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  #1141  
Old 02-08-2015, 08:28 PM
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I've been asked to post come comments that I made in a PM conversation. So here goes:

Diana was quite close in age to me, almost exactly a year older. I remember that she was really adored in those early years. My husband met her and Prince Charles when they were in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1983. What he remembers about her is her youth, her interest in the people around her, and the fact that, at almost six feet tall, he could look her directly in the eye. He said that both she and the Prince were very warm, friendly people, but that she had the stronger handshake--a real grip.

I think that with Diana, there was an individual who became greater in the public eye than the role she fulfilled. At first, I think that it was because she appeared to be so perfect for her role, and also because of the tabloid war that was raging at the time. But afterwards, her fame took a different trajectory that was never seen before in the Royal Family. Edward VIII was famous as Prince Charming as Prince of Wales, and Princess Margaret was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time, but Diana was something else again.

I think that she did have a natural kindness and interest in others, and a real love for children, but her personal problems overwhelmed her. Not that I excuse her. She was responsible for everything that she did, and I think it's awful the way she had different men in her life when her children were at a vulnerable age.

t's all just tragic. She had real gifts for communication and making people happy in her presence--that is, the people in her public work, not necessarily the people in her personal life. By the end of her life, I think that she was somewhat delusional and that she created her own world inside her mind to explain the circumstances she found herself in. That world is what's found in Morton's book and also in her Panorama interview.
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  #1142  
Old 02-08-2015, 09:23 PM
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[As I say, my mother used Diana as a cautionary tale with me, that's why I know as much as I do, though I would never claim to have an exhaustive understanding of either Diana or her world back then. I find her enormously puzzling, though if I posit her as spoiled with an arching sense of privilege it all makes sense. My mother had other theories that I don't subscribe to.

My summation of Diana is that she was a fool. Is that too harsh? She worked hard to land Charles. That's how I see it, and once she 'had it all' she squandered it all. Defies understanding. ]// quote

Hi Lady Nimue-

I usually agree with your wonderful insightful posts and opinions, but not on this point. I think the late princess behaved foolishly, no doubt. But she was not a fool, far from it. A true fool would never have come as far in life as this uneducated young woman with minimal coping skills did.

She would have crashed and burned(no pun intended) much earlier than August 1997.

Her working hard to land Charles and then squandering it all does indeed seem incomprehensible if one does not understand the massive insecurity that was the root of her character.

Given what I have learned about her upbringing, her childhood and her emotional makeup my over arching opinion about Diana is that she was essentially a damaged, wounded soul. To say that she was "spoiled" is true only in the material sense. She was emotionally malnourished early on, all of the Spencer children were. She did what she felt was necessary to fill the giant hole she had inside of her, and to do that she used what she knew she did have....charm, beauty, charisma, cunning. She had that in spades, and for a long time it all worked brilliantly in her favor. She ran circles around her more sophisticated, worldly, powerful enemies in the Establishment, almost up to the end.

But she did, as you point out, fall for her own propaganda and spin a web for herself that was her own undoing. I believe it all started with the Morton book, and her final undoing was the Panorama interview.

So yes in a sense, the not so secret weapon that made Diana wielded so brilliantly to make her image is the one that ultimately brought her down.
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  #1143  
Old 02-08-2015, 10:28 PM
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This may be a bit off topic, but why was Anna Wallace called Whiplash.
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  #1144  
Old 02-08-2015, 11:13 PM
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She was supposed to have had a very bad temper and a very strong hunter.
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  #1145  
Old 02-08-2015, 11:41 PM
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Since I cannot recall which book my information comes from - I have read a few - I will cite this one: Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess by Sally Bedell Smith. It is a book that was initiated by Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair (if I have my facts right) shortly after Diana's death. In keeping with Vanity Fair's mission to record current society, Diana's life fell within those bounds. It's a very journalistic tome, filled with sources and notations and bibliography.

It's a book that literally documents the time line of Diana's life from a to z. It's pretty thick going. I had to set it aside several times. It chronicles not only Diana's major life events but her press, so that one can see how the events unfolded when and how, and what was said when and how, that precipitated further events. Sources are copious. Every attempt was made to get people to talk openly, without anonymity.

The view was that such a book, written so soon after her death, would preserve the facts while the story was still fresh in everyone's mind who had something to contribute. It's an outstanding compendium imo, but hard-going because some of what's described is difficult to read about.

