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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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  #1  
Old 12-27-2007, 12:11 PM
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When did your opinion of Diana change and why?

Jo of Palatine suggested a discussion about people who have changed their opinion about Diana and how they got to the point where and when this started to happen. There really wasn't a thread for this type of discussion so we started one and added a poll based on some of the suggestions Jo had.

Thanks, Jo, for suggesting this topic.

So we'd like to ask the question: If your opinion of Diana has changed over the years, when did you start changing your opinion? Do you remember what caused it?

Jo suggested some waterfall events in Diana's life. Morton-book, Charles' interview, Panorama-interview, Squidgygate, Hewitt-affair, War of the Waleses, Or simply Dodi. It could also be something else.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2007, 12:31 PM
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Well, when Diana died I was quite young but I remember it vividly. My great grandmother died on the 1st September and Diana died on the 31 August and I thought the people crying in the streets were crying for my nan. I remember my mother taking my sister and I to Kensington Palace and we put roses down but I had no idea who the woman was I supposed to be remembering because I didn't really know who Diana was. I knew who the Queen was because my other nan had a picture of her on the wall and I was always told I had to respect her because she was my better. Etc etc. So, I didn't have an opinion of Diana until I reached my teens and I was confronted with her as a member of the Royal Family. I decided that Diana had damaged the monarchy so badly that it had put the Queen in an impossible situation. Any afront to her was beyond forgiveness and so I was vehemently against Diana from the start. I adore Camilla, for some reason I always have, and I felt that one had to choose a camp to be in.

During this inquest, alot of the real Diana has been allowed to come through and so now, I don't hate her, I respect her and I'm happy to accept that she was a member of our Royal Family who like the rest of the firm, had her good and bad points. So I haven't turned into a loon with a Di obsession but I do feel that I was wrong to be so anti-Diana when there's really no need to be. Diana was Diana. Simple.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:45 PM
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I'm like you BeatrixFan, I was too little when she died to know who she was. Around my teens, I learned more about her, mostly because of her charities. My opinion never really changed about her, I've always kept the image of a troubled princess who helped people, the image of a woman with 2 sides. In spite of what I've learned about the bad she has done, I can't hate her.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
During this inquest, alot of the real Diana has been allowed to come through and so now, I don't hate her, I respect her and I'm happy to accept that she was a member of our Royal Family who like the rest of the firm, had her good and bad points. So I haven't turned into a loon with a Di obsession but I do feel that I was wrong to be so anti-Diana when there's really no need to be. Diana was Diana. Simple.
I agree with BeatrixFan on this point. My opinion about Princess Diana has not changed since I have never belonged to any camps. I liked late Princess Diana for her sense of style and ability to choose outfits that would enhance her look. From my Asian perspective, she did her duty as Crown Princess and secured the bloodline. However, I have to admit, Princess Diana did lack sophistication, when it came to revenge.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:11 PM
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I was also very young when Diana died but soon developed an interest in her.
At that time I thought she was perfect a saint. As I entered my teens and went through a rebelious phase I started to question wheter or not she was perfect in her private life. When I learned of some of the bad things Diana did I was surprised somewhat relieved. Here was a real person who had troubles like any other person. I have always believed that Diana was a good person who made many mistakes, but also made many good deeds . I will always have adoration and respect for her.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:53 PM
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I guess I'm an old fart around here () as I was a teenager when Diana first came on the scene and I truly idolized her and felt she could do no wrong. I think a lot of it had to do with my age and getting caught up in the whole "fairy princess" story. As I got older I was able to look at things with more clarity and maturity. My opinion about Diana changed a bit around the time the Morton book came out. I was really shocked to read some of the things that Diana had done (pushing her stepmother down the stairs, etc.). It was really shocking to me that my idol from my teenage years could do something so cruel. I will always love Diana but now I view her as a real person rather than the perfect princess that I always thought she was. She was a good person that had lots of problems and was not very nice at times in her life. She was a real person, just like the rest of us, with imperfections as well as many good qualities.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:58 PM
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Well I voted 'other' too but for a different reason. When I first heard of Diana, the last that I had heard was that Charles was going to marry Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg. I was surprised at the age difference between the two and thought Diana was very young, naive and inexperienced. Being only a year younger than Diana myself, I thought Charles was incredibly old, boring, ugly and pompous and suspected that he would try to force that young girl into his old, boring, ugly image (19 year olds can have an amazing prejudice against older people it seems)

I wasn't really interested in either of them. Charles was still old and boring and ugly and Diana was just too sweet and innocent and trusting to appeal to someone like myself who prided herself on being a modern woman who could take care of herself and not be anybody's fool. I was amazed that the reception Diana received and was a bit dismayed that this modern world was choosing to celebrate the virttues of an innocent, trusting, naive woman rather than a strong and purposeful woman who made her own choices and didn't depend on anyone else for her sense of well-being but other than that, I ignored them.

