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  #1961  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
Really is she? The reality is fewer and fewer people know her as time go on. The new generation wont know her. If you ask someone like a teen today, if they have any interest in royals at all, it would be Princess Kate they would best know. And we're talking English speaking world here. In the US and other English speaking countries, knowledge of other monarchies seems limited.

For people around and old enough to watch the wedding in 1981, its because of the 'fairy tale' wedding. Back then it had little to do with Diana, other then her see through skirt photos. It was because she was marrying the Prince of Wales. He was considered the bachelor prince like Harry in those days. Diana wasn't very popular the first years of marriage. Sarah actually was more popular. Sarah was thought to be more fashionable and approachable by many. It wasn't until later in her marriage when she really started doing charity work herself, that she became known.

Diana for many she was famous for 2 reasons:

1. She was a celebrity. She is known for dancing with John Travolta. And being glamerous.

2. She was known for her charity work. Her covers for landmines come to mind for many.

The reality is that most of her noteworthy charity work was done at the end of her marriage, separation and divorce. It was in those years that she slimmed down to 6 charities, and really dove into AIDS and such.

Then there is the whole divorce and the war of the wales. And all of the publicity, good and horrible, which stick with people.

Diana, by those who still remember her, is not remembered as some 'cinderella'. She is seen as either the 1. humanitarian 'princess of hearts' 2. the scorned wife 3. the celebrity.


Diana is slowly going the way of many a popular royal lady before her. One day she will be simply a history test question like

Who was the mother of king William V?
a. Camilla Parker-Bowles
b. Diana Spencer
c. Sarah Ferguson
d. Sophie Rhys-Jones
Would have to disagree. She is the most well known modern princess of our time. I agree she became an icon after her divorce with her amazing charity and humanitarian work. But as Princess of Wales she did have the perfect princess image down and I blame the media for that since they created that image for her which become too much for her.
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  #1962  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:21 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that Diana was wildly popular with people who didn't otherwise pay much attention to royals. Especially when you're looking at her fan base in the US (and possibly other places outside of the UK), an awful lot of people who considered her "their princess" couldn't have named or recognized another princess until Sarah Ferguson came onto the scene. She will always have a special fascination to those people that goes far beyond that of Victoria, Mary, Letizia or Maxima for the simple fact that many of those folks simply don't know that those other royal women exist. Her wedding looked especially like a "fairytale" because it was the only royal wedding they'd ever paid attention to.

Which raises the question: why Diana? I think a lot of it comes down to timing.

Diana was introduced to the world at the end of a long recession. The news had been pretty dark and depressing for a while. In particular, what we in the US were hearing out of Britain was almost entirely about things like labor union unrest and IRA bombings. The Iran hostage crisis hadn't been over long. Earlier that year there had been an assassination attempt on our president. People were just generally hungry for something bright and happy and fluffy. Every major TV network carried the wedding in the US (and remember, cable was new and still wasn't even available everywhere, so blanket network coverage meant there weren't other viewing options) and there it was: one of the grandest, largest-scale royal weddings to date. A real life prince and princess riding in fancy carriages and wearing clothes that looked like something out of Cinderella. Princess Anne's wedding had also been televised, but that was years in the past and not at a moment when international audiences were more in a state of mind of dealing with the (not insignificant) problems of the day head on rather than staying tuned in and just enjoying something so...escapist...as the fantastical, almost unreal spectacle that Charles and Diana's wedding was.

What's more, it was the first major BRF wedding in a very long time in which the bride was the one marrying into the family. That added extra fodder for girls and women to enjoy the "what if I became a princess" daydream as they watched her, and it was a new experience to see that happen.

Then, as the economy improved and pop culture went through a phase of extremes, Diana developed a sense of style that captured non-royal-watchers' attention in yet another way. If her wedding provided a head-in-the-clouds moment of imagining yourself in her shoes, what came next was a much more attainable kind of Diana-as aspirational-figure stage that cemented interest in her.

