Ten years ago today Diana Princess of Wales died in a Paris tunnel, a drunk driver at the wheel of her Mercedes. But on this anniversary imagine if Diana had survived the accident (as she might well have done had it not taken almost two hours to get her to a hospital) and that she’s still alive.

She would be a well-preserved 46, with a new boyfriend and an apartment in Manhattan. Is she popular? Maybe. A legend? No way. By dying young, Diana ensured her immortality. Better dead than over the hill.

There were signs before the fatal accident that Diana’s life was spirallying down. She had been rejected by perhaps the only man she really loved, the Muslim heart surgeon, Hasnat Khan (he could no longer cope with her emotional demands), she was putting on weight and she was cavorting around the Mediterranean with another Muslim hanger-on, Dodi el Fayed. It is difficult to see how she would have continued to live up to her earlier press notices on her stellar work with Aids patients and the elimination of land mines.

Had she lived, what do you think Diana would be like today?

Do you remember where you were when you heard of Diana’s death? (I was watching late night TV when I heard the first bulletins).

Why do you think there was such an uncharacheristic outpouring of British emotion when she died?



  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    Crises like that are often temporary.

    I’m sure her kids wished that she had lived.

  2. 2
    Simon Says:

    Why the outpouring? Because Britain identified with her and the fact she had been used and thrown out in effect. I think you’re right, she was spiraling and apparently playing some very strange games when she was killed. But the outpouring was real as far as I could tell. People identified with her more than any other member of the Royal family, and her untimely death perhaps woke people up to the manner in which she had been treated.

    Her brother said that she was the most hunted person in the world, he wasn’t wrong. I wouldn’t have wanted her life. I think she died lonely, outcast, and lost. Her memory cast’s her in an almost angelic light which I would suggests dazzles us from the reality of the reality, much of which must have been awful.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    I rather agree with Simon. May this poor woman rest in peace at last. She was treated like a genetically appropriate breeder by the Royal Family to maintain their succession. No wonder she spiralled down.

  4. 4

    Suzanne – I’m sure you’re right about her boys. They spoke so movingly today
    about « the best mother in the world. »

    Simon – Indeed, Diana had a very difficult life and, although I had not heard it before, perhaps the British people, in their emotional outpouring were trying to make up for how much she had suffered.

    Barbara – May she rest in peace indeed. That was the central point, I think, in the rather good homily the Bishop of London delivered today at Diana’s memorial. He urged all the factions to cool it and let Diana be Diana in peace.

  5. Here’s an article from Auntie Beeb on the « uncharacheristic outpouring of British emotion » that you mention–‘Mourning sickness is a religion’.

  6. 6

    The Western Confucian – I have just read the article you suggest by West on « Mourning sickness is a religion. He makes some good points but his tone, somewhat sarcastic, is somewhat off-putting. Welcome to our blog.

  7. 7
    Dan R. Says:

    I can’t consider Diana’s dying so young to be lucky. The fact she died when she did certainly help immortalize her for the rest of our lives. Once the generation who was witness to the events of that day are gone, so will her legend.

    I feel most sorry for her sons. She always acted like a mother first and a royal second. That’s where she scored brownie points with me!

    Same goes for JFK and the rest of America’s so-called royal family. In the case of the Kennedys, the legend is already on the way out. JFK Jr. was their best hope to keep it going, but he died at a younger age than his father.

    Senator Ted Kennedy’s death will mark the end of it (and it will be fairly low key), and maybe, just maybe, anymore untimely and tragic deaths within the Kennedy claim may attract some attention because it’s part of a long line of the Kennedy curse.

  8. 8


    I think you are right. We can already see the end of Diana’s immortality and the Kennedy’s too. Bobby’s sons might have carried it further but none of them ever really stepped up to the plate.

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