Then sometime in the mid-eighties, I saw an article of a dance that Diana performed as a surprise during a celebration of Charles' birthday. Knowing Charles' sense of decorum and disdain for public display, I was shocked at her choice, surely years after her marriage to Charles, she should have figured out that he would not appreciate this gift.

But then I began reading other things about Diana upstaging Charles and making him look the fool. This was around 1987 or 1988. One story in particular I paid attention to. The couple had visited a school where the master suggested that Charles who had studied the cello would like to take his turn at the cello. Charles hadn't played in awhile and he was really bad and it looks like he was suffering through it.

Diana immediately swung around and did a little ditty on the piano and played it perfectly. The articles the next day were of Charles' ignomy and Diana's triumph. Well I've been in situations where I have been embarassed in public and to me the worst thing that can happen is when someone takes your discomfort and makes you look even more the fool. So because of the embarassement that Charles undoubtedly felt over those two times when Diana showed him up, I developed a sympathy for this old, ugly man and felt a kinship.

And I could understand the pain that being married to such a woman would cause. So I started out not really finding anything in common with either of them but being more sympathetic to Diana because I thought Charles being older would take advantage of her. However by the end of the eighties, I found a kinship with Charles and then when I realized the extent to which Diana could take revenge, I lost sympathy for her completely.

This surprised me because I'm usually very judgmental about men who cheat on their wives but despite this, I did find a kinship with Charles rather than with Diana. I think the difference was with the revenge. Revenge and continual revenge always drives me away no matter the cause.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2007, 02:26 PM
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I was also very young when Diana died, but after doing research on her I think my opinion changed after the Panorama interview. i think that was probably one of the biggest mistakes she made, especially saying that Charles was not fit to be king and dishing out so much to Martin Bashir on live TV. That was when my opinion changed, but I still think she was a great human being.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:36 PM
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Other as well.

I thought Diana was genuine in the beginning but by the panarama interview, i thought it was a giant act. Too much eye battering and looking to the side. Too rehearst. But I saw where she was coming from - revenge and yes bad marriage can happen to everyone.
A few years later and I was helping out with the media. We expected a lot of foreign media for the visit of Diana - we possibly got much more which is why I was drafted in.
A lot of the media had actually been personally invited by Diana herself, who promised them exclusive pics and such. The whole event was a whole organisation mess
Diana was adament to poses with as many children at the hospital as possible, for the benefit of the hospital she explained. They didn't understand who she was and why she was there. She simply came in posed with the kids and some of the adults, later meet with some of the support staff and left. I was told later that she was unhappy with some of the kids as they didn't look ill enough for the pic. A lot of things just seemed wrong. One of them was that in the middle of the visit she left so that her stylist could redo her hair so that is could look good for the photos. Most of the visit was private, instead Diana allowed the press in without the permission of the press. She also told the press that she was visiting AIDS orphans and people affected by AIDS. Which caused a problem as a politician's wife had been in there for heart problems and the South African tabloids ran with stories about both of them having AIDS.
The people at the hospital felt terribly used. They had hoped that Diana's visit would encourage foreign countries and investors to donate equipment to the hospital, instead it had became Diana's three ringed PR circus. She got her front page, the press got their headlines - the hospital is still waiting for their money.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:42 PM
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I chose the Squidgygate revelations. It was that which caused me to have an opinion of her at all. Prior to that, being an active follower of the royal family for 23 years before she appeared on the scene, I of course knew much about her but was much more interested in other members of the family and didn't pay much attention to her activities. So, the situation was that I didn't dislike her nor did I like her; I just never thought about it; she was pretty much off my radar. However, finding out from the tapes that she complained "After all I've done for this f*****g family..." made me think about her differently. I found that so self-centered and arrogant. I still think so. In addition, though, paying more attention to things about her over the years have added to my knowledge and opinions so that I do acknowledge the more attractive things she said and did. The opinion about being self-centered hasn't changed, though. I feel that the sadness of her life and situation was that, however appealing she was to many of the public and the media, she was unsuited to fulfill a role within the royal family and the monarchy.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:47 PM
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i quess that we all have to accept that each and everyone of has faults though we may not admit them and Diana like all of us had faults yet she did so much good for the royal family and for charities and for the UK in general.

