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  #1181  
Old 10-21-2014, 03:45 PM
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Well, I'll have passed on by that time. I don't see a display of anything Diana until after Charles and Camilla are both gone. William may do something, but until he's in charge, I think not.
Most likely William, the future Duke of Cornwall, eventually Prince of Wales and future King, will frame himself in the whole history of his House, in the line going back to Queen Victoria and his predecessors. With doing so he can stress that he is not only Diana's boy but a descendant of Kings and Queens in the long and proud history of the British monarchy.

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  #1182  
Old 10-21-2014, 04:41 PM
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^^^Preaching to the choir again. William can do what he wants...when it is his turn.

Charles will have to act on a PoW investiture mighty quick, or it may never happen should something go amiss with Charles before that investiture.
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  #1183  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:14 PM
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Princess Diana Frances' legacy is her sons, Prince William and Prince Henry.
You can see Diana's warmth when you watch the Princes work with children or speak to the sick.
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  #1184  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:32 PM
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All these books and magazines are out of date and will no longer be available 100 years after William's death.

If William lives to be 80-90, a hundred year later will be 2162-2172. That is same as trying to locate a magazine or book printed in the 1850s or 1860s.

Today, in most libraries, you would rarely find a book printed prior to 1970. In 30 years, most books and magazine about Diana would have been destroyed.
In large cities like the one I live in(Los Angeles)that is not the case at all. The enormous Art Deco Central library downtown has quite a few volumes from the mid and late 19th century. For example there is a copy of Herndon's seminal biography of Abraham Lincoln first published in the 1880's as well as a first person account of life at the Court of Tsar Nicholas II, written by the governess to the four young Grand Duchesses while they were still alive in 1915.

I own a copy of the book King Henry VIII of England wrote to refute Martin Luther's attacks on the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500's....the one that the pope rewarded by naming him "Defender of the Faith". It's definitely still in print.

Those are just a couple of examples. And of course the classics, works by Homer, Cicero, Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Dumas pere et fils, etc.will never go out of print.

The New York and San Francisco Public Libraries also contain many volumes written well over a 100 years ago and I am certain Chicago's does as well.
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  #1185  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:45 PM
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In large cities like the one I live in(Los Angeles)that is not the case at all. The enormous Art Deco Central library downtown has quite a few volumes from the mid and late 19th century. For example there is a copy of Herndon's seminal biography of Abraham Lincoln first published in the 1880's as well as a first person account of life at the Court of Tsar Nicholas II, written by the governess to the four young Grand Duchesses while they were still alive in 1915.

I own a copy of the book King Henry VIII of England wrote to refute Martin Luther's attacks on the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500's....the one that the pope rewarded by naming him "Defender of the Faith". It's definitely still in print.

And those are just a couple of examples. The classics, works by Homer, Cicero, Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Dumas pere et fils, etc.will never go out if print.

The New York and San Francisco Public Libraries also contain many volumes written well over a 100 years ago and I am certain Chicago's does as well.

So true.

I think libraries might not keep many older editions of books provided that it's not a first or rare edition and the book is still in print. That we still read books that are older than 30 years old - that we still read books that are hundreds of years old - is a pure fact and speaks against this idea of destroying old books.
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  #1186  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:47 PM
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There are points of similarity between the marriage of Diana and Charles and the Prince Regent and his wife Caroline of Brunswick. Not in terms of personality of course, but Caroline was as popular with the British public in her time as Diana was in hers. The Prince tried to divorce her, and she died shortly after George IV ascended the throne. The media maintained a huge interest in the couple's quarrels.

Is Caroline a footnote in history? Not as far as biographers of George IV are concerned.

Ooh, great example. I would even say a better one than my example of Catherine of Aragon.
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  #1187  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:47 PM
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No, it is not accurate to say that Diana is comparable to Queen Victoria's mother (whose name was also Victoria).

First of all, there is no individual in British history who is comparable to Diana. The closest consort would be, in my opinion, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII. There are many other consorts who had to deal with their husbands' cheating ways, and several others who were married to the heir but died before ever becoming Queen or whose husbands died without becoming King, but these circumstances don't necessarily mean that their situations were really comparable to Diana's.

The Duchess of Kent was never the wife of the heir. She was never particularly high up in the line of succession - at the time of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent's death he had 3 living elder brothers and his father was still alive. It was clear for a good long while that it was very likely that Victoria would be Queen, but it was never a given that the Duchess of Kent would be Queen. In comparison, Diana was from the moment she said "I do" until the moment her divorce went through the woman married to the heir apparent. In that regards, it makes her more comparable to someone like Joan of Kent or Augusta of Saxe-Gotha - two women were were married to the heir apparents (Edward, the Black Prince, and Frederick, Prince of Wales, respectively) than the Duchess of Kent.