Now, royal life and duty is not about fashion. I don't think at all that it is. I doubt her fashion was any more important to true royal watchers of the day than Charlene's, Victoria's or Kate's clothing is to us now. I don't think it was any more important to Diana than it is to any of those women today. But I do think style had a very big role to play in the development of the Diana's very intense following.

First of all, she caught attention by not being so unapproachably preppy as the royals could tend to be. She was elegant, but in a modern way. She was visibly interested in the pop culture trends, but she put a wholesome spin on them. We were seeing a lot of "bitchy" glamour on evening soaps, and she didn't give off that air at all. The younger trends were very much caught up in pushing the limits of brashness and weirdness (think punk rock, New Wave, hair bands, boy-toy era Madonna). She offered an image of how to look young and fresh without cutting and teasing your hair into an asymmetric concoction. There weren't really a ton of examples of that middle approach being pulled off well, so she continued to get a lot of attention from, again, people who otherwise would have ignored royal goings-on.

Just about every issue of American women's magazines like Redbook and Good Housekeeping had pictures of Diana in their style sections. At my small town's public library, the rack where they featured especially popular books usually held several photo books that consisted of nothing but pictures of Diana. And it was usually "everyday Diana:" at polo matches, visiting hospitals, etc., not dressed to the nines in jewels and gowns. When she wore that red sweater covered in white sheep (and one black one), knockoffs showed up very quickly in most American department stores. Throughout the 80s, he offered a look that seemed so contemporary and stylish but also very wearable by the average woman and a lot of women took careful and continual notice of it because they felt sort of left behind by the over-the-top styles seen on celebrities and in fashion magazines.

So by the end of the 80s, when the cracks in Diana's life started to show, that news was being recieved by a fan base that felt strongly attached to her and who saw themselves in her. They had never really paid any attention to any of the other players in the royal drama of her marriages dissolution, so they weren't inclined to side with them. And in some ways, initial news of the ugliness only reinforced the idea old of fairytale Diana. They'd been introduced to her as Cinderella at the ball, now they could see the other side, the equivalent to Cinderella scrubbing floors at the whim of her mean stepmother and stepsisters (with Charles and Camilla playing those roles in popular imagination).

And then timing, again. In the 90s there was a lot of interest in the idea of women speaking up and taking control of their own lives. In that context, Diana as the one who dared to fight back seemed an act of strength that was really in tune with the zeitgeist. And when she emerged from the divorce more in-your-face glamorous, it was that fairy tale again, but with a 90s spin: Cinderella reclaimed her lost glass slipper for herself.
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  #1963  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:48 AM
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Diana remains one of the most inspirational, modern and famous Princesses of our time. Sure, with time and change, one fades a bit in the background. That’s to be expected. Her sons are one of her constant reminders and legacy though. Her grandchildren will be the same.

Diana is quite simply an historical royal figure of the modern age. No one can erase that.
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  #1964  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:01 AM
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Whoa, whoa, whoa...no one is ignorant expressing an opinion. IMO a pretty girl captured a moment in time that had magazines falling off the shelves. It was a frenzy. I too was caught up in it. A magical wedding, he said/she said etc.. Slowly, I came to think Diana was also caught up in it. Over time when words flowed from her mouth I didn’t see Cinderella but rather a wicked witch. That’s not taking away her charity work or her humanitarianism. Without that IMO I see a publicity hound. Her untimely death was tragic. Cinderella exists because we want that. That’s just my opinion
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  #1965  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:06 AM
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At the time of her wedding, Diana's youth was a big factor in her popularity. She seemed to step right out of childhood into a gilded magic world.

If Charles had married a woman close to his age, it would not have been the same sort of fairy tale.

I also don't think that a 32 year old woman would have chosen such a giant puffy sparkly dress. It was amazing to see that dress unfurl as Diana exited the carriage! It really fired the imagination to see this young girl in that dress marry a prince. IMO no other royal wedding can ever come close to that spectacle.
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  #1966  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by loonytick View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that Diana was wildly popular with people who didn't otherwise pay much attention to royals. Especially when you're looking at her fan base in the US (and possibly other places outside of the UK), an awful lot of people who considered her "their princess" couldn't have named or recognized another princess until Sarah Ferguson came onto the scene. She will always have a special fascination to those people that goes far beyond that of Victoria, Mary, Letizia or Maxima for the simple fact that many of those folks simply don't know that those other royal women exist. Her wedding looked especially like a "fairytale" because it was the only royal wedding they'd ever paid attention to.

