Would Princess Diana Have Been A Blogger?

Princess Di and John Travolta

In an interview on NPR, The Diana Chronicles author Tina Brown says “Diana had represented feeling, and the end of the stiff upper lip,” but the Princess comes off sounding a bit like a harbinger of the Cluetrain. Yes it’s all about the Royals, the glamor, and her dramatic death ten years ago, but take note of this exchange:

Renee Montagne: “The Royal Family is probably stronger than it was when she died.”

Tina Brown: “Yes, it’s true, but the Royal Family have also learned a lot from Diana.”

We saw that with [with the Queen’s response to] the seven bombings in London. The Queen in the past would not have gone to visit the victims until her [schedule allowed], instead she flew straight to the scene, went into the hospital and visited immediately the victims. And she made a speech, an impromptu speech from the canteen of the hospital, which was absolutely unheard of for the Queen. These things had always been very scripted affairs and this one wasn’t. She spoke like a human being, from the heart.

Brown says a Palace official told her “This was something, really, we learned from Diana.”

And when Brown met with Diana in 1997, just months before her death:

she said to me, “I wish I could make them understand that they need to reach out more. They have to show that they are feeling people and they care,” but she said, “but I can’t get through to them. They need a different kind of advice.” And it’s very sad that within two months she herself was dead, and they saw she was right, really. And they’d never admit it in public, but they do admit it in private.“ (emphasis added)

Seven years after Cluetrain, Much of this will sound familiar now. Indeed, Brown’s story of Diana’s fight to make the Royal Family human is echoed in many of the Cluetrain theses:

  • 25: Companies need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope to create relationships.
  • 34: To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.
  • 35: But first, they must belong to a community.

Whatever the causality, the lesson here is clear: ”The Royal Family is probably stronger…“ ”Yes, it’s true, but the Royal Family have also learned a lot.“

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