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ysbel 12-27-2007 11:11 AM

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.

BeatrixFan 12-27-2007 11:31 AM

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.

TheTruth 12-27-2007 11:45 AM

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.

Al_bina 12-27-2007 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeatrixFan (Post 709073)
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.

sirhon11234 12-27-2007 12:11 PM

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.

Liz 12-27-2007 12:53 PM

I guess I'm an old fart around here (:biggrin:) 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.

ysbel 12-27-2007 12:58 PM

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.

blondie28 12-27-2007 01:26 PM

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.:flowers:

Claire 12-27-2007 01:36 PM

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.

selrahc4 12-27-2007 01:42 PM

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.

PrincessofEurope 12-27-2007 01:47 PM

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

Elspeth 12-27-2007 02:35 PM

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.

Panicgrl 12-27-2007 04:39 PM

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.

COUNTESS 12-27-2007 04:40 PM

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.

TheTruth 12-27-2007 04:49 PM

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.

BeatrixFan 12-27-2007 04:51 PM

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.

TheTruth 12-27-2007 05:15 PM

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.

acdc1 12-27-2007 05:24 PM

I voted War of the Walses. Like most of the people here it seems, (:biggrin:) 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.

ysbel 12-27-2007 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheTruth (Post 709248)
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.

TheTruth 12-27-2007 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acdc1 (Post 709253)
I voted War of the Walses. Like most of the people here it seems, (:biggrin:) 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 :biggrin:.

Skydragon 12-27-2007 05:59 PM

A thread I can't really comment on, as I never liked Diana from the moment she was touted as the proposed candidate for Charles' wife! :rolleyes:

TheTruth 12-27-2007 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skydragon (Post 709276)
A thread I can't really comment on, as I never liked Diana from the moment she was touted as the proposed candidate for Charles' wife! :rolleyes:

At least that's honest :biggrin:. What didn't you like in her ?

love_cc 12-27-2007 08:33 PM

My opinions about Diana were establsished throughout these matters:from Morton's book to her interview to her post-divource behavours and biographies written after her death. These close-up and careful readings about Diana and the royal family makes me really hard to take Diana's side. Diana could be a very sweet person to many people, but I always find hard to forgive her way of damaging the monarchy and using unreasonable revenges. I would say she was too self-pity to look into herself and found her own parts of mistakes in her own unfortuntes until very late stage of her life. Probably what Diana always needed was a man who can help her deal matters in a healthy and balance way and also love her in an unconditional way. Prince Charles is not cetainly that man. Dr. Hahn could be that man, but unforutunately their relationships did not have much chance beacuase of her public status and their cultural difference and Diana's own stubborn even extreme views about certain matters.

Diana was a sad person. I adore Camilla for her always dealing diffliculties in her life in a strong way, but Diana deserved a lot of sympathy depsite my opinions for her will not change much after so many readings.

Chimene 12-28-2007 12:14 AM

I loved Diana in the beginning because like everyone else I got caught in the fairytale. And of course, she was charming, warm and had great life and future ahead of her. I’m a strong believer in: you should never wash your dirty laundry in public. With the publication of Andrew Morton’s book, I suspected from all the newspaper stories that Diana was behind it because of all the personal detailed contained in it.

I began to strongly dislike her when suggested in the book that Charles was an unfit father, which I found unforgivable. The way I looked at it was I could not respect a person who did not have the emotional intelligence needed to spare her own children from her mess. From that point on, I became a supporter of the prince simply because of the amount of vanity that the newspapers were selling. Mind you, I would kick my husband to the curb if he ever cheated on me. But, I can imagine that being the heir and dealing with a wife like Diana must have been a nightmare.

I could not believe Diana’s audacity when she questioned Charles fitness to ascend the throne. She let all the press adulation go to her head, and she forgot who made her a princess. Of course Charles was not innocent, but he did not deserve to be denied his birthright, especially since she was not pure herself. When the divorce announcement came, I had hoped that she could finally rebuild her life.

In the end, I saw her as an immature woman who was unable to understand her position. as a result, she unintentionally almost destroyed her son’s future. I felt sorry that she felt unfulfilled during her life. I was really saddened that she died way too young and left behind the only two people that had brought her real joy, her two boys.

scooter62986 12-28-2007 12:22 AM

I voted other because I was 12 when she died. I knew who she was and I always respected her for doing good in the world. Like Beatrix I lost a relative around then so I didn't pay much attention. What I have heard about her is little because I am from American. The Truth pointed out a very true statement that American's have been very loyal and kind to her so it is hard to find bad things unless one is looking. I have avoided the bad because most of the time it is venomous crap people have come up with to sell tabloids. Even though I may not agree with all of her personal choices I still respect the work she did with AIDS and children.

charmed4sure 12-28-2007 01:49 AM

I was young when she died, and about 6 years ago I started to learn more and more about her, and the conclusions I was coming to was she was a very real person who put her own experiences and mistakes out there for others to learn from...but when I came across the phone calls to Oliver Hoare I really thought differently of her. It just showed that she was very obsessive and controlling. It wasn't so bad that i hated her for it, they were traits of hers, so whatever, but I looked at her different after that.

BTW great topic!

Jo of Palatine 12-28-2007 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel (Post 709258)
I'm not really sure, TheTruth. It was one of Jo's suggestions. Maybe she can explain.

With "Hewitt" I meant the information that while Diana claimed Charles had had an affair with Camilla and that was the reason for all problems, she herself had had an affair as well. "Hewitt" stands for the hypocrisy of doing yourself what you blame your partner for.

Little_star 12-28-2007 04:08 AM

My opinion of Diana has never really changed, I liked her when she was alive and I still do.

I don't think she was a perfect human being, nobody is, however I do think she was manipulated very badly by the RF and ultimately they simply used her.

Madame Royale 12-28-2007 05:13 AM

My opinion hasn't altered over the course of time. I thought her a beautiful woman when alive and I hold that memory still today.

A person of great depth and feeling. Emotionally driven, many times to a certain excess though I saw this as no fault of her own. She could not help feeling the way she did. The mind is such a powerful tool, after all.

Her choices weren't always the best though they were her choices to make.

Avalon 12-28-2007 05:42 AM

For me, it all started from the Panorama interview.

I always used to like Diana, and as a matter of fact I still do. The part of her that was a caring personality, loving mother, shy and honest person attracted me, and I will always be very fond of that Diana.

But the other Diana, which for me emerged with that Panorama interview, was less then attractive. The interview was simply revolting, I hated how manipulative she with those black eyes, deep voice, careful rehearsals. And I was really enreaged by the suggestions that Charles is not fit to be a King, or that he is not a good father.
Even if he were not the best father in the world (and I beleive he is a great Dad), no mother should have ever said that, least of all in front of millions of people.
Another thing was that 'there were 3 of us in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded'. She obviously didn't count well, not with Hewitt and the other men in her life.

