Princess Diana would have turned 50 on July 1, and although she died tragically 14 years ago, interest in the people's princess has not faded. In fact, it seems to be gaining.
Fascination with the royals has picked up steam since the April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and some of Diana's former confidants have used the regained popularity as a chance to offer their private mementos to the public for sale. An old teacher friend put Diana's personal letters up for auction, and the dress Diana wore while dancing with John Travolta at a US state dinner sold last week for nearly $1 million.
There has also been a darker response on the eve of her birthday. On its latest cover, Newsweek aged Princess Diana using Photoshop and made it appear as if she was walking next to her doting daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton. Inside the magazine readers can find a mocked-up version of her would-be Facebook page. Most of our readers found the concept unsettling.
And while some ponder what her life would have been, others are focusing on her death, specifically the filmmaker behind a new documentary, Unlawful Killing, which criticizes the royal family and alleges that there was a cover-up following her death. The movie, financed by the family of Diana's boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, is directed by Keith Allen, the dad of singer Lily Allen, and it alleges that a UK jury found that the Paris car crash was not an accident. The controversial doc, banned in the UK but shown at Cannes, is gaining distribution deals.
Considering intrigue surrounding other icons who met a tragic fate — like Marilyn Monroe or the Kennedys — has transcended generations, I doubt the public will lose interest in Diana any time soon.