Diana and the whole Royal family should stay away from the press. They should
have kept themselves aloof as misunderstood rich people rather than glamorous
celebrities who air out familial dirty laundry and do publicity stunts.
I am angered by relentless photographers taking intrusive pictures. The
program clearly showed the animalistic nature of the press. My major complaint
is that all the interviews with press leadership revealed a spirit of
invincible superiority. I never picked up on sorrow for past practices or any
regret or apologies. I hope
that Frontline's journalistic integrity is not clouded by a too forgiving
spirit of the tabloid press.
I saw your Frontline documentary on the Media and the Monarchy.
I am a Canadian Monarchist. I hope people realize how evil the press can be.
Rupert Murdoch's treasonous attempts to bring down the Monarchy are at the
heart of the recent tragedy. The press seems to have forgotten that the Royals
are also human beings. These seven photographers now know what it is to be
stalked, they seem to think it is unfair. Perhaps they should have realized how
unfair it is to stalk the Royal Family. We must all try and stop buying this
trash and maybe these monsters will top producing it.
God save the Queen
The royal family is to be commended for all they have done to
share their story with the people via the press. Princess Diana found
herself in a situation in which she had no choice but to do exactly what she
did and we love her. Sure there were times when she liked to have her picture
taken and other times when not, we all can identify with that. The hounding by
the paparazzi following her every move was wrong and criminal. They should
have been subject to arrest and paying such a price that it would be
unprofitable to pursue. Also in front of hotels like the one in Paris, the
police should simply be called and the press cleared away and they should lose
all opportunity of photographs if they overstep designated areas away from the
celebrity and the car. If any
of the press breaks rank, they should be arrested immediately and fined
stiffly. This paparazzi press should be controlled.
I enjoyed the "Princess and the Press" very much. I was expecting another
fawning report or expose on the Royal Family and was pleasantly surprised to
find a discussion of the media and its relation to a public person. As a
product of the 60s myself, I am well aware that the boundaries between our
public and private lives have almost faded to invisible. Unfortunately, Diana
never understood that.
The only criticism I have is one of omission. I thought there should have been
some discussion of the differences between the privacy laws in Britain, Europe
and the United States.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
It was as if, in exploring the relationship between
the media and the Monarchy in Britain, Frontline
really aimed to expose what amounts to a cry from
the British press for the public to understand
its collective angst. The Press and the Princess
views like a classical Greek tragedy: love, hate,
jealousy, usury, infidelity - and then death.
This is really the story of an oedipal bonding
where the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Prince Charles
and even the Royal Family are in the end
nothing but bit players in a sordid and sorry tale.
I think there is a difference between the regular media, the tabloid press, and
the paparazzi. Regular media is like the BBC interview, responsible. Tabloids
media is the sensationalistic and usually false publication on celebrities, and
though it is beyond ridiculous at times, it can be handled most times, even if
it takes a law suit to do so. I see the major problem being with the
paparazzi, because they seem to absolutely have no conscience about their
pursuits or who they could be hurting.
I saw an interview with one of them, who was one of the prime freelance
photographers who chased down Diana so frequently and callously. This man
admitted to knowing that at times she did not want them around, and that she
was hurt by them. He said he felt bad about that, but not bad enough to stop
the pursuits. He was one of several who was hounding her even right after her
father died and she was in mourning. He was also shown chasing her in his car
with his partner. If they lost her, or in one case, when she actually ditched
them (she was driving her own car that day), he got really angry and acted like
she had no right to do that to him, and that everything was all her fault. It
made me angry just watching this
because it showed me that the man has no perspective about how to treat another
human being, or how to do his job with any dignity.
The paparazzi are the sharks of the press world, and they should be at least
legislated down to where they cannot hound a person to death. I think when
someone point-blank tells you to stop or to leave, you should leave. People
might be more cooperative at other times if these photographers weren't so merciless.