That interview was a directed and very spiteful attack the Royal Family, and on Charles personally. And I don't like spiteful attacks.

TheTruth 12-28-2007 06:13 AM

Well the Panorama Interview was THE most terrible mistake in her whole life IMO. It was so bad that even when I look at it, I can't help but feel bad for the RF, in particular for Charles. He had already done this mistake of taking an interview and if one day Diana was back against the wall, it could have turned into a great argument by saying : "At least, I didn't talk about my private life in front of millions.". And she ruined this unique chance to defend herself by doing exactly the opposite of what could have saved her in the eyes of many.

ysbel 12-28-2007 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Avalon (Post 709433)

That interview wasa directed and very spitful attack the Royal Family, and on Charles personally. And I don't like spitful attacks.

I think you mean spiteful not spitful. :smile:

Avalon 12-28-2007 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel (Post 709440)
I think you mean spiteful not spitful. :smile:

Indeed, that's what I meant, thanks ysbel! :flowers:

milla Ca 12-28-2007 09:55 AM

My opinion of Diana didn´t change.
I enjoyed to watch the marriage 1981 on TV and had some tears in my eyes, but very quickly afterwards i removed my rosa-coloured glasses and i saw only a couple that never suited each other.
I never could share the fascination, the admiration and the love so many people feel for Diana till today.
My feelings for her are some pity, ( because i think, when she married Charles, she really believed in her own fairytale, and she never could deal with the reality), some rage ( for instance because of the Panorama interview and of the damage she did on Charles),and some sympathy ( for her as a mother and for her charity work).
I´m interested in Diana as a ´historic person´ but she was never the kind of woman i would like to meet and have tea with ( in opposite of Camilla).:rolleyes:

TheTruth 12-28-2007 10:12 AM

It seems that according to the comments on the thread, we are many to have different feelings and sometimes paradoxal ones like sympathy and rage, just like you milla Ca. But I love that in a person. Understand me, I wouldn't want that person to be my friend because you never know what his reactions are going to be but I find it fascinating in famous people's personality.

Chimene 12-28-2007 11:47 AM

I understand what you're saying except I have the opposite view. To me, she was a wonderful woman with a lot of potential, but she could not overcome the loneliness of her childhood and her disappointment in love. While she had a complex character, I did not find her fascinating at all because she bared her soul for all.

In contrast to Diana, and although a very different circumstance, Jackie Kennedy was a true fascinating personality. She left us to ponder - how could she... why did she... was she strong... was she weak...? - and those questions will never be answered fully. Regardless of what the real truth was, no one can question the dignity she exhibited during that period, which is something we cannot say of Diana.

jcbcode99 12-28-2007 12:02 PM

Well, what can I say that hasn't been said? I did get up early when I was 6 years old to watch the "Wedding of the Century" and I was bowled over by it, and then there she was, on every newspaper and magazine I turned to. It was unbelievable and fascinating--
Let's flash forward to the nineties---a time when I was graduating from high school, in college, and graduating from college (first time--I'm going back now for another degree--much harder with a child BTW). I'm now married and I can tell you all that marriage ain't easy, but nothing worth having is easy. My husband and I are polar opposites, but we make it work and we have that settled down, been together, comfortable love that you only have when you truly learn to put each other first.
Charles and Diana did not have that--Charles and Camilla do have that. You could see it on their wedding day. I saw both weddings, and it is my opinion that while the first one was truly a dream wedding filled with carriages and fluff and "Oh my's" it was just a show. Charles and Camilla's wedding was very simple and genuine, and it meant more to me, as an adult who has learned how consuming and frustrating love can be, than the 1981 wedding did. I was only a child then, and I saw it through a child's eyes. I think in some ways that is what happened with Diana--bless her heart. She was so young, she saw the world through rose colored glasses and expected to live a fairytale. When her fairytale ended, she did that horrid book, and then the panamora interview. For me, it was when when she criticized Charles and whether he was fit to be king. It was also those coy looks, batting eyelashes, and sideways glances. It was all so engineered and fake. But, when it was revealed that she had pushed Raine Spencer down the stairs, well, come on--it all changed. "The People's Princess" had a nasty temper and couldnt' control it. I think she could have been amazing, but it never happened. She was spoiled and petulant, and always upstaging Charles because of her need to be better, to be first, etc....
Also, I chose Charles' interview because I thought it was incredibly brave of him to do that interview in the face of everything that was going on, and that was the mark of a future king. She however, wore that "Revenge Dress" in an attempt to futher upstage him.

TheTruth 12-28-2007 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimene (Post 709524)
I understand what you're saying except I have the opposite view. To me, she was a wonderful woman with a lot of potential, but she could not overcome the loneliness of her childhood and her disappointment in love. While she had a complex character, I did not find her fascinating at all because she bared her soul for all.

In contrast to Diana, and although a very different circumstance, Jackie Kennedy was a true fascinating personality. She left us to ponder - how could she... why did she... was she strong... was she weak...? - and those questions will never be answered fully. Regardless of what the real truth was, no one can question the dignity she exhibited during that period, which is something we cannot say of Diana.

True but I wasn't talking of doubts in her personality but more of changes. Frist there was the "Shy Di" then we had the "Di Mania". People were crazy about her and thought they knew her. But her choices showed us how wrong we were and I love the way it turned out. The public was blinded by the "Saint Diana" of the medias and it makes me laugh how she succeded to fool many. Of course I'm not at all talking about the charities she has supported. That came from the heart.

Chimene 12-28-2007 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheTruth (Post 709538)
True but I wasn't talking of doubts in her personality but more of changes. Frist there was the "Shy Di" then we had the "Di Mania". People were crazy about her and thought they knew her. But her choices showed us how wrong we were and I love the way it turned out. The public was blinded by the "Saint Diana" of the medias and it makes me laugh how she succeded to fool many. Of course I'm not at all talking about the charities she has supported. That came from the heart.

Understood! On your final point, I like Princess Anne's low-key approach to doing her work much better. But, of course I do not take anything away from Diana's caring nature, which was always in evidence when she met people who were less fortunate than her.

selrahc4 12-28-2007 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimene (Post 709542)
Understood! On your final point, I like Princess Anne's low-key approach to doing her work much better. But, of course I do not take away anything from Diana's caring nature, which was always in evidence when she met people who were less fortunate than her.

You have highlighted a significant point. I think it says a lot about her that she didn't seem to have this same caring nature toward people who were her equals or superiors.

rmay286 12-28-2007 02:36 PM

Chimene and Selrahc4--That's an interesting point--that Diana was caring towards people beneath her, but didn't always show the same concern for her friends and family. I think that's actually one of the main reasons I don't have a high opinion of her. I do think she cared for those who were suffering, but I also have the feeling that she did so because she saw these people as extensions of herself. She was quick to see people as victims because she saw herself as a victim to some extent; and her attempts to help people seemed, to me, to be a way of helping herself feel good, like "I'm going to empower these other victims so we can band together against the cruel world." I just feel like there was a lot of "self" mixed in with Diana's compassion. The compassion was real, but it wasn't selfless.

