Sunday, August 30, 2009
Princess Diana -- Her international fame had no limits, whether it be as a fairytale princess, devoted mum, fashion plate or humanitarian striving to reinvent herself. Died on Aug. 31, 1997 at age 36. Cause of death: car accident. Quote: "I'd like to be a queen in people's hearts, but I don't see myself being queen of this country."
Remembering Diana, the world’s first Princess of Television
31 August 2007 — Nalaka Gunawardene
Today, 31 August 2007, is the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death in a road accident in Paris.
A decade on, I can still remember exactly where and how I first heard the news. This experience is widely shared: to many in my generation — born in the 1960s and raised through 1970s and 1980s (just like Diana was) — this was an unforgettable moment. Perhaps just like the assassination of John F Kennedy was to a previous generation.
The analogy between Di and JFK goes further. Both had charismatic personalities that appealed far beyond their home country. Both epitomised the vibrancy of youth and the potential for change in the institutions they joined (Diana the British Royal family, and JFK the American government). Both lives were snuffed out before they could fulfill that promise, but they left enduring legacies — and thriving cottage industries of conspiracy theories (’Who killed JFK?’ has now been joined by ‘Who killed Diana?’).
Here’s another similarity: JFK and Diana were both iconic images of the era of television.
If JFK turned up just in time to charm the first generation of American TV viewers, Diana’s arrival on world stage coincided neatly with the worldwide roll out of satellite television, especially the all-news channels. And thanks to the advances in global broadcasting, Diana commanded a far bigger global audience than JFK did (though the comparisons must end there).
I would like to remember Diana as the first Princess of Television of our media-rich age.
Tomorrow marks the eleventh anniversary, may you rest in peace Princess Di...God Bless!