Dis­gust at ar­ti­cle imag­in­ing Diana at 50

Shanghai Daily - - WORLD -

PRINCESS Diana has re­turned from the grave on the front cover of Newsweek in a pic­ture that imag­ines her, and her life, as it might have been had she lived to mark her 50th birth­day to­mor­row.

But the pic­ture and story — which spec­u­lates that Diana would have twice re­mar­ried, used Bo­tox, and been slightly jeal­ous of new daugh­ter-in-law Kate Mid­dle­ton — pro­voked mostly howls of dis­gust as they ar­rived on US news­stands the same week that Prince Wil­liam and his new bride be­gin an of­fi­cial visit to North Amer­ica.

“Shock­ing, bril­liant or just plain cheap?” asked the Los An­ge­les Times. News blog Me­di­aite. com called it “dis­re­spect­ful on so many lev­els,” while The At­lantic Wire ran the head­line “How Creepy is Princess Diana’s Ghost?”

Newsweek Ed­i­tor-in- Chief Tina Brown, a Bri­ton who wrote a gos­sipy 2007 bi­og­ra­phy about the late princess, imag­ines that if Diana had not died in a 1997 Paris car crash, she would have moved to New York, re­mained “great-look­ing,” been friends with her ex-hus­band Prince Charles and his new wife — and Diana’s old neme­sis — Camilla, and have 10 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter.

But it’s the dig­i­tally en­hanced front page photo of Diana — imag­in­ing her as still slim and chic, if a lit­tle wrin­kled — that has caused the big­gest out­rage. Diana is shown walk­ing along­side a smil­ing, and ad­mir­ing, Kate Mid­dle­ton.

“This is be­yond tacky,” com­mented one writer on the New York Mag­a­zine web­site.

“Ugh this is SO taste­less ... let the poor woman RIP ... if i were any of her fam­ily mem­bers i’d be so of­fended and up­set by this,” wrote a woman on the Newsweek com­ments page. Others said they were can­cel­ing their sub­scrip­tions to Newsweek. The ar­ti­cle also fan­ta­sizes about Diana’s Face­book page, imag­in­ing her “lik­ing” the movie “The King’s Speech” and TV se­ries “The Real Housewives of New York,” hang­ing out with David and Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, and send­ing mes­sages to spir­i­tual physi­cian Deepak Cho­pra.

But it is her sup­posed re­la­tion­ship with Kate Mid­dle­ton where Brown is per­haps most con­tro­ver­sial.

“The ris­ing pub­lic ado­ra­tion of Kate would have af­forded Diana some tricky mo­ments. Pleased, yes. But ... Diana would have had to ad­just to a broad­en­ing of the lime­light,” Brown writes.

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