I'd have to vote "Other" for the poll because, like most people here it seems, I was young when Diana died. I was 11 actually, but I'd been interested in the BRF for a couple of years. I knew about Diana before that too, but I just saw her as this beautiful princess and devoted mother. Then I started seeing more recent news stories about her, including the divorce, and her lavish lifestyle. Everything I heard seemed at odds with my original belief that she was just a sweet, caring princess and mother who had no interest in fame and attention. I was sad when she died, but I clearly remember that I'd already lost a lot of respect for her by that point.

Over the years I've read more about Diana and it's only solidified my original belief that she was more self-interested than she appeared. The Panorama interview, like a lot of people have said, gave me a particularly unfavourable impression of her. She came across as extremely manipulative--the heavy make-up, the mournful expressions in her eyes--it all seemed very staged, and I was totally unimpressed by the comments she made: "there were three of us in the marriage" and "I want to be the Queen of Hearts." Perhaps it was more the delivery of the comments, than the comments themselves. Diana came across as both vindictive, and scheming for attention and compassion, so my opinion of her dropped even further.

All that being said, I don't think Diana was "evil" or that she schemed from the beginning to steal Charles' spotlight and hurt him. I think, even at nineteen (20 when she married) she must have purposely chosen to ignore some of the warning signs popping up everywhere, so I do think she was responsible for what she got herself into, but I also think she couldn't have imagined just how difficult royal life would be. I do believe she had a difficult childhood, suffered a lot, wasn't always mentally stable, and that the royal family, especially Charles, weren't always sympathetic or helpful. And I think Charles' affair was inexcusable no matter how difficult Diana was. Again, though, Diana could have taken the high road; she didn't need to become vengeful. In the end I guess I don't respect Diana, but I do feel sorry for her. She had one of those intense personalities that seem destined to suffer. I think as much as Charles and the royals may have hurt her, mostly her problems were within herself.

Picmajik 12-28-2007 03:01 PM

loved the pagentry but not the immaturity
 
I have to say I'm also one of the older folks here as I was 20 when I got up to watch the wedding on tv (loved it). I loved the spectacle but still wondered why on earth someone as educated as Charles would put up with a shy 19yr old as a wife. Yes, she met some requirements of good breeding and obviously had a crush on him but it takes more than that to make a good match. I questioned the age gap if nothing else. I still loved all the press coverage, magazines etc through the birth of their sons but it was obvious there were strains on the marriage. Yes, she was beautiful and glamorous but lacked depth.

Chimene mentioned Jackie Kennedy earlier. I think she is a fabulous example of how to make the best of a bad situation. Jackie still put on a good show in public of supporting her husband and behind the scenes made deals with in-laws to get her way on some matters to be able to come out ahead. Diana thinks she had it bad with the RF? Better than Jackie's situation (try losing your husband like that). That's where Diana made some of her mistakes. Diana simply could not deal with not being first in the "popularity contest" in her mind and couldn't understand why Charles might find others' company more enjoyable. Did she try to understand him or his interests? I don't know what all went on but they just couldn't have been that compatible. If she had really wanted to work on the marriage as she claimed in early interviews it would have shown. There are always highs and lows and once it was apparent it wasn't her ideal romantic situation there should have been some kind of friendship and respect for each other and their positions.

I didn't appreciate the War of the Waleses at all (my vote) and it became clear her motive was to upstage the RF and get all the attention and sympathy. I think she was childish and too immature to realize what she was getting into when she married and she loved the position more than the man. I know I wasn't ready for marriage at 19, much less the non-stop glare of publicity that no one seemed to foresee? Certainly caught the RF by surprise and I think Diana got swept up into it as much as any young celebrity gets carried away with it now. I also think she wasn't prepared for her future role and expectations. She was also swept up in the fantasy that marriage is for life and she was looking to avoid a future divorce. I remember that being part of the fantasy that if she married someone with a high title it would be difficult to get divorced as her parents had done. If she had more maturity she would have been able to work out a compromise where they could have shared interests (children/obligations to "the firm") and separate interests (charity/patronages) other discreet friendships/affairs. There is no need to ever air dirty linen in public and she could have come out ahead in all areas--keeping the honor of her title intact and still have a semi-private life off the record. Either be old-fashioned and be the little supportive wife OR be a modern girl and move on, can't always have it both ways.

When the Andrew Morton book came out I first thought "poor thing". I then read excerpts from the other book that came out (Junor's book?) with more info about Charles' point of view and started seeing more of the "he said, she said" side that was showing through. I was already suspecting that before the books came out based on press coverage and photographs. The Panorama interview really did it for me. Want to talk nasty divorce? I'll compare notes any time but OFF the record and even now even my family members don't know all the sordid details and never will. Some things just aren't discussed and especially while dealing with a public figure. I wish someone had told Diana "Grow up!" but I doubt that would have done any good. She seriously needed therapy and didn't get it (or at least any GOOD therapy).

I also like Princess Anne's low-key approach to doing things rather than just paying lip-service to things. I have really gained more respect for her after reading these forums and how she's handled things. First to marry, divorce and remarry but still doesn't splash it all over the front pages, handles things discreetly as they should be when in the public fishbowl. Wow, didn't mean to write a novel but bottom line is yes, I got swept up in the gee, isn't this a great fairy tale? at first. I then was disappointed the more I heard about her tantrums and publicity seeking but then taking the popularity contest to the press? too much! I will always like that "Shy Di" I thought I knew, the loving mother, loving wife (early pics show body language that the marriage wasn't all bad) but I certainly won't miss the manipulative crazy side that she was also.

Chimene 12-28-2007 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmay286 (Post 709596)
the royal family, especially Charles, weren't always sympathetic or helpful. And I think Charles' affair was inexcusable no matter how difficult Diana was.

I completely agree with your very balanced assessment of Diana, even the quoted portion above. Unfortunately for her, she was not just Diana, but Princess of Wales and the future queen of England.

I want to make it clear that I would personally find Charles' affair inexcusable too. However, if you look at Charles in the broader context and not just the person, the realities are very different than that of the regular man. As for the BRF lack of support, how can you when the person is so stubborn, impulsive and unwilling to listen to advice?

If her intent was to destroy Charles, therefore the monarchy, she almost succeeded. Alas, I don't believe for one minute that this was the case, which made her actions even more troublesome.

In my opinion, it all broiled down to her lack of self-awareness, not aided by the difficulties of her new environment. She did not know how to adapt to her new surrounding. And ultimately, Charles and Diana was an arranged and mismatched product of their circumstances, which is why the marriage failed so miserably.

jcbcode99 12-28-2007 03:40 PM

Well, I have to take a moment and ask for some clarification--I've not really ever read anything about Diana's extravagant lifestyle--well, besides the 20.000 Hermes Birkin Bag, that is. Any links to tell the tale?

