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View Poll Results: When did your opinion of Diana start to change and why?
Morton book (1990) 25 9.80%
War of the Waleses (starting 1990) 20 7.84%
Squidgygate (1992) 12 4.71%
Hewitt affair (1993) 17 6.67%
Charles' interview (1994) 5 1.96%
Panorama interview (1995) 43 16.86%
Phone calls to Oliver Hoare (1994) 14 5.49%
Dodi al-Fayed (1997) 23 9.02%
Other (please explain) 96 37.65%
Voters: 255. You may not vote on this poll

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  #401  
Old 01-09-2008, 12:48 PM
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One thing they did get right about Camilla, IMO, is - "She's staggeringly un-pompous. She wasn't a good Army wife precisely because she couldn't stand all the regalia and buttering up. On the contrary, she's untidy, smokes and has a sense of humour which is as crude and lavatorial as his own". - she has as we know given up the dreaded weed, but otherwise that is still the Camilla we know and love!
I've visited quite a few people who have "it" all: money, education, class, come from a good family but are exactly as Camilla is described. Their households, while featuring a good location, nice furniture, paintings and really beautiful antique bric-a-brac is always looking lived-in, the dogs are lounging on the settees, the carpets are fine but look as if the family lounge on them instead on the settees, the place is splattered with magazines, books, letters - well, like homes really. And I doubt anyone would believe how a Land or RangeRover can look once a dog is transported in it regularily if it is not based on own experience... But I find I feel more comfortable in such surroundings than in the kind of "salons" my relatives use to live - maybe because I'm a dog person myself (and yes, more often than not we sit on the carpet in front of the fireplace while our doggie princess resided behind us on the settee...)
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  #402  
Old 01-09-2008, 08:24 PM
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I never believed that Diana was a bully, just a manipulator supreme! Similar to the girl Bonnie Langford played in Just William, who said if she didn't get her own way, then 'I'll scream and I'll scream and I'll scream!'
I know you didn't. I was just struck by the similarity of the way you described someone who does these things because they know they can get away with it with the description of a bully that I read in a previous article.

Someone else said that the Royal Family just used Diana as a womb and I can understand that. During the engagement I was studying German and one magazine had the title 'Ein Mädchen ohne Vergangenheit von einer Familie mit veilen Vergangenheit' or basically they described Diana as a girl without a past who came from a family with a long past. So to be fair, I think probably the Royal Family didn't see Diana as a person at first any more than she saw the Royal Family as people in their own right. She had all the right stuff and they didn't need to look any further (or so they thought).

But I think that the Royal Family's using her like this was far more benign than the newspaper industy's use of Diana. If the Royal Family just wanted a womb from Diana and a pretty face to carry out engagements and later be crowned Queen then Diana would still end up being one of the most loved women in the world. However, what the press wanted from Diana was her blood; they wanted her pain spread all over the papers so they could sell them. And I firmly believe that Rupert Murdoch consciously used the Diana craze to destroy the reputation and standing of the Royal Family. So he wouldn't rest until Diana's sons' inheritance was destroyed.

The tragedy of Diana is that she saw the papers as her friends and the Royal Family as her enemies. Considering that she got killed as a result of Di-mania, I would say that her trust in her newspaper friends was misplaced as well as her fear of the Royal Family.
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  #403  
Old 01-09-2008, 10:27 PM
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^ Yeah, go Ysbel!

You've had many fine moments but I say, this one is worthy of a special toast.
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  #404  
Old 01-09-2008, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
I know you didn't. I was just struck by the similarity of the way you described someone who does these things because they know they can get away with it with the description of a bully that I read in a previous article.

Someone else said that the Royal Family just used Diana as a womb and I can understand that. During the engagement I was studying German and one magazine had the title 'Ein Mädchen ohne Vergangenheit von einer Familie mit veilen Vergangenheit' or basically they described Diana as a girl without a past who came from a family with a long past. So to be fair, I think probably the Royal Family didn't see Diana as a person at first any more than she saw the Royal Family as people in their own right. She had all the right stuff and they didn't need to look any further (or so they thought).

But I think that the Royal Family's using her like this was far more benign than the newspaper industy's use of Diana. If the Royal Family just wanted a womb from Diana and a pretty face to carry out engagements and later be crowned Queen then Diana would still end up being one of the most loved women in the world. However, what the press wanted from Diana was her blood; they wanted her pain spread all over the papers so they could sell them. And I firmly believe that Rupert Murdoch consciously used the Diana craze to destroy the reputation and standing of the Royal Family. So he wouldn't rest until Diana's sons' inheritance was destroyed.