That said, even assuming that the two women were of comparable situations and we should assume that in 100-150 years time Diana will be remembered the same as the Duchess of Kent now is, the Duchess of Kent has not been, as you keep on insisting, relegated to the footnotes of history. The fact that we're talking about her right now at all is proof that she's not simply a footnote. Does Joe Average know who she is? No, probably not. That means jack all. Joe Average probably can't name most of the consorts of British history, at least not beyond the really infamous ones like Anne Boleyn and Wallis Simpson - which, personally, I would argue that Diana is going to be remembered more on that kind of level, because her marriage was one of scandal. Just because Joe Average can't name a person of historic importance doesn't mean said person is relegated to the footnotes of history - it means that Joe Average doesn't know history.

I have a degree in history and have spent a lot of time studying Canadian history and the history of the English/British crown. I will be the first person to admit that I can't name every Prime Minister of Canada or every English/British consort. Does that mean that the ones I don't know are individuals who have been relegated to the footnotes of history? No. It means that I have a gap in my knowledge base - the fact that I can, in a couple of seconds, find on the internet a list of every PM or every English consort means that these people haven't been relegated to the footnotes of history.

Also, I really wonder what kind of libraries you're entering if they don't have books that are older than 30 years. First of all, even if they don't have books that were printed older than that, they'd still have newer prints of books that are older than 30 years. Second of all, while many public libraries may not have editions of books that were printed more than 30 years ago (although, again, they would have newer editions of books that were first printed more than 30 years ago) any university library is going to have books that are that old, if not older. Any university or museum or archive is going to have books and magazines that are older than this. Thirty years from now, any online database is going to have magazine and news articles that are older than 30 years - and I don't simply mean the search engines like Google, I mean actual academic databases. These books and articles aren't simply destroyed.
Very interesting, as always, but I disagree. I think Diana, and most modern royals, will be minor footnotes in history.

I don't think you can reasonably compare Diana to Catherine of Aragon. Catherine of Aragon unwittingly changed the course of western civilization. Henry's break with the Catholic Church had an immediate and significant impact on the lives of his subjects. It also significantly impacted political alliances with people in many other European countries, which also affected the lives of people all across Europe. Those changes still reverberate today.

I know there are a lot of Diana fans on this site, but Diana really didn't have a significant impact on the daily lives of the general public. Many people adored her but how many people's lives were significantly affected by Diana?

That is true of all modern royals. The average member of parliament have had more impact on people's day-to-day life than virtually any current member of the royal family, including the Queen. My understanding is that most people in Great Britain support the monarchy but rarely think about it.

Yes, Diana raised money for great causes, but I don't think that alone makes her a major historical figure. Prince Charles has raised a lot of money as have other royals and celebrities. Frankly, it's hard to judge how much impact the funds raised has really had on most people's daily lives. I am not aware of any disease that was cured because of Diana's fundraising.

Some people claim that she made an impact on the anti-landmine campaign. As someone who worked on that issue throughout the 90's, I can tell you that the campaign to ban landmines was well underway before Diana got involved and no country signed the Ottawa Treaty simply because of Diana. For those who disagree, please cite an example of a country who changed policy and signed the treaty after Diana got involved. The British Labour Party had announced its support for the accord almost a year before Diana got involved.

You can make an argument that she will be a significant part of royal history but, I'm not convinced that will hold up over time. She will be an important and studied historical figure if the monarchy ends with either Charles or William. But if it survives, the impact of her actions will be less and less important over time.

Essentially I don't think the royal family changed that much solely because of Diana. Certainly she hastened some modernization, but most of the changes would have naturally happened over time. For example, I have no doubt that William and Catherine would have openly lived with each other before marriage even if Charles and Diana had been happily married. Society changed since the 1980's. The royal family has always adapted to changes in society. That is how it has survived.
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  #1188  
Old 10-22-2014, 06:48 PM
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Very interesting, as always, but I disagree. I think Diana, and most modern royals, will be minor footnotes in history.

I don't think you can reasonably compare Diana to Catherine of Aragon. Catherine of Aragon unwittingly changed the course of western civilization. Henry's break with the Catholic Church had an immediate and significant impact on the lives of his subjects. It also significantly impacted political alliances with people in many other European countries, which also affected the lives of people all across Europe. Those changes still reverberate today.

I know there are a lot of Diana fans on this site, but Diana really didn't have a significant impact on the daily lives of the general public. Many people adored her but how many people's lives were significantly affected by Diana?