BeatrixFan 12-28-2007 06:21 PM

Penny Junor tells a tale whereby Diana took an aide on holiday and then disappeared half way through leaving the aide to pick up the several thousand pounds bill. A horrified aide then had to phone Charles to bail her out.

TheTruth 12-28-2007 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine (Post 709411)
With "Hewitt" I meant the information that while Diana claimed Charles had had an affair with Camilla and that was the reason for all problems, she herself had had an affair as well. "Hewitt" stands for the hypocrisy of doing yourself what you blame your partner for.

Thanks for clearing this up. I see your point now but I still don't know how I could blame her for that. I mean, we'll never know who cheated the first and I don't want to be mean but most of the time when you have an affair, your decision is caused by the other person of the couple. If Diana put too much pressure on Charles, I'm ready to understand his actions ("understand" ; not "approve"). No matter who felt sad and cheated on the other because I won't judge someone in search of comfort.

Liz 12-28-2007 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeatrixFan (Post 709652)
Penny Junor tells a tale whereby Diana took an aide on holiday and then disappeared half way through leaving the aide to pick up the several thousand pounds bill. A horrified aide then had to phone Charles to bail her out.

It makes me wonder why on earth she would do such a thing? It seems that Diana was very unthoughtful at times. :sad:

zhontella 12-28-2007 07:38 PM

Diana was for the most part under my radar -- I took little notice except to note at first that she wasn't that pretty, her hair looked bad and her style was even worse. I also assumed she only married Charles to become the Princess of Wales since she seemed a little too cool for Charles.

Later on I noticed she was getting better with style and wondered about who was advising her on her clothes. The only specific comments I remember about Diana when she was still alive was how she got much criticism for her comment about being surprised she was there that day since she'd heard she was suppose to spend all her time with her head down the loo. It was said she was wallowing in too much self pity.

So my opinion did change, and the only way it could go was up ;) I started to feel a lot of sympathy for Diana with the interview Charles made confessing his adultery -- "...........but only after the marriage was irretrievably broken.......", and I could tell without a doubt he was being dishonest -- his adultery started long before that. He seemed like such a total cad in that interview, the sort of husband who could be any woman's worse nightmare. If Diana became spiteful and vindictive, I couldn't blame her. Furthermore, Diana was afraid -- possibly scared the royal family wanted to ban her to Siberia and forbid all contact with her children -- so that alone could also cause a lot of irratic and unpleasant behavior.

Since I heard a lot about Diana's projects and charity work after she died, I started to admire her as being a wonderful Princess of Wales -- diligent and consciencious about projects for which she really cared. I have also come to admire Prince Charles for being an outstanding Prince of Wales, and I suspect it probably was by following his example that Diana was able to do her job as well as she did. Without all the outside interference pulling them apart, they would have made a wonderful team.

jcbcode99 12-28-2007 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeatrixFan (Post 709652)
Penny Junor tells a tale whereby Diana took an aide on holiday and then disappeared half way through leaving the aide to pick up the several thousand pounds bill. A horrified aide then had to phone Charles to bail her out.

I had heard that--and I think it is insensitive that Diana would do that someone who was only making middle wage (not sure what that is, but it doesn't sound like enough to pay for a holiday with Diana)--I also recall that Diana was very upset that Charles bailed the aide out, even though it was her own fault.

sirhon11234 12-28-2007 07:51 PM

Whenever the interview is on TV I cringe. I always thought Diana could have admitted her past faults, mistakes and apologize for it. Also she should've praised Charles for his work instead of publicly insulting him. She could have made herself appear apologetic and less petty and spiteful; also she could've made the interview an apology to Charles and TRF. I will always be dissapointed in Diana for they way she carried out the interview. But my opinion of her will never change.

BeatrixFan 12-28-2007 07:58 PM

I think the Queen of Hearts thing cuts me the most when I watch it. I just saw that as a direct attack on the Queen and it's difficult to stomach.

sthreats 12-28-2007 08:36 PM

This is a good topic but it is difficult to pick just one. A different way to ask the question might be which of the following influenced your opinion and what event was the most siginificant.

That being said I am like many of the posters. I became aware of Diana when I was in highschool. She was 2 years older than me. My mother, friends (all girls school), and I stayed home to watch the "fairytale" wedding. It was all anyone could talk about. We all became instant Anglophiles.

I always admired the POW and had a crush on him when I was 12.

As time went on I heard and read about the ongoing marital issues. I thought Diana was a pretty girl but a little shallow and immature. By 1986 I was married and starting graduate school so I really did not keep up with the 'War of the Wales'.
I picked the 'Dodi affair'. I thought the whole episode was tacky-cavorting half naked with some guy you just met in front of your kids and the press. I too thought that she should be more like Jacqueline Onassis(sp) and carry herself always with dignity and decorum. Save some of the mystery as my father used to tell me.

I was sad not just for Diana but also for the boys when she died and indeed for the British people. I like the maturity and bearing of Camilla despite her mistakes. I actually started reading books on Diana and the BRF after reading about Camilla.

I think that the inquest is a travesty. No woman deserves every man she ever slept with or said hello to (men do lie, I know)-brought up over and over again to the nation and to children. I think details of the accident and other possible motives of a "conspiracy" (such as Dodi's drug friends, Mr. AL-FAYED'S arms dealing etc.) are being lost in this parade of tittle-tattle and gossip.

Finally, I think that Diana was a good person and a good mother who made some foolish choices. She likely suffered from some chemical imbalance-either depression or either bipolar disorder. I do not believe as some have written that she had a borderline personality disorder.

BeatrixFan 12-28-2007 08:39 PM

Well, I've got bipolar disorder and alot of what Diana did I can sort of see traits of manic depression in there but she doesn't strike me as the classic bipolar case. Then again, it varies. I think there's no doubt that she did suffer from depression though.

Melania 12-28-2007 09:03 PM

My opinion of Diana started to change when I realized that she might have had a chemical imbalance and needed medication to help her with her tempers, mood-swings, and neediness. Realizing this, I am able to see Prince Charles in a different light, maybe one who might have been pushed to extremes by a semi-psychotic woman. Diana’s earlier experiences within the royal family and with her job as princess might have been very shocking and stressful for her. She may have had a mild to severe mental breakdown or something along those lines. Also, she might have unconsciously looked to her parent’s dysfunctional relationship as a model for what was normal.

Realizing that it might not have ALL been Charles fault was a big eye opener for me. I always thought Diana was right in their battles, and I never even considered that Charles might be right on some occasions too, but now I do.

