Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Princess Diana

Alex Massie has an excellent posting as we approach the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's life. My own memory of the event is still quite clear - the weekend before Princess Diana's death, I had been in Paris at the World Youth Day celebrations - the previous Sunday had seen a fair amount of world attention directed at Paris because of the million plus people who turned out for Pope John Paul's final Mass. The following Sunday I arrived at church to find the curate who had been in Paris the previous week preaching. He kept mentioning the "tragic event in Paris this morning" without elaborating, and it wasn't until we got home and put the radio on that we realised what had happened. That didn't stop me heading off to the U2 concert at Lansdowne Road that afternoon. By the time of her funeral the following weekend, I had got so fed up of the mawkish emotionalism that was dominating the Irish radio and news papers that I frankly couldn't wait for the whole thing to be over (it must have been hellish for those in England who wanted to watch television and didn't like the sentimentality of the thing) and jumped at the chance to spend the Saturday doing an extra shift of tech support for the ISP I worked for at the time. The effective canonisation of the Princess in the week when a real saint, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, died just annoyed me more.

One thing I would take issue with Alex over is this:
"....one wonders how long it would have been before the public began to see her as, not to put too fine a point on it, a tart. Hypocritical perhaps, but there are different rules for Princes than there are for Princesses."
Indeed there are - as I was in college for most of the 90s as the marraige of the Waleses fell apart, and the typical offerings in the GMB at Trinity College Dublin were the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Times, the Guardian and occassionally the Telegraph and the (London) Independent, I had the good fortune to miss most of the tabloid nonsense that accompanied the breakup. I was quite surprised therefore to realise that in fact I could easily count four "former lovers of Diana, Princess of Wales" - namely James Hewitt, Will Carling, Dodi al Fayed and that heart surgeon whose name escapes me. Prince Charles, rather than having a "string of love affairs" with women "of questionable suitability" had one long standing affair.

It's always struck me as odd that Charles has been villified for his single affair with one woman, while Diana was effectively canonised despite having had a string of them. It does indeed seem that even these days "there are different rules for Princes than there are for Princesses."

5 comments:

Harry Hook said...

"It's always struck me as odd that Charles has been villified for his single affair with one woman, while Diana was effectively canonised despite having had a string of them."

Your darn right it's odd ...it's usually the other way round.

deiseach said...

Massie seems to have acquired his own stalker. How very Dianaesque.

Thomas B said...

He has? Any more details - feel free to drop me a line in private if you prefer!

deiseach said...

That Kate person on the comments thread. Three increasingly hysterical comments. An embittered Hibs fan, perhaps?

Phil A said...

Sad for the family but a daft and overblown public fuss over Dianna.

I thought so at the time and I think so now.