Britons still haven’t forgiven royals for Diana as third say more respect deserved in poll
PRINCESS Diana saved the Royal Family, modernising it and changing it for the better, a poll has found.
Two decades after her death, more than two-fifths of the public say Diana had been a good thing for the Windsors. Just five per cent say the opposite.
But there remains disquiet about how the Princess was treated with the poll revealing almost a third say the Royal Family has shown Diana’s memory too little respect.
Just four per cent say there was too much respect and 22 per cent are unsure.
Princess Diana had a positive input
Penny Junor, author
The remainder say the balance is about right.
But more than two fifths (44 per cent) say they firmly believe the Royal Family changed for the better because of Diana – though nearly a third say the royals had not changed at all.
Royal watchers say the figures showed the public still had great respect and affection for Diana.
Author Penny Junor said she had, in part, changed the royals for the better.
She said: “She had a positive input. She was young and handson and the Royal Family were, inevitably, more traditional and less hands-on.
“But the business of baring their souls in public has not been a positive move and I think she was the one that started that.”
The monarchy faced turbulent times in the aftermath of Diana’s death in a Paris underpass on August 31, 1997.
The Queen, who was comforting her grandsons at Balmoral, was criticised for failing to return to London quickly enough and for keeping the Buckingham Palace flagpole bare – as is protocol when she is away – rather than flying a flag at half-mast.
But in her speech to the nation prior to the funeral the monarch acknowledged that “there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death”.
When the Queen opened a memorial fountain in London’s Hyde Park seven years later she said there had been “difficult times” in Diana’s life but “memories mellow”.
The YouGov online poll of 1,614 adults prior to the 20th anniversary of her death shows public opinion remains behind Diana.
Of her legacy 26 per cent remember her best as “the People’s Princess” over her personal troubles, her charity work and being the Princes’ mother.
But for those aged 18-24, 37 per cent remember her for the car crash.
Only nine per cent of all say she is best known for charity work.
Ms Junor said: “Rather than this anniversary looking back at all the marvellous things she did, an awful lot [is] going back over the marriage and her unhappiness and that is regrettable.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK