Princess Diana’s death changed the way celebrity departures are reported

Princess Diana’s death changed the way celebrity departures are reported
Princess Diana’s death changed the way celebrity departures are reported

London – The death of Princess Diana, who turned 25 on August 31, deeply marked the United Kingdom, which lost an idolized figure and saw its monarchy plunge into one of the biggest crises of popularity in its history.

After Diana died in a car accident in Paris at the age of 36 and at the height of her beauty, ex-husband Prince Charles and ex-mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth were accused of insensitivity for not showing the same emotion as Diana. took over the country and the world.

Nothing that time won’t heal, with the queen’s popularity resuming and the greater acceptance of Charles’ current wife, Camilla, seen by many as pivotal to the separation. But one thing has changed forever: the way the press covers celebrity deaths.

The death of the ‘ideal’ princess

This is the opinion of Ruth Penfold-Mounce, a professor at the University of York. In a scholarly article analyzing the princess’s death, she notes that it was a commotion captured on camera like never before, which ushered in a new way for the media to track the disappearance of famous people.

In the analysis published on the academic portal The Conversation, Penfold-Mounce points out that the princess fulfilled all the requirements of a bombshell: young, beautiful, mother of princes, defending the marginalized and relevant social causes.

She had divorced and was dating a foreign millionaire. “And it all ended suddenly, in a dramatic and unforeseen death,” she says.

For the teacher, Diana’s death was a media “tragedy”: an ideal story with an ideal protagonist.

And the drama had a strong “competitor” soon after, but it remained in evidence.

“The impact of the coverage of Diana’s death far surpassed that of Mother Teresa’s death, which occurred five days later, whose life of sacrifice and holiness lacked the media appeal of pure glamor equivalent to that of the Princess of Wales.”

The expert considers that the coverage given globally to the death of Princess Diana started the era of media deaths, which are no longer limited to just a statement.

“Instead, they began to receive significant coverage from all angles, packaged by the media for longer consumption than simply the main news of the day.

Penfold-Mounce considers that the existence at the time of a 24-hour global media contributed to the almost inexhaustible succession of reports on Diana’s tragedy, which further increased the contrast with the coverage of previous celebrities’ deaths.

At the age of 18 at the time, the professor personally followed the coverage, which moved those who liked and those who did not like Diana or the royal family, as well as yielding a prolific dissemination of visual records on an unprecedented scale:

The princess, who had been hunted by the media in life, was even more so in death.

From the accident in the tunnel in Paris that would cause her death in the hospital in the early hours of Sunday, August 31, to her funeral the following Saturday, the media death of Princess Diana was reflected in an image show, with the right to interpret by Elton John at his funeral service, the teacher recalls.

celebrity shrines

Penfold-Mounce highlights another distinctive element of Princess Diana’s media death: the coverage of public mourning in key locations associated with the princess:

“Like pilgrims visiting the holy sites, the public flocked to Buckingham and Kensington Palace with offerings in the form of flowers, plush toys and farewell messages.”

From the moment that Kensington Palace, where the princess lived, became almost a shrine to venerate Diana’s memory, so did the shrines of other celebrities who died later, present in the news and on social media. , remember.

Although Diana was literally persecuted until the moment of the fatal accident by paparazzi eager for her images, the expert considers that it was the coverage of her death that helped the princess to achieve the status of a quasi-saint:

“She will never age and her beauty will never fade. Princess Diana is forever frozen in time by her media death.”

And it continues to inspire an inexhaustible amount of conspiracy theories to this day.

The article is in Portuguese

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