“The people’s princess has been dead 10 years. Her sons have staged her memorial concert at Wembley, Tina Brown has written a memoir that is alternately gushing and malicious, and Prince Charles has married his mistress. Her sons are both army officers. By the end of the year William will be bald. William, every inch a Windsor, has turned into a dead-ringer for Princess Anne, Harry for Diana’s sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale.
“If Lady Diana Spencer had had a history O-level she might have learnt that marrying the Prince of Wales was a one-way ticket to misery.”
“That Diana was desperately unhappy as Charles’s wife we cannot doubt; it is also clear that he never liked her much and ended by positively disliking her. Her supporters thought he made her neurotic, his supporters that she had always been neurotic. The story of how she emerged from her dowdy chrysalis to become the people’s princess is often told, but what is seldom assessed is just how much of a performance this was. Daily Express photographer Steve Wood, who took the famous picture of 19-year-old Lady Di standing against the light so her legs and thighs were visible in silhouette through her skirt, says that when he first saw her, “I thought she was quite plain … I advised her to look down so her face would always be in shadow.” The photographic record shows how sedulously Diana followed this advice; looking at the lens from under her eyebrows exaggerated the size of her eyes and minimised the size of her nose. The wedding, in a dress that was too big to fit into the Glass Coach, was the sign that Diana was now being coiffed, made up and costumed to play the part of media princess. Within a few months of her marriage, Diana was being styled daily by professionals, some of whom marvelled at how biddable she was. One stylist who prefers to remain nameless reported, “If they told her to wear red gloves, she wore red gloves. If they told her to wear blue shoes, she wore blue shoes. Let’s just say she doesn’t have a lot of imagination.” Diana was never a fashion icon; she dressed to the same demotic standard of elegance as TV anchorwomen do, plus the inevitable hat. It is precisely because she was basically anonymous that Diana’s public could so easily identify with her; it should surprise no one that they then transferred their feelings to her and chanted as one that she identified with them.”
The plain truth about Diana, by Germaine Greer, The Australian, July 28, 2007.
I’ve always been a bigger fan of Germaine than of Diana, but me-yow! Dr. Greer! Diana had everything and expected to be happy too. I go no sympathy for that, but she’s still dead and doesn’t need my sympathy at all.