I have no respect for these people, and I think they are all going to come to
regret their shameful treatment of Diana and others. If not in this life, then
Valerie A. Moore
I did not really expect to like your program because I thought you would focus
too much attention on Princess Diana's death. I am glad you focused more on the
metamorphosis of the media's royal attention since the reign of King George. I
am 39 and essentially "grew up and matured" along with Di. I admired her for
reason that she is often criticized - the fact that she stood up to the
monarchy who did not show their feelings and tried in every possible way to
stymie each and every one of hers.
I did not know about the "other" famous princess who had constant media
attention, e.g. Princess Margaret. I was quite surprised, but it did put a new
perspective on Diana's relationship with the media - she WAS NOT the first
British royal to exude some elegance/glamour and hence, spark a high amount of
public interest. Our highly technical age, unfortunately, made it worse for
Diana; however, I become incensed when I constantly hear her referred to as a
major manipulator of the press. Buckingham Palace been THE BEST AND SECRET
MANIPULATOR OF THE PRESS for the last few hundred years.
I strongly feel that when Di felt she was "trapped" or misunderstood by the
royal family she turned to the press in self-defense. She needed the support of
the people that she cared about to help her through those tough times. Excuse
me, but if some huge public institution (backing my moron of a husband) was
trying to label
me "crazy" - I would try anything to defend myself. Her story by A. Morton was
just that - a cry against the powerful palace machine. Her "Panorama"
interview was another example. Diana was not stupid; she knew that interview
would win her public support and let the monarchy know that she was NOT that 19
year old ingenue any longer, who was going to do whatever they wanted. I admire
Di because she could have lived that loveless marriage, become queen, had lots
of lovers, but sacrifice personal happiness in the end. She chose to be honest
and that's why she will be remembered and loved long after Charles and his
family (other than William and Harry) have long been forgotten.
Thanks for also showing that it was Queen Elizabeth II herself who first
invited the camera in and really she is the one who wanted the world to see the
royal family as real people - which is exactly what Diana succeeded in doing,
much better I might add.
A very interesting and disturbing look at the monarch and the press in Great
Britain. It seems to me that even here in the United States, with all of our
tabloid journalism in print and television, we either (1) have much less public
interest at the indiscretions of our elected leaders and their families, or (2)
a press that, by and large, shows more restraint.
Certainly, no one can say that the daily press sells papers by use of
sensationalism. The supermarket weeklies perhaps, but I think most people find
them a joke anyway -- or at least I hope so!
Ira L. Goldstein
Sun Valley, CA
When the monarchy are in public, performing their 'duties', then
they should, and do, expect to be in the public eye, with photographers, media,
etc. However, I believe that when they are
'off duty' as it were, the Royal family should be left alone, and not be
constantly harassed by photographers. The media is given plenty of opportunity
to get their stories and pictures, without invading the privacy of these or
Temple City CA
I was hugely disappointed by the lack of insight, analysis or perspective not
provided by this Frontline edition on Diana. As someone who spent most of my
education and growing up year in British institutions, I was hoping to finally
see after two months of waiting, some meaningful commentary on the impact of
someone who was determined to change as best she could that most powerful of
all British traditional institutions she had finally escaped from but which she
still hoped her son might represent in a different way in the 21st century.
Instead, I was treated to the resumption of attacks from her longtime enemies
in the "respectable" press--notably the likes of Max Hastings of The Times and
Peregrine Worsthorne of the Telegraph, longtime and relentless enemies of
Princess. This might still have been useful, if at least their pontificating
had been put in the wider context in belongs in, namely, who in the British
establishment--the Court, the media, the political parties--line up on the side
of the progressive image of monarchy Diana inevitably came to represent, and
who are determined to keep the monarchy in the ossified, irrelevant state it is
The editors at Frontline had only to review the commentary from all quarters of
British society to begin to put the pieces of this wider struggle in some
perspective. Instead, the myopic focus on Diana and her final years of torment
ignore these more important issues regarding the monarch, its image, its role
and relevance in the future, for which Diana was a lightning rod. It was a
great opportunity missed for what is usually such a fine television news
program--the story of Diana and the broader meaning of her life at its end has
yet to be told for this viewer.
