Yesterday, after weeks of soggy weather, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and looked down on the more than 60,000 fans who had come to London’s Wembley Stadium for a day-long concert celebrating the life of Princess Diana. Millions more around the world watched the event — organized by her sons, Princes William and Harry; and featuring performers like Elton John, Kanye West, Joss Stone, and Tom Jones (the last two, pictured) — held on what would’ve been Diana’s 46th birthday.
Clearly, the late princess still has a powerful hold on the public imagination. (Bear in mind that these concert-goers chose to attend even amid theheightened anxieties following the terrorism scares in London andScotland.) This year, which also marks the 10th anniversary of her death (she was killed in a car accident, along with boyfriend Dodi Fayed and the driver of their car, on August 31, 1997), has already seen the release of several Diana-themed books and DVDs, including Tina Brown’s dishy bestselling biography, The Diana Chronicles.
To be honest, I never quite understood the endless fascination with Princess Di. Sure, she was a basically good person who supported worthwhile causes and did an apparently fine job raising her kids. And God knows how she managed to deal with crushing scrutiny that comes with being both a member of a royal family and a global pop-culture icon. And, yes, I was truly saddened to hear of her sad and horrific end. But I felt — and continue to feel — strangely isolated from Diana’s passing.
Okay, PopWatchers: Ten years after her tragic demise, what did Diana mean to you? We’re looking for thoughtful answers here. Are you still stirred by memories of the beautiful but troubled young royal? Or do you think she is yet another celebrity whose legacy was amplified by an untimely death?