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The Diana Appreciation Society.....are these people for real?

(20 Posts)
MsHighwater Mon 27-Aug-07 22:33:44

I read a quote from the secretary of this group (also known as the Diana Circle) who, in response to the news that the Duchess of Cornwall will not attend the memorial service, said "I couldn't be happier if I'd won the lottery". This strikes me as strange and a little bit creepy.

I have looked this group up on the web and not found a website, only some references, including this one in an article in the Independent about people who are still defined by Diana.

"The Fan

Margaret Funnell, co-founder of The Diana Circle, is a retired British Telecom employee who lives in Brighton

The Diana Circle UK was founded at our second visit to Kensington Palace in 1999. The purpose of the group is to keep Diana's memory alive and to make sure that she's given her proper place in the annals of history. We have to make sure she's not swept under the carpet and forgotten as some people would like her to be.

The founders are myself and my husband Vic, and Jo and Ken Dobson, who live in Gloucester. We have 80 members in the UK, but there are Diana Circles in Canada, France, USA, Australia. We keep in touch by email and some of Diana Circle USA are coming over for the anniversary to join us at Kensington Palace. We usually just have a few prayers said, but this year we're going to have music and sing Diana's favourite hymn, "I Vow to thee My Country". We've had the order of service printed out for us and all the members have a copy in their handbags by now. We write to the Queen, to Mrs Parker-Bowles, to Charles whenever we feel we need to, like this business of Camilla going to the official memorial service. We have written to her and said, "Please Ma'am, this cannot be." We have written to Camilla herself saying, "You are the last person that should be there at a memorial service for Diana, I am sure you know why, it is inappropriate on this auspicious occasion". I try not to be rude or offensive. I said, "You certainly did not love her or care about her otherwise you wouldn't be where you are today." We just have to let her know.

After the anniversary we will have a meeting about the fact that they're going to make Camilla queen. I don't know what we'll do but we'll do something. We meet at my home in Brighton, three times a year. I write a newsletter twice a year and try to generate new members. Sometimes when we're outside the palace, people see my badge and ask to join. I'd say I do something for the Circle every day. There is a subscription of £5 per annum to cover expenses - the link on my email and first-class stamps."

I don't understand people who get so obsessed about someone who not only they didn't know but who has been dead for 10 years and who, not wishing to be uncharitable, didn't actually achieve anything particularly earth-shattering. ( I don't say that intending to be unkind - I am not pro- or anti-Diana to any great degree).

Desiderata Mon 27-Aug-07 22:37:55

Well, I was never a fan of Diana, but I disagree with your last paragraph. Being dead for ten years should hardly mean that you should be swept under the carpet!

Why would anyone achieve anything if we were to be summarily forgotten, so quickly?

There are loads of single-issue people out there. There always have been.

The Diana myth is no different to the Marilyn Monroe myth, or countless others I could think of.

WideWebWitch Mon 27-Aug-07 22:39:48

Loons imo

WideWebWitch Mon 27-Aug-07 22:40:27

Hey fab, are we going to be able to add pro/anti Di threads to controversial subject on mn ? <brightens>

wannaBe Mon 27-Aug-07 22:43:45

"dianna Appreciation society" (DAS),now... what does that spell backwards...?


Twinklemegan Mon 27-Aug-07 22:47:27

I really feel for Camilla, poor woman. Take what your average stepmother has to deal with and multiply it by a million loons.

littlelapin Mon 27-Aug-07 22:52:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsHighwater Mon 27-Aug-07 23:20:36

Desiderata, I don't think Diana should be "swept under the carpet" (nor that there is any imminent risk of that) but I do find it odd that there should be people who, to me, seem so strangely obsessed with this woman whom they never met. There is more here in the comments following the article.

This worship (I think no other word quite fits) seems extremely odd to me. Diana was just a person - one with flaws as well as good qualities - and I just don't see the basis for her veneration.

I think it's entirely appropriate that she should be remembered - mainly by those who knew her - but it does no-one a service, and arguably could do harm, to elevate her to near-sainthood.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 27-Aug-07 23:23:13

well, these are clearly loonies.
and I wasn't Diana's biggest fan, she was clearly a very difficult and unstable woman.
but I think it is pretty unfair to say she didn't achieve anything. she achieved a great deal tbh in terms of our culture.

