Diana, the Princess of Wales would’ve been 50 years old this Friday had she not died in that tragic car accident back in 1997 and this week the US magazine Newsweek imagines what her life would be like today if she had lived. For their coverphoto, Newsweek has even gone so far as to Photoshop Diana to make her look 50 and placed her alongside Kate Middleton, who just married her son Prince William. I have to say … this entire Newsweek feature on what Diana might be like at 50 (had she not died 14 years ago) is really kinda creepy … click below to see for yourselves.
Had she lived, Princess Diana would have celebrated her 50th birthday this coming Friday. Ever ponder how things might have turned out for the people’s princess had that fatal 1997 car crash never happened? Newsweek’s Tina Brown has ever-so-kindly tried her hand at taking some of the guesswork out of that equation. The rather jarring cover features an imaginary present-day Diana strolling with the daughter-in-law she never knew: An age-projected photo illustration of Di is digitally superimposed at the side of the former Kate Middleton, the commoner who married Prince William, emerging from Westminster Abbey in April as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. While many fans were imagining the high glamour and higher emotion Diana’s presence would’ve brought to the royal wedding, the cover and accompanying story takes it bigger, imagining one version of where she would be today. “Gliding sleekly into her 40s, her romantic taste would have moved to men of power over boys of play,” she writes, saying Diana’s entire life would be about philanthropy and dizzying power circles, in addition to sons William and Prince Harry. Daily Beast founder and Diana expert Brown has a rather dramatic vision of a modern Di, tweeting at the Dalai Lama and owning a deliriously designed Facebook page (featuring another age projection of Diana clutching an iPhone). Imaginary Diana has a lofty apartment in New York, a strange but comforting friendship with ex-husband Charles, Prince of Wales, and naturally a front-row next to Victoria Beckham at Fashion Week.
As interesting as all of this guesswork may be, I can’t help but feel this creepy coverstory is horrible exploitative. Newsweek came up with an inventive way to capitalize on what would’ve been Princess Diana’s 50th birthday, riding high on excitement of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit this week to North America in the wake of the hoopla surrounding their royal wedding last April. I imagine it might be jarring and very likely offensive to the British Royal Family to see Diana on the cover of Newsweek alongside Kate. Newsweek even put together a mock-up of what Diana’s Facebook page might look like if she were still alive today:
This is all so … weird. I think many of us have imagined what Diana’s life might be like today, especially around the time of her eldest son’s wedding this Spring. That said, I don’t think it’s cool at all for Newsweek to splash this aged image of Diana on their cover. Had the magazine kept their speculation inside the magazine (and shied away from Photoshopping her), I think the feature might’ve been more palatable. What do y’all think? Is this Newsweek coverstory on What Could’ve Been regarding Princess Diana’s life interesting or offensively tacky?