The Diana Chronicles (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
In 1979, the Prince of Wales, then thirty years old and under pressure to find a bride, and soon, proposed marriage to Amanda Knatchbull, granddaughter of his revered mentor and great-uncle Lord Mountbatten. She declined the offer. In the present age, a young woman can turn down a proposal of marriage from the next king of England, preferring the tranquillity of a private life.
Few could blame her. One of the main themes of Tina Brown’s carefully pitched biography of Diana (who needs only one name for immediate identification), The Diana Chronicles, is the extraordinarily intrusive ubiquity of the media in the lives of the British Royal Family. Today no secret can be kept. The financial and cultural power of newspapers and television has increased; the old sense of deference, or perhaps even loyalty, in some of royalty’s servants and subjects has diminished. Nobody can be relied on to turn away in disgust from the public revelation of humiliating personal details. Diana, initially deemed a well-born but malleable virgin by the court, was so brilliantly successful with the mass of the British people in part because she rapidly came to understand and successfully manipulate the media, transmitting an image with which ordinary people could sympathize and identify.
In the early stages of her engagement to Prince Charles and after, the Royal Family suspected that Diana was not very bright but, not generally intellectual themselves, did...
(The entire section is 1639 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
The American Spectator 40, no. 9 (November, 2007): 68-71.
The Guardian, June 23, 2007, p. 10.
The New York Times Book Review 156 (June 10, 2007): 1-11.
The New Yorker, June 25, 2007, pp. 88-92.
The Observer, June 10, 2007, p. 15.
Sunday Times, June 17, 2007, p. 39.
The Wall Street Journal 249, no. 134 (June 9, 2007): P1-P8.
The Washington Post, June 10, 2007, p. BW11.
(The entire section is 46 words.)