The tragedy of Diana is that she saw the papers as her friends and the Royal Family as her enemies. Considering that she got killed as a result of Di-mania, I would say that her trust in her newspaper friends was misplaced as well as her fear of the Royal Family.
What an excellent assessment. Right on the mark. Is Murdoch such a RF hater? It has never been a thought that I would have had, as I cannot imagine what difference it would make to him. He has all that he needs in life and then some. Of course, the behavior of many of the RF is their own problem. It is just more exposed now.
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  #405  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
I know you didn't. I was just struck by the similarity of the way you described someone who does these things because they know they can get away with it with the description of a bully that I read in a previous article.

Someone else said that the Royal Family just used Diana as a womb and I can understand that. During the engagement I was studying German and one magazine had the title 'Ein Mädchen ohne Vergangenheit von einer Familie mit veilen Vergangenheit' or basically they described Diana as a girl without a past who came from a family with a long past. So to be fair, I think probably the Royal Family didn't see Diana as a person at first any more than she saw the Royal Family as people in their own right. She had all the right stuff and they didn't need to look any further (or so they thought).

But I think that the Royal Family's using her like this was far more benign than the newspaper industy's use of Diana. If the Royal Family just wanted a womb from Diana and a pretty face to carry out engagements and later be crowned Queen then Diana would still end up being one of the most loved women in the world. However, what the press wanted from Diana was her blood; they wanted her pain spread all over the papers so they could sell them. And I firmly believe that Rupert Murdoch consciously used the Diana craze to destroy the reputation and standing of the Royal Family. So he wouldn't rest until Diana's sons' inheritance was destroyed.

The tragedy of Diana is that she saw the papers as her friends and the Royal Family as her enemies. Considering that she got killed as a result of Di-mania, I would say that her trust in her newspaper friends was misplaced as well as her fear of the Royal Family.
Very nice summary Ysbel. Your understanding of Murdoch is sadly correct IMO. Without Murdoch, the history and how the RF is viewed would I think be very different. For one, IMO Diana would be alive. And the public might not be a celebrity obsessed as it is.
Countess, Murdoch is a republican. He hates the RF. And Unfortunately he owns a decent number of the British papers. But then he owns too many media outlets worldwide IMO although that is a subject for a different forum.
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  #406  
Old 01-10-2008, 09:57 AM
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^ It's also ironic that Diana kind of has a family connection, by marriage, to Murdoch. His daughter, Elisabeth, is married to
Matthew Freud, who was the first husband of Caroline, Countess Spencer.

I know Murdoch owns The Times, The Sun, Fox (which in turn owns MySpace) and loads more.
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  #407  
Old 01-10-2008, 02:21 PM
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Wow! I thought it was fun to see how many posts have appeared during the relatively short life of this thread! It proves Diana still sparks controversy, I think.

I chose the Andrew Morton book. I was 11 and an American who awoke at 5:00am to watch the royal wedding coverage. I've always been interested in royalty, but more in the Danish RF due to my heritage. I didn't pay a tremendous amount of attention to the BRF until Diana was in the spotlight.

In succeeding years, I read every magazine article I could get my hands on, most of which kept life in some part of the fairy tale. The Morton book helped me understand how difficult things were for the entire family, and that Diana was flawed just like the rest of us. By this time, I was an adult and had a better grasp on human nature. I came to understand that the union was a mismatch; that taking a shy girl with her limited exposure and thrusting her into the brightest spotlight on the planet with virtually no guidance along the way was cruel; that the RF plays by their own rules; and that desperately unhappy people do desperate (and unwise) things.

It is clear that in much of her life and marriage she felt powerless. I think the 1995 interview was her (vastly) overcompensating for that powerlessness. That she, for all the adoration at her doorstep, felt so alone and inadequate in herself and felt the need to strike out in such a way, is very telling. She craved devotion and support, but had understandable trust issues. She was the worst possible sort of person to wind up in the situation in which she found herself, and naturally it brought out the worst in her.