That is true of all modern royals. The average member of parliament have had more impact on people's day-to-day life than virtually any current member of the royal family, including the Queen. My understanding is that most people in Great Britain support the monarchy but rarely think about it.

Yes, Diana raised money for great causes, but I don't think that alone makes her a major historical figure. Prince Charles has raised a lot of money as have other royals and celebrities. Frankly, it's hard to judge how much impact the funds raised has really had on most people's daily lives. I am not aware of any disease that was cured because of Diana's fundraising.

Some people claim that she made an impact on the anti-landmine campaign. As someone who worked on that issue throughout the 90's, I can tell you that the campaign to ban landmines was well underway before Diana got involved and no country signed the Ottawa Treaty simply because of Diana. For those who disagree, please cite an example of a country who changed policy and signed the treaty after Diana got involved. The British Labour Party had announced its support for the accord almost a year before Diana got involved.

You can make an argument that she will be a significant part of royal history but, I'm not convinced that will hold up over time. She will be an important and studied historical figure if the monarchy ends with either Charles or William. But if it survives, the impact of her actions will be less and less important over time.

Essentially I don't think the royal family changed that much solely because of Diana. Certainly she hastened some modernization, but most of the changes would have naturally happened over time. For example, I have no doubt that William and Catherine would have openly lived with each other before marriage even if Charles and Diana had been happily married. Society changed since the 1980's. The royal family has always adapted to changes in society. That is how it has survived.
You raise some really good points, and I think ultimately that our difference in opinions is owing to the fact that we're considering history differently.

My comparison between Diana and Catherine of Aragon wasn't meant to say that they have an equal impact on history - they don't - but rather that they filled similar roles. Catherine was married to the King and was well loved by the people. They had a child, but owing to a failure in their marriage her husband strayed and sought divorce - in itself a huge controversy. Her husband then remarried, his second wife being a woman who was rather hated largely because she was blamed for her role in the divorce. In this regards, Diana is very much like Catherine - her marriage and divorce may not have the same lasting impact that Catherine's did (it's rather hard to have such an impact), but the basic role is very similar. And we don't remember Catherine simply because of the profound impact that her divorce had, we remember her (in popular culture at least) because of the controversy, scandal, and tragic romance of her life. It's something that appeals to the mass public, which is why it's so well remembered. Diana may not have the same lasting impact as Catherine, but she has the same lasting appeal. Hers is this story that is too easily made into this tragic romance.

Curryong raised another great comparison - between Diana and Caroline of Brunswick (wife of George IV). The story of Caroline and George may not have the same mass public appeal as the triangles of Catherine/Henry/Anne or Diana/Charles/Camilla, but the person that Caroline was and the role she filled is similar to that which Diana filled - she was married to the Prince of Wales, she had a disastrous relationship with her husband. She didn't really have any lasting impact - beyond the child she gave birth to, she didn't really achieve anything lasting (and even her daughter, in historical regards, was more important in what her death achieved than anything else) - but she's still remembered in history and still discussed today.

There is a theory that history is about Great (White) Men doing Great Things (as my grade 9 Social Studies teacher put it; being the subversive brat I was even then, I enjoyed spending an entire class coming up with the names of people who did things that weren't necessarily great, people who weren't necessarily white, and people who weren't necessarily men that history also remembers). This type of history tends to be more political in nature and talks about the huge events that shape the world. The events that are looked at in such a history tend to be the ones that have a lasting impact, the people are the big names that are remembered. So Henry VIII and formation of the Church of England, or William I and the Norman Conquest, or Adolf Hitler and the Second World War. These are the types of names that are remembered by the mass public, even if the masses don't always remember just exactly why they're important.

However that's one very narrow subset of history, one that's not even necessarily the most popular among academics. Expanding on the Great Man theory, there are historians who look at people who were "great" - the big names - but who themselves didn't necessarily achieve any great lasting impact. Consider some of the American Presidents - not the Roosevelts or the Kennedys in nature, but the lesser ones who came in for four years, didn't achieve much, and then faded into oblivion (I am sure there are some, but I don't know enough about US history to be able to name one... I could name a few Canadian PMs of the like though). They might not have had a lasting impact, but they're still studied by academics who look not simply at their lasting impact, but also at what happened while they were in office. The impact that they had during their lifetime.

