20 years on, Britain's Diana cult lives on

By James Skinner | chinadaily.com.cn | 2017-08-30 15:26

20 years on, Britain's Diana cult lives on

Prince William is seen with his parents TRH Prince Charles and Princess Diana during their 1983 official visit to New Zealand, in April 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand. Prince William will be undertaking official engagements while on private visit in conjunction with the British and Irish Lions rugby tour from the end of June until July 11, 2005.

Now, an angry electronic mob can quickly turn itself into a real-life one. The decline of traditional news media, and the failure of politicians to tell unpopular truths to their citizens allows emotional reactions to quickly turn into dangerous anger.

Twenty years after her death, the British public have allowed themselves to slowly reassess Diana. While she is still remembered for her charity work, the anger toward the media and royal family has subsided. She is remembered now, for what she was - someone who used and was used by the media, someone who could be fun and generous, but also paranoid and vindictive.

Yet the damage done to the royal family from that mad week following her death is irreparable. It has forced them to try to appear ordinary and accessible. Perhaps this will one day prove their undoing. After all, if a royal family is just like any other family, what is the point of it?

When a country experiences a Diana moment, it is extremely hard to know where unchecked anger might lead.

Yet without a return to strong leadership, and sensible, reasoned debate based on facts, the ghost of the princess will continue to haunt us.

James Skinner is a contributing editor at China Daily with an MA in International Relations. He has a particular interest in British and American politics, as well as global security issues.

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