I also think it's going too far to say that she nearly destroyed the monarchy. Her first priority was to raise the future King as an example and credit to his family. So in the area where the monarchy most required her involvement and support, they got it. Her sons, left early as they were, were already imbued with a clear sense of duty. The monarchy's innate inflexibility in so many areas, and its perception that it was something more divine than appropriate for the 20th Century, has been the source of so much strife in that family, as well as any alienation from the masses. Elizabeth's stoicism with her children also in no way prepared Charles for someone of Diana's temperament, or of feminine sensitivities in general. (I'm not going to dis Camilla, but a beacon of femininity she ain't!) From the fairly extensive reading I've done, I'm sure a great deal of Elizabeth's sense of pomp and propriety was nurtured by her grandmother. In her long reign, she had been slow to grasp the change in public perception and expectation. If anything, Diana helped speed up that process IMO. Other European royal families had become less full of themselves and more in touch much sooner.

Anyway, my worship of Diana evolved into pity, mixed with respect for the good she undeniably accomplished. It showed me that the most imperfect people in the most challenging circumstances can still contribute. I do not believe she had any intention of marrying Dodi, but with the passage of time, that might have been the relationship that helped her along the road to personal independence, even when, or resulting from, its break-up.

Public opinion can come full circle on people who are in the limelight for long enough. Had she been around another few decades (rather than dying two years after the damaging interview), who knows how posterity would've viewed her? Even Charles had come around to be a friend by the time of her death. The sad thing is, we will never know.
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  #408  
Old 01-10-2008, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarina View Post
no way prepared Charles for someone of Diana's temperament, or of feminine sensitivities in general. (I'm not going to dis Camilla, but a beacon of femininity she ain't!) .
I won't waste your time by disagreeing with the majority of your opinion, as you have read the thread, we can take that as a given. But I do have to ask what on earth you think 'feminine sensitivities' are and how you can be so sure that Camilla doesn't possess them?
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  #409  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:27 PM
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OMG... I had truly hoped we all were mature and cosmopolitan enough to not beat the PC drum at the slightest provocation. But since you insist, I have to ask if you think a man in a parallel situation would've developed bulemia, been frequently seen in tears, and so on?

Camilla clearly is made of tougher stuff. As I said, I didn't have anything against her personally, nor did I comment on her sensitivities. I commented on her femininity which contrasts to Diana's to even the most casual royal watcher.

As a newcomer to this forum, it wasn't easy for me to post my thoughts, but there seemed wide room for variance of opinion. I also thought a measure of compassion was in order for an unfortunate woman. Apparently not.

If your response is consistent with how differing thoughts are treated, than it's no wonder this forum doesn't have more of them.
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  #410  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarina View Post
OMG... I had truly hoped we all were mature and cosmopolitan enough to not beat the PC drum at the slightest provocation.Camilla clearly is made of tougher stuff. As I said, I didn't have anything against her personally, nor did I comment on her sensitivities. I commented on her femininity which contrasts to Diana's to even the most casual royal watcher.

As a newcomer to this forum, it wasn't easy for me to post my thoughts, but there seemed wide room for variance of opinion. I also thought a measure of compassion was in order for an unfortunate woman. Apparently not.

If your response is consistent with how differing thoughts are treated, than it's no wonder this forum doesn't have more of them.
It was meant as a genuine question and I don't think anyone has ever thought I belonged to the PC camp. I didn't expect such a response! I am sorry if I upset you. However, my question had nothing to do with being PC, more curious as to what you consider 'femininity' or 'feminine sensitivities' to be.
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  #411  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:39 PM
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I don't think my opinion has changed so much as broadened.

Both Charles and Diana were needy people. Unfortunately, they couldn't fulfil each other's needs, thus the marriage was going to fail.

Neither of them would have been a picnic for an average person to have been married to. IMO Charles is very self-absorbed and he couldn't comprehend how damaged and vulnerable Diana was. (Camilla must be very patient and nurturing.)

I think the event that really ended the marriage was the death of Earl Spencer. Diana really needed her father's approval, and once that brake on her behavior was gone she had no reason to control her impulses, hence the devastating Morton book and the awful Bashir interview. As we all know with royals, infidelity is not a reason to end a marriage; they could have survived but for their race to the media.

I don't dislike Diana more. I think I have more empathy with her, having had some bad periods in my own life, and knowing about some of her difficulties would have made her more three-dimensional to me. I could relate to a princess with a bad marriage and an eating disorder more than I could talk to one about her Jimmy Choos.

