How Diana’s death influenced the royal family’s relationship with the media

On August 31, 1997, the whole world was in shock: Princess Diana died in a car accident in Paris, aged just 36. “She was probably the most famous woman in the English-speaking world, along with Queen Elizabeth II”recalls historian Ed Owens.

By helping to bridge the gap between centuries of tradition and a new multicultural nation in the age of the internet, the Princess of Wales has left a lasting legacy within the British Royal Family, reports a dispatch from the Associated Press. , relayed by ABC News. Diana Spencer
also transformed the relationship that royalty had with the media.

His sons, Princes William and Harry, learned to be closer to people’s hearts, to keep the monarchy strong. “They changed some overly formal traditions and the way of performing their duties,” observe Sally Bedell Smith, autrice de Diana in Search of Herself.

After being strongly criticized on the death of her ex-daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II learned to learn from the past and became “more inclined to interact with people”, continues Sally Bedell Smith. Elizabeth II thus managed to become popular with her people again. To be convinced of this, just look at the platinum jubilee celebrating its seventieth year of reign last June. The British people always seem to appreciate their monarch, especially when she appears in short films with Paddington, England’s most famous bear.

An ambivalent relationship

The royal family knows how to use its function and its media power to highlight causes that are close to their hearts. This is what Diana had taught her sons during their childhood: in 1987, the princess had notably opened the first specialist service for patients with AIDS in the United Kingdom. shaking hands with patients. The moment had obviously been immortalized and the photo had gone around the world.

Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton and Harry carried on Diana’s legacy by making better mental health services a top priority, going so far as to publicly discuss their own struggles, as their mother had done. years ago talking about his bulimia.

But Harry also inherited his mother’s more outrageous side by shaking up royal institutions more than once through the media. Already in 1995, Lady Di confided in the BBC about her difficulties within the House of Windsor. In 2021, Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, did the same, accompanied by her husband during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Stepping back from their royal duties, Diana at the time – after her divorce from Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer had lost his title of royal highness to become Diana, Princess of Wales–and Harry now probably thought they were quieter. But whatever the time, the English press is always interested in the slightest declaration of the royal family and scrutinizes all the scandals. This is also the legacy left by the princess of hearts.

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