The Crown: Season 4 and why Princess Diana continues to shine bright
Thanksgiving is here but I find that more of my friends are discussing The Crown: Season 4 rather than their holiday menu! Season 4 comes at a pivotal time when, let's face it, many of us are still quasi stuck in a work from home mode and deprived of exciting new content for a while. The Crown, a global Netflix favorite, does not fail to disappoint as we have reached the episodes which happened during our lives reliving the amazing but tragic life of Princess Diana. What is amazing to me is that in the complex year of 2020, talk shows, popular blogs and pop culture specialists are still debating her life and how it impacted the throne during her life time, and impacts the sitting British monarchy right now.
As an admitted die hard fan of Princess Diana, the first real life princess I ever knew, I think what captivated the world was that she held her emotions proudly on her sleeve. She refused to conform to the tight-lipped, lack of feeling which was extolled by the British royal family as showing impartiality (brilliantly enacted by Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth). Diana dared to care about other's suffering and from her famous Panorama interview admitted that empathizing with others was often her own coping mechanism to battle the little love and acknowledgment she received in her personal life or by the royal establishment. I think what draws us to Princess Di even today is that she was a victim of a royal machinery where feelings were secondary to duty, and even infidelity was accepted at the highest levels. The irony and tragedy of her life strikes deep as here was a person adored by the world, yet personally deprived of love or empathy from those around her. She was the eligible choice, but not in fact the true choice of Prince Charles and it seems she was the only person to pay the price. Her life reflected this as the years progressed where she self admittedly used bulimia and other drastic measures to counter the emptiness.
Though it may make the royals uncomfortable, it seems that Princess Diana has reignited in 2020 our sense of betrayal as we see an innocent girl whose life was not of which fairy tales are made. What is comforting is to think what she did achieve, such as countering the bias of HIV/Aids victims and being vocal about homelessness when it was not fashionable for royalty to have an opinion. She also championed the cause of mental health, a key area which her sons proudly continue to steer forward. So yes, recipes aside, Princess Di still dominates our living room conversations in the crazy world of 2020!