Cultural Revolutions

Diana's Image

Diana is dead. The sudden and gruesome death of a woman in her prime, especially the mother of adolescent children, is a sad event. With Princess Diana, it has the makings of a real tragedy. She was pushed into a public marriage with an unloving and eccentric man 14 years her senior. To make matters worse, her husband was infatuated—and adulterously involved—with another woman throughout the marriage. Condemned to an unsettled life of loneliness and emotional turmoil, Diana lacked the stamina of her sturdier predecessors (notably Alexandra, Princess of Wales and later Queen of England), or that inner strength which is woven from a strong moral and spiritual fiber.

It is not for us to judge Princess Diana's private life—although in an earlier time, her adultery would have constituted treason—but in withholding comment on her flaws and her often very poor judgment, one does not have to condone the ongoing sanctification of Diana by the frenzied media pack. The hurried promotion of the "People's Princess" to sainthood is tasteless, and the presence of all the usual suspects on the bandwagon—from Nelson Mandela to Michael Jackson to Bill Clinton— makes the banality of the spectacle wellnigh terminal.

We have seen it all before, of course, and a cynic would conclude that Diana is the least flawed member of a pantheon which includes Jack Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon,...

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