For sixteen years, I have been collecting anything about Diana. From those
things that I collected, I learned a lot not only about Diana but also the Royal
Family, Britain, society, and the media. In my knowledge, the Royal Family is
one of two unluckiest preys (other is Monaco's Royal Family). Their hunters
are the media and the readers.
Frontline made me think a little bit about the root of the relationship between
the Royal Family and the media. True, once you open a door then the other
doors will be open. I think the media in Britain should learn from Sweden,
Spain (?), and Japan (YES!), for all of those countries have their own royal
families. Japan may be better example of "good" relationship, however, Japan's
Imperial Family may go the same path as the British Royal Family went.
Too bad, we killed one valued member. Hope this is a BIG lesson, not for
Britain nor USA, but for all over the world.
Platte City, MO
I believe that Charles is disgraceful! He didn't love Diana in the first place.
All he wanted to do was secure his duties as a royal and make sure there were
His sons, William and Harry are going to realize what a dog their father is,
and understand the beauty, love and generosity Diana tried to teach them! I
believe that these two young men will turn the monarchy on its head, and
release of palace-full of complaints, grievances and anger upon their father,
who chose a lifestyle of instability and adultery with the most ugliest
Parker-Bowles. How dare he do this! Diana's death was a result of his neglect
and Camilla's ignorance to continue such a crooked deed. It was selfish on the
part of Charles...and I believe...as a U.S. citizen, that Charles should not
continue his duty to become King.
Anyway...the entire monarchy is a farce. I think William and
Harry will see to it that they want to be more than just royalty...they want to
Princess Diana succeeded at keeping the royal family from sweeping her under
the rug like another bad chapter in its history. Until Diana's arrival, the
Windsors controlled the script. It was they who decided when they would
"recognize" the very existence of Mrs. Simpson - in 1967. It was the Queen who
was to ultimately decide who her own sister was to marry or divorce. It was
allegedly the Queen who stage managed the marriage of her eldest son Charles.
There are many other stories of royals who had to tow the line at the expense
of their own humanity. Princess Diana's only sin was to refuse to "die" in the
eyes of the world. Even though Edward VIII died in '72 and Mrs. Simpson in
1986, the royals sentenced them to
death in '36. The idle lovers were dependent on his brother for relevance that
he would not allow them. Princess Margaret seems to have taken a cue from her
own sister to sit down and be quiet. Diana, however, lives on because she
called the shots for herself and did not apologize to the Palace.
Centuries-old tradition and protocol may have hampered her marriage to Charles
but Princess Diana gained immortality by finally conquering it and showing the
world a more humane side...
John L. Meeks, Jr.
Orange Park FL
The royals are certainly a commodity and part of the attraction of the country
as a whole; however, they have a right to expect some privacy. Any public
event is fair game, but all the sneaking and skulking to invade their privacy
goes too far.
Unfortunately, the "young" royals have joined with the press to create this
kind of tabloid journalism and the public has bought into it wholesale. There
needs to be some restraint on all three parties. If the public would stop
buying the magazines, the tabloids would stop paying exorbitant prices for the
worse of the photos.
Frontline did an excellent job portraying the delicate balance between reporting
and invasion of privacy. However, the public and the press are both guilty of
being totally out of bounds in publishing the private scandals of the Royal
Family. How can we ever forget those tapes? And how do they ever recover
from such an invasion? We all have a lot to answer for.
The English royalty must realize that they live in the twentieth century, and
that they are a vestige from another time that is just hanging on to survive.
However, more and more so-called serious media(print and electronic) seem to be
relying more and more on tactics thought used only by the tabloids. Rupert
Murdoch seems to be operating his publishing empire in Britain as a bastion of
There must be some give-and-take on the part of both. The public's right to
know must somehow be balanced with a person's right to some privacy. I am not
smart enough to be able to make specific recommendations on how to accomplish
Des Moines, IA