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  #1  
Old 05-27-2017, 02:02 PM
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Has Lady Diana always been appreciated by the British?

Hi everyone!

I am a languages and literatures student from Belgium and I am writing an essay about Princess Diana.

My teacher told me that I had to pay special attention to the way she was seen before and how she is seen today by the British. However, I can only find that she has always been highly appreciated. The only negative comments I found about her was from people who worked with her; they say she was very demanding, depressive and liked notoriety.

I thought that you may be able to help me with this. I am sorry if I am posting my message in the wrong place, I am not very familiar with forums

Thank you very much in advance, that would help me a lot!

Best regards
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:44 PM
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Hi and welcome to The Royal Forums.

If you're writing about Diana, I'd suggest that first and foremost in your paper you take care to address her by her correct title. Diana was never Princess Diana. She was:

Lady Diana Spencer after her father became Earl Spencer in 1975
The Princess of Wales during her marriage to Charles
Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce.

For a a good in depth look at the many opinions of Diana, her life, her times, the people she interacted with, her accomplishments and her failures and just about anything you'd want to know about Diana, I'd suggest you sit and read through the multitude of threads here about her. There's a lot of information just waiting for you to read it.

Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) - The Royal Forums

I'm not British but if asked of my opinion of Diana in one word, It'd be "human".
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:00 PM
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huh? who are these people who "worked with her" and said she was so terrible? and I'd suggest that you read some books on Diana. THreads on a forum tend to be all over the place and don't always give accurate information.
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:17 PM
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huh? who are these people who "worked with her" and said she was so terrible? and I'd suggest that you read some books on Diana. THreads on a forum tend to be all over the place and don't always give accurate information.
I'd suggest you read 'The Housekeeper's Diary' by Wendy Barry. That's just one source. Diana was indeed difficult. She had a public side. Her behind-closed-doors side was a bit more complicated.

LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Housekeepers-...r%27s+Diary%27
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:50 PM
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One thing to that might serve you well is to remember that everyone that has known Diana, worked for Diana and/or met Diana formed their own opinion on this person.

A may think she looked horrible in pink because A doesn't really like pink and B is over the moon every time Diana wore pink because its B's favorite color. You are going to be finding opinions on the life and times of Diana in many, many places. TV documentaries and movies, books, threads like the ones here where we discuss Diana.

Maybe a good place to start would be to do a search for British opinion polls on Diana and see what comes up. I'm sure there's records of them somewhere. I did a quick Google search and there's quite a few links to different polls from different time periods it seems.

https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Good luck on your paper and let us know how you're doing with it and if there's any questions, you know where to find us.

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Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
I'd suggest you read 'The Housekeeper's Diary' by Wendy Barry. That's just one source. Diana was indeed difficult. She had a public side. Her behind-closed-doors side was a bit more complicated.

LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Housekeepers-...r%27s+Diary%27
Good read!
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:37 PM
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Diana had a complicated and inconsistent public press. She had moments when her public press was not flattering, like in the late 80's, the early 90's, and the time prior to the Panorama Interview. This, however, did not altogether get reflected in her popularity, which was a bit more layered. (Keeping in mind that very popular people become prime fodder for the press' deconstruct, and Diana more than any royal was as much the creation of the press as her worst nightmare).

She was a very polarizing figure once she started publicly demeaning Prince Charles (and to some extent the BRF itself). Once she started indicating her victimhood at the hands of Charles and the BRF, her popularity soared. She was the tabloid-public's darling and the public were enthralled by the Princess who was turning on her in-laws and telling 'the dirt'. IMO (and this is genuinely just my opinion) she appealed to the class rivalry in British society. She gave people 'permission' to snigger at the heir to the throne and bask in the 'knowledge' that the BRF was boring (because didn't our beautiful Princess say so)?

She was a dynamic public persona. A young, pretty woman who turned into a strikingly good-looking woman once she started to pay attention to her public style. Mother of two adorable boys, she had many adoring fans. But as is usual with the tabloids (and because Diana had some 'sins', like serial adultery on her agenda) the press turned on her at certain junctures when her 'sins' started making headlines. She was adept at deflecting the worst coming at her.

