Friday, August 31, 2007

Princess Di, ten years later

Another one of those things I can't quite figure out is the amount of media attention given to the life and death of Princess Diana even today, ten years after her death. The British, understandably, are having a big celebration today, but interest in all things Di remains at a high level for many people around the world. (I myself debated for some time this morning whether to post this, and add more fuel to the fire.)

I have nothing against Princess Diana myself, just that she served as another example of becoming famous by being in the right place at the right time. Born into an aristocratic family, she secured lifetime fame by marrying into the British Royal Family, that anachronism to end all anachronisms. Over time, she became one of the world's most glamorous women, she earned the respect of millions by telling the Queen where to get off (something that would have led to the gallows in another time), and the tragic circumstances of her death made her a near-mythic figure. In her defense, she lent her reputation to some good causes, such as AIDS research and the banning of land mines, and if we make celebrities out of the likes of Paris Hilton by the mere fact of their being born, we should give some respect to those who use their celebrity status to do some good in the world.

Without all that media attention, though, perhaps she could have gone back to a more normal life, remarried, and maybe found genuine happiness. The saddest thing about Princess Di was that her celebrity status played a large part in the circumstances of her death.