Which raises the question: why Diana? I think a lot of it comes down to timing.

Diana was introduced to the world at the end of a long recession. The news had been pretty dark and depressing for a while. In particular, what we in the US were hearing out of Britain was almost entirely about things like labor union unrest and IRA bombings. The Iran hostage crisis hadn't been over long. Earlier that year there had been an assassination attempt on our president. People were just generally hungry for something bright and happy and fluffy. Every major TV network carried the wedding in the US (and remember, cable was new and still wasn't even available everywhere, so blanket network coverage meant there weren't other viewing options) and there it was: one of the grandest, largest-scale royal weddings to date. A real life prince and princess riding in fancy carriages and wearing clothes that looked like something out of Cinderella. Princess Anne's wedding had also been televised, but that was years in the past and not at a moment when international audiences were more in a state of mind of dealing with the (not insignificant) problems of the day head on rather than staying tuned in and just enjoying something so...escapist...as the fantastical, almost unreal spectacle that Charles and Diana's wedding was.

What's more, it was the first major BRF wedding in a very long time in which the bride was the one marrying into the family. That added extra fodder for girls and women to enjoy the "what if I became a princess" daydream as they watched her, and it was a new experience to see that happen.

Then, as the economy improved and pop culture went through a phase of extremes, Diana developed a sense of style that captured non-royal-watchers' attention in yet another way. If her wedding provided a head-in-the-clouds moment of imagining yourself in her shoes, what came next was a much more attainable kind of Diana-as aspirational-figure stage that cemented interest in her.

Now, royal life and duty is not about fashion. I don't think at all that it is. I doubt her fashion was any more important to true royal watchers of the day than Charlene's, Victoria's or Kate's clothing is to us now. I don't think it was any more important to Diana than it is to any of those women today. But I do think style had a very big role to play in the development of the Diana's very intense following.

First of all, she caught attention by not being so unapproachably preppy as the royals could tend to be. She was elegant, but in a modern way. She was visibly interested in the pop culture trends, but she put a wholesome spin on them. We were seeing a lot of "bitchy" glamour on evening soaps, and she didn't give off that air at all. The younger trends were very much caught up in pushing the limits of brashness and weirdness (think punk rock, New Wave, hair bands, boy-toy era Madonna). She offered an image of how to look young and fresh without cutting and teasing your hair into an asymmetric concoction. There weren't really a ton of examples of that middle approach being pulled off well, so she continued to get a lot of attention from, again, people who otherwise would have ignored royal goings-on.

Just about every issue of American women's magazines like Redbook and Good Housekeeping had pictures of Diana in their style sections. At my small town's public library, the rack where they featured especially popular books usually held several photo books that consisted of nothing but pictures of Diana. And it was usually "everyday Diana:" at polo matches, visiting hospitals, etc., not dressed to the nines in jewels and gowns. When she wore that red sweater covered in white sheep (and one black one), knockoffs showed up very quickly in most American department stores. Throughout the 80s, he offered a look that seemed so contemporary and stylish but also very wearable by the average woman and a lot of women took careful and continual notice of it because they felt sort of left behind by the over-the-top styles seen on celebrities and in fashion magazines.

So by the end of the 80s, when the cracks in Diana's life started to show, that news was being recieved by a fan base that felt strongly attached to her and who saw themselves in her. They had never really paid any attention to any of the other players in the royal drama of her marriages dissolution, so they weren't inclined to side with them. And in some ways, initial news of the ugliness only reinforced the idea old of fairytale Diana. They'd been introduced to her as Cinderella at the ball, now they could see the other side, the equivalent to Cinderella scrubbing floors at the whim of her mean stepmother and stepsisters (with Charles and Camilla playing those roles in popular imagination).

