With the upcoming documentary Diana, William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry of Wales are seeking to redeem themselves. They were only 15 and 12 years old, respectively, when their mother died, yet they have spent their lives feeling as though they hadn’t done enough to honor their mother’s memory.
“Part of the reason why Harry and I want to do this,” said William, “is because we feel we owe it to her. We feel we at least owe her 20 years on to stand up for her name and remind everybody of the character and person that she was.”
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Her passing sent shock waves around the globe.
She was a popular figure who’d used her social position to benefit the world, committing herself to over 100 charities. Her kindness also seemed to have greatly influenced her sons.
Prince Harry recalls being shocked at the amount of love and appreciation his mother received after her death. “It was beautiful at the same time, and it was amazing, now looking back at it, it was amazing that our mother had such a huge effect on so many people.”
Diana will trace the Princess’ life thought interviews with both public figures and family friends and confidantes. It is scheduled to be released around the 20th anniversary of her death on August 31.
BBC will also be producing Diana and I. The drama will explore the effect of Diana’s death on the public.
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Mass media is hardly inexperienced at manipulating public emotion to drive views of their products, but the involvement of William and Harry make Diana something different, and better.
With the sons’ involvement, the film becomes more than just a biography of an extraordinary person — it is a living testament to the bond shared between mothers and their children, one of the most powerful emotional forces in our lives.
The BBC themselves also seem to be taking this new documentary particularly seriously, with Alison Kirkham, controller of factual commissioning stating, “We are living in a period of seismic change when it feels harder than ever to get to grips with what is happening around us.”
Putting out anything on a figure as beloved as Princess Diana is always going to be risky. Expectations will be high. Judging from what the people involved are saying, however, this is one documentary that sounds like it’s being set up to meet the challenge.
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