If you aren’t sick of royal TV coverage yet, well, Tubi has you covered.
Written by Chip Selby (who also created Tubi’s Sins of the Father: The Green River Killer) and narrated by Peta Johnson, this film is about the life and death of Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales. Born into nobility, her wedding to Charles on July 29, 1981 was watched all over the world. When I went to college over a decade later, my work study boss had an entire office decorated with imagery of the royals but mainly Princess Diana. She even had a wastebasket with her face on it that no one was allowed to use. She was beyond beloved by the public because even though she was rich and famous, she still seemed like one of them; she was also a patron of more than a hundred charities including ones that the royal family — and many others in the 80s — avoided like AIDS, leprosy and landmines. Stephen Lee, director of the UK Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers, would say “Her overall effect on charity is probably more significant than any other person’s in the 20th century.”
I remember where I was the day she died, as inglorious as it was. It was late, after being at the Canfield Fair and we were in a Taco Bell when it came on the news and everyone just stared at the screen. This was before the internet and when moments seemed stil able to stop time.
Diana also endured unprecedented press coverage of her every move — this documentary says that the very press that chased her into her death in a Paris car accident reported on her as she died in the street — and an uncaring husband who probably wasn’t able to come to terms with her popularity.
She started as a shy woman but became an advocate for mental health, revealing her eating disorder to the world. By the end of her life — even beyond — she became someone special to so many people. As her brother the Earl Spencer said in his eulogy, “Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.”
This speech was quite controversial. But then again, the Queen originally said nothing when she died. Perhaps the family could not comprehend that the people loved someone more than them, someone they had been told by tabloids and decrees not to believe in.
This film tries to explain how she died, but perhaps what’s most important is to know that she lived. And for as stupid as it is to have royalty today, sometimes someone special can emerge from that circus and inspire us.
You can watch this on Tubi.