So in answer to your query: she was always a 'popular' figure (she definitely was held high in 'popular' culture). Whether she was universally 'liked' at all junctures is more complicated, best discovered by reading some hefty tomes that pretty much categorically give a rendition of exactly what you are looking for, but which take some stamina to read. (see the Sally Bedell Smith bio, she gives all the dates and events and press coverage, it's pretty much a blow-by-blow account, though you might want to off-set it with something more light-hearted and frothy about her).

Those that were (and are) her fans, were (and are) intensely so, unless they have mellowed their views over the years. She remains a curiously polarizing topic, even after death (which the tabloids still use to their click-bait advantage). Many take any analysis of her role in the BRF and public life as personal offenses. This is rare. I don't know of any other royal (past or present) that engenders so much heated, passionate defense, as though she were a personal friend or relative. She stands unique, in that, and for many other reasons. A fascinating topic to write on. Might be interesting for you to share what you write (if you care to).
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mcharlotte View Post
Hi everyone!

I am a languages and literatures student from Belgium and I am writing an essay about Princess Diana.

My teacher told me that I had to pay special attention to the way she was seen before and how she is seen today by the British. However, I can only find that she has always been highly appreciated. The only negative comments I found about her was from people who worked with her; they say she was very demanding, depressive and liked notoriety.

I thought that you may be able to help me with this. I am sorry if I am posting my message in the wrong place, I am not very familiar with forums

Thank you very much in advance, that would help me a lot!

Best regards
I am Belgian too but I have always bought a lot of British magazines and papers and I can tell you this : at the beginning she was adored by everyone but at the end she was considered as a time bomb.... just a true annecdote : the very afternoon of her passing, a French TV presentator said " by dying she saved the Monarchy", enormous scandal of course....
She was really heavily criticized at the end..... by the British papers and by the rest of the world..... May she rest in peace.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:24 PM
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Diana had something of a bad reputation just before she died. She had succeeded in raising awareness of land-mines early in 1997 and was rightly praised for doing so. However, she was involved in a few scandals by the time she passed away, and her relationship with Dodi Fayed wasn't really approved of. When she ended up in the accident in Paris, I wasn't highly surprised. Her death was a shock, but not that she was involved in an accident.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:01 PM
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Remember the living have gotten to push their cause for 20 years. She has had no voice to refute these things. Charles' group elevated him to sainthood. Camilla was a basic cause in the problems with their marriage. She has replaced her, carefully. There is a lot to read and sift through.
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:53 AM
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Remember the living have gotten to push their cause for 20 years. She has had no voice to refute these things. Charles' group elevated him to sainthood.
Not that I am aware, and I have done a fair amount of reading the last couple of years. Discussing facts is not a 'cause'. No one was elevated to sainthood. Charles is a flawed man, but he never demeaned Diana to the public. That makes him a man of principle, not a saint.

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Camilla was a basic cause in the problems with their marriage.
Not Diana and how she behaved and reacted? Where is Diana's culpability for the dissolution of her royal life? Your statement is an opinion from out of the polarized debate among the public, fomented by Diana. This is Diana's say-so, her spin. It was absolutely necessary for her to accuse Charles of infidelity because it was her infidelities that were coming out (the Squidgy-tape was looming). I base this on what I have read.

And in all of this you can imagine the animus that was generated towards Diana from some of the public, who were feeling that what Diana was engaging in was not right. So talking about whether Diana was 'appreciated' by the British public is a many layered answer.

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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
[Camilla] has replaced [Diana], carefully. There is a lot to read and sift through.
That the above can even be stated tells you how massively polarized and intrusive the public was stirred up to be into the personal life of Prince Charles. Think for yourself: is this an 'appreciation' of Diana? Or something else? Such hate endlessly voiced is not healthy. An English friend of mine states that the hysteria over Diana at her death is an embarrassment. I think one has to separate Diana from her position, her public persona, and the public's reaction to her, which was mixed depending on the years you reference.

