“Diana Events” refers to the story surrounding the death of Princess Diana in the early hours of 31 August 1997. In this episode we explore various aspects of the widespread mourning which followed her death, in particular the processes which gave rise to an overwhelming outpouring of public grief, both in Britain and globally.
We explore the historical shifts in Western attitudes towards death and dying and the premise that western societies are indeed death-denying societies by entertaining the paradox of denial and revival of death. We tackle a range of issues in relation to public and private mourning, most notably suggesting that, far from being “united in grief,” popular attitudes were in fact deeply divided across a variety of themes. Further areas of examination include, whether the public mourning for Diana was a mediatized event and we consider the viewpoint of Diana as an icon and the loss of symbolic investment. Have we upheld a myth of compassion? Or a myth of violence?