ZaJa 12-28-2007 09:17 PM

My opinion of Princess Diana has never really changed. She was a woman that married a man she was not meant for, she had a horrible marriage that might have been different if either one of them had the capacity or want to save it. She was human and I never really forgot that. So for me my opinion of her never changed. She was human, Charles is human. I think kindly of all parties.

sthreats 12-28-2007 09:24 PM

Beatrix Fan I too have bipolar disorder controlled for 12 yrs on medication. I was misdiagnosed for 10 years. My illness caused all kinds of marital and financial problems. I am blessed to still be married for 22 years. It is hard for a spouse to deal with mental illness in the family esp if one's partner won't comply with treatment and when there is little to no extended family support.

skhaynie 12-28-2007 10:34 PM

opinion of Diana
 
I haven't really changed my opinion. I've always felt she was an admirable woman and still do. I feel badly for her sons, given they've lived through nearly 20 years of "he said/she said", and even 10 years after their mother's death, are being regaled with more nonsense via the press in terms of this "inquest". I still admire and respect Diana, for trying to survive and thrive, in some very surreal and unbelievable times. Her personal life was not the easiest to live, I'm sure, as it certainly wasn't easy to observe (in the sense of watching from the outside and feeling peace).

Her charity work was amazing, and had the events of Paris, 1997 not transpired, she had the potential to be a Nobel Prize winner for her efforts in support of a worldwide ban on landmines. After all, if Al GORE could win the Nobel Prize, why shouldn't Diana, Princess of Wales have done so?

BeatrixFan 12-28-2007 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sthreats (Post 709697)
Beatrix Fan I too have bipolar disorder controlled for 12 yrs on medication. I was misdiagnosed for 10 years. My illness caused all kinds of marital and financial problems. I am blessed to still be married for 22 years. It is hard for a spouse to deal with mental illness in the family esp if one's partner won't comply with treatment and when there is little to no extended family support.

I totally agree and if Diana did have bipolar, it would have been impossible for the Royal Family to deal with because there's a very strict code of conduct where mental illness doesn't fit, especially bipolar which can be so disruptive.

GlitteringTiaras 12-28-2007 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeatrixFan (Post 709237)
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.


:ohmy: For shame! Joan was a spectacular unlike Diana in my opinion.

I voted other. Diana always rubbed me the wrong way, even when I was a kid I knew there was something not quite right about her.

So I'll just cut to the case: I never liked her nor could I never figure out why some were so blinded by her obvious strange manipulative behavior (I don't believe she was Bipolar either) from the time she married Charles up until her death. Diana knew how to work people to her advantage then cry foul when things weren't going her way; she was better at it than anyone in history.

Yes, it's tragic that she died so young.

Yes, I feel for her two kids, but to classify her as a saint, as some do, doesn't fly with me.


That's my opinion.

Madame Royale 12-29-2007 12:52 AM

The late Princess of Wales suffered from mental illness.

Diana battled Bulimia Nervosa for some time and it is clear (not directed at any one person) that some here, are either unwilling or are just unable to fathom the influence such a 'disease' can have on a persons temprament and general outlook on life.

Severe irrationality which is often followed by a sense of guilt, nervousness and at times, deep depression are exceptionally common for eating dissorder sufferers.

I'm not looking for excuses, as I recognise her attempts (moreso in the latter years) to manipulate the media and conduct somewhat spiteful endeavours, but not once have I ever misplaced the factual gen that here was a woman who had fought mental illness and throughout her life had been deeply affected by events she could either not control or at times felt powerless to overcome. Diana dealt with issues in ways which were most apparent to her at the time. Rightly or wrongly, they were the choices she made. I wouldn't have made the same choices but then again, I wasn't Diana.

Bulimia nervosa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Madame Royale 12-29-2007 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlitteringTiaras (Post 709724)
but to classify her as a saint, as some do.

It's often been my experience that those who affiliate Diana with the word 'saint' are those who were never particularly fond of the woman. I don't believe I've read a post by anyone who favourably recalls her memory, which proclaimed her as, or compared her too, some 'celestial being'.

I've read many posts which portray her as someone who's memory remains dear (and not without the occasional over compensation to boot), but the term 'saint' has certainly been expressed, if not exaggerated at great length by those who don't, for whatever purpose or means, associate with such amiable feelings.

Avalon 12-29-2007 04:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zhontella (Post 709674)
Furthermore, Diana was afraid -- possibly scared the royal family wanted to ban her to Siberia and forbid all contact with her children -- so that alone could also cause a lot of irratic and unpleasant behavior.

Ban her to Siberia? :eek:
Who have you ever heard of, who the Royal Family banned to Siberia?
If Sarah wasn't 'banned' and had pretty much equal rights with Andrew, when it came to children, then surely Diana would know that her situation couldn't have been worse? :ermm:

Roslyn 12-29-2007 05:00 AM

I voted "other".

I seem to be one of the oldest here. I was 27 when Diana and Charles married, and had recently been married myself. At that time I was working full time and studying part time. I never warmed to Diana. I thought she was immature, silly, too giggly and girly for my liking, and more than a bit dim. There was also a certain something about her - perhaps it was smugness - that I just didn't like. I couldn't relate to her at all and I couldn't understand why Charles picked her because they didn't seem to have anything in common and I couldn't imagine what they would talk about. I formed the view that she must have been chosen as good brood mare material. Considering her background I assumed she knew the deal and was happy to go along with it, as she would be Queen one day.

Even though I didn't particularly like her at the start, it would be wrong to say I wasn't interested in her or that I strongly disliked her. I watched the wedding and recorded it, and she was Charles' wife so I was curious and my husband and I hung around to see them when we had the opportunity when they were here in 1988. I certainly noticed her change of dress style when she abandoned the frills and matronly look and started looking sleek and smart. She was capable of being a real stunner, but I thought she seemed perhaps too concerned about her looking good.

After the War of the Waleses started and we began to see the snarls and pouty faces, and see how unhappy Charles looked in her presence, I became more interested and my opinion of her intensified and began its downward spiral.

I am finding it difficult to distinguish between how the various events affected my opinion of Diana as they occurred from the impact they had when I read about them in books years later. I think it's fair to say that by the time of the Panorama interview I had a very low opinion of her. That event demonstrated to me beyond doubt that she was manipulative, arrogant, self-absorbed, and dangerous because it seemed to me she would sacrifice anyone and anything to get what she wanted and to try to make herself look good. These views were supported by the revelations about her involvement in the Morton book, which confirmed she was sneaky and would lie to get what she wanted.

The fact of the Hewitt affair didn't bother me at all because she was clearly in an unhappy marriage and I think everyone's entitled to some happiness and I think she and Hewitt were well suited to each other. What does bother me about her relationship with Hewitt was how she could be such a hypocrite about it. I was staggered that she could still play the wounded party and maintain that she didn't want a divorce at a stage when it was patently obvious that she and her husband had absolutely nothing in common and couldn't even stand to be in the same room as each other and both had been in relationships with other people for years.

