Monday, February 10, 2014

She Grew Up But She Never Matured

"Shadows of a Princess - An Intimate Account by Her Private Secretary" by P D. Jephson   Prospect Media, Inc.   456 pages   $26

The princess is, of course, Diana.  Jephson worked for her for eight years, during the various Squidgygates and Camillagates and "Diana, Her True Story" fanfare,  accusations, counter accusations and general mayhem. 

Over and over he writes of her childish tantrums; her manipulative use of staff and media and yet ... she was genuinely touched by the various groups her charity works exposed her to -- she was very professional in her charity fundraising.  She whined about it, of course, but she gamely put on a brave face and strode forth. 

Jephson blames much of her failure to mature to the severe stresses of her parents' divorce, as acrid and animosity-laden as it was.  Jephson concludes that she believed that no one would ever really actually love her.

She was enchanted by playing the media.  One Christmas she asked Jephson to call Mother Teresa, in India, and to tell her that she, Diana, would willinly fly out to visit her on Christmas Day.  Mother T's people suggested instead that she visit two of their London shelters and Diana dropped the idea completely.  She's just have to think of something else to make her look good to the media.

She really did live in a hothouse rose sort of way.  The fairy tale she had believed in never existed at all. 

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