i was young when diana died yet i even at that age was aware of her and saw her as the fairytale princess - a "girl next door" marrying her prince. in the early 1980s just after the engagement is what i believe was the true Diana before she became "influenced" by people, institutions and the desire for media attention. at the end of her life was a Diana who was different and changed by what the 16 years of royal life had done to her

she remains a remarkable human being and someone that the royal family miss for the compassion she showed to people and for easy manner whilst on duty
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:35 PM
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The Panorama interview is what did it for me. I didn't much care for the Morton book, but it wasn't until a lot later that it was confirmed that Diana was so deeply involved in it. At the time it sounded like a cry for help from someone who was in over her head, and my feeling then was that Charles and Diana had essentially been pawns in a power struggle between the Queen Mother and Lord Mountbatten, which the Queen Mother had won when Charles married her favoured candidate (and granddaughter of her friend) rather than one of the Mountbatten clan. I was really quite sympathetic toward Diana, who had been dropped in this situation and given precious little worthwhile support by her own family, who apparently seemed to think that her position should have made up for any number of personal difficulties.

However, as time went on and there were more and more revelations, it became clear that there was a media war going on and that Diana was increasingly at the point where she didn't especially seem to care what she did as long as she came out looking good, even if it involved giving the impression that Charles didn't care about either his country or his children but only about his mistress. I could still feel sympathetic, although by that time the sympathy was coloured by more than a touch of irritation at all the propaganda and the damage it seemed to be doing.

But "I want to be a queen in people's hearts"? By that point she was so consumed with the need for self-justification and media stardom and validation that she apparently thought that challenging the Queen was an acceptable next step. In a constitutional monarchy, the Queen is queen in people's hearts or she's in deep trouble, and senior members of the royal family should know that better than anyone. When Diana had reached the point of apparently not caring who - including the Queen - ended up being collateral damage in her campaign to win the hearts of the public, she lost this particular member of the public for good.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:39 PM
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I wouldn't say that my opinion of Diana has changed over the years, but I will say that I see her much more realistically now.

I got up that July morning in 1981 as a young girl of 8 to watch the wedding, and became enchanted with Diana on that day. I saw Charles as dashing and romantic (being a Prince), and her story reminded me of all the "happily ever after" fantasies I had read about.

I married young myself, at 18, and was divorced at 22. My divorce became final right before the serialization of the Morton book. My heart went out to her, for her life paralleled mine. I pretended that my life was perfect, when in fact from the honeymoon on I knew I had made a mistake.

I was disturbed by the "suicide attempt" while pregnant with William. I know now that that was an exaggeration, but it truly shocked me that she would even say that.

However, I went through personal problems of my own, and am in the process of recovery. I truly feel that Diana had some mental illness, and although it doesn't rationalize certain behaviors, it explains them. This is truly my own personal opinion.

I think the big tragedy of Diana's life was that she didn't love herself, therefore she depended on others to love her. If she had loved and respected herself, I think her life could have been different.

By that I mean she could have come to terms with Charles' affair with Camilla, not to different than the way Queen Alexandra did with King Edward VII. I think that Diana made rash decisions, and probably had serious regrets about the Panorama interview and the divorce.

I think she died not having truly ever found herself. I think she was starting on that path, but still, the behavior with Dodi that summer shows me that she was still depending on others for her happiness.

I admire her beauty and grace. I deeply admire the charitable work she did and the ability she had to releate to commoners. When all is said and done, I see her as a sad and ill woman with so much promise.

I don't know that Charles loved her, but I do believe he cared for her, and the bond with their children would have helped them to develop into more of a friendship.

