In honor of what would have been Princess Diana’s 50th birthday, ‘Newsweek’ is speculating on how the People’s Princess would have looked, acted and felt if she were alive today. Do YOU think it’s appropriate?
Instead of remembering Princess Diana for who she was and what she represented on her 50th birthday, Newsweek has used technology to draft what she would most likely look like today — and plastered her, alongside her son’s new wife, Kate Middleton, on its July 4 and 11 cover. Is this cover an honorable way to pay respect to the People’s Princess — or is it an abysmal and unsympathetic way to sell magazines?
Inside the issue, an article titled simply “Diana at 50” speculates how the Princess of Wales would have acted in 2011. The author, Tina Brown, examines everything from Diana’s fashion, love life, politics, charities, relationship with her ex-husband — and most importantly, her thoughts on Prince William‘s new wife, Kate Middleton — in excessive detail.
Here are a few pieces from the article:
On her fashion:
“Fashionwise, Diana would have gone the J.Crew and Galliano route à la Michelle Obama, always knowing how to mix the casual with the glam. There is no doubt she would have kept her chin taut with strategic Botox shots and her bare arms buff from the gym.”
On her love life:
“Remarriage? At least two, I suspect, on both sides of the Atlantic. Always so professional herself, she would have soon grown exasperated with Dodi Al-Fayed’s hopeless unreliability. After the breakup I see her moving to her favorite city, New York, spending a few cocooned years safely married to a super-rich hedge-fund guy who could provide her with what she called “all the toys”: the plane, the private island, the security detail. Gliding sleekly into her 40s, her romantic taste would have moved to men of power over boys of play. She’d have tired of the hedge-fund guy and drifted into undercover trysts with someone more exciting—a high-mindedly horny late-night talk-show host, or a globe-trotting French finance wizard destined for the Élysée Palace. I suspect she would have retained a weakness for men in uniform, and a yen for dashing Muslim men.”
On her relationship with Charles and Camilla:
“I believe her best male friend in later years would have been, poignantly, her reviled first husband. As the financier Sir James Goldsmith once put it, “When you marry your mistress, you create a job vacancy,” and Charles, having married Camilla, would suddenly have found the company of his ex strangely comforting. Diana, with time, would no longer have found Charles’s causes tiresome. Rather, she would have empathized, and asked his advice about hers. After so many loves and losses, she would finally have let go of her rancor toward Camilla.”
On her charities:
“Had she lived, her Princess Diana Foundation, fueled by a steady pipeline of adoring billionaire ex-boyfriends, would have become hugely prestigious, and powerful. (She would also have been astute enough to turn her back on money that failed the smell test. The woman with five O-levels to her name would have been smarter than the London School of Economics: no dollars from Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.) In the world disasters of the last few years—9/11, the tsunamis, the Pakistan earthquake, Hurricane Katrina—you know Diana would have been first at the scene in a hard hat with a camera crew (and, by now, 10 million followers on Twitter). She would have kept her spotlight trained on individual sufferers whom she’d continued to visit and care for and touch. At a time when the world has disaster fatigue, I miss the generosity of her star power and what it could accomplish.”
On Kate Middleton:
“The rising public adoration of Kate would have afforded Diana some tricky moments. Pleased, yes. But, like Frances Shand Kydd—who, days before Diana’s wedding, suddenly burst out, “I have good long legs, like my daughter”—Diana would have had to adjust to a broadening of the limelight. Her edge over Kate, of course, was her own epic of princessly suffering, which would always make Diana’s story more interesting. (“Happily ever after” will never have the same allure to the press as “It all went horribly wrong.”) Diana, rejoicing in her flawless Spencer pedigree, would have positioned herself as a firm defender of the Middletons against the palace snobs and ostentatiously made Carole Middleton, Kate’s dynamic mother, her new BFF.”
Because the author interviewed and knew Diana personally, the article is a fascinating — and intimate — read. The most upsetting part is seeing Diana aged by the computer on the cover — couldn’t Newsweek have paid tribute in a less sensational, and classier, way?
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