To Orwell Today,
re: VISITING PRINCESS'S PLACES
I read in one of the articles that you were surprised that Diana's wedding dress was on display. I remember reading at the time that she had 6 wedding dresses made, to put in various museums. You said you didn't expect to see the land mine clothing. But the museum is on her family's property. It doesn't surprise me that these items would be with her family.
I have always thought that Diana buttered up the press and the public, but didn't concern herself with the man she was married to. I also thought that the only reason she was a princess was because she married a prince. Once she divorced him, all of that ended. I have noticed that if Charles's had an affair, that it wasn't okay, but it was okay if Diana did. I always wondered why Charles married her. He didn't seem to want to, or her him. The black dress she wore when the news about his adultery came out was ordered 3 years earlier, in anticipation of it becoming public. She seemed far more manipulating than innocent. She chose to divorce him, she was only a princess by marriage; don't most people lose 'privileges' that they didn't possess before a marriage in a divorce? She was dating far more people than Charles. Wouldn't the jewelry owned by the prince be for use of his current wife? Wouldn't someone married to the prince be the "princess"? Those things acquired thru marriage belong to the current wife. If you are a commoner, you have to stay married to the prince to be the "princess". That title is reserved for the wife.
-Susan B. Johnson
It's true that Diana didn't become a princess until she married a prince - in this case Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and that after they were divorced her title of Princess of Wales was taken away from her. But in the sixteen years since her fairy-tale wedding in 1981 to her Shakespearean tragedy "untimely death" in 1997, she had become a princess who, like no other, did princessly things for the people.
You say you wonder why Charles married her and I myself used to wonder that - seeing as how they seemed to have nothing in common but it turns out that although we've learned that he didn't ever love her, other than as a mother for his children, she did in fact love him at first.
But the powers-that-be, or as she called them "the grey men" interfered in their lives to such an extent that she was prevented from nurturing a warm relationship with Charles. And the newspapers in England did nothing but gossip and lie about her, and him, for all those years before their divorce that it is a credit to her strength of character that they didn't drive her insane.
I found a book here in Canada - which was banned in Britain - entitled "The Housekeeper's Diary", by Wendy Barry, written in 1995, which described Charles and Diana before the break-up. The author, as a caring member of their household, witnessed how their relationship was destroyed by powers outside themselves.
Charles was the first person to admit to having an affair and he did that on LIVE television, to which she responded by wearing that black dress you mention. But she didn't buy that dress three years previously, or plan to attend that event on the very night of his television bombshell. Her butler, Paul Burrell, describes how that dress came to be chosen in his 2003 book "A Royal Duty" and I found what he said throughout the book credible about Diana, and an antidote to the mainstream writings about her. I'm really looking forward to reading his latest book "The Way We Were" which will hit the stands in a couple of weeks. It's being panned by the "gutter press" (a term Orwell coined) so it must be good. Burrell isn't in the "tell all" category at all but is instead - in my opinion - someone honestly making an effort to set the record straight for Diana. PEOPLES' PRINCESS & PRINCESS'S PEOPLE
I also found the book "Shadows of a Princess" written in 2000 by her private secretary, Patrick Jephson, a valuable insight into what she was going through.
Andrew Morton's 1997 edition to his 1992 book, "Diana, Her True Story" explained why she chose to do her infamous "Panorama" interview - which was AFTER Charles had announced on television that he'd had affairs. After that is when Diana went on television and explained that there had been "a third person" in their "crowded" marriage all along. Even so, I don't think she did the interview under her own initiative but was somehow manipulated into doing it. It gave lots of ammunition for her detractors to use against her and was actually painful to watch.
You say she had several wedding dresses made for museums but the fact is she only wore one and that dress is not in the British Museum where it probably should be but is in the private hands of her brother who rejected her in life and only after her death had anything to do with her.
Regarding her jewelry I am sure that the jewels that belonged to the Crown were never hers and are probably now being worn by Charles' present wife.
It seems you were not touched at all by the spirit of Princess Diana and I don't think it is something that a person who was can explain. It seems you see princesses as nothing but black and white realities, whereas real princesses transcend mere technicalities. Diana was a REAL princess, a princess of peoples' hearts. GOODNIGHT SWEET PRINCESS
All the best,
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~