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-   -   When did your opinion of Diana change and why? (

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


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


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


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


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. Dianaís 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 parentís 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


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


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

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