From 'Spencer' to 'Crown': Why do we always fall in love with Princess Diana?

The Princess of Wales is full of popular culture this fall. That's why his story is still heard, according to experts.


Deb Stratas always felt like Princess Diana was a kind spirit. He saw the similarities between their lives: teen marriages, motherhood, the pain of divorce. Stratas has read “a great deal of literature” about the Queen of Wales to better understand her private joys and sorrows.

However, “I always felt that his voice was missing,” Stratas recalls. “She reads all the biographers - a security guard, a container manager, a journalist - and writes about what happened. But what did he think and how did he feel? "

Stratas tried to answer that question. She has written three novels about Diana, a trilogy that traces her early years into the British royal family until her tragic death in 1997. He published the fourth book, False History, in February 2020.

The inspiration to get into Diana's mind is full of popular culture these days. “Spencer,” a new biopic starring Kristen Stewart and directed by Chilean producer Pablo Larraín who first appeared in theaters on Friday, could be an Oscar-winning rival.

The film debuted a month after CNN began broadcasting a six-part series (along with its accompanying podcast) about the princess. Netflix is ​​home to both "Diana," a recorded Broadway musical about her life, and the drama series "The Crown."

The latest season of that Emmy-winning proverb explored Diana's personal problems of trying to be close, mixing facts and speculation - and winning the team's star Emma Corrin of the Golden Globe.

Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana.

Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana on "The Crown" on Netflix.Des Willie / Netflix

"Diana's story seems to be on the rise in popularity, especially right now," says Andrea McDonnell, a journalist and co-author of the book "Famous: The History of Fame."

The general definition of Diana's permanent complaint 60 years after her birth is not difficult to disclose. He was one of the world's most photographed people. It has long been an international avatar of charisma, magnetism, traditional beauty and high fashion.

"I think Diana's combination of glamor and glamor has been linked to people all over the world," said Carolyn Harris, a historian and author of the book "Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting."

But why is his story so powerful - and it seems so ubiquitous - at this point?

Diana checked again

McDonnell and Harris saw several zeitgeist-themed themes directly linked to what happened to Diana and the public image - both themes that shaped our ideas about new artwork about him and could help explain why they were produced in the first place.

The first cultural re-examination of various women whose lives were carefully documented and carefully researched by national media in the 1990s and early 2000s, from Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky to Tonya Harding and Lorena Bobbitt.

In recent years, movies, television programs, and books have tried to recreate these women, replacing them with nightly news and newspaper articles with honesty and empathy.

"I think there's a lot of research into how women in public life have been treated by the media in the last few decades, coupled with discussions about how popular culture portrays prominent women," said Harris, who teaches history at the University of Toronto.

Photo: Diana, Princess of Wales walks through a crowd of children waving flags during a visit to Cullompton in Devon, England, Sept. 1990.

Diana, Princess of Wales, visiting Cullompton, Devon, England, 1990. Terry Fincher / Getty Images file

Diana was not well-received by the American media, but she has been the talk of the world and has been targeted by photographers. It is not uncommon for McDonnell and Harris that Diana died in a car accident in Paris while her driver was fleeing the paparazzi.

McDonnell draws a straight line between Diana and pop singer Britney Spears. He said the two women may not be seen as partners, but their experience in the public eye highlights "the power of the tabloid newspaper to work well - and in Diana's case, literally - to ruin their lives."

"In the American context, I think Diana represents the potential black side of celebrity and the tragic magnitude of fame," McDonnell said.

Diana's attempts to define her identity attracted the attention of “Spencer” director Larraín, who focused his film on his decision to leave the royal family, incorporating facts and speculative assumptions as well as his character's humility.

"We all grew up understanding what a myth is, but Diana Spencer changed the paradigm, and the organized icons that make up pop culture, forever," Larraín said in a statement.