None of the other listed incidents changed my opinion of Diana.

Jo of Palatine 12-29-2007 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheTruth (Post 709661)
I mean, we'll never know who cheated the first and I don't want to be mean but most of the time when you have an affair, your decision is caused by the other person of the couple.

The thing is that we only have Diana's word for it that Charles never ended his relationship with Camilla while Charles claims that his marriage was truly over when he hooked up with Camilla. We simply don't know who cheated first, but there is a lot of information pointing to the fact that Diana introduced the idea of "three in a marriage" in order to explain her own behaviour, so it could well be a lie. As it is, we don't know who cheated first on whom.

rmay286 12-29-2007 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine (Post 709783)
The thing is that we only have Diana's word for it that Charles never ended his relationship with Camilla while Charles claims that his marriage was truly over when he hooked up with Camilla. We simply don't know who cheated first, but there is a lot of information pointing to the fact that Diana introduced the idea of "three in a marriage" in order to explain her own behaviour, so it could well be a lie. As it is, we don't know who cheated first on whom.

I agree it's impossible to know. But in regards to their affairs, I always see Charles as contributing more to the marital breakdown with Camilla, than Diana did with James Hewitt, regardless of "who cheated first." The reason is that Hewitt was someone Diana just met and flirted around with--whereas Camilla was someone Charles had known for a long time and had a very deep connection with. I think once Charles became involved with Camilla again, no matter when, he would have stopped contributing much to the marriage because Diana just couldn't compare to Camilla.

But, I agree Diana's "there were three in our marriage" was a badly-chosen comment regardless of how true it was. It was hypocritical, and it had that ability to subtly but very clearly point the finger at Charles as the one to blame, vindictive behaviour Diana displayed often in many different ways.

TheTruth 12-29-2007 11:57 AM

I agree that the affair between Charles and Camilla might have contributed more to the marriage breakdown. But I don't think Charles was happy to see his wife going with another man either. Many think he didn't care and it would surprise me that he didn't know about it. Diana never talked of Charles having an argument about her and Hewitt so I really can't say if he did mind. Although their relationship lasted for 5 years (nothing compared to Charles and Camilla's), I heard many times that after he had learnt about her death, he became a total wreck. According to some of his friends, he did nothing but drink all day and having suicidal thoughts ... Don't know if it's true but I guess it was more than a flirt then.

BeatrixFan 12-29-2007 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madame Royale (Post 709735)
The late Princess of Wales suffered from mental illness.

Diana battled Bulimia Nervosa for some time and it is clear (not directed at any one person) that some here, are either unwilling or are just unable to fathom the influence such a 'disease' can have on a persons temprament and general outlook on life.

Severe irrationality which is often followed by a sense of guilt, nervousness and at times, deep depression are exceptionally common for eating dissorder sufferers.

I'm not looking for excuses, as I recognise her attempts (moreso in the latter years) to manipulate the media and conduct somewhat spiteful endeavours, but not once have I ever misplaced the factual gen that here was a woman who had fought mental illness and throughout her life had been deeply affected by events she could either not control or at times felt powerless to overcome. Diana dealt with issues in ways which were most apparent to her at the time. Rightly or wrongly, they were the choices she made. I wouldn't have made the same choices but then again, I wasn't Diana.

Bulimia nervosa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

True, I should have made that acknowledgement. I wasn't dismissing her eating disorder. What I meant was, the bulimia and the depression bipolar does not make.

zhontella 12-29-2007 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeatrixFan (Post 709678)
I think the Queen of Hearts thing cuts me the most when I watch it. I just saw that as a direct attack on the Queen and it's difficult to stomach.

Right on, Exactly. It was a direct attack on the queen and thus on the monarchy. It was infuriating to the extreme. Due to that statement, I was not surprised that the queen wanted to ignore Diana's life and death and stay oblivious to all at Balmoral after Diana died. I was not surprised that in her belated eulogy to Diana, she carefully omitted any expression of love for Diana. The queen is, afterall, front and center -- always has been and always will be until her death. It was no less than high treason for Diana to claim she wanted to replace the queen in "people's hearts".

I am not surprised that soon after that interview, the queen wrote Diana a letter stating it was time to divorce. And that naturally led to Diana having to give up her HRH and thus her royal protection and thus be an "accident" waiting to happen.

{edit - Elspeth}

selrahc4 12-29-2007 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zhontella (Post 709914)
I am not surprised that soon after that interview, the queen wrote Diana a letter stating it was time to divorce. And that naturally led to Diana having to give up her HRH and thus her royal protection and thus be an "accident" waiting to happen.

She didn't have to give up her protection. Reportedly, she insisted on doing that even though the royal family wanted her to keep it.

{deleted for consistency - Elspeth}

rmay286 12-29-2007 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheTruth (Post 709894)
Although their relationship lasted for 5 years (nothing compared to Charles and Camilla's), I heard many times that after he had learnt about her death, he became a total wreck. According to some of his friends, he did nothing but drink all day and having suicidal thoughts ... Don't know if it's true but I guess it was more than a flirt then.

I didn't know some of that about James Hewitt and Diana, just that the relationship was obviously less serious than that of Charles and Camilla. For him at least it may have felt like more than a flirtation and I'm sure Diana was quite emotionally attached to him at times.

I'd really never thought about the significance, to the Queen, of Diana calling herself the Queen of Hearts...somehow I saw it more as her way of saying, even if I'm not Charles' queen, I'll be the people's queen. But yes, of course, it is obvious to me that the Queen would be appalled by this. She takes her role very seriously and would have seen Diana as trying to usurp her in some way and perhaps make a mockery of her inherited right.

ysbel 12-29-2007 02:26 PM

Well my opinion of Diana changed after the Hewitt affair because I didn't see her as a person who could have an affair. I was surprised at the type of man she was attracted to - he seemed like a good looking cad. Rather like the Hugh Grant character in Bridget Jone's Diary.

Seeing the type of man that Diana was attracted to convinced me that she and Charles would have a hard time repairing their marriage even if they could forgive each others affairs.

I couldn't see her going back from Hewitt to Charles.

COUNTESS 12-29-2007 03:13 PM

Why? From one cad to another.

ysbel 12-29-2007 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COUNTESS (Post 709946)
Why? From one cad to another.

I should have said good looking, charming cad. I wouldn't describe Charles a good looking charming man with honey words to sweep a woman off her feet and then turn on her. James Hewitt was. He was very good looking, could turn on the charm and then later use his association with Diana for his own purposes while protesting that he was always faithful to her.

None of Charles' women friends have claimed that Charles was a charmer, he has been called stiff, inflexible, insensitive and inelegant but a charming scoundrel? No.

ysbel 12-29-2007 03:47 PM

BTW I noticed most people voted for Other and the Panorama interview.

