What was it, rather, what is it about Diana that continues to captivate us, nearly 10 years after her death?
With what would have been the Princess's 46th birthday coming up July 1st - and a concert in her honor to be held that same day - we are in the midst of yet another Diana-thon by the media.
The power of the People's Princess to fascinate has not waned one bit, as evidenced by my frantic rush to read the excerpt in this month's Vanity Fair from Tina Brown's new book, The Diana Chronicles. I mean, what new juicy tidbits about the over-exposed Princess could Ms. Brown possibly reveal at this point?
According to The NYTimes review of The Diana Chronicles, it's not about any new information the author has dug up on Diana, but rather how Ms. Brown frames Diana's life "by astutely revealing just how powerful, and how marketable, her story became in the age of modern celebrity journalism."
As Brown and The Times point out, Princess Diana's karmic appearance in our culture was perfectly timed with what is often called "the modern age of celebrity." However, I think it could be argued that Diana's fairytale romance, courtship and wedding was the media circus - er - I mean event - which actually jump-started the celebrity and pop culture era we are still, for better or worse, immersed in.
Regardless, Diana still fascinates - a burden her sons now share and bear. Princes William and Harry are on their own media tour this week, in advance of the Concert for Diana which they conceived of and helped organize. You can watch the interviews they've granted recently to the BBC, and to the Today Show's Matt Lauer, which ran this morning.
If these two young men got anything from their mother (besides her looks-thank goodness), it was a lesson in how to handle the media horde. The boys obviously didn't get it from their grandparents, as anyone who has seen the movie The Queen can attest.
They've learned that the beast needs to be fed every now and again, or it gets grumpy and aggressive and makes a meal of you whether you want it or not. But it's not just the media that's hungry for news of the royals. It's the public as well, which gobbles up any Diana-related snacks it's thrown, no matter how tiny or even distasteful.
If we didn't buy it, they wouldn't serve it up. Doubleday publishing wouldn't have put a price tag of $27.50 on yet another book about Diana, nor would it have had a first printing of 200,000 copies, if it didn't think its product would fly off the shelf. And although The Diana Chronicles did not crack the NYTimes bestseller list in its first week, it did make the top of its Editor's Choice list.
So just what is it about Diana that still sells books, magazines, TV shows and concert tickets? Click below on "Comments" and tell us your memories of the Princess, and why - or why not - you still follow her "story."
Moons and Junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
Ive looked at love that way
But now its just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away
I've looked at love from both sides now...