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  #1241  
Old 11-17-2014, 12:40 AM
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This Aids conversation is very curious. I grew up in the 80's and 90's. My mother was into royalty but I don't have a recall of this, vivid or otherwise, oddly enough. As a result I did a google and this is what I came up with on my first go:

LINK: Aids doctor's row with Diana | Daily Mail Online

Diana is a mixed message when it comes to her own story. It will never be clear-cut. She does not always stand up well in memoirs. There are a lot of gray areas. She's a hard one to call.

My own opinion is Diana will likely be glossed over as a controversial figure, the center of several scandals, and that will be it. Mother of a King who died tragically and much too young. At some point revisionist historians will step in and the past will be unrecognizable. It already is very likely to those who lived it. You can tell from some of the comments.

For me Diana is like Wallis Simpson, or the Czarina Alexandra of Russia - I don't really get what all the fuss was about, how certain women can create such a stir in the popular imagination. For that reason alone, Wallis Simpson is interesting, and Alexandra, and for that reason, too, so will be Diana. JMO.
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  #1242  
Old 11-17-2014, 01:13 AM
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Diana was not a pioneer is bring AIDS to the forefront.

Ryan White and Rock Hudson were.

By the time Diana had hugged a child everyone was on the bandwagon hugging and kissing children affected with AIDS.

It was Ryan White's story that quieted the hysterical over the spread of AIDS through casual contact.

In 1985 Ryan White fought his school system to be allowed to go to school.

His story was in the news every single day and it was his story that brought AIDS to the forefront. He changed the face of AIDS from a disease that affected drug users and gays to children and the general population.

Each story and newscast about him stated how AIDS was contracted. Reports all stated that the disease could not be contracted through touching and the public was not at risk unless they engaged in risky sexual behavior, drug use, shared tainted needles or had a blood transfusion.

It was Rock Hudson's admission that he had AIDS that cause the U.S. government to expand it spending to finding a cure for AIDS.

Ryan White - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Hudson
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  #1243  
Old 11-17-2014, 01:44 AM
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I have a vague memory of Diana doing something with an AIDs charity or something like that but my memory of her is more that she wore clothes well to her charity does. What charities she supported I couldn't tell you as I don't remember her and any specific charity - that she worked for charities I do remember but which one - no. Why - because the coverage was always on what she wore to the event and not on the charity itself.


Using the media - she was the master of course. Her sons haven't learnt anything about that from her other than to keep them at arms length especially William who is paranoid about allowing the press to even take any pictures of his family - unlike Diana who was keen for the photographers to take lots of photos of her with her sons. William is more like his father in that regard - keep the private life private - something Diana never did.
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  #1244  
Old 11-17-2014, 03:53 AM
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In the greater historiography of the AIDS epidemic, Diana will be nothing more than a "footnote." She really didn't play an important role in it; there's a reason that she isn't mentioned once in the Wikipedia page for HIV/AIDS. The people who are going to play an important part in the historiography of AIDS - the people who do play an important part in it - are those like Rock Hudson, Nicholas Eden, Freddie Mercury, Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson, Pedro Zamora, and Ryan White - people who publicly acknowledged having HIV or AIDS before their deaths or, in the case of Magic Johnson, publicly acknowledged having HIV and then went on to play a huge activist role in it.

In the historiography of Diana her work with AIDS organizations will likely be noted, as will her other charity works. That said, the focus of her historiography is going to be on her marriage, her divorce, and her death. Those are always going to be the main focal points of historical research on Diana, and while she's not going to be a person that pops up on a high school history test she will continued to be studied in the future.
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  #1245  
Old 11-17-2014, 04:07 AM
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while she's not going to be a person that pops up on a high school history test she will continued to be studied in the future.

I think there is a very good chance she could end up on high school history exams at my school next year. The Elective History class in Year 10 are studying Assassinations and Conspiracy Theories and have chosen to study Diana's death as an example.

I know other schools who also teach that unit - or something similar - so she will pop up.

The others we are studying by the way - Julius Caesar, Rasputin ad JFK.
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  #1246  
Old 11-17-2014, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I think there is a very good chance she could end up on high school history exams at my school next year. The Elective History class in Year 10 are studying Assassinations and Conspiracy Theories and have chosen to study Diana's death as an example.

I know other schools who also teach that unit - or something similar - so she will pop up.

