Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Has it been 10 years already?

We're coming up to the 10-year anniversary of Princess Diana's death. Time seems to have gone strangely in the intervening decade. I'm not sure if it seems a long time or a short time ago that she died. Longer, I suppose - the event itself seems as distant as JFK's assassination, as if the era that contained it is impossibly remote. And yet 10 years is not such a long time, and I don't feel that the past 10 years of MY life have been so terribly long.

Mostly, what I have is almost a strange disbelief that she was ever alive. Did we REALLY take her seriously? What was wrong with us? Granted, the 1990s altogether look pretty shabby now that we're in the post 9/11 age. But not even the stupidities of the Clinton era seem quite as frivolous as the whole Diana saga. She really was just "a gilded hysteric", as someone (I think Kathy Sheidle) described her.

For what it's worth, I remember having one flash of precognition in my life, though now it looks pretty obvious. When Charles and Diana's divorce was finalized in 1996, I remember saying, "She'll be dead within 5 years." The truth is, though, that I assumed she'd commit suicide.

15 Comments:

Blogger Nicholodeon said...

Too weird!

When I first saw Lady Diana Spencer at the engagement announcement, I flashed on 'She will never live to be queen' but I dismissed it. As they say, 'prove it' and I suppose I wrote it in my journal at the time.

I have the same premonition about Prince William of Wales...not that he won't live to be king, but that he won't be king, and that Prince Henry will be king. Weird, eh?

11:18 am  
Anonymous ellie m said...

Princess Diana was from first to last an elaborate imaginary creation. Oh, the woman existed all right, but her public image in all its various manifestations (Shy Di, Glamour Di, Wronged Di, Saint Di) was a collaboration between the press, her staff, and Diana herself. She was a cunning manipulator of her own image.

I could tell this right from the first, and am astonished that so many people fell for what to me was a transparent sham. It feels as if the rest of the world has taken 10 years to catch up with me.

6:41 pm  
Anonymous CarolynP said...

I'm not so sure Harry could be king without a DNA test first. He sure looks like his daddy - and I'm not talking about Charles.

8:09 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

LOL! You're certainly not the first to say that, CarolynP. But the fact is all the Spencers have carrot-red hair. (Diana dyed hers blonde.)

9:16 pm  
Anonymous CarolynP said...

ellie m,
Are you sure D was naturally red? Her skin tone didn't really look like it belonged on a redhead. Plus I thought William got his blond locks from her.

5:31 pm  
Blogger Kasia said...

Carolyn, I'm not sure if Di had red hair, but I am sure her brother does. So there *is* red hair in the Spencer family...

6:28 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

Early pic of Diana here:

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2264143540085180389QIvafQ

As you can see, her hair's more red than blonde. Also, her siblings were all carrot-topped.

Not that I'm denying she had the affair. Heck, she had numerous affairs both during and after her marriage! As one wag put it, at least Charles was "faithful" to one mistress!!

9:16 pm  
Anonymous Susan said...

Has Goodness and Charity clean gone forever from this world? No matter what your opinion of anyone is, this thread is just plain pathetic. The only Christian response to remembering someone's death is to ask for God's mercy for the soul departed, not engage in sick gossip. This post is unworthy of you, Dr. Mabuse.

9:18 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Tscha! It's not 'Christian' to sink into maudlin lies and sentimentality. The mere fact of being dead is no great distinction, and it doesn't entitle anyone to a sterilized biography. Anyone who wants to pray for Diana can - nobody is making any observations about the state of her soul. We're actually more critical of the brainless celebrity-worship that afflicted the crowds that fed off her, rather than Diana herself, who was a person of little importance.

10:06 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

Right on, Dr Mabuse! The most disturbing thing about the Cult of Diana was (and is) its attempt to transform her into a kind of secular saint, while whitewashing those aspects of her life that make her the worst kind of role model for young girls. The best thing we can do in her memory is LEARN from her mistakes.

9:12 am  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

"Right on, Dr Mabuse! The most disturbing thing about the Cult of Diana was (and is) its attempt to transform her into a kind of secular saint, while whitewashing those aspects of her life that make her the worst kind of role model for young girls. The best thing we can do in her memory is LEARN from her mistakes."

Ellie,

Yes, taking her sons to visit AIDS hospices, teaching them to give of themselves, outside of the media spotlight (they went at night and there was no media coverage)is just AWFUL isn't it?

Diana holding the hand of a dying person is just such catty, media-loving behavior.

Creating public awareness in countries, previously ravaged by war, about the dangers of exploding land mines was such a "glamorous" and self-serving thing for her to do.

I have no doubt that she had emotional problems, or may not have been the most stable human being, but she indeed was somebody pretty important...to her sons, like any mother is.

Pretty awful stuff to post about a dead woman, but, for some reason, I'm not shocked to read it here.

Dr. Mabuse why do you loathe anyone who shows emotion? I've only seen you show emotion over books, coffee pots and Chesterton.

However, it's good to see you back to your old self.

Min

1:43 pm  
Blogger Hiram said...

There was a lot to like about Diana, and she certainly did some good things for others, and helped to bring help to people in need by encouraging compassion.

But there was a dark side to her as well. I do not know if she was entirely a PR creation -- but her choice of companions and activities after her divorce (and perhaps before) were not the kind of choices I would want my daughter to be making.

5:10 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

The brilliant Mark Steyn, as usual, said it better than I could -- and said it 10 years ago:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/509/30/

9:24 am  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

"But there was a dark side to her as well. I do not know if she was entirely a PR creation -- but her choice of companions and activities after her divorce (and perhaps before) were not the kind of choices I would want my daughter to be making."

I think she was a terribly lonely woman, who had a host of insecurity problems, due to her own issues and due to what she was thrust into, with marrying Prince Charles.

It's interesting that the take here, for the most part, is that Diana is the crazy slut, and Prince Charles' behavior was above reproach.

Imagine being 19, in love to a an actual 'prince' and to know that he wanted nothing to do with you, really, other than to pop out an heir and a spare?

I cannot fathom how alone and unhappy life must have been like. I may not have made the choices she made while she was married, etc., but I didn't walk in her shoes, either.

It's interesting to see some who post here, who pride themselves on being so pious, casting the first stone concerning a dead woman.

People in glass houses...

Well, you know the rest of that one.

Min

11:25 pm  
Blogger Dr. Alice said...

I had wondered whether she was pushed into the marriage (by her family?) or whether her decision to marry Charles was based on a postadolescent crush. Surely the hothouse royal atmosphere she wound up in would not have been good for anyone.

12:18 am  

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