I was quite surprised at the Panorama interview. At the time, all the media outlets were reporting that the Panorama interview was a triumph for Diana. I think I remember that the public opinion polls view on her went way up while polls about the royal family and Charles recorded that their reputations where negatively affected by Diana's interview.

So at what point did people realize the Panorama interview a mistake? Right after the interview or a little bit later?

Elspeth 12-29-2007 03:49 PM

Quote:

So at what point did people realize the Panorama interview a mistake? Right after the interview or a little bit later?
The minute I heard about wanting to be Queen in people's hearts. I remember being absolutely horrified. I'd already been rather irritated by the mixed messages of "they don't know how to handle a strong woman" and "pity me, the poor victim," and I think that by then the digs at Charles's unfitness to be King were not surprising - but to use that platform to launch a direct attack on the Queen was incredible.

Chimene 12-29-2007 04:03 PM

I watched the whole thing in shock. She was already very popular, so I'm not sure what she thought she was accomplishing. What she needed was a good therapist, but instead she decided to shoot herself in the foot with a really bizarre interview.

Skydragon 12-29-2007 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmay286 (Post 709836)
I agree it's impossible to know. But in regards to their affairs, I always see Charles as contributing more to the marital breakdown with Camilla, than Diana did with James Hewitt, regardless of "who cheated first."

It is fairly amusing to see how everyone 'skips' over Diana's self admitted affair with Barry Manakee, they also ignore Waterhouse and Gilbey! :bang:.

I don't think Charles could ever be described as a 'honey tongued' or a 'cad', I once heard him described as 'a flirt', purely because he is polite and gentlemanly.:flowers:

TheTruth 12-29-2007 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel (Post 709951)
I should have said good looking, charming cad. I wouldn't describe Charles a good looking charming man with honey words to sweep a woman off her feet and then turn on her. James Hewitt was. He was very good looking, could turn on the charm and then later use his association with Diana for his own purposes while protesting that he was always faithful to her.

None of Charles' women friends have claimed that Charles was a charmer, he has been called stiff, inflexible, insensitive and inelegant but a charming scoundrel? No.

Lol, I love the comparison you've made about Hewitt and Hugh Grant : so true ! Only in a physical view, if you put both Charles and Hewitt, side by side, I'd go for Hewitt. But there's also the age to consider. Charles was 12 years older than Diana whereas Hewitt was only 3 years older ; at that time of her life, it was not something unimportant. Her choice is justified IMO.

Roslyn 12-29-2007 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel (Post 709956)
So at what point did people realize the Panorama interview a mistake? Right after the interview or a little bit later?

I realized the Panorama interview was a mistake while I was watching it. A mistake for Diana, that is. I, on the other hand, was absolutely delighted with it, because she was showing everyone some of her most unattractive qualities, and I was sick and tired of hearing about "poor Diana". I was in the "poor Charles" camp.

The bad make-up, the sad expression, and contrived answers. The interview revealed so much about Diana! Did she really think it would make her look good? Yes, she did! :biggrin: It was great entertainment.

debzone 12-29-2007 05:05 PM

I voted for Other because I am not sure when my opinions changed or if they did really.

I was born around the same time as Diana and was living in England at the time of the courtship, wedding etc and I think my opinions were strongly influenced by my own age and worldy knowledge at the time. Needless to say I didn't notice the things that my mother did at the time. I remember my mother saying as the engagement was announced that they were totally not suited and this marriage would be a disaster. As Diana might have been 19 but she was a very young thinking 19 year old.

Overtime, as I grew older--I started to notice things that I didn't see when I was 19. So my opinions changed gradually. I actually began to feel sorry for them both as time went on. Diana had problems that needed professional help long before she got any. That had a lot to do with her behaviour towards others. She was very insecure.

She appears to have been the type of person who was mind set on lashing out/going after someone without thinking things through to the full effect it would have. Only afterwards did she see how wrong it was but by then the damage was done.

The Panaroma interview was a perfect example--I really believe that she didn't have any idea what effect it would have on her sons or others at the time she did it. She was only focused on hitting out at Charles.

I have read that towards the end of her life Diana regretted doing both the Interview and the book. Now they are part of her legacy whether right or wrong. These 2 things will be a big part in how she will be judged by many who never had the chance to meet her to make up their own minds.

I never realised until recently how true Earl Spencer's assesment of his sister was in his eulogy. She was a unique and very complicated.

zhontella 12-29-2007 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel (Post 709956)
So at what point did people realize the Panorama interview a mistake? Right after the interview or a little bit later?

I never saw it as a mistake. When is stating the truth a mistake?

https://home.comcast.net/~thissal/thisandthat2/ok.jpg

Bad Boy Charles should have paid more attention to the luxury of Diana.

Skydragon 12-29-2007 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zhontella (Post 710041)
I never saw it as a mistake. When is stating the truth a mistake?

Bad Boy Charles should have paid more attention to the luxury of Diana.

It is always a mistake if it is clear that it is not the truth. The over acting was hilarious to watch.
I don't understand your posting an old picture or your last comment. Diana was given luxuries most girls can't even imagine!

TheTruth 12-29-2007 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zhontella (Post 710041)
I never saw it as a mistake. When is stating the truth a mistake?

https://home.comcast.net/~thissal/thisandthat2/ok.jpg

Bad Boy Charles should have paid more attention to the luxury of Diana.

What do you mean by "paid more attention" ? I'm a little confused there :ermm:.

COUNTESS 12-29-2007 07:49 PM

The Panorama interview was foolish. She should never have exposed herself to that interview and never said in public what she might have thought in private. Charles was a CAD, just not a good looking one. He is spoiled, selfish and was a terrible husband to a woman he asked to marry him, when he knew he didn't love her or care much about her. He needed a brood mare and hoped to get just that. In fact, she was just a girl. Just a silly girl at that, with silly, romantic notions. That he was involved with a married woman, made him a cad, even without Diana.

Madame Royale 12-29-2007 08:38 PM

Quote:

Penny Junor tells a tale
By what means did Penny expose this tale, Sam?

BeatrixFan 12-29-2007 08:43 PM

Her book; "Charles : Victim or Villain". There were more of a similar vein.

Madame Royale 12-29-2007 09:08 PM

Ahh, I see.. Thank you Mr...;)

RoyallyRich 12-29-2007 09:10 PM

I still love and respect the late Princess.Unfortunately over the years people have claimed that she was some sort of revolutionary out to destroy the Monarchy.That turned me off a great deal for a while.I beleived this a 100%.But 10 years after she passed, I have learned to appreciate,and remember the good times more and ignore the bad times when she seemed like a traitor to the Monarchy and the class into which she had been born.

Chimene 12-29-2007 09:35 PM

Quote:

He is spoiled, selfish and was a terrible husband to a woman he asked to marry him, when he knew he didn't love her or care much about her.
It's true that Charles is to blame for not having enough personal courage to spot the charade. I don't think Diana can throw stone in the fidelity department because two wrongs don't make a right.

