Friday, August 31, 2007

Diana's legacy

Bagehot in the Economist gets it about right:

During her short, sad life, Diana was seen as a scandalously modern princess; after her sadder death, and as its tenth anniversary approaches next week, she has been enlisted as a posthumous poster girl for various progressive causes. “She wasn't seen as posh. She was one of the people,” argues Time magazine, hailing her as “the princess [who] transformed a nation”.

She wasn't - and she didn't.

Beyond her roles as fairy-tale princess and floundering, suffering divorcee, Diana's appeal rested in part on an ancient archetype: the monarch who walks among the people, working miracles, in her case among the lepers, AIDS patients and maimed children she unsqueamishly embraced. And just as her draw was in part atavistic, the legacy of her death has proved a surprisingly reactionary one.

Thanks to Stephen Tall for the link.

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