And she had to have had some wonderful moments, because I think her children turned out very well.
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  #412  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarina View Post
OMG... I had truly hoped we all were mature and cosmopolitan enough to not beat the PC drum at the slightest provocation. But since you insist, I have to ask if you think a man in a parallel situation would've developed bulemia, been frequently seen in tears, and so on?

Camilla clearly is made of tougher stuff. As I said, I didn't have anything against her personally, nor did I comment on her sensitivities. I commented on her femininity which contrasts to Diana's to even the most casual royal watcher.

As a newcomer to this forum, it wasn't easy for me to post my thoughts, but there seemed wide room for variance of opinion. I also thought a measure of compassion was in order for an unfortunate woman. Apparently not.

If your response is consistent with how differing thoughts are treated, than it's no wonder this forum doesn't have more of them.

YAY ! Let's get the boxing gloves .

First, Welcome to the Royal Forums Czarina .

Like you said, there are many different opinions on Diana and, as you pointed out too, alot of discussion between members. What is wonderful here is that it rarely end up in a fight since we eventually find a point on which we agree so no worries
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  #413  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:42 PM
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Excellent post, Ysbel. I've always felt that the RF wanted Diana precisely because she was "a girl without a past" who came from a heritage precisely such as hers. And that either they misjudged her character, or rather she was far too young at the time to have developed an independent character that could properly be judged for any instability.

But you know, back at the time just before the wedding, when Shy Di mania was sweeping the world, I'd read a remark by one of her former nannies in People magazine which said, in effect, "don't let that demure act fool you." I don't wish to paraphrase further, but it implied that there was a divide between her appearance and her nature, and it struck me at the time because it was so profoundly different from all the adoring press she was receiving. (Later, when I heard her tell Settelen what she used to do to her various nannies, it came back to haunt me.)

I found the Morton book to be a bucket of cold water over the head moment for me - not because of what was revealed within, but because Diana had, in essence, commissioned it. That she would have participated in such a thing and exposed herself to the world in that way was unimagineable to me. Never mind what she did to the royal family - she brought her troubles into the press, and the press into her troubles.

Frankly, until she split from Charles, it was difficult to see her as anything but a beautiful blank. I think her flaws made her more interesting, and made her good qualities (her parenting skills, her charity work) even more exceptional by compare.

I'd like to hope that her sons are able to find themselves wives who have the strength of character to make their lives happy, and that the former qualifications for the job (bloodlines, pedigree, virginity, innocence) be obscured by things that matter more in this day and age.
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  #414  
Old 01-10-2008, 05:19 PM
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YAY ! Let's get the boxing gloves .
TheTruth, you are so naughty, as if we ever fight!
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  #415  
Old 01-10-2008, 05:46 PM
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I think Camilla is very feminine, I also think she has consistently for decades exhibited the best qualities of being a true lady, in spite of, many times over.

Bottom line here, Camilla HAS REAL CLASS. Her good breeding shows as well as her level of maturity on an ongoing basis imo.
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  #416  
Old 01-10-2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarina View Post
OMG... I had truly hoped we all were mature and cosmopolitan enough to not beat the PC drum at the slightest provocation. But since you insist, I have to ask if you think a man in a parallel situation would've developed bulemia, been frequently seen in tears, and so on?
Well, no, but then nor would a lot of women. Mind you, some men might just reach for a bottle of vodka or a shotgun while others would shrug it off.

Quote:
Camilla clearly is made of tougher stuff. As I said, I didn't have anything against her personally, nor did I comment on her sensitivities. I commented on her femininity which contrasts to Diana's to even the most casual royal watcher.
I think Skydragon might have been querying what sort of femininity you meant. You said you thought Camilla wasn't a beacon of feminine sensitivities, but I'm not sure what you mean, exactly. She's got a lot more self-control than Diana in that she can face considerable adversity without letting her emotions show, and that sort of temperament is more familiar to Charles because it's the way most of the women in his immediate family have been. However, Camilla does appear to have the sort of nurturing warmth to her which is also a fairly typical feminine trait.

Quote:
As a newcomer to this forum, it wasn't easy for me to post my thoughts, but there seemed wide room for variance of opinion. I also thought a measure of compassion was in order for an unfortunate woman. Apparently not.