Quote:

In fact, she was just a girl. Just a silly girl at that, with silly, romantic notions.
If she wanted to marry for love, she should have never agreed to an arrange marriage, because I cannot think of anything less romantic.

COUNTESS 12-29-2007 09:47 PM

You are right, Chimene, but, I think, she fooled herself into believing he loved her. Nineteen year olds are hardly good judges of anything. Two wrongs, certainly, don't make a right, but to whom should she have been faithful? He had his life, she made a very poor attempt at trying to attract him and then, I think, she was destroying herself in her anger. That is the real pity. She allowed her anger at him and the siutation she was in, to run her life. She probably justfied everything from that anger, which lead to a very sad ending. No one of us, has the right to judge how and what she felt when she made these foolish decisions.

Madame Royale 12-29-2007 10:13 PM

Quote:

I don't think Diana can throw stone
The only stones being thrown come from those, totally uninvolved, who feel they have a right to take a side.

And, well it's quite impossible for Diana to throw stones and has been for the past 10 years...:smile:

Chimene 12-29-2007 10:14 PM

She asked to be judged by doing a book and an interview portraying herself as the innocent party. It's never black or white, and it's true she married really young, but you're not still young at 32? Anger is not a rational way to go about solving problems, which she had to learn the hard way.

I think everyone here has sympathy for her, I certainly do. Her troubled life was cut short and she left two young children. How could we not feel bad. But, this thread is simply an analysis of this question: when-did-your-opinion-diana-change-why?

Don't worry, no one can ever do anything to her now! May she rest in peace.

Chimene 12-29-2007 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madame Royale (Post 710096)
[INDENT]The only stones being thrown come from those, totally uninvolved, who feel they have a right to take a side.

It was not meant to be and they were both wrong.:flowers:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Madame Royale (Post 710096)
And, well it's quite impossible for Diana to throw stones and has been for the past 10 years...:smile:

You know what I mean. She was hurt by Charles' affair, as she should be. Yet she did the same and threw stones by blaming him for everything that was wrong in her life.

COUNTESS 12-29-2007 10:23 PM

You are right, Chimene, she did foolish things. From my prospective 32 is very young, also. Plus, by then she, as I said, let her anger determine her lifestyle, which was really a bad idea. And you are also right, life is not black and white, there are many shades of gray mixed in. That everyone here has sympathy for her, I do not know. And the question ...when did your opinion of Diana change... was a lead in for more negative comments, which I find at this point, 10 years after her death, to be stultifying.

Madame Royale 12-29-2007 10:25 PM

Well, personally, at the age of 32, I would hope that most would better appreciate the sanctity of marriage, and not enter such a union if one's feelings are not as they should be towards the proposed spouse.
It was an ill made match from day dot, and given the circumstance and enormity of the situation, I think both Charles and Diana were subject to the expectations of everyone around them and even those they did not know. Very early both surrendered their personal happiness for the contentment of others, I think.
Quote:

and they were both wrong.
:flowers:
They were both scared I think. And yes, choices they made were often far from appealing and did little to aid the difficulty of the situation.

jcbcode99 12-29-2007 11:28 PM

They both were wrong, that is true, but I'm not sure I would call Charles spoiled, selfish, and terrible. I think that is unfair, especially since he had to deal with all the carefully manipulated negative press Diana kept throwing his way. Even though he admitted to having a relationship with Camilla, he always maintained the correct sense of decorum and propriety. I didn't see him out there giving interviews criticizing Diana's parenting skills. Also, are we forgetting that Charles carried on an affair with a woman he had known for years and years? Diana carried on numerous affairs in an attempt to validate herself as a person of worth and to get back at Charles. Neither was right and neither behaved as they should have, but I have to say that Diana was vengeful where Charles was not. True, she was young when she married Charles--and it wasn't a booming success from the get-go, but Charles has said over and over that there was a time when they were very much in love and happy--you can see it in photos after Harry was born-but it just didn't last because they were not a good match and Diana, frankly, just did not deal gracefully with the situation because of the way her life had played out. She had a troubled upbringing and didn't get enough attention; she read those ridiculous Barbara Cartland romance novels expecting that was how love would be (at 19 I think we all think that way) and then married THE prince of her dreams. She found out it wasn't that way at all, that dreams do not become reality, and was upset and reacted in the same way she reacted to things as a child--sulking, anger, manipulation, etc...--all things which we, as teenagers, were probably guilty of. But, she never really outgrew it and that is tragic.

Chimene 12-30-2007 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COUNTESS (Post 710094)
Two wrongs, certainly, don't make a right, but to whom should she have been faithful?

She could have been true to herself. If the marriage was not working and she wanted to end it and live honestly, I would have applauded her, even admire her for it. However, I think she wanted to have it both ways, and as you know, the rest is history.

Madame Royale 12-30-2007 02:15 AM

Quote:

However, I think she wanted to have it both ways...
As did her husband, if that's the case.

I, for the life of me, can't take sides...it's impossible and pointless. And I believe that if such statements are addressed to one, then surely the other should not elude the very same critique...:flowers:

I fondly remember Diana and I genuinely like Charles. To think poorly of either person for the unhappy state of their marriage is no one's place, imo.

Warren 12-30-2007 02:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madame Royale (Post 710078)
By what means did Penny expose this tale, Sam?

As Sam has answered that question, here's the relevant passage (pages 165-166):

"Another victim of Diana's erratic behaviour towards friends and staff was Victoria Mendham. She was the Princess's secretary for seven years, and was totally devoted to her... It was a measure of their friendship that Diana asked Victoria to go on holiday with her four years running. For the first two Diana paid the full cost. When they went to the Caribbean again at Easter 1996, Victoria assumed she was there as a guest once again. It was a great treat and all was going well until half way through the holiday when the Princess suddenly said 'Oh, Victoria, I've written a note...to make sure you get your share of the bill. I think it's about £5,000.'

Victoria telephoned the London office in floods of tears... The Prince [of Wales] paid.

Nine months later it happened again. This time Victoria said she could pay the airfare to the Caribbean but they had stayed at the K Club where beach-side villas cost £1,700 a night, and paying that kind of money was out of the question. When the Princess learnt that her husband had footed the previous bill she 'went through the roof' and Victoria was frozen out as others had been before her."

Madame Royale 12-30-2007 03:16 AM

Cheers for that, Warren.

That's certainly some unfortunate behaviour displayed by the late Princess of Wales.

I think it's proven that Diana had a temperament which was most fragile. I think, and spychological burden's aside, that she also became accustomed to wielding a certain influence over others desires to please.

She was as flawed as the next person and on occasion displayed a manipulative streak, though this does little to alter my strong belief that she was a beautiful woman who believed in the greater good of humanity and wanted to do what she could to help shape a better and brighter future for many.


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