‘Newsweek’ Magazine Imagines What Princess Diana Might Look Like At Age 50

"Chilling with the Middletons. Tweeting from Davos. And still the People's Princess."

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?

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  1. Katie

    Why is every magazine turning itself into ‘People’? This is so unbelievably crass, tacky, and and ridiculous.

  2. Sara

    Creepy, and I’d be downright offended if I were her kids/family. UGH!

  3. Summer

    She’d be a lot prettier and I think this is tacky of them!!!!

  4. So strange!! I kind of don’t know what to say and that never happens!!

  5. Lauren

    Speculating what she would’ve looked like or how she would live is silly.

    Plus, if she were alive, would William go to St. Andrews or even meet Catherine?

    Her death, while tragic, changed his life forever, including on his approach to life. Who knows, maybe he had to grow up a little quicker, learn to be his own person.

    So many “Ifs”, when one should concentrate on right now.

    Very exploitive. *gets off soapbox* :-)

  6. DeeBee

    so crass, disrespectful and rediculous.

  7. Lorianna kim

    This is so offensive. They should know better. As someone who’s been inspired by Diana. I’m angry at this. Whose horrible idea was this?

    • Fred

      Why, it was good ol’ Tina Brown, who, because she attended some media and social functions Diana hosted or also attended,
      christened herself a “close friend” of Diana’s, and the expert on all things relating to her. She is also the new editor of Newsweek, and has managed to drag it into the world
      of tabloid journalism with a quickness. You should also check out Newsweek’s story about how being Justin Bieber’s girlfriend is hurting Selena Gomez’ career. That’s an even better example of how she’s wrecked what used to be one of
      the premier news publications on the planet.

  8. This is absolutely disgusting! Putting the iPhone in her hand as well? The Facebook page? Now friends with Camilla and Charles LIKES it? Absolutely ridiculous! WTF. Not cool. At all.

  9. Margie

    Wow. This feels dirty and gross.

  10. Sarah

    I just pulled my copy out of my mailbox and thought the same thing. I do believe I made a disgusted face, much like when you see something horrifically gross. It’s just wrong.

    I also wondered who they took out of the photo as the Duchess is obviously looking at someone who was in the original picture. I *think* I saw the original in People Magazine and I *think* it was Camilla. It made me sad for Camilla to be pulled out an replaced when, based solely on what I have read, she is taking Kate under her wing to help her navigate royal life.

  11. Sawadee

    I really hate those pictures, I think it’s tacky and unrespectful

  12. Zohra

    Whatever happened to letting her rest in peace.

  13. This is so odd of Newsweek. Why would they ever consider doing this when Diana is one of the most beloved public figures. I think we need to remember how Diana was and the wonderful things she has done and not try to think of what she could have been

  14. TACKY!! Is this what we really call Journalism??!

  15. Prat

    its offensive rude and disrespectful. Doesnt Tina Brown have anyone who died? Would she like for anyone to do a ‘what if’ story? Dont think so. Brown is just tacky and tasteless. and its her like who cost the princess her life.Let her RIP. do they really need to exploit her image all over again?
    @ Sarah – they cut out Prince William. There have been no social occasions showing Kate with Camilla. And from what the British press undercurrent is, Camilla is being difficult with Kate. Not that K need worry. Will is no Charles the fool.

  16. whos to say she wouldnt have been a BB fan? this is quite terrible…. while their at it they should probably do marilyn monroe and elvis…

  17. Balito

    OMG!!! I dont know whats worse… This or what Shia said in that magazine!!!

  18. Megan

    For one, Diana would have aged way more gracefully. Secondly, this is wrong on so many levels.

  19. Eri

    My Mother, who is several years older than Diana, does not look that wrinkly. Geeze! How old is the illustrator? Also, I just think it is in very poor taste. Are they going to do one on Mother Teresa and what she would have looked like at age 101? Appalling.

  20. jessicagiovanna

    @ chase, I agree.. the whole facebook thing is disgusting, no better word for it. Its hurtful to those who loved her; t brown is a pig.

  21. I think the photo is of Kate when she attended a wedding with Pippa, minus Will. So Diana’s head is photoshopped onto Pippa’s body, & they changed the dress.

    Also agree w/Trent & pp that it’s all tacky. Poorly done, Tina Brown!

  22. Billy Pilgrim

    Mainstream media need a frontal lobotomy.
    They are morons.

  23. anonymous

    It’s funny

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