Oh, please, stay by me -- Diana!
I don’t mean to be crass and unfeeling about any of this. The death of the exquisite Diana was a tragedy to be certain. The divine creature had her life unfairly cut short via either misadventure, or just sheer lousy luck. It was very unfair. At the same time, however, it was a decade ago, folks. Don’t we have some other things to concern ourselves about 10 years later? Since I was never one of Diana’s 25,000 intimate confidantes, I know that I have been able to move on to concerning myself about war, deprivation in Africa, and why my &%$# property tax tab was so high this year, since I haven’t noticed any remarkable improvement in the services I’ve been getting.
Of course, to mark the anniversary of the demise of Diana, many publications are being demoted to her being either a reincarnation of the Virgin Mary (kind of a stretch), a naïf abused by the callous House of Windsor (closer to the truth), or a randy slut (not entirely fair but fun to think about.)
First off the mark in the publisher sweepstakes is Tina Brown’s bio. You remember Tina; she’s the one who ruined the New Yorker. Well, she’s sort of a British Kitty Kelly who once suggested that somebody else had suggested that she looked sort of like Diana. In yer dreams, sister. Anyway, Brown’s book is bound to be a big seller. Wish I’d written it but, as I said, I wasn’t one of Diana’s ‘intimates’ at any level, including real interesting ones.
I actually fell madly in love with Diana when first I gazed upon her and, even though I was quite prepared to plight her my troth (whatever the hell that means), she had nobler ambitions than taking up with a colonial boy hack writer. But, God knows, I did try to make myself known to her.
Truly she was one of the most serenely exquisite creatures of the last half of the 20th century. Gorgeous, graceful, fantastically pretty, with eyes that could knock a body dead and legs like a gazelle’s. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, according to those who knew her, she also had a brain kind of like a gazelle’s, too. Great on wit, I understand, but not necessarily deep enough for a boring old fart like Charles. Charles, who seemed to like his babes ‘seasoned’ and with a few miles on them, it seems, so dear Diana was left in his wake. The less said about such a choice on his part, the better, but the idea of leaving a nation and Commonwealth in his hands when the time comes is kind of scary.
I make a bit light of something that really was tragic, no doubt. But I do so because I grow weary of the leeches that would capitalize on her icon status for self-gain. Let the girl rest, finally.
I like my image of Diana as the unsophisticated girl from the wilds of Norfolk as she was in 1980-81 when I lived in England not too far from her home turf. I liked her fairytale wedding, and I didn’t much like anything else that happened to her life after that. It should have been better. It should have been more like that fairytale, but life rarely is, now is it?
I also like the fact that Diana in the last months of her life devoted herself to such serious causes as landmines – and she didn’t do so for the sake of cheap publicity, but because she really believed in the cause, and actually became extremely knowledgeable about it and too great risks to go to sites where landmines proliferated. If you doubt how astute she was on the subject, just ask the International Red Cross.
But then, in the last few weeks of the summer of 1997 she went back to good-life slumming among the stinking rich and tiresome and those bad choices took her out much too soon.