Again, this is all my opinion, not based on much fact. Only Diana really knew what was in her heart, and she is no longer with us.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:40 PM
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By all your confessions, I was much older when Charles married Diana and I was quite amazed that he married such a young woman. But, as I came to realize that she really had one big job, which she fulfilled, she should have known what her place was. I had no expectations of her being a "saint" or anything else for that matter of fact. Perhaps, my feelings changed to her on the more positive side, was when I realized how young and foolish she was and she needed love and attention, which she was not getting from her husband and he had a girlfriend. Her actions from that time foward were, to me, pathetic. What amazed me is that she never really knew the power she held over others. Why, I can't answer. Yes, she grabbed the limelight from her husband, but "a woman scorned" will get even. If, I believe, she was older and more sensible, she might have bided her time and let the drama play out without her manipulating many scenes. Panorama being one of them. She would have appeared, beautifully dressed and sweetly smiling, in public, no matter how she felt about him. She, most probably, would still be The Princess of Wales, as Charles, never would have persued a divorce. She had her faults, but her life from the beginning of her marriage was a sham. She was too young and not bright enough to use her power properly.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:49 PM
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I forgot to say that I've voted Other. Like I said, I never really got to change my point of vue on Diana. Although, we might consider that whether we were too young to understand the whole situation, it must have changed our vision of the woman. People like Liz were enchanted by the fairytale and all that stuff but then, when the other side of the story appeared, some stucked with this idea and refused to change their ideal thoughts on her ; others became so disgusted that they no longer have any respect for her. And of course there are the ones in the middle, thinking how someone could be so different depending on the specific situation ... As for me, who didn't see the story from A to Z (I was 6 when she died), some things she has done like the phone calls to Hoare or the Panorama Interview, will always remain how they are : untolerable ; but she did many good things aside of that so, IMO, it's impossible to condemn her.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:51 PM
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I think there was alot of 'Joan at Pepsi Co' about it to be honest. For anyone who doesn't know, Joan Crawford married Al Steele who was the President of Pepsi Cola. Joan made it her second career to promote the product and the company lapped it up. The exposure was just what Pepsi needed and Joan was their best ambassador but when Al Steele died, the board tried to ditch Crawford. After hurling a class curse word, she said; "The publicity I delivered to this company was my power. The sword cuts both ways". And that's exactly what Diana became. She delivered what the RF needed but she went too far and when the firm dropped her, she realised that she could use the power she had to damage something she'd apparantly tried to help.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:15 PM
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What I didn't catch in the poll is why Hewitt can be a factor to our way of seeing Diana. I believe it can show that Diana also had an affair but what else ? It is the last thing I would think about to explain my change of point of vue.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:24 PM
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I voted War of the Walses. Like most of the people here it seems, () I was pretty young when Diana died. I guess I kind of always liked her pretty well, since I'm American, and the American press just worships the ground she walked on, and have all these nice things to say. So all I pretty much heard about her were about the wonderful things she did, how pretty she was, etc. Besides, I didn't become a royalty fan until around a year or so ago, and I'm still not a huge follower of the British Royal Family. But the first thing that I did hear about was the War of the Walses, and for some reason I was just turned off by it, it just seemed kind of stupid to me. I know Diana's done more stupid/dumb/rash/innappropriate things over the years, but this was just the first one that turned me off to her. Now, I'm not a Diana-hater, I think she was a kind, caring woman who did a lot for the Royal Family and for the British people, and that she was a wonderful mother. I'm not a big enough follower of the BRF to be in a "camp" so to speak.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:29 PM
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What I didn't catch in the poll is why Hewitt can be a factor to our way of seeing Diana. I believe it can show that Diana also had an affair but what else ? It is the last thing I would think about to explain my change of point of vue.
I'm not really sure, TheTruth. It was one of Jo's suggestions. Maybe she can explain.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:29 PM
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I voted War of the Walses. Like most of the people here it seems, () I was pretty young when Diana died. I guess I kind of always liked her pretty well, since I'm American, and the American press just worships the ground she walked on, and have all these nice things to say. So all I pretty much heard about her were about the wonderful things she did, how pretty she was, etc. Besides, I didn't become a royalty fan until around a year or so ago, and I'm still not a huge follower of the British Royal Family. But the first thing that I did hear about was the War of the Walses, and for some reason I was just turned off by it, it just seemed kind of stupid to me. I know Diana's done more stupid/dumb/rash/innappropriate things over the years, but this was just the first one that turned me off to her. Now, I'm not a Diana-hater, I think she was a kind, caring woman who did a lot for the Royal Family and for the British people, and that she was a wonderful mother. I'm not a big enough follower of the BRF to be in a "camp" so to speak.
(my bolding)

LOL, well don't worry acdc1 because you don't have to choose. I'm mostly interested in the BRF and I won't choose a side because once you do, you're no longer free to see the truth .
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