And then timing, again. In the 90s there was a lot of interest in the idea of women speaking up and taking control of their own lives. In that context, Diana as the one who dared to fight back seemed an act of strength that was really in tune with the zeitgeist. And when she emerged from the divorce more in-your-face glamorous, it was that fairy tale again, but with a 90s spin: Cinderella reclaimed her lost glass slipper for herself.
Wow thank you for that fantastic answer!!!!!!! I’ve never seen a princess like Diana who took the world stage by storm. Do you think we will ever get that again in the British royal family or other royal families again or is that in the past? I also read that Diana had a special quality aura about her that not everyone has. She was a rarity.
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  #1967  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:29 AM
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Leopoldine, I've never thought that much about how much Diana's youth and innocence were such a major factor in her popularity but I think you are exactly right. She even still had the "puppy fat" of childhood in her face in the engagement photos. She seemed so fresh, innocent, and uncomplicated. Everyone was completely bowled over by that time, coming off the jaded disco Warhol/Jagger et al period that had been the late 70's.

Her illustrious lineage linking her to Britain's glorious past was icing on an already scrumptious cake.

It would not have been the same at all if the Royal bride had been an experienced career woman in late 20's early 30's like the kind that are marrying into the Royal houses now.

And yes, Britain and the world were going through a quite dark period of economic uncertainty and needed a fairy tale, badly.

Lady Diana Frances Spencer could not have been cast more perfectly for the starring role.
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  #1968  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Kitty1224 View Post
Wow thank you for that fantastic answer!!!!!!! I’ve never seen a princess like Diana who took the world stage by storm. Do you think we will ever get that again in the British royal family or other royal families again or is that in the past? I also read that Diana had a special quality aura about her that not everyone has. She was a rarity.
Diana had charisma when it came to dealing with people. Its not such a rare commodity that we don't see it anymore as if you look, you'll see that Harry exudes that same quality no matter where he goes.

I sincerely hope that we never, ever see another Diana like figure in the BRF or any royal family. Along with Diana's many, many good qualities, there were also aspects of her that were very divisive and not good for her health and the family. Diana, sometimes through no fault of her own and sometimes by machination, became a one woman show of her own. That, in and of itself, worked against the British royal family and the work they do. Diana went from being Charles' consort to ascending to stardom and fame solely because as time passed, thats' exactly what she wanted to do. It earned her the moniker "The Mouse That Roared".

I've personally come to realize that the person known and beloved as Princess Diana was a totally different person than Diana, Princess of Wales. One is a fairy tale image and the other is a more realistic view of a person with a very complex makeup.
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  #1969  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:21 PM
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Sad but true Osipi. I miss her a lot and haven't really been interested in the BRF since her passing, but I have also come to realize the destructive effects of having a Royal celebrity/superstar in the ranks of any Royal family...especially a superstar with an axe to grind like Diana.
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  #1970  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
Diana had charisma when it came to dealing with people. Its not such a rare commodity that we don't see it anymore as if you look, you'll see that Harry exudes that same quality no matter where he goes.

I sincerely hope that we never, ever see another Diana like figure in the BRF or any royal family. Along with Diana's many, many good qualities, there were also aspects of her that were very divisive and not good for her health and the family. Diana, sometimes through no fault of her own and sometimes by machination, became a one woman show of her own. That, in and of itself, worked against the British royal family and the work they do. Diana went from being Charles' consort to ascending to stardom and fame solely because as time passed, thats' exactly what she wanted to do. It earned her the moniker "The Mouse That Roared".

I've personally come to realize that the person known and beloved as Princess Diana was a totally different person than Diana, Princess of Wales. One is a fairy tale image and the other is a more realistic view of a person with a very complex makeup.
But it wasn't her fault. She had this special aura about her that comes once in a generation. She did a lot for Britain and the royal family.
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  #1971  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:54 PM
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While what you say is true, its also a fact that she caused a lot of disruption and disharmony within the family and openly displayed her private life, on purpose, in the media as her way of "striking back" against slights real and imagined.

