Not a wedding anniversary

Jul 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Cross Channel

Had things turned out differently, it would have been the 29th wedding anniversary of Charles and Diana today.  Google her name, and she is still providing news stories almost thirteen years after her death.

The Net still abounds with stories that her death was the result of a conspiracy.  Motivations advanced for such a conspiracy include suggestions that Diana intended to marry Dodi Al-Fayed, that she intended to convert to Islam, that she was pregnant, and that she was to visit the holy land. Organizations which conspiracy theorists suggest are responsible for her death have included French Intelligence, the British Royal Family, the press, the British Intelligence services MI5 or MI6, the CIA, Mossad, the Freemasons, or the IRA. It has been suggested that the intent of some of the co-conspirators was not to cause death. Alternatively, Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed are believed to be alive and living incognito.

Sir Bernard Ingham once said of conspiracies, ‘Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory.’ Some of the theories surrounding Diana are similar in credibility to those suggesting Elvis is alive and well, others are just a sad reflection of the lack of confidence in public institutions. Ingham’s advice would be that the accident in Paris on that Saturday night owed much more to human frailty than to human design.

Diana was an intelligent, attractive young woman who got caught up with an entirely dysfunctional family. Whatever Christian principles the Windsor family might espouse, the tolerance of the years of Charles’ persistent adultery hardly suggests a whole-hearted commitment to upholding biblical values. Diana’s death was a tragedy, as would be the death of any young mother. Historically, it might prove in retrospect to be the last nail in the coffin of the traditional British monarchy. Charles and Camilla hardly have the glamour of the young Diana Spencer and British people have moved on from the deference once paid to aristocracy.

The persistence of the Diana stories bear out the validity of the warning against monarchy given in the Bible in the First Book of Samuel Chapter 8,

‘So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plough his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

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  1. Ahem. Are you trying to make a point about taxation? The personal immoralities of the royal family scarcely in themselves amount to wholesale oppression of the populace. And if Diana’s follies (including adultery and talking to Martin Bashear) can be put down to entering a dysfunctional family, can’t we be similarly charitable to Charles, who grew up in said family?

  2. By the way, the wedding of Charles and Diana is the first thing I can remember watching on television (we didn’t have one and went round to the neighbour’s house). Loyal fervour was such that the village was decked in red, white and blue bunting, and my mum contributed to the festivities by making a wedding tableau using my dolls and putting it in our front window. It seems like a different world…

  3. Dot,

    I grew up on stories like that about the coronation!

    A.N. Wilson makes an interesting point about Britain’s relationship with the monarchy – it has been less than cordial at times. 1997 was one such moment; it will be interesting to see how it affects the future.

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