I would argue that Diana is going to be a studied person not because she achieved anything of lasting importance - I agree with you in that a lot of the importance attributed to Diana is an exageration on the part of her fans - but because of the significance that she had during her lifetime. There is the chaos of her marriage, which is going to be studied for a good long while - especially as people who were alive during the events pass on and records that were made during her lifetime become available to the public. The diaries of people like the Queen Mother, the Queen herself, etc, aren't going to be available to be read by members of the public (even a purely academic public) until well after their deaths. There is also the fever with which the public loved here, the Diana effect. We might be at a point where Diana is no longer the big selling factor it once was, but during the 80s and 90s it was a huge thing. Academics are going to be studying that for a good long while.

I would also disagree with the idea that Diana no longer sells. Sure the Naomi Watts movie didn't do well... but it was also a really bad movie with a limited release. You still see Diana's name being mentioned in news articles - the conspiracies around her death, the recent talk about what's happening to her collection now that Harry's 30, the comparisons between her and Kate. She may not be selling now as much as she was in the 90s, but she's not an entity that has disappeared. Every time you see a headline about how Kate's pregnant with a girl and they're going to name it Diana, it's a paper trying to make money off of the Diana story.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:35 PM
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^^^Preaching to the choir again. William can do what he wants...when it is his turn.

Charles will have to act on a PoW investiture mighty quick, or it may never happen should something go amiss with Charles before that investiture.
Should something go amiss with Charles, then King William will have George invested as POW. :-)
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:42 PM
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Should something go amiss with Charles, then King William will have George invested as POW. :-)

But let's not wish that on them.
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  #1191  
Old 10-22-2014, 09:58 PM
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An investiture of the Prince of the Wales is a recent thing only Edward VIII and Charles had one. Most of the PoWs were just created PoW by the monarch. Charles was made PoW way before the investiture. Plus PoW is just a title. The Duke of Cornwall is where the money comes from.


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  #1192  
Old 10-22-2014, 10:04 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if, when Charles ascends the throne, the media goes wild for a while dissecting his first marriage and the Diana/Camilla thing all over again!

I'm just looking forward to Queen Elizabeth overtaking and surpassing the record number of years Victoria was on the throne. Not very long to go now. Come on, Liz, you can do it!
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:08 PM
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Perhaps our disagreement stems because we haven't defined what we mean when we talk about whether Diana will be a "footnote in history." I take your point about "white man's history." I am not discounting the contributions of minorities and women, but I think your definition of the term a "major historical figure" is broader than mine.

I think Diana will be a footnote in history (if that) because, ultimately, she didn't have a significant impact on how a large number of people live their lives. The decisions made by Hitler and Churchill impacted millions. Thomas Edison's inventions changed our lives. Non-white men have also had a serious impact on history (i.e. Margaret Sanger, Marie Curie, and Barack Obama).

Diana doesn't belong in that category. Her unique claim to fame (which is different than history) will be that she was the first woman to divorce the heir apparent (not even the monarch). To me, that is a pretty minor event in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't even make my top 10 list of news in 1994 or 1995.

I could accept the argument that she would have been considered a significant historic figure if she had significantly influenced societal views of divorce, but she didn't. Divorce was widely accepted and common (too common) by the 1990's. Charles wasn't even the first member of the British royal family who had been divorced. I don't believe that he will be the last heir apparent to be divorced. It was inevitable that divorce would become more common and accepted within the royal family.

Students of pop culture in the 80's and 90's will certainly study her life, but she was only part of the pop culture. She came of age at the beginning of the celebration of the rich and famous but she didn't start the trend (People Magazine started in 1979). Her death certainly didn't end it.

Regarding the issue of whether Diana still sells or not, I agree she does. However, the movie didn't bomb because it was poorly made (disclaimer: I haven't see it). A lot of bad movies do well at the box office. I don't think it bombed because people think they know everything they want to know abut Diana. Many people didn't really know anything about her relationship with Khan.

I think that most people are interested in Diana because of her relationship with the royal family. I think there would be interest in a film that addressed Diana's interactions with Prince Charles and the Queen after the divorce.

There will be another spurt of interest if Charles ascends the throne. There will be some interest if William ascends the throne. After that, I don't see a lot of interest in her. There will always be some--just like there is interest in Marilyn Monroe, but that doesn't make her an important figure in history.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:16 PM
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In a global world, Diana has no significance even when studying history.

Diana's historical link is only in relation to the British Royal family and not to the world at large.

When people study the 1980s or the 1990s, it will be more in relation to the advancements of technology and cultural changes. Diana played no role in advancing technology, music, literature, women’s role, nor did she have anything to do the advances made in non-western countries. The world is global, it is not Eurocentric. The up and coming countries are not European/American/Canadian. The up and coming countries will play a significant role in the future and history will be viewed through their contributions.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:30 PM
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US Royal Watcher and Queen Camilla I feel you have correctly placed Diana in history.