I think the best book that delves into who Diana, Princess of Wales really was a as a person is Sally Bedell Smith's "Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess". There are many, many books out there about Diana and I most likely have them all but I liked Bedell Smith's the best.
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  #1972  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:02 PM
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While what you say is true, its also a fact that she caused a lot of disruption and disharmony within the family and openly displayed her private life, on purpose, in the media as her way of "striking back" against slights real and imagined.

I think the best book that delves into who Diana, Princess of Wales really was a as a person is Sally Bedell Smith's "Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess". There are many, many books out there about Diana and I most likely have them all but I liked Bedell Smith's the best.
Yeah thats true after her marriage breakdown she did want to bring the monarchy down but there is a lot of good with Diana. She had starpower and hollywood glamour at the same time and like I read in the other post she was one the first modern princess legit everyone knew, but I do blame the media foe making her into a picture perfect fairytale princess which I think did worse than good. Other than that she charmed foreign dignities and world leaders whilst on tours and strengthen diplomatic ties as well. She was an asset to Britain and the monarchy. Whats funny is that Diana is more divisive compared to Princess Grace who is loved by everyone.
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  #1973  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:15 PM
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See, that's the whole point. How she was seen and perceived by the general public with the "stardom" and the "celebrity" and "Hollywood glamor" pretty much can be equated with little girls being fascinated with Princess Elsa from the Disney movie "Frozen". I believe that's looking at Diana only on her outward appearance. Her public persona or as I like to call it, the "game face" people wear when out and about with the public's eye directed at them.
This is the fairy tale princess known as "Princess Diana".

Diana, Princess of Wales was a totally horse of a different color when it came to her private life and to be honest, I don't think she ever found real happiness and peace of mind. She had a whole lot of issues to deal with that were lifelong struggles. There is so much to her that her threads here are filled with different discussions about her. A very, very complex human being which is what makes her interesting for me. Warts and all.
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  #1974  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:26 PM
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See, that's the whole point. How she was seen and perceived by the general public with the "stardom" and the "celebrity" and "Hollywood glamor" pretty much can be equated with little girls being fascinated with Princess Elsa from the Disney movie "Frozen". I believe that's looking at Diana only on her outward appearance. Her public persona or as I like to call it, the "game face" people wear when out and about with the public's eye directed at them.
This is the fairy tale princess known as "Princess Diana".

Diana, Princess of Wales was a totally horse of a different color when it came to her private life and to be honest, I don't think she ever found real happiness and peace of mind. She had a whole lot of issues to deal with that were lifelong struggles. There is so much to her that her threads here are filled with different discussions about her. A very, very complex human being which is what makes her interesting for me. Warts and all.
Can’t you say her outward appearance or her public image was not of her control? It was the media who did that and Diana just went a long with it. So having another “Diana” who was a superstar is a bad thing?
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  #1975  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:38 PM
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Well, i for one hope that Diana will be remembered for who she was and how she inspired people rather than as a "fairytale princess"
Imo the worst that could happen was if her memory went the "Sissi" path, in other words Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who's memory was drastically shaped by the 3 movies that were made about her; as much as i drooled over those movies as a kid, those did not totally reflect the actual person
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  #1976  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:46 PM
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Can’t you say her outward appearance or her public image was not of her control? It was the media who did that and Diana just went a long with it. So having another “Diana” who was a superstar is a bad thing?
A lot of the stories and things that were written up in the press were of Diana's own doing. She courted the press. She told the press where she was going to be at times to ensure that she got coverage (sometimes used to "overshadow" Charles even). In fact, one journalist that Diana depended on was Richard Kay of the Daily Mail. He was one of the last people that Diana called on the day that she died. So, Diana most definitely did not "go along with it" but actually courted it and wrote the scripts a lot of the time. This article tells more.