Camilla is the second wife of the heir apparent, someone in her own right, The Princess of Wales. She wants nothing to do with the drama Diana fomented, that tumbled Charles into her sphere once again. Camilla has done as well as she has because the British public appear to appreciate that calm level headed lack of drama Camilla inhabits.
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  #11  
Old 05-28-2017, 02:45 AM
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As an American, I saw her in her later life as a sort of grasping celebrity whose biggest concern was honing and refining her image.

When she first appeared on the horizon in 1981 as Prince Charles's fiance, she seemed, from the pictures at the time, healthy and happy and attractive. I'm her age, BTW.

I watched the wedding then, got up early with my sister, had champers.... we thought that the dress was too big and difficult to manage. Too puffy and theatrical.

I didn't really have her on my radar for years after the wedding, until she popped up in NYC wearing white and meeting Mother Teresa. By that time there was background chatter about the Wales's unhappy marriage and I thought she was meeting MT for reputation points.

Same with that landmine stuff. A worthy and important cause, sure, but during the same period she was also partying on yachts off the south of France.

In retrospect, her charity work produced stellar publicity and funds, and, after the spate of tell-all books by almost everyone she's ever known, I've gained a certain cynicism about image-enhancing charity work.

The beta style of Diana's philanthropy lives on today in her dumpy sister-in-law's antics, decked out in rumpled satin, clutching her daughter's hand as she staggers from one fancy gala to the next, all the while fretting if the airline will upgrade her aromatherapist from Business Class to First Class for the trip home.

Back to Diana. Her finest accomplishment was her children. God bless them.
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:57 AM
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The way the British press hunted the apparently "so loved" and "so popular" former Princess of Wales could easily stand any comparison with a pack of hungry bloodhounds. And the Brits? They swallowed it all. Buying the Sun, the Mail, the Mirror, the News of the Day. And by doing so they kept the whole machinery going on.

That was Diana's own fault. She gave the press one finger. They took her whole hand. She thought she could manipulate media, but it bounced back in her face like a boomerang. Once she gave that interview, she went all bare. All palace windows were opened by her and the dirty laundry hanged out for all and everyone to see.

A very, very big mistake. From that moment on the invisible line of distance of what separated royalty from "ordinary celebbies" eroded away. Diana herself helped with that celebbie image by making herself "friends" to folks as George Michael, Gianni Versace, Elton John. All necessary distance towards the Royal House was gone. Princesses and popstars. So what?

She was immensely loved, but she had periods of being mauled by the media as well.
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
The way the British press hunted the apparently "so loved" and "so popular" former Princess of Wales could easily stand any comparison with a pack of hungry bloodhounds. And the Brits? They swallowed it all. Buying the Sun, the Mail, the Mirror, the News of the Day. And by doing so they kept the whole machinery going on.
Plus Diana herself leaked to the press her whereabouts to give photo-ops. She stirred the pot. Read the tabloid stories about herself. Sad story.

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She was immensely loved, but she had periods of being mauled by the media as well.
Those who 'immensely loved' her were the most vocal. Anyone voicing an objection was verbally mauled beyond recognition (the raison d'être of any conversation was an underlying smear of Prince Charles de riguer). That is the story I hear from some who were there at the time (and continues to this day). Right up into the late '00s any attempt to have an objective reality-check conversation regarding Diana was greeted with shouting-down and ad hominem attacks.

Getting an accurate read on just how 'appreciated' she was will always be problematic imo.
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:15 AM
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That is still the case on many sites - any attempt at a real discussion on Diana is seen as an attack on her and an attempt to white-wash Charles when often it is simply an attempt to set the record straight.

Of course anyone who likes Diana must, by definition, with most Diana fanatics hate Charles and want him to die before becoming King (in other words wanting William and Harry to lose their remaining parent right now and William have to be King while he still has young children).

Some of the sites out there are just full of vitriolic attacks on anyone who has any good to say about either Charles or Camilla.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mcharlotte View Post
Hi everyone!

I am a languages and literatures student from Belgium and I am writing an essay about Princess Diana.

