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J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

I’m American and so my opinions on this subject are automatically suspect, but I never saw the attraction or significance of Diana.
I was sorry for both Diana and Charles because they were painfully mismatched as a couple. But of the two, I believe Diana was much more manipulative. When their marriage started to go south, Charles played his corner by following the advice of his advisors. But he was clumsy and transparent. Diana, on the other hand, was a born actress. I still remember the shows of over-the-top emotion (was the young Meghan Markle taking notes?) followed by a knowing smirk at the cameras. She played up her alleged suffering and victimhood but she was almost as privileged as Charles.
The author of the current article seeks to draw a direct line between her emotional approach to life, royal life in particular, and the modern culture wars. It’s stiff upper lip versus trembling pout, as the author nicely puts it. Was Diana really that significant a personality? She was certainly a cultural fad twenty five years ago, but an icon? Mother of the Culture Wars? I don’t think so. The modern culture wars are about much more than unselfconscious displays of emotion or even the cult of victimhood.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, I came away from reading the article thinking the author really doesn’t understand the modern culture wars at all.

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m not British either and it’s a relief to see someone ‘have doubts’. Actually, was she that good of a mother even? She surely loved her boys, but… some things she did had horrible impact on them. The interview, for sure. Had she lived, who knows? Also, it’s almost depressing to see the obligatory “Harry, having lost his Mother…” or that he’s trying to make his mother proud every day. People lose their loved ones and have to move on and manage. Every one of us. Life can be hard in various ways.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You may be an American, but your Diana-scepticism has always been pretty well represented in the UK. To read our news and media you might be forgiven for concluding that all Britons are emotionally incontinent fools where she was concerned, but actually a great many people felt little for her, despised the manner in which she abused the institutional reticence of the Royal Family by speaking out against it and, while regarding her death as a private tragedy, felt no personal connection with it at all.

I am not alone in in the UK in being mystified why so many people were personally wounded by her death: they did not know her and she would not have wanted to know them, had she met them. In particular I have always thought the way the media attacked the Queen herself for refusing to join in the public weepfest was despicable.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

But the Royal Family and their advisors, WERE largely responsible for the whole mess in the first place, in setting up an obviously loveless marriage mainly on the basis that Diana was a virgin!

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The ‘old guard’ were in fact largely at fault in that whole tragi-comic soap opera, because of the absurd and anachronistic insistence that Charles marry a virgin, a fact that is rarely commented on by anyone. Charles had always loved Camilla, and she became divorced the natural order would have been for them to marry, after a decent interval. But no, we had Diana, perceived as an easily influenced and rather naĂŻve young woman, rather cynically selected, foisted on Charles and the ensuing loveless arranged marriage. Of course the media and public were entirely complicit in this, preferring the glamorous ‘fairy tale princess’ over boring old frumpy Camilla. But with that much more sensible alternative course, then obviously no William or Harry, Catherine or Meghan, and we are now probably too invested in all that drama to imagine any other alternative.

Diana as a person undoubtedly did a tremendous deal of good, most obviously where she was a pioneer in treating AIDS patients with dignity and compassion – she didn’t have too much competition at the time. But of course, she was certainly not averse to fighting her corner using manipulative means in the three cornered marriage both she and Charles were unhappily trapped in.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

“The injunction to “be kind” still comes with an element of emotional bullying, and those who dissent are still, as John Redwood wrote of Diana Week, ‘well advised to keep their thoughts to themselves given the surge of public sentiment'”.
And the result is politics driven by the initial emotional reaction to any given situation which is difficult to balance out because those with a more rational and considered temperament are wont to stay silent and avoid the onslaught that inevitably happens when you articulate a divergent opinion to the keening mob.
The slow and humiliating fall of Harry (I refuse to call him Prince and have no sympathy with him anymore) is proof that – while having a 100% stuff upper lip at the expense of emotional intelligence is a damaging and cruel way to live – all of this “my truth” claptrap is stopping us from getting stuff done. When we’re facing multiple pan-societal crises, then you need to THINK and not dissolve into a whinging, whining heap at the first opportunity.
Prince William gets it right. He seems to have learned both from his mother and – I’ll admit it through gritted teeth – his sister-in-law that a bit (I repeat: a BIT) of touchy-feeliness and emotion is absolutely necessary for good, convincing leadership. On the other hand, he’s also capable of being absolutely rational in his assessment of situations and brutal in his choices when required (wasn’t there some kind of “him or me” intervention about Prince Andrew recently with the Garter ceremony-thingy?). In that, he is a Windsor through and through. If the monarchy hasn’t been abolished by then, he will be a great king.
That is why I feel that good leadership is going to spring from the pool of geriatric millennials (i.e. those with a 1980-1985 vintage). We were brought up being impressed with the notion that “pull yourself together” is often the best advice…but know that neglecting feelings is just going to come back and bite you badly at a later point, so talking about them is sometimes (I repeat: SOMETIMES) a Very Good Thing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

He’s with the WEF isn’t he?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

I do remember a couple of days after Diana’s death soemone saying to me how terrible this was and how devestated she felt. She then asked me how I felt and I said that it was sad that a young woman was killed leaving two young sons, but I felt no different from what I would have felt if I had heard the same about a young mother who lived a couple of streets away from me; she looked at me, rather repulsed, and then suddenly said that she wasn’t actually that upset. I think that I had given her permission to be truthful about how she felt; it made me wonder how many others were somehow emotionally signalling how empathetic they were rather than genuinely feeling any strong emotions.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

I remember feeling kind of obliged to cry and then quite awkward when the tears didn’t spring forth. Until Elton John played at her funeral and then I did actually cry…but probably more because Candle in the Wind makes me well up anyway than for Diana.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I thought Elton sung ” Please let your son go down on me”?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

I went to Alton Towers on the day of her funeral and it was awesome! Barely any queues for the rides. I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life!
It was tragic that two boys were left without a mother, but I never bought into the whole Diane worship. Although neither did I buy into the #be kind Caroline Flack guff. Amazing how blinded people can be by a pretty face!

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
1 year ago

I can’t imagine worse advice than throwing away your brain and letting emotions rule.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

An awful lot of people seem to be taking this advice though, it has to be said.

Sam Sky
Sam Sky
1 year ago

I am reminded distinctly – having seen this clip in some compilation somewhere or other – by how Christopher Hitchens was berated by “mourners” in Kensington Palace garden when being interviewed by Canadian news:
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2177471186
This encounter encapsulates perfectly to me the pig-eyed idiocy of the average Diana idolator of that time.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam Sky
Martin Adams
Martin Adams
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Sky

Thank you. I had forgotten that priceless encounter. Idolator is the right word, for saints are made via acclamation, and the entire episode demonstrates how deeply human beings need something to worship.

Pabs Dabs
Pabs Dabs
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Sky

‘You are about as smart as you look’. The carefully manicured urbane charm persona of CH descends into witless, sneering superiority. Yuk!