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The Queen Of Tarts She Stole Our Hearts
- The Wizard Of New Zealand - 4/9/97

The life and sudden death of the "Queen of Hearts" is one of the most interesting psychological and social events of the turbulent century which has followed Nietzsche's dramatic announcement of the death of God.

Diana was not the first human being to be deified to fill the vacuum, others have preceded her.

With no hereditary monarch and no established church, dictators have created their own propaganda and raised themselves into god-like beings. The first in modern times was probably Napoleon, at least for the French people, who were the first to reject Church and Crown. Hitler had a similar hold on the hearts of the German people and Stalin was adored by the Russians. None of these men had the same effect on people living outside the borders formed by a common language.

Unlike the dictators some individuals reach this status of idols through sheer personal popularity with the masses, and of course with the collaboration of the democratic mass media. Eva Peron, the Duke of Windsor (almost), Winston Churchill, John Kennedy and Princess Diana were unusual combinations of both political eminence and personal charisma. Even in the past, with just a limited number of newspapers and broadsheets, this phenomenon has taken place, as the public adoration of Admiral Nelson demonstrated.

It was not until the invention of electronic means of communication that images carried through film and television could reach people all over the world. The divination of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley is not just an American phenomenon. Each of these individuals incarnated certain character traits which made them suitable for mass idealisation and adoration.

The one thing they all had in common was a powerful appearance of sincerity. Their hearts were on their sleeves. Their self-destructive personal lives showed that they were not calculating but "playing it by ear" or, as Diana put it, "leading from the heart". This made their behaviour unpredictable and hence "magical".

For over two hundred years the Enlightenment and secular humanism, with their emphasis on individualism and independence, have been blind to the fact that human beings, like other intelligent animals, have hearts as well as heads. As Pascal pointed out, and was quoted by the Duchess of Windsor, "the heart has its reasons, which reason knows not".

Not only do our hearts lead us into unreasonable relationships but they lead us into worshipping or hating others with a most unreasonable passion.

It makes no difference if the ones we love are cruel, or selfish or stupid, the spell-bound lover is blind to any failings, just as the spell-bound hater is blind to any good qualities.

Diana, like Eva Peron, was unpredictable and paradoxical in so many ways. For hundreds of millions of people, whatever she did, no matter how heartless, vindictive or stupid she was perfect. She was never blamed when she did bad things, yet when she did good things she got all the credit.

Her love of expensive clothes, her vast wealth, her affairs, her membership of the heartless, vulgar and moronic international set (like the Windsors) and her final love affair and proposed marriage into the notoriously corrupt al Fayeed (Moslem) family, made absolutely no difference to her image. She will always be the beautiful misunderstood princess ruined by a heartless husband, as far as those in her spell are concerned.

I would like to put a word in here for true love and not magical glamour. (Glamour, according to the ancients, was a spell cast by witches.) Could there be a better example of true love than Prince Charles' twenty-five years of passion for the quiet, unglamorous Camilla?

I blame Charles for not putting up more of a fight against the pressure from his father, trendy palace advisors and the mass media, and refusing to marry so unsuitably, and of course for giving that stupid interview (you don't compete with superstars on their own turf).

Diana was a victim of family breakdown and could not be expected to be as stable and responsible as a future queen should be. Charles knew his heart was already engaged elsewhere. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Charles has been through more hell than anyone can be expected to stand. The fact that he can still carry out his duties and keep smiling is tribute to his inner strength.

In a marriage bust-up both partners are likely to suffer. Let us not forget in our empathy with the sufferings of our idols that our monsters also have hearts.

In conclusion I feel we are unlikely ever again to experience such a mass grieving as there is today over the sudden death of the Queen of Hearts. Especially since she had incredible empathy with grief herself and an amazing ability to draw love from so many people.

Will we ever see such a powerful combination of unusual characteristics again? She came from an aristocratic family, yet had an unerring sense of fashion. She was hounded by reporters yet had them jumping through hoops for her when it suited her. She was part of the playboy set, yet took an active role in relieving suffering. She had affairs with appalling men yet was a good mother of the future king. She met her end at the height of her popularity in a car crash that was inexplicably stupid. Most important of all, she had a will of iron, yet looked like a fragile and easily wounded little girl.


Other examples of post-modern wizardry can be found on the Wizard's Home Page.




 
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