My teacher told me that I had to pay special attention to the way she was seen before and how she is seen today by the British. However, I can only find that she has always been highly appreciated. The only negative comments I found about her was from people who worked with her; they say she was very demanding, depressive and liked notoriety.

I thought that you may be able to help me with this. I am sorry if I am posting my message in the wrong place, I am not very familiar with forums

Thank you very much in advance, that would help me a lot!

Best regards
Hi mcharlotte!

For the most part, all you will get here are posters opinions, not facts, none of us knew Diana or the people around her.

But opinions could also feature as a section of your paper, as in what the ordinary person's opinion is or was.

I would for the most part go with the very good reading recommendations given here.

Good luck and enjoy! I for one would be very interested in reading the finished article!
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:53 AM
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Diana had something of a bad reputation just before she died. She had succeeded in raising awareness of land-mines early in 1997 and was rightly praised for doing so. However, she was involved in a few scandals by the time she passed away, and her relationship with Dodi Fayed wasn't really approved of. When she ended up in the accident in Paris, I wasn't highly surprised. Her death was a shock, but not that she was involved in an accident.
She didn't have a BAD reputation. She just got more ciriticism. ALL royals get criticism at times, even when Diana was pretty much the adored darling of the tabloids and the people, she was criticised by some journalists. It is the way of the press.. and the British public. They rarely give anyone full approval and it would be pretty boring if all that was written about someone was all "How wonderful they are". so the press take pot shots even at their favurites. People don't seem to realise that the Press isn't there to write the truth, about royals, or to praise or blame them. They are there to sell papers and will write what seems likely to sell, for the most part.
Charles had sunk very low in the early 90s but gradually while he didn't "come up" in the press's favours, Diana DID get more criticism. She had made herself too public and that meant that her faults were bound to be seen more than if she had kept quiet.
Charles' side did problaby out more unfavourable stories abut her, in those years, to make THEIR guy look better. "OK he had an affair with Camilla, but she had an affair with X or Y". Or "Yes he is very pompous but she spends £1000 an hour on her looks.." etc.
So in the mid 90s she began to lose the almost totally favourable coverage she had had, went down from about 95% favourable to 80% or so. Her relationship with Dodi, did attract negative press because of who his father was.. but some people were pleased to see her finally being able to have a love affair openly with someone, instead of being forced to keep it under the radar because she was still technically married or the man was married..
I don't really see why you weren't surprised she had been in an accident? Why? She DID have PPOs with her when she was wit the kids and one assumed that with Dodi, she would have access to HIS security men, who should be able to avoid accidents and problems..
M AL Fayed is known to be someone who is very security conscious for himself, and I don't tjhnk it was known that Dodi was so scatty that he made his security guards life difficult.. so i'd assume that when she was with him, she would be protected..
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:31 AM
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Thank you very much for all your answers!

My essay is not about what Diana did good or bad, but more on the impact that she had on the British and their culture :-) That's why I needed to know more about the way she was seen by the people and the press.

Nonetheless after reading all your comments, I really want to know much more about her! No doubt I will read some books you recommended! Thanks again.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:58 AM
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Thank you very much for all your answers!

My essay is not about what Diana did good or bad, but more on the impact that she had on the British and their culture :-) That's why I needed to know more about the way she was seen by the people and the press.

.
I am not sure she had thtat much of an impact.. she may have "made people a bit more openly emotional" but that was happening anyway, I think as the world changes and the British became more "Americanised"...
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:08 AM
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Thank you very much for all your answers!

My essay is not about what Diana did good or bad, but more on the impact that she had on the British and their culture :-) That's why I needed to know more about the way she was seen by the people and the press.

Nonetheless after reading all your comments, I really want to know much more about her! No doubt I will read some books you recommended! Thanks again.
Lot's of luck for your study; imo it's quite a challenging topic to actually find out the impact on "tne British" without getting this muddled up with the US influence on the opinion of Lady Di which is quite often found on internet forums...
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:19 AM
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What it all boils down to is that Diana actually made an impact not only on the British but also globally. It will be a challenge to just define her impact on solely the British.

Good luck to you on this project mcharlotte!
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