Hope this helps. I've read other books but as I say the information sometimes gets unwittingly conflated in the mind. Even I get confused.
Sally bedell smith writes sensational books. I would say the reading is meant to be entertaining but wouldn't take it as true. She has had many lawsuits
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  #1146  
Old 02-09-2015, 01:10 AM
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In this respect, I think we have a pretty good example of Charles' public support of his ex-wife in how he acted and reacted when the accident in Paris occurred. I don't think that if there was animosity or loathing between Charles and Diana that Charles would have gone to Paris and was with her being transported back to the UK. To me, he acted above and beyond what would be expected of an ex-husband.

They both very much agreed on things is regards to their sons and I find it easy to believe that they were on friendly terms towards the end.

Of course he went beyond....she was the mother of the future king. Not a normal ex spouse situation at all.


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  #1147  
Old 02-09-2015, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Frelinghighness View Post
Sally Bedell Smith writes sensational books. I would say the reading is meant to be entertaining but wouldn't take it as true. She has had many lawsuits.
Not that I see. To be frank, it sounds like a 'shoot the messenger'. Nothing shows up on-line. Quite the reverse, but even if it did it doesn't mean much. Biographers of living people always run the risk of litigation. She is a respected journalist known for investigative reporting. Read the book. It's not an easy read by any means. It is thick reading.

It's also an important book imo because written so close on the heels of Diana's passing. The memories were fresh when spoken and written, within her time. It's fair if you decide you don't agree with her summation of Diana, but Bedell Smith's journalism cannot be faulted in this case.

I will quote an Amazon review that says it best: "This book is extremely well written. It is extensively researched. It has 30+ pages of notes and citations at the end, appendiced for anyone to reference. The author has read just about every paparazzi article on the Princess and compared them on a timeline of actual events in the Princess' life, interviewed dozens upon dozens of people, most of whom are actually named (and in fact specifies that 68 are not named), and has laid bare every iota of this woman's existence.[...] incredibly detailed book [...] The author of this book may be wrong. But as a writer and researcher myself, i can tell she definitely did her homework."

That pretty much says it for the book. One is never obliged to accept a biographer's view of their subject. In this case, you may not share Smith's conclusions, but she presents an invaluable and thoroughly researched time-line of Diana's life.

The Amazon reviewer ends their review with this: "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go write a letter of apology to the Prince of Wales for all the mean things I believed and said about him." I think that's the essence of the objections to this book, because if one reads this timeline laid bare, you develop a different view of exactly what the BRF was dealing with, Charles in particular. In fact, we now know even more about the personal timeline. Even Bedell Smith didn't have the full story. No one ever will. Except Charles (maybe).

Yet, saying the above, I want to stress that I also see the warmth and goodness of Diana. Charles' grief and respect speak to that aspect of her. I've read enough to be smitten, too. She had demons like we all do. As Charles does, I'm sure. But it's not a contest. It just was the way it was and it's good to understand it.
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  #1148  
Old 02-09-2015, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonmaiden23 View Post
Quote:
As I say, my mother used Diana as a cautionary tale with me, that's why I know as much as I do, though I would never claim to have an exhaustive understanding of either Diana or her world back then. I find her enormously puzzling, though if I posit her as spoiled with an arching sense of privilege it all makes sense. My mother had other theories that I don't subscribe to.

My summation of Diana is that she was a fool. Is that too harsh? She worked hard to land Charles. That's how I see it, and once she 'had it all' she squandered it all. Defies understanding.
Hi Lady Nimue-

I usually agree with your wonderful insightful posts and opinions, but not on this point. I think the late princess behaved foolishly, no doubt. But she was not a fool, far from it. A true fool would never have come as far in life as this uneducated young woman with minimal coping skills did.
You have a good point. But fools can still be clever and savvy, as Diana was, as you say. I'm not going to back down on this : I still think she was a fool to have believed her press, to have thrown away her life of ultimate status and privilege in her social world.

Quote:
Her working hard to land Charles and then squandering it all does indeed seem incomprehensible if one does not understand the massive insecurity that was the root of her character.
I don't really want to parse this too much but I don't actually see her as insecure. I see her in other ways. I don't see her as a victim, nor as an innocent. She was too clever and powerful (in her way) for insecurity. (If you mean the story she spun about Camilla, that was all part of her self-defense. She made it all about Charles and his love. I just don't buy it).