IMO Diana is part of the celebrity culture phenomenon that was fomented by the Rupert Murdocks of the tabloid world.

I also think what happened regarding the telephone tapes with both Charles and Diana will be seen as the beginning, or fore-shadowing, of 24/7 surveillance and the ultimate shattering of the illusion of privacy. To say it in other words: Diana is an example of her time and will be relevant to social historians for that reason.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:41 AM
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Yes, I believe you are correct. Diana was no Churchill, but she was a major figure, unwittingly, in the tabloid, new media intrusive culture. She became quite frankly, like something nobody had ever seen because of the media. And her husband, and the brf, and she, we're totally taken by surprise.
And the interst in William today is because of her, he looks like her.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:42 PM
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Perhaps our disagreement stems because we haven't defined what we mean when we talk about whether Diana will be a "footnote in history." I take your point about "white man's history." I am not discounting the contributions of minorities and women, but I think your definition of the term a "major historical figure" is broader than mine.
This is true...

Okay, to start, I don't think Diana is a major historical figure. I do think she's a historical figure though, and I disagree with the idea that people who are as well known and prominent in their lifetimes as Diana was simply fade into being a footnote in history when they die; not when there are as many primary sources dealing with them as there are with Diana.

Diana is a historical figure, and while she's definitely not a major historical figure of the 20th century, she's also not a minor historical figure. If you narrow the parameters - to say 20th century royal history or late 20th century history - then she becomes more important. Not for any lasting impact - I don't think she has any significant lasting impact - but for what she did while she was alive. There were far more important things that happened in the 20th century, there were far more important things that happened in the time that Diana was relevant, but she'll still be remembered and she'll still be studied.

To me, the "footnotes" are the people who are mostly forgotten. The ones who aren't studied at all - the ones who only come up in a sentence or two when dealing with another topic or person. So... in my opinion, the British royals alive today that will be "footnotes" are the Gloucesters, Kents, Phillips, and York and Wessex children. They're people who aren't likely to ever be studied themselves and will only come up in studies of their parents, grandparents, or the Queen. Diana, in contrast, might not have any more of a lasting impact than the Queen's cousins or most of her grandchildren, but she's a figure who's going to be studied in her own right and along with her ex-husband and his second wife. The scandal of her marriage may not have had any lasting impact - and beyond whatever impact it has on Charles, Camilla, William, and Harry, I don't think it has any significant lasting impact - but it's something that has captivated the imaginations of people and as such has, in my opinion, ensured her legacy. She'll be studied by academics because of her marriage, not her impact. She'll be remembered in pop culture for the same reason.

Consider... Madame du Barry. She was a mistress of Louis XV and was not herself a significant character - she had no interest in politics, didn't birth an heir, etc. She had no lasting impact outside of her life. Yet we still remember her and people still study her - Wikipedia lists sources on her as recent as 2005. History continues to care about who she was not because of anything that she achieved but rather... well, because of who she "did". I think that's the kind of legacy that Diana will have. It's not about the things that she did that changed the world or impacted a significant number of lives, but how she captivated the attention of people.

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Regarding the issue of whether Diana still sells or not, I agree she does. However, the movie didn't bomb because it was poorly made (disclaimer: I haven't see it). A lot of bad movies do well at the box office. I don't think it bombed because people think they know everything they want to know abut Diana. Many people didn't really know anything about her relationship with Khan.
I haven't seen the movie either, but I've read a bit about it. It's not simply a "bad" movie - it's a movie that has an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also only had a limited theatrical release - in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, there was literally only 1 theatre that was showing it. I think that's why it bombed; people might go see a bad movie if it's easy to get to and well advertized, but if it's bad and you have to go out of your way to see it? Not likely. That's why the movie failed in my opinion. I doubt many people who aren't either royal watchers or followers of Naomi Watts' career even realize that the movie exists.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:11 PM
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People who have suffered from AIDS, or those who love(d) Aids patients, have a special fondness for what Diana did. When she was shown holding hands with an Aids patient in 1987, it was hugely important. It helped to remove the stigma of Aids, and it made a statement that you could touch those who suffered without fearing contagion.

Up until that time, I viewed Diana as a pretty girl with a lovely wardrobe. Afterwards, I thought her to be an important person, for more than one reason.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:48 PM
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I can see that, definitely. Diana was a person who stood out for her compassion with AIDS patients, and I think that she did help with the shifting of people's opinions about the disease and who was affected by it. She had the same effect on people's views about landmines. She did draw huge attention to the destructiveness they had on ordinary people. These things will be seen in history as the good things she did which had lasting effect.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:31 PM
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But let's not wish that on them.
George being POW or William being King?
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