If your response is consistent with how differing thoughts are treated, than it's no wonder this forum doesn't have more of them.
And here's me thinking we were doing fairly well in this thread. You should have been here a couple of years ago, when we had quite a few threads where the only prudent response was

Seriously, I think there's been quite a lot of compassion shown to Diana in this thread. Skydragon's response is consistent with her opinion, not with everybody else's - as in so many other discussions here, there are a wide range of opinions and reasons for them, so I don't think any individual's opinion is representative of the thread as a whole.
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  #417  
Old 01-10-2008, 06:49 PM
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Excellent post, Ysbel. I've always felt that the RF wanted Diana precisely because she was "a girl without a past" who came from a heritage precisely such as hers. And that either they misjudged her character, or rather she was far too young at the time to have developed an independent character that could properly be judged for any instability.

But you know, back at the time just before the wedding, when Shy Di mania was sweeping the world, I'd read a remark by one of her former nannies in People magazine which said, in effect, "don't let that demure act fool you." I don't wish to paraphrase further, but it implied that there was a divide between her appearance and her nature, and it struck me at the time because it was so profoundly different from all the adoring press she was receiving. (Later, when I heard her tell Settelen what she used to do to her various nannies, it came back to haunt me.)

I found the Morton book to be a bucket of cold water over the head moment for me - not because of what was revealed within, but because Diana had, in essence, commissioned it. That she would have participated in such a thing and exposed herself to the world in that way was unimagineable to me. Never mind what she did to the royal family - she brought her troubles into the press, and the press into her troubles.

Frankly, until she split from Charles, it was difficult to see her as anything but a beautiful blank. I think her flaws made her more interesting, and made her good qualities (her parenting skills, her charity work) even more exceptional by compare.
Good posts, both ysbel and ellenw.

I never bought into the Diana mania from the beginning. I never found her as beautiful as the media gushed over. Her face still had baby fat when she got engaged and her nose was too big. She was a pretty enough girl by English standard but nothing really that special. The thing what really bothered me was the coyness and shyness or demure look through her eye lashes. I could tell it's a practiced look and it didn't do anything to my feminist sensibilities. Plus, she's not well educated. It bothered me that everybody seemed to giddedly overlooked that. As it turned out, the education and age gap between her and her husband proved to be fatal to their marriage.

Her actions since only confirmed my first impression of her. I found her courting of the media in her war against her husband and in-laws calculating but lack of common sense. The media adored Diana, Princess of Wales, not Diana Spencer. She got to her position and world-wide fame due to the BRF. Without the BRF, where would she or her sons be? She's smart in small things but stupid from a big-picture standpoint. She seemed to think her confirmation of her affair with Hewit would win her sympathy. In admitting to that affair, she validated all other affairs and that dropped her in the public opinion. Her marriage was doomed and she lost her status. It's a testamony to the phrase: Winning the war but losing the battle.

Just to respond to an earlier comment about femininity, I don't think it's Diana feminine sensibility was the reason why her marriage to Charles was doomed. I think it's Diana's insecurity. Charles grew up as the receipant of all people's attention and nuturing. He didn't know how to give all that to someone else, especially someone as insecured as Diana. Camelia, from everything I heard, is very comfortable in her own skin. She seems to be the woman who has the capacity to give Charles full support and caring Charles needs. Both Diana and Charles are takers. They are not givers. Camelia seems to be a giver.

Now, Diana was long dead. Could we leave her to historical judgement now?
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  #418  
Old 01-10-2008, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Now, Diana was long dead. Could we leave her to historical judgement now?
Well the media is showing no signs of letting her go.
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  #419  
Old 01-10-2008, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I think Skydragon might have been querying what sort of femininity you meant. You said you thought Camilla wasn't a beacon of feminine sensitivities, but I'm not sure what you mean, exactly
I was curious as to how to define femininity. Most of the men Camilla has met, say she oozes sexuality, my own husband 'defines' Camilla's appeal as 'being a mans woman'!
Quote:
And here's me thinking we were doing fairly well in this thread. You should have been here a couple of years ago, when we had quite a few threads where the only prudent response was
That's the very reason I didn't go into my normal 'mode' of repeating all the points I disagreed with. I try to be good and look what happens!
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  #420  
Old 01-10-2008, 07:32 PM
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I was curious as to how to define femininity. Most of the men Camilla has met, say she oozes sexuality, my own husband 'defines' Camilla's appeal as 'being a mans woman'!
How ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!!!!
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