Quote:
Given what I have learned about her upbringing, her childhood and her emotional makeup my over arching opinion about Diana is that she was essentially a damaged, wounded soul. To say that she was "spoiled" is true only in the material sense. She was emotionally malnourished early on, all of the Spencer children were. She did what she felt was necessary to fill the giant hole she had inside of her, and to do that she used what she knew she did have....charm, beauty, charisma, cunning. She had that in spades, and for a long time it all worked brilliantly in her favor. She ran circles around her more sophisticated, worldly, powerful enemies in the Establishment, almost up to the end.
Good points. Yet.....imo she was spoiled, she was privileged, she got her way. She lied without compunction or regret. In her golden glow one was favored until she was displeased. Diana used people. I don't like people like that.

Quote:
But she did, as you point out, fall for her own propaganda and spin a web for herself that was her own undoing. I believe it all started with the Morton book, and her final undoing was the Panorama interview.
The difference between your view of Diana and mine is that I have never excused her. She has never lived in my mind as a victim in any way.

I don't think she ever believed what she spun. (She believed she was unsinkable because of the public's adulation, and in many ways she proved she was just that, unsinkable). In fact I think she played by the rules (having a lover early on in the marriage) as long as it suited her. The moment it didn't suit her, she was done without a backward glance, though she would profess to 'adore' the jilted lover when survival demanded it. She would also throw a young boy under the bus (not just Camilla) when it suited her (in the Panorama interview, when she fingered the boy making the stalking phone calls, when it was her, she knew it was her, and the police knew it was her). How can anyone respect that aspect of her? Allow for it? Excuse it? I can't.

Quote:
So yes in a sense, the not so secret weapon that made Diana wielded so brilliantly to make her image is the one that ultimately brought her down.
She was running on empty. She had alienated and dismissed too many people in her life. Hearing about her tears at learning about Charles throwing the party for Camilla is heartbreaking. We are told she was quietly weeping in the restaurant with Dodi Fayed the night she died. Heartbreaking. What to say? Conceit driven to despair. Maybe that was her turning point but fate played it's hand. I'm sure she is happy now. R.I.P. Diana.
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  #1149  
Old 02-09-2015, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonmaiden23 View Post
[As I say, my mother used Diana as a cautionary tale with me, that's why I know as much as I do, though I would never claim to have an exhaustive understanding of either Diana or her world back then. I find her enormously puzzling, though if I posit her as spoiled with an arching sense of privilege it all makes sense. My mother had other theories that I don't subscribe to.

My summation of Diana is that she was a fool. Is that too harsh? She worked hard to land Charles. That's how I see it, and once she 'had it all' she squandered it all. Defies understanding. ]// quote

Hi Lady Nimue-

I usually agree with your wonderful insightful posts and opinions, but not on this point. I think the late princess behaved foolishly, no doubt. But she was not a fool, far from it. A true fool would never have come as far in life as this uneducated young woman with minimal coping skills did.

She would have crashed and burned(no pun intended) much earlier than August 1997.

Her working hard to land Charles and then squandering it all does indeed seem incomprehensible if one does not understand the massive insecurity that was the root of her character.

Given what I have learned about her upbringing, her childhood and her emotional makeup my over arching opinion about Diana is that she was essentially a damaged, wounded soul. To say that she was "spoiled" is true only in the material sense. She was emotionally malnourished early on, all of the Spencer children were. She did what she felt was necessary to fill the giant hole she had inside of her, and to do that she used what she knew she did have....charm, beauty, charisma, cunning. She had that in spades, and for a long time it all worked brilliantly in her favor. She ran circles around her more sophisticated, worldly, powerful enemies in the Establishment, almost up to the end.

But she did, as you point out, fall for her own propaganda and spin a web for herself that was her own undoing. I believe it all started with the Morton book, and her final undoing was the Panorama interview.

So yes in a sense, the not so secret weapon that made Diana wielded so brilliantly to make her image is the one that ultimately brought her down.
Both Diana and Charles had damaged childhoods.
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  #1150  
Old 02-09-2015, 03:02 AM
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Both Diana and Charles had damaged childhoods.