Diana's last call: Richard Kay recalls final conversation | Daily Mail Online

One specific reason that I do not ever want to see another Diana type persona in any royal family is that (and I'm using the UK as an example) the family represents the monarchy which represents and serves the people. Having a lone wolf renegade that actually prefers their own pedestal and "fame" (whether by machination or by outside influences) detracts from the family's "Firm" purpose. So, yes, I'd have to say that having a royal "superstar" again would be a very detrimental thing to the monarchy itself.
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  #1977  
Old 11-21-2017, 02:03 PM
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Well, i for one hope that Diana will be remembered for who she was and how she inspired people rather than as a "fairytale princess"
Imo the worst that could happen was if her memory went the "Sissi" path, in other words Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who's memory was drastically shaped by the 3 movies that were made about her; as much as i drooled over those movies as a kid, those did not totally reflect the actual person
Well of course her humanitarian work and how she inspired others should be her legacy but remember she will also be remembered of having the picture perfect fairytale princess and the aura as well. I mean anyone who have met her has been star struck by her.
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  #1978  
Old 11-21-2017, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
A lot of the stories and things that were written up in the press were of Diana's own doing. She courted the press. She told the press where she was going to be at times to ensure that she got coverage (sometimes used to "overshadow" Charles even). In fact, one journalist that Diana depended on was Richard Kay of the Daily Mail. He was one of the last people that Diana called on the day that she died. So, Diana most definitely did not "go along with it" but actually courted it and wrote the scripts a lot of the time. This article tells more.

Diana's last call: Richard Kay recalls final conversation | Daily Mail Online

One specific reason that I do not ever want to see another Diana type persona in any royal family is that (and I'm using the UK as an example) the family represents the monarchy which represents and serves the people. Having a lone wolf renegade that actually prefers their own pedestal and "fame" (whether by machination or by outside influences) detracts from the family's "Firm" purpose. So, yes, I'd have to say that having a royal "superstar" again would be a very detrimental thing to the monarchy itself.
This seems like when she was separated and divorced not when she was HRH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
A lot of the stories and things that were written up in the press were of Diana's own doing. She courted the press. She told the press where she was going to be at times to ensure that she got coverage (sometimes used to "overshadow" Charles even). In fact, one journalist that Diana depended on was Richard Kay of the Daily Mail. He was one of the last people that Diana called on the day that she died. So, Diana most definitely did not "go along with it" but actually courted it and wrote the scripts a lot of the time. This article tells more.

Diana's last call: Richard Kay recalls final conversation | Daily Mail Online

One specific reason that I do not ever want to see another Diana type persona in any royal family is that (and I'm using the UK as an example) the family represents the monarchy which represents and serves the people. Having a lone wolf renegade that actually prefers their own pedestal and "fame" (whether by machination or by outside influences) detracts from the family's "Firm" purpose. So, yes, I'd have to say that having a royal "superstar" again would be a very detrimental thing to the monarchy itself.
Why would she court the press if she was already getting too much press?
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  #1979  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:39 PM
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Too much press and Diana, Princess of Wales are two statements the never went together. She may have had mixed emotions when she first came into the limelight but as time wore on, she not only instinctively knew how to present herself to the press and public but she also made it a point to read each and everything written about her to get the "mood" of her public.

In a world where her private life was falling apart at the seams, although she was genuine in her interest in mixing with the public and meeting people, I think the adulation and the approval of the masses benefited Diana at the time with boosts to her self esteem and gave her a measure of appreciation she was lacking elsewhere. It worked both ways for Diana and the public.

Lets just say that when she wanted the attention, it was there and she used it to the best of her ability. When there were times when she really would have rather been left alone, she found out that she couldn't turn it on and off whenever she wanted to. Especially in the later years when the press somewhat turned against her.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
Too much press and Diana, Princess of Wales are two statements the never went together. She may have had mixed emotions when she first came into the limelight but as time wore on, she not only instinctively knew how to present herself to the press and public but she also made it a point to read each and everything written about her to get the "mood" of her public.

In a world where her private life was falling apart at the seams, although she was genuine in her interest in mixing with the public and meeting people, I think the adulation and the approval of the masses benefited Diana at the time with boosts to her self esteem and gave her a measure of appreciation she was lacking elsewhere. It worked both ways for Diana and the public.

Lets just say that when she wanted the attention, it was there and she used it to the best of her ability. When there were times when she really would have rather been left alone, she found out that she couldn't turn it on and off whenever she wanted to. Especially in the later years when the press somewhat turned against her.
So Diana did craft the picture perfect princess image that can not be emulated today?
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