Princess Di - at 50! - on Newsweek cover

2011-06-28 20:34

New York - 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 on Friday.

The article inside was written by Diana biographer and long time provocateur Tina Brown. She's also Newsweek's editor-in-chief.

Diana was killed in a car accident in 1997 and would have turned 50 on Friday. In April, Middleton married Prince William, the oldest son of Diana and Prince Charles.

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 news stands 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 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. Some others said they were cancelling their subscriptions to the US weekly news magazine.

The Newsweek feature also fantasises 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 supportive messages to spiritual physician Deepak Chopra and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

But it is her supposed relationship with the new bride of her eldest son, Prince William, 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.

She also speculates that Diana would have been a defender against royal snobbery of Middleton's non-aristocratic upbringing "and ostentatiously made Carole Middleton, Kate's dynamic mother, her new BFF".

Prince William and Kate Middleton, now formally known as the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive in Canada on Thursday for their first official visit overseas as a married couple.

They will also visit southern California from July 8-10.

  • safather - 2011-06-28 20:47

    That's one ugly picture...

      ???? - 2011-06-29 00:45

      Never been a fan of her,but surely they can leave her alone now?

  • GoFish - 2011-06-28 20:55

    Surely she would never have worn such a ghastly hat!!

  • frangelico - 2011-06-28 21:10

    She still would have looked great but for that hat. I do think though the poor woman should be left to rest in peace. publishers go on like my old scratched vinyl records,thank goodness that William is not spineles like Charlie Big ears

      Stef_van NAM - 2011-06-29 08:59

      O!, It's a hat? And here I thought it was a manhole cover...

  • frangelico - 2011-06-28 21:25

    I can't recall seeing Princess Diana wearing those dumb hats after she split with Charlie Boy,or am I wrong.After Charles she came into her own she always looked great in whatever she wore,The Firm could take some ques from her,but then QE11 is aging,Camilla could never hold a candle to Diana,God bless Princess Catherine for bringing some class to the Firm

  • Blink - 2011-06-28 21:38

    I knew it. She's still alive!

  • Ivym - 2011-06-28 21:39

    Just plain cheap.

  • cgtours - 2011-06-28 21:40

    Diana would NEVER have worn that hat- but even with the hat- LOOK at the photo - who do you see first DIANA- These are two TOTALLY different women from different backgrounds!. Kate MUST never make the mistake of trying to fill DIANAS footsteps- because she CANNOT!.She must just be herself.She is lovely and right for William otherwise he obviously would not have married her. She will be very good and homely also and fill a very big gap in Williams life with her personality, warmth and attitude- He missed/misses his mother.BUT DIANA ,look at the photo - who do you see firt!? SHE had an aura wherever she went.-GLAMOUROUs in Ball Gowns-dressed in just a skirt/latties etc. Still Glamorous WHY ?. and NOT many people have that - it shines!(far east religions and people believe and speak of a special aura) Diana had that-Katy does not have that aura.she has other attributes. Look at Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor had it/Marilyn Monroe,-not the best ever, but she had it- cameras flashing and all other stars just barely a mention.In her heyday when Elizabeth arrived-everybody else on the red carpet was just mentioned-she had that PRESENCE AND THAT SMILE and Diana had the same effect.Unbelieveble-even in the heat of africa- dressed plainly very little make up ,her smile and warmth made her so exceptional-I saw it firsthand from a very short distance.-it was amazing.!Nearly no makeup,flat comfortable shoes,just a t shirt and jeans and that absolute smile/glamour-she was just beautifull

  • IceMan - 2011-06-28 21:43

    what people / editors do for a buck these days, maybe next she would sell her mother and the week after her soul

  • screamobaby - 2011-06-28 23:01

    Sick! Let the poor woman rest!

  • Flinger - 2011-06-29 08:09

    Still the quickest way to get magazines to fly off the shelf, a pic of Di or MJ, so tacky and so desperate!

  • dr - 2011-06-29 09:16

    Not Princess Diana wearing such an ugly and horrible hat never ever even if she was alive not her style..

  • Maria - 2011-06-29 14:22

    I am disgusted. This is totally NOT acceptable.

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