When did Charles mum pack her bags and leave her children ? Apart from royal tours


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  #1151  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:01 AM
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When did Charles mum pack her bags and leave her children ? Apart from royal tours


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Charles did feel neglected as a child and he hasn't had the most easy relationship with his parents. Diana's family system was terrible when she was a kid. I think they tried hard to give their own children a better life than they had. I think they succeeded that, despite their marital problems.
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  #1152  
Old 02-09-2015, 09:20 PM
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Once again, several posts have been deleted to get this thread back on topic, which is the relationship/marriage between Charles and Diana.
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  #1153  
Old 06-17-2015, 09:56 AM
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I have seen in a documentary or read it in an article, I don't remember, I thought it was the program with the Prince telling about Highgrove and the park around: in the princely study there is a picture of the late Diana and in his order every day fresh flowers must be placed in front of it.

So whatever the problems were during the War of the Waleses, after the divorce the relationship normalized and both seemed to have re-found appreciation for each other again. After all they shared a marriage and two sons.
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  #1154  
Old 06-17-2015, 12:23 PM
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I have seen in a documentary or read it in an article, I don't remember, I thought it was the program with the Prince telling about Highgrove and the park around: in the princely study there is a picture of the late Diana and in his order every day fresh flowers must be placed in front of it.

So whatever the problems were during the War of the Waleses, after the divorce the relationship normalized and both seemed to have re-found appreciation for each other again. After all they shared a marriage and two sons.
I remember reading this also in a couple of places. It is not unusual for two people to really care about each other but yet find it impossible to maintain a marriage together. I think Charles showed his true colors very well just by his actions at the time of accident in Paris. To me, it looked like he stepped in and took care of things (and her) in such a manner that a husband would.

We only have a glimmer into Diana's last year from various activities and reports that were made public. We'll never ever have the full complete picture.
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  #1155  
Old 06-17-2015, 01:20 PM
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I remember reading this also in a couple of places. It is not unusual for two people to really care about each other but yet find it impossible to maintain a marriage together. I think Charles showed his true colors very well just by his actions at the time of accident in Paris. To me, it looked like he stepped in and took care of things (and her) in such a manner that a husband would.

We only have a glimmer into Diana's last year from various activities and reports that were made public. We'll never ever have the full complete picture.
Yes, I wish people would understand that although their marriage didn't work, there was still love and and a bond between Charles and Diana. When he heard that she was in a car accident, Charles immediately prepared himself to go to Paris to be at her side. Afterwards he found out that she had passed, he went to collect her body and bring her back home. I can't even imagine how hard that was for him.

I too heard about Diana's picture and the flower he leaves there.

We talk about her legacy and how she left behind two young princes. I think she left behind three princes and that will never forget her. I know with George and Charlotte arrivals, they must think about her during these precious times.
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  #1156  
Old 07-09-2015, 09:11 AM
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Picture Clip-
Diana celebrated her 22nd birthday while on tour of Canada (Edmonton, Alberta) with Charles. For the plane ride back, at the request of Charles, a cake was made. Also at the request of Charles, the cake was decorated with…"I Love You Darling."
#teamgordons
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  #1157  
Old 07-09-2015, 08:43 PM
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Very nice, Dman.
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  #1158  
Old 07-09-2015, 09:18 PM
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Yes, I wish people would understand that although their marriage didn't work, there was still love and and a bond between Charles and Diana. When he heard that she was in a car accident, Charles immediately prepared himself to go to Paris to be at her side. Afterwards he found out that she had passed, he went to collect her body and bring her back home. I can't even imagine how hard that was for him.

I too heard about Diana's picture and the flower he leaves there.

We talk about her legacy and how she left behind two young princes. I think she left behind three princes and that will never forget her. I know with George and Charlotte arrivals, they must think about her during these precious times.
True. That's what I think too.
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  #1159  
Old 07-09-2015, 11:36 PM
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When did Charles mum pack her bags and leave her children ? Apart from royal tours


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Right away.
She succeeded to the throne when he was a toddler, and she was simply overwhelmed for some time. Charles was mostly left to the nanny.

Also, Charles and Phillip were simply not on the same page- ever.
They were very different. Charles rather resembled his maternal grandfather, George VI, and had little in common with his somewhat didactic father.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:51 PM
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Anything I've ever heard/read indicates that Ann was always close to Phillip.

I don't think a real manly man like Phillip knew what to do with a sensitive boy like Charles.


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