Sunday, 2 September 2007

"Diana a Decade of Dreariness" published Sept 2

I sense I was not alone in my need to groan with despair at the manufacturing of recycled grief as we remembered Princess Diana a decade after her dreary death.
Okay so the actual death wasn’t dreary, surrounded as it is with tales of a missing white Fiat, paparazzi chases, a mystery foetus, a supposed engagement, a jealous heart surgeon, MI5, CIA. Brilliant. When will they make the movie and will Hugh Grant be the love interest or the driver of the Fiat?
But what has always been dreary is Diana. She was a dreadful bore from the moment she emerged from the dodgy Spencer clan into the even dodgier royal family. She showed nothing but a crippling shyness and naivety which fuelled by the rigorous protocol and emotional coldness of her husband and in-laws swiftly blossomed into a maniacal attention seeking loo loo la la nutbar.
In the last few years of her life she spent much of it asking for privacy from the very media she courted with exclusive “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” documentaries, secretly co-writing her own tell-all book which was described as the “longest divorce petition in history” and leaking stories to her preferred newspapers.
She was not the first celebrity to believe her own publicity but she was and still is the first celebrity to be crowned Queen of Media Manipulation.
She also managed to get a grip on her deplorable style. Who will ever forgive her for introducing knickerbockers let alone those dreadful drop-waisted Mother Hubbard dresses? And she made sure that the best photographers in the world took suitably gorgeous shots of her, for which the media are now eternally grateful as they all reprint that classic black and white Mario Testino shot over and over, year in and year out. Strange how we never see her in those demonic polka dot tents complete with ridiculous hats she got about in during the 80s anymore.
I never shed a tear for Diana, even though I knew her life intimately having sold thousands of magazines on the back of every story ever conceived about her. I just never really liked her because what’s to like?
While she moaned on about Charles and his relationship with Camilla, one had to wonder what part of British Royal History 101 she was reading before she signed up to the marriage? Did she not get the bit about mistresses and turning the other cheeks? I’m not saying its right, but no woman in her right mind would marry Charles or any royal for that matter and expect a conventional marriage. And while we’re at it let’s take a close look at just what she was doing with her fidelity while she was throwing up her dinner from the stress. She was hardly idle, choosing to entertain herself with such class acts as James Hewitt and other such bores in uniform.
Possibly the only thing you could like about the women was her way with kids. There was no doubting she loved her sons and could hug any old orphan in any old orphanage and mean it. But being a good mother is something 99 per cent of women do well, there are no medals available for that, it’s called instinct. And let’s just pause a moment and look back at how she treated William and Harry. If your children were being harassed by paparazzi because of wouldn’t you do something about it? Here’s a suggestion: retire from public life and stop jet setting around the world with dodgy billionaire’s sons. A quiet life in the country perhaps with some security help from her ex hubby’s staff. It might take a few years of fighting your addiction to fame but you’d still be alive for your sons.
Ten years on I think the rest of the world may be starting to catch up with me. Unlike the initial and astonishing outpouring of grief in Britain for Diana from a nation renowned for its emotional reserve and stiff upper lip her anniversary seems to have gone quietly past with no one having anything much more to say than “where is that white Fiat?” and “Gosh didn’t her death teach the Royal family something about being accessible to their public.”
Perhaps in 2007 we have other more pressing concerns to cry about and the media just aren’t doing their job. I haven’t heard a thing about Paris Hilton for weeks.

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