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  #1  
Old 11-08-2012, 04:24 PM
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When did the "celebrification" of Diana begin?

This is something I've been pondering lately. (Some might think I have too much time on my hands.) In the early days, the publicity she had was much like any young, photogenic bride of the Prince of Wales would have. She was a young, aristocratic woman who married the heir to the throne and did her duty (both in terms of charity work and in producing two heirs in quick time); but at some point, her fame went into the stratosphere and she became the most photographed, most-talked-about woman of her time with her influence extending from fashion and volunteerism to the banning of land mines. In her later years, her royal status seemed to become less important than her celebrity status and her fame. An argument could be made that there's been a sea-change in the way that the younger generation of the British Royal Family is viewed compared to the way that their parents and grand-parents were seen, and the late 20th century--particularly during the 1980s and on--is when it happened. My own feeling is that the perception (and perhaps the "selling") of Diana began to change in the mid-80s, when she began to be referred to as "Dynasty Di" and "Disco Di". To my knowledge, this was before she began trying to influence her media coverage in a direct way. However, she did ramp up her glamour factor at the same time that she began taking on more solo appearances. Then there was the trip to the USA, which was soon after her first interview since her wedding happened. She and Charles tried to kill rumours about their marriage and their eccentricities during that interview. Another intrusive documentary followed the year after. Was this the point that the high celebrity started? It was a very gradual thing, but somehow the admiration for Diana became full-blown celebrity mania by the late-80s. What do you think?
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:18 PM
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The minute they got that photo of her with no slip under her skirt! "Celebrification" I can take--it's CANONIZATION (i.e. Sainthood) that makes me barf.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:16 PM
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When really thinking about it, the era of Di Mania came about at the same time the Internet was expanding, cell phones were starting to become a reality for the average person's use and news reporting on conflicts in Iraq and the Middle East was instantaneous as we sat glued to our TV screens and watched it as it happened. We became a smaller, global community. That was 20 some years ago and its amazing to think about how much all this technology has advanced since then. Someone burps and within seconds its the burp heard around the world. Gone viral.

Diana was pure fodder for stuff going viral and its impact was felt globally as we were drawn first hand into everything about her from her stances on issues such as AIDS and land mines, to the deeply personal trials and tribulations of her private life and her wonderful sense of style and fashion. There was more competition as to who could get the better "scoop" and we were inundated from all angles. The public felt they really knew her and when she tragically died, suffered from shell shock which I believe caused mass hysteria to some degree.

Sadly, this "viralization" of people in the public arena, entertainment and even on everyday levels with posting cell phone videos on YouTube has grown immensely popular and so easy to access. Along with far reaching positive effects of spreading valuable information, there's the negative side such as we've seen recently with the publication of those pictures of The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry in Vegas. The world is at our fingertips when we load our browsers.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:13 PM
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possibly when she started talking directly to "friends" in the media
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:33 PM
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Yes, the "Diana was so brave" sentiment gets to be wearing and devalues individuals who truly suffered for a cause. Compared to other royals, it's comendable of her to have highlighted the causes that she did; compared to, let's say, Nelson Mandela, Diana came across as a neurotic attention-seeker who was only interested in her own publicity.

I also think that Diana gets the inordinate adulation that she does because of the sympathy she attracted for being the wronged wife.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:51 PM
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Hmmmmm. Interesting question. My gut reaction is the moment she spotted Ken Lennox and his team on the riverbank back in 1980 and drew attention to herself by walking away and hiding behind a tree. In an interview (Interview - Ken Lennox | Princess And The Press | FRONTLINE | PBS) Ken Lennox said, "We thought, "oh who's this?" We couldn't really see much of the girl because she had a cap on pulled down and a Barbour pulled up. But within a few seconds a hand appeared round a tree holding a compact with a mirror and she held it round a tree to look to see where we were and used that to walk away, keeping the tree between us and herself and we thought, "my God, who is this? This is different." Normally the girl would sit on the riverbank looking fairly dizzy and make some half-hearted attempt to shoo us away. This girl did not want to be photographed and she was very smart and she knew what she was doing. I mean to, to pull out a stunt like that, to think of doing that, we thought we're up against something here."

If she hadn't done that, they wouldn't have paid so much attention to her.

Another quote from the interview: "The shy Di is a myth. That came about because she would put her head down and her hair would fall over her face and she would glance up every now and then to see where we were. So this made her look very coy, very shy. She's never been shy and she's never been coy and she's never been silly. But when the cameras would go down she would chat, laugh, look at Private Eye, see what they're saying about her, sit in the cars, joke about how she'd lost us the day before and then she would talk about serious things. She would talk about things that we'd got wrong and she didn't ever tell us a lie. If we'd asked her about something -- were you at such and such, she would say "No, I wasn't Mr. Whitaker or I wasn't Mr. Lennox.""

