase "People's Princess" raised Diana back up to a "royal title" which she was no longer entitled to in people's minds. The public called the shots of what they deemed was right and proper and in doing so, threw their monarchy out the window for a short amount of time.

Diana turned the monarchy, in her own way, into a public soap opera, used the press and media to keep her in the forefront of people's minds and died in a senseless and unnecessary accident. Is it any wonder that now members of the royal family have to strive so hard and diligently to preserve a sense of a private life? Like Pandora's Box, its next to impossible to close it off again but they're doing a remarkable job of it so far. The monarchy continues as strong as ever and its continuity is pretty much established. Life has moved on and so have the people.
Great post as usual!
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  #853  
Old 09-04-2017, 09:42 AM
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I happened to be in the town of Windsor (staying with friends: my husband and myself were often between England and Australia then) on the day of her death, and spent several hours that week and on the day of the funeral wandering among the crowds and listening and observing.

It was an historic week. I saw many people who were very upset, genuinely heartbroken, and heard what they said. I myself was extremely sad. I witnessed the funeral cortege passing, read the messages on many of those floral tributes that were piled up.

I remember it as if it was yesterday. Everyone I heard and spoke to was mourning a woman whom they felt a close link to, whether through her charity work, her motherhood or just simply as a caring and empathetic person. No-one will ever be able to tell me their grief wasn't genuine and heartfelt.
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  #854  
Old 09-05-2017, 02:51 AM
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Curryong a wonderful post. I wasn't there but I was heartbroken and could cry anytime I thought of her. No one talked me into feeling this way it WAS how I felt. I love Diana as lots of people do. There will be tears when the Queen dies and it will be genuine just like Diana's was
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  #855  
Old 09-05-2017, 08:32 PM
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It's been twenty years since that very sad news broke--that someone I'd simply adored throughout her twenties and early thirties was dead. All my knowledge of Diana was second-hand, through photographs and articles and documentaries and news reports. When she and Charles were on tour, I'd make sure to watch the evening or late news; that way, I'd be sure to catch the highlights of what she had done that day. My own "royal archive" contains well over 30 years' worth of magazines and books, with hundreds of them featuring Her Royal Highness. I'd eagerly check the news-stands, waiting for the next MAJESTY or ROYALTY to make an appearance. The new books, whether more serious works or picture collections, would find a way into my bookcase--although I shunned the more gossipy ones. Like many, I didn't really believe the rumours about the marriage breakdown and the other scandals. Charles seemed to be too decent a man to have a mistress; Diana seemed to be too family oriented and too busy in her duties to have time for lovers. But then--drip, drip, drip--the stories were gradually confirmed. My feeling toward both Charles and Diana was disappointment. How could they have done this to us when we had given them our love and our prayers on July 29, 1981? How could they have done this to the Queen, their children, and the nation? Still, Diana fascinated me. Through all those high-profile engagements around the globe, through all the gossip, through all the drama of that last summer, I still checked for news of her. I thought, "Surely, when this summer is over, she'll settle down again. She'll continue with her good works and find someone who'll be a good husband to her." But, as we know, the future we wanted for our Princess didn't happen. It never would. I still dream of her. I still look at pictures of her from before and during her royal career, and also the pictures from that last year: that final year in which there was so much promise of a freer and more focused life to come. Has 20 years truly passed? Truly? It seems impossible. Rest well, my Princess.
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  #856  
Old 09-05-2017, 09:09 PM
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At one time I admired Diana.
But as I learned more about her, I gradually came to think less of her.

I still feel she was sincere in her charity work and her desire to help others.
But she was such a flawed individual that now I question how much of that was sincere, and how much a wish to bask in public adulation.
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  #857  
Old 09-05-2017, 09:25 PM
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A lovely post, mermaid, and very heartfelt. Many Royal watchers at the time thought the same. Gone much too soon.
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  #858  
Old 09-05-2017, 10:22 PM
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Thank you, Mermaid.
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  #859  
Old 09-06-2017, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
At one time I admired Diana.
But as I learned more about her, I gradually came to think less of her.

I still feel she was sincere in her charity work and her desire to help others.
But she was such a flawed individual that now I question how much of that was sincere, and how much a wish to bask in public adulation.

Mirabel, our innermost thoughts, desires and motives belong to US. We're all flawed. So it was with Diana. It's not about how sincere she was -that may have changed with the event, day, time of the month- it's about how sincere those on the receiving end felt she was when they met her. I'd bet money that none of them questioned it. I fail to see what's wrong with any of us enjoying positive feedback when we've done a worthwhile job. NOT to need/enjoy it would show an arrogance which would suggest underlying insincerity.
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  #860  
Old 09-06-2017, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsaritsa View Post
Mirabel, our innermost thoughts, desires and motives belong to US. We're all flawed. So it was with Diana. It's not about how sincere she was -that may have changed with the event, day, time of the month- it's about how sincere those on the receiving end felt she was when they met her. I'd bet money that none of them questioned it. I fail to see what's wrong with any of us enjoying positive feedback when we've done a worthwhile job. NOT to need/enjoy it would show an arrogance which would suggest underlying insincerity.
Well-said!

I'll try to think of it that way.
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