The others we are studying by the way - Julius Caesar, Rasputin ad JFK.
Okay, 1. your high school level students get to study some really interesting stuff. And 2. I meant more in a general history course; the one you're mentioning seems to be more of a specialized one.
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  #1247  
Old 11-17-2014, 06:10 AM
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Sorry Ish but I couldn't resist the temptation.
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  #1248  
Old 11-17-2014, 01:02 PM
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Not at all, Bertie. You've made me almost wish I was a high school student in Australia - and I haven't wanted to be a high school student in about 15 years now.
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  #1249  
Old 11-17-2014, 03:21 PM
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I doubt people will debate much of anything about Diana's role in the AIDS crisis-but I do think that as many will continue to appreciate the way that Diana--and countless other individuals--acted in such a way that countermanded the popular and yet totally ridiculous notion that AIDS patients should be treated like pariahs or lepers.
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  #1250  
Old 11-17-2014, 03:47 PM
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Diana is an interesting figure - loved, and frequently now, loathed in equal measure. More than being remembered for helping specific causes, I think her legacy is her two sons, and the effect she had on their "style" of being royal. Diana brought empathy and a certain amount of informality to the royal rounds. She showed that she cared. In many ways, this was emblematic of the times in which she lived; society was becoming more open as far as showing feelings, sharing emotions, etc. But, it had not been practiced so openly in the royal family prior to her arrival. Many of the things she did as Princess of Wales (e.g. shaking hands with Aids patients, visiting homeless shelters at night with her young sons) simply had not been done by other members of the royal family. There was an aloofness about them. For better or for worse, Diana had a big part in breaking that image, and exemplifying it in front of her sons while she was alive. So, really William and Harry are her lasting, living legacy. Not a bad way to have influenced society - through your children!
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  #1251  
Old 11-18-2014, 03:12 AM
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Many of the things she did as Princess of Wales (e.g. shaking hands with Aids patients, visiting homeless shelters at night with her young sons) simply had not been done by other members of the royal family.
I agree that shaking hands with AIDS patients had not been done before by the British Royal Family but Princess Anne had spent a considerable amount of time in non-glamorous conditions with Save the Children so Diana wasn't new in taking on "hard" causes.

As for her impact, someone above mentioned Ryan White and Magic Johnson. They might have been leaders of the AIDS cause in America but certainly not in the UK where basketball had no TV coverage and Ryan White made headlines only because Michael Jackson went to see him.

Growing up in the UK it was the media attention on Diana meeting AIDS patients that I saw. I recall at the time of the first visit when she was photographed shaking hands with someone with AIDS there were people saying she should not do it because it was dangerous. So it was an important step to show she was not afraid of catching the disease from social contact. While her impact may not have been as great in North America, it was positive and new in the UK.

In regards to taking her sons to homeless shelters, I'm afraid I see this a little like the doctor in the AIDS article posted above. Who's benefit was this for? Unfortunately, Diana manipulated the press so much that I am always skeptical about her motives even though she may have done it with the very best of intentions.
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  #1252  
Old 11-18-2014, 11:36 AM
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Diana certainly had an impact on the perception of AIDS and she raised a lot of money for various causes, but she was one of many celebrities. Obviously she got more media attention in the UK than Magic Johnson. But I was in the UK shortly after Rock Hudson's death and there was a lot of media coverage, particularly discussions about how AIDS is transmitted.

Moreover, Diana also tried to improve perceptions about leprosy, with much less success--mainly because the UK and the US don't have a large number of people suffering from the disease.

Regarding taking her young sons to visit a homeless shelter, I tend to think of it as a publicity stunt. It didn't hurt them but I don't think it was essential to forming their character. I'm not saying it didn't make an impression but I believe they would have been interested in helping those who are homeless even if they had never visited a homeless shelter as children.

The royal family and many others have been working for charities for years. Charles has been working on charities to address employment, affordable housing, and drug addiction--root causes of homelessness--since before he married Diana.

I doubt that the Earl of Spencer took Diana and her siblings to tour homeless shelters. She had a natural interest. My parents didn't take me to those types of places, yet I regularly volunteer to serve meals and donate funds to homeless causes. William and Harry would have been encouraged to follow in the family footsteps regardless of Diana's involvement.

Diana certainly contributed to her sons' interest in charitable work but I think her main contribution was helping to formulate their personalities. Diana had a sense of informality and fun. Her sons, particularly Harry, share it. She was committed to giving them a "normal" middle-class life. They went to amusement parks, they saw movies in theaters, they went shopping, they didn't have to be so formal around her, etc... On the other hand, like the royal family, she had servants and took them on expensive vacations--and there is nothing wrong with that.

This has been a very interesting discussion because I've been approaching the whole "will Diana be a footnote or not" discussion as an American. It's natural for me to consider members of the modern British royal family as "footnotes," but UK nationals and members of the commonwealth have a different view. I'm learning a lot.
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  #1253  
Old 11-18-2014, 11:54 AM
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Donating funds & volunteering at homeless shelters seen as a "duty" to the less fortunate is an entirely different thing from showing up at inconvenient hours, and actually engaging with and showing empathy for the people who are residents, especially with young, impressionable children in tow.
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  #1254  
Old 11-18-2014, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Royal4one View Post
Diana is an interesting figure - loved, and frequently now, loathed in equal measure. More than being remembered for helping specific causes, I think her legacy is her two sons, and the effect she had on their "style" of being royal. Diana brought empathy and a certain amount of informality to the royal rounds. She showed that she cared. In many ways, this was emblematic of the times in which she lived; society was becoming more open as far as showing feelings, sharing emotions, etc. But, it had not been practiced so openly in the royal family prior to her arrival. Many of the things she did as Princess of Wales (e.g. shaking hands with Aids patients, visiting homeless shelters at night with her young sons) simply had not been done by other members of the royal family. There was an aloofness about them. For better or for worse, Diana had a big part in breaking that image, and exemplifying it in front of her sons while she was alive. So, really William and Harry are her lasting, living legacy. Not a bad way to have influenced society - through your children!
Great post. The compassion that is shown by both William and Harry is the greatest legacy that Diana could have.
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  #1255  
Old 11-18-2014, 01:27 PM
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Donating funds & volunteering at homeless shelters seen as a "duty" to the less fortunate is an entirely different thing from showing up at inconvenient hours, and actually engaging with and showing empathy for the people who are residents, especially with young, impressionable children in tow.
I have more appreciation for stories about royals apparently have been secret benefactors. That was the problem with Diana. How wonderful what she did for homeless, but eeeh... how conveniently there was always someone from the Daily Mail or The Telegraph on that unchristianly hour...

