Re­mem­ber­ing the Peoples’ Princess

TV pro­gram­ming, books mark 20th an­niver­sary of Di­ana’s death

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - USA To­day

Two decades af­ter her death, Princess Di­ana’s charisma en­dures.

So does the tragic story of the mother of Prince Wil­liam and Prince Harry. Di­ana was just 36 when she died af­ter the car she was rid­ing in crashed in a Paris tun­nel on Aug. 31, 1997. But be­fore her death — and af­ter split­ting with Prince Charles — she was still turn­ing heads and at­tract­ing head­lines. So it comes as no sur­prise that on the 20th an­niver­sary, ev­ery­one is find­ing a way to re­mem­ber her.

Pub­lish­ers are bring­ing out new books about her, or reis­su­ing old ones.

Here are some up­com­ing com­mem­o­ra­tions of the celebrity princess:

July 31: Princess Di­ana: Tragedy or Trea­son? (TLC, 8 p.m.)

Di­ana bi­og­ra­pher An­drew Mor­ton is just one of the fig­ures in­ter­viewed in this 3-hour spe­cial that looks at the con­spir­acy the­o­ries sur­round­ing the fa­tal car crash in Paris. Ac­tor and con­spir­acy the­o­rist Richard Belzer dis­cusses the spec­u­la­tion about what hap­pened the night Di­ana died.

Aug. 9-10: The Story of Di­ana (ABC, 9 p.m.)

ABC and Peo­ple mag­a­zine team for this two-night spe­cial fea­tur­ing what’s billed as an ex­clu­sive U.S. in­ter­view with Earl Spencer, Di­ana’s brother Charles. He will share sto­ries about his older sis­ter with home-movie footage. Vir­gin Group CEO Richard Bran­son is among friends of Di­ana ap­pear­ing in the spe­cial.

Aug. 22: Di­ana — Her Story (PBS, 8 p.m., check lo­cal list­ings)

PBS says this new doc­u­men­tary of­fers his­tor­i­cal con­text as it tells the story of Di­ana’s life through in­ter­views with in­di­vid­u­als who were close to the princess, in­clud­ing con­fi­dant James Colthurst, bal­let teacher Anne Al­lan, pri­vate sec­re­tary Patrick Jeph­son and Wharfe. The doc­u­men­tary re­veals a naive teen who even­tu­ally trans­formed into one of the most pop­u­lar mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily.

Aug. 27: Di­ana and the Pa­parazzi (Smith­so­nian, 8 p.m.)

View­ers get a look through the lens at the princess and her at­tempts to man­age the con­stant mob of pho­tog­ra­phers who fol­lowed her ev­ery­where, con­trasted with her de­sire to draw in­ter­est to the hu­man­i­tar­ian causes that she felt were im­por­tant.

This spe­cial in­cludes in­ter­views with pa­parazzi who were present dur­ing her fa­tal car crash.

Di­ana: The Day We Said Good­bye (Smith­so­nian, 9 p.m.)

An­other spe­cial puts the spot­light on the fu­neral for the princess. Nar­rated by Kate Winslet, this spe­cial in­cludes the voices of guards­men, re­porters, pall­bear­ers and oth­ers who share their ex­pe­ri­ences on that day, when Lon­don shut down, mil­lions filled the streets and the U.K. mourned at a royal fu­neral ser­vice at West­min­ster Abbey. sec­re­tary — her clos­est aide — dur­ing her years of deep­est per­sonal cri­sis. His de­scrip­tion of what he saw and heard is said to be the most author­i­ta­tive and bal­anced ac­count of the royal life of a fa­mously tragic royal.

“Di­ana: Her True Story in Her Own Words” by An­drew Mor­ton. The 1992 book that blew the lid off the long-sim­mer­ing story of the break­down of the mar­riage of Charles and Di­ana. Si­mon & Schus­ter has re­leased a re­vised ver­sion of the book, which sold more than one mil­lion copies, with new ma­te­rial that Mor­ton recorded with Di­ana.

“Di­ana: The Peo­ple’s Princess: A Cel­e­bra­tion of Her Life and Legacy 20 Years On, by Nicholas Owen.” First pub­lished in 1997, this up­dated edi­tion from U.K. pub­lisher Carl­ton Shing G is a trib­ute bi­og­ra­phy that in­cludes new ma­te­rial about Di­ana’s legacy as a mother, as her sons con­tinue her hu­man­i­tar­ian work.

“Di­ana: A Closely Guarded Se­cret by Ken Wharfe and Robert Job­son.” An­other reis­sue, from U.K. pub­lisher John Blake. Wharfe, Di­ana’s royal body­guard, and Job­son, a long­time Bri­tish roy­als cor­re­spon­dent, teamed up on this first me­moir by a royal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer, who be­came Di­ana’s close friend and con­fi­dant dur­ing his seven years as her body­guard.

“Prince Charles: The Pas­sions and Para­doxes of an Im­prob­a­ble Life,” by Sally Bedell Smith. Smith is the ac­claimed royal bi­og­ra­pher whose books on the queen and on Di­ana (Di­ana in Search of Her­self ) were bestsellers. In her new Charles bio (pub­lished in April), Smith man­ages to suss out new de­tails of their mar­i­tal dis­cord: Among them, she re­ports, dur­ing their many blaz­ing ar­gu­ments, when Charles knelt down at night to say his prayers, Di­ana would keep the fight go­ing by hit­ting him on the head and con­tin­u­ing to shout at him.


“Lady Di­ana a Free Spirit” at the Reg­gio di Ve­naria, Turin, north­ern Italy, re­mem­bers Princess Di­ana 20 years af­ter her death in a car ac­ci­dent in Paris. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs to Aug. 28.


MARIA PUENTE AND LORENA BLAS Photo from Di­ana’s per­sonal photo al­bum shows the princess hold­ing Prince Wil­liam while preg­nant with Prince Harry.


Photo from Di­ana’s per­sonal photo al­bum shows the princess and Prince Harry on hol­i­day.

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