Desiderata Mon 27-Aug-07 23:25:51

I agree, MsH. As I said, in life I didn't rate her very highly. But in death, I was moved.

I was moved merely because I'm a traditionalist. I value the Royal Family, not as individuals (easy to scorn at), but as an unchanging, 1000 year old institution. I think the country is in a mess right now, and I don't think the monarchy are part of the problem. If anything, they're part of the solution.

But I do agree that this transference of grief is unsettling. But it isn't just Diana. It's everywhere these days, and has been for a while.

Are they loons?

Yes, they are. But they're not life-threatening loons. They don't wield knives or guns. We can chose to ignore wink

smeeinit Mon 27-Aug-07 23:28:29

" didn't actually achieve anything particularly earth-shattering" hmm
how about bringing up 2 very well rounded boys into a royal family? now that in my opinion is totally earth shattering.
tbh does it really matter what any of us thinks of her or the people who choose to join an appreciataion society for her?
the fact is that weather or not you or i liked her or respected her is irrelevant, the people whos lives she "touched" feel strongly enough to still appreciate her after 10 years of her death,why not just let them be?
ffs theres elvis impersonaters still showing their "appreciation" for him after 30 yrs of his death!

Twinklemegan Mon 27-Aug-07 23:33:10

I have no problem with an appreciation society. But when they turn on another, admittedly not entirely innocent, human being - who has been accepted and is loved by Diana's own sons - I think they are overstepping the mark bigtime.

MsHighwater Mon 27-Aug-07 23:41:46

Smeeinit, no it doesn't particularly matter what any of us thinks but we do have the right to air our views (as long as not defamatory, etc) and that is what I am doing.

I stand by my "not particularly earth-shattering" comment. I don't mean to criticise her by that. My main point is that it seems silly to me to have strong feelings either positive or negative about someone I never knew, especially one who is long dead, and I find it curious when I see people do it - that includes the fanatical Elvis fans, btw, though in that case there is, at least, a body of work that can be appreciated.

UnquietDad Mon 27-Aug-07 23:45:06

The Diana "Fountain" seems quite an apt memorial. Especially the shallow end.

How many more memorial services do we need for her? I bet even most of the family don't want another bloody church service where they have to look solemn and shake hands with Elton John.

Twinklemegan Mon 27-Aug-07 23:45:47

Oh God, he won't be singing will he?

MsHighwater Mon 27-Aug-07 23:52:34

Twinklemegan, I also think this is a bit presumptuous but it represents the way in which Diana has been appropriated as almost public property - at least by some sections of the public.

Remember the week after Diana's death when it seemed everyone had an opinion about how the Queen and the Royal family ought to behave? It seemed as though the last thing people were prepared to consider was that these people (the Royal Family) actually knew Diana personally and, to a greater or lesser degree, would be grieving for her. At the very least, they would be trying to support William and Harry. The fact that they were being dictated to about how to do that seemed really offensive to me.

Twinklemegan Tue 28-Aug-07 00:02:24

Thankfully I was out of the country so just saw it on TV.

Like I said, they're a bunch of loons who should be quietly ignored.

elfinblast Tue 28-Aug-07 00:07:15

I still look upon the night she died with a smile.

I'd pulled a rather fit history teacher..... wink

homemama Tue 28-Aug-07 09:34:20

I heard this woman interviewed on BBC news24. I was shouting at DH and the television because I was gobsmacked at how much airspace she was given to spout her vitriolic nonsense.

She was saying things like, 'Well I wrote to her and told her she wouldn't be welcome' and 'He (Charles) shouldn't be going either as the two of them made her life a misery but I suppose he is the boys' father!'

I am not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination. I just think this is very rude. Her step-sons have asked her to attend, she has accepted end of story. It is none of this woman's business.

It was extremely unprofessional of the BBC to allow her to continue for around 3 minutes with what was nothing more than a bitter personal attack. Shocking journalism!

sauce Tue 28-Aug-07 09:41:44

Let the poor woman rest in peace. She's been dead 10 years & anyone who's interested already knows her entire life story. I'm sooo tired of the endless conjecturing on what kind of person she "really" was.

And now I see her funeral is to be televised, certainly for the ghouls who want to relive the agony.

R.I.P. Diana

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