It was a slow process, but it began that day on the riverbank. She was different from the start, and invited attention in a way the Royals and other people associated with the Royals didn't, and that difference and the way she inter-related with the media and established a relationship with them and with the public through the media, independent of the Royals, is what led to her becoming a full-blown celebrity.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:58 PM
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When Charles and Diana first got engaged, People Magazine in the US only had a two-page, black and white spread - one of which was just a picture. No color pictures, no cover shot. Then came the night at Goldsmith's Hall when she wore the black strapless Emmanuel dress. Before that, she was the "shy, teenaged kindergarten teacher." After that, she was a star. It started that early, IMO. THAT'S when she became a celebrity.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:08 PM
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15 October, 1980. The Australian Women's Weekly Trial - Powered by Trove
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:28 PM
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Ah yes the see through skirt photo.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:57 PM
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^^^^
If any of our current crop of commoners who married princes had posed like that they would have been called attention seeking fame whores.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:09 AM
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I actually have that magazine somewhere. I used to buy copies of the Women's Weekly with articles about Royals, and other stuff that interested me, and also all the December issues, to keep. I still do, but to a lesser extent. They are fascinating reminders of what everyday life was like at a certain moment in time, and show how things change over the years. However when we packed to move 8 years ago they went into storage, and I haven't seen them since. We've been going through the boxes in storage and I think I'm close. I'm itching to get my hands on them so I can read the contemporaneous accounts about Diana and Charles in the mid to late 1980s, and about Fergie and Andrew.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:10 AM
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^^^^

If any of our current crop of commoners who married princes had posed like that they would have been called attention seeking fame whores.
Wow, that is incredibly harsh.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:16 AM
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The British royals are the top royals around the world, they are also about 1/2 a generation older than most other royal families. Charles was very much the dashing prince in the 70's - Action Man. He was the first prince to come of age after the social revolutions of the 60's. All of a sudden, it was a less deferential age. Television also changed things. Movie stars were larger than life, but TV stars were in our homes every week. Celebrity culture changed. We started to have a glut of celebrity magazines, that needed to fill their pages with pictures every week.

I think Charles' bride would have been a star no matter who she was. That Diana was young and beatiful only added fuel to the fire. It's the fairytale writ large.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:43 AM
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I doubt that she knew that the sun was going to show through her skirt.

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^^^^
If any of our current crop of commoners who married princes had posed like that they would have been called attention seeking fame whores.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:10 PM
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I think Diana's popularity has increased a few years after the wedding. But I think she always has been popular since the wedding.
After the breakup, I think it's more popular, especially when he began to get involved in charity projects.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:41 AM
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Yes the world is at our fingertips and the messages we receive are immediate. I can remember when the News of The World was shown at the movies prior to the start of the film. The grainy black and white newsreel was fascinating but usually months old. Not everyone had home tv's and the local tv station news show generally covered the town's doings. There weren't several cameras following people as they did usual things like getting coffee. The news recorded events that were important. Today the media is all about sensationalism: make the headlines whether the news is true or not, worthwhile or inane, pertinent or invasive. Diana was manipulated, I believe, into standing with her back to the sun for that infamous shot. That picture would never have been shown on the News of the World. I used to enjoy the newsreels. Oh the good old days when the media made sense.

(oh I don't mean the British tabloid The News of the World).
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:43 PM
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Yes, exactly. Social media is changing things a lot as well. I know that older people are sometimes hard on young people because they put personal and community news "out there" so quickly via Facebook and so on. However, a generation back, we would have been on the phone with news just as quickly. It's not just the paparazzi and servants that famous people have to be wary of now; it's anyone with a smart phone.

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Yes the world is at our fingertips and the messages we receive are immediate.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:58 PM
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I remembering watching the diana movie when young and they showed the mirror by the river event and I thought she was just looking into it to make sure they weren't following her. Even now when it's talked about I don't understand what they really thought she was doing. If she did indeed talk to the photographers when they weren't filming wouldn't it be safe to say that would sour them on to follow her more instead of keeping silent and giving them nothing?
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:04 PM
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My impression of the mirror event is that she was watching what they were doing, perhaps to catch a chance to run to Prince Charles's vehicle when the cameras weren't on her. If she charmed the photographers and reporters during their off-camera chats, I don't think it would affect their coverage of her. She had a way of telling people confidences and thereby making them feel that they were closer to her than they really were. In effect, she flattered them by talking to them off-camera.


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I remembering watching the diana movie when young and they showed the mirror by the river event and I thought she was just looking into it to make sure they weren't following her. Even now when it's talked about I don't understand what they really thought she was doing. If she did indeed talk to the photographers when they weren't filming wouldn't it be safe to say that would sour them on to follow her more instead of keeping silent and giving them nothing?
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:28 PM
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Diana married married one the world's most eligible bachelors and into the worlds most famous royal families. She was beautiful and young and that projected her to the world's stage and that was a lot to handle.
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