I think it is not bon ton to talk about good deeds, to show "Princess Helps Pauper". Just do it. Help them. Give aid. Don't misuse it for tweaking a public appreciation.

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Old 11-18-2014, 01:51 PM
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In principle you have a point, good deeds should go in silence indeed. But in this particular case not so much. Her presence -or that of any royal or celebrity- has more effect when it comes in the press. That way more attention is generated to the cause, which will hopefully lead to an increase of understanding, volunteers or donations for the cause.
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  #1257  
Old 11-18-2014, 02:15 PM
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Donating funds & volunteering at homeless shelters seen as a "duty" to the less fortunate is an entirely different thing from showing up at inconvenient hours, and actually engaging with and showing empathy for the people who are residents, especially with young, impressionable children in tow.
First, I am not sure that it is just a "duty" to the royal family, they seem to be genuinely caring.

Second, I don't know that bringing young, impressionable children to homeless shelters is necessarily a good idea. It may be okay in some cases but those who are forced to stay in shelters are people with feelings -- not "life lessons" for parents to use as examples for their children. There are many ways to teach about compassion. As I pointed out, I doubt Diana herself spent much time at homeless shelters when she was growing up.

The shelter I work with (at inconvenient hours) does not allow children under 15 years old to volunteer or visit. Most high schools require older high school students (16 and 17 years old) to complete a certain amount of community service hours in order to graduate. It's an excellent idea.

My own kids did not visit shelters when they were younger. Now, they often they go with me, but it is always their choice. I make it a point not to force them or reward them in anyway. It should come from the heart. I tried to set an example by volunteering, talking about the problems with them, and listening to their thoughts.

That is not to say that I don't think Diana should have publicized her visits. The publicity certainly helped the cause.

But the bottom line is that Diana was not the only influence in William and Harry's lives. Frankly, William seems more passionate about wildlife conservation than homelessness. Similarly, Harry seems more passionate about wounded veterans than homelessness.

Both men are certainly part of her legacy, but they had many influences and they have forged their own path--just like both their parents did.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:14 PM
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Agreed. I'd also like to add that there were things that Diana did of a charitable and humanitarian nature that weren't revealed until after her death. Diana: The Portrait has many of these stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
In principle you have a point, good deeds should go in silence indeed. But in this particular case not so much. Her presence -or that of any royal or celebrity- has more effect when it comes in the press. That way more attention is generated to the cause, which will hopefully lead to an increase of understanding, volunteers or donations for the cause.
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  #1259  
Old 11-18-2014, 07:35 PM
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I would had a an important part of making your memory last is your children passing on the ideals, ideas, dreams you taught to the next generation...Will Harry and William, try to raise children the way Diana tried to raise him, going to shelters and fast food joint's and seeing the way regular people struggle and such? time will tell but then you can see if she really changed royal behavior in a lasting way .
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  #1260  
Old 11-18-2014, 07:45 PM
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In the greater historiography of the AIDS epidemic, Diana will be nothing more than a "footnote." She really didn't play an important role in it; there's a reason that she isn't mentioned once in the Wikipedia page for HIV/AIDS. The people who are going to play an important part in the historiography of AIDS - the people who do play an important part in it - are those like Rock Hudson, Nicholas Eden, Freddie Mercury, Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson, Pedro Zamora, and Ryan White - people who publicly acknowledged having HIV or AIDS before their deaths or, in the case of Magic Johnson, publicly acknowledged having HIV and then went on to play a huge activist role in it.

In the historiography of Diana her work with AIDS organizations will likely be noted, as will her other charity works. That said, the focus of her historiography is going to be on her marriage, her divorce, and her death. Those are always going to be the main focal points of historical research on Diana, and while she's not going to be a person that pops up on a high school history test she will continued to be studied in the future.
Well, I personally, as someone who had a close family member die of Aids in 1991, have to disagree that she 'did not play an important role'. Until the Pss of Wales was photographed holding the hand of a dying Aids patient, they were considered a pariah. I wonder if those of you who are denigrating the fact that her outreach was a HUGE change in the way Aids patients were regarded have had any one they were close to die of this disease.
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