TAKEAWAY: There she is, Diana, Princess of Wales, at 50, still elegant, beautiful, capturing our attention, demanding that we stop what we are doing, pick up this issue of Newsweek, and dive right into her story. Tina Brown’s tribute to the Princess on the occasion of her 50th birthday evokes mixed reactions. The question is: can this Princess still sell every copy of whatever magazine she appears in? I bet she can.
This week, we may add a third: Creepy.
In case you have been sleeping a long siesta, Newsweek this week shows us a cover in which an aged, but still quite attractive, Princess Diana walks happily next to her now daughter in law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Obviously, it is all part of Tina Brown’s salute to the late Princess, who would turn 50 this Friday. In addition to a birthday tribute, this cover story speculates with gusto about what her life would be like now—complete with digitally-altered images showing what she’d look like in 2011. Yes, she Twitters, and, of course, she holds an iPhone in her hand. But, no iPad?
The creepy moment is truly those first ten seconds when your eyes land on the cover. The rest is pure Tina Brown and an enjoyable fare, with Tina stargazing into a crystal ball dusted off from the attic, in which she sees that, had Princess Diana lived, she would, of course, have a Facebook page (this is a delicious bit of the tribute, see below) , would have moved to New York City, indulged in Botox and would also be the queen of Twitter. Her “Tweets” appear as text breakers throughout the 6-page cover story.
Makes sense, but why all of this?
It may be that, as I read once many years ago, any magazine that put Princess Diana on the cover, before or after her death, could count on a tremendous increase in single copy sales.
A “retouched” Diana next to the just as popular Kate doubles the excitement—-and the profits—perhaps.
Already Twitter and Facebook are hosting Louis Vouitton trunks of messages about the Newsweek cover with the aged Diana.
%0A" title="Los Angeles Times">Los Angeles Times ran an article headlined: Newsweek’s ‘Diana at 50’ cover: Shocking, brilliant or just plain cheap?
Cheapedly and seductively brilliant, I would say. There is a chance that Tina is really, truly fond of the subject of her 2007 book. Let’s not forget that Tina wrote The Diana Chronicles , so she is the expert on the Princess.
There is something to say about Princess Diana, who was killed in an auto accident on August 31, 1997, but who still can be a cover girl with something extra. And hold her own next to the very alive and attractive Kate Middleton.
I bet Princess Diana would get a kick out of it and, indeed, add it on her Facebook page after she Twitted about it.
As for Tina Brown, one thing is for sure: this one Newsweek that we cannot ignore. We are seduced, Tina. But, seriously seduced, not sure.
Hopefully, the Diana at 50 cover will not provoke a series of copy cats rushing into necrological journeys to show us the likes of James Dean (1931) at 80, or Marilyn Monroe (1926) at 85.
The best of the Diana at 50 story
My favorite part of this cover article is when Newsweek devotes a full page to what Princess Diana’s Facebook page would have been like.
Here are highlights I enjoyed:
Favorite movies: Mamma Mia!, The King’s Speech, A Single Man
Favorite TV: Glee, Mad Men, Anderson Cooper 360 and The Real Housewives of New York
Among her friends: Rafael Nadal, Chelsea Clinton, Bono, and her son’s mother in law, of course, Carole Middleton
Best of the best:
Diana is now friends with:
Camilla Parker Bowles
for which Prince Charles had a Like
Diana wrote on Prince Harry’s Wall:
Darling, you need a haircut.
And, absolutely wonderful for anyone who gets “invitations” for get togethers with Facebooks “friends” that you really do not wish to see: Sarah Ferguson, former sister in law of the Princess, writes her this message:
Hey, Sloane Roanger! It’s been so long!!! When are we getting drinks?????
Other blog posts on Tina Brown and Newsweek
Newsweek: Editor Tina Brown making a difference
Here comes the almost unsinkable Tina Brown
Newsweek’s Princess Diana Cover: Not Quite Right