The 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death is more than a month out, yet the summer of 2017 seems all Di, all the time.
Three primetime network specials have already aired in May. US Weekly published a special bookazine that same month; People plans one for July 21, to tie in with a two-night ABC special in early August. A repackaged edition of Andrew Morton’s 1992 blockbuster expose “Diana: Her True Story” hits shelves on Tuesday; National Geographic publishes “Remembering Diana: A Life In Photographs” Aug. 1. HBO has announced its own Princess Diana documentary, and the Weinstein Company, working with AMI Media, has their own August project for TLC.
As The Post reported Wednesday, a Princess Diana musical is likely coming to Broadway. The second season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology “Feud” will retell Diana’s acrimonious 1996 divorce from Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.
“It’s about that pain, of the dissolving of a fairy tale, particularly for Diana,” Murphy said in April. “It starts with the filing of divorce papers and takes you up to her death.”
Though there’s nothing revelatory here — no new information, no counter-narrative — the collective hunger for all things Diana remains. Hers clearly is a story we like to be told over and over again, a post-modern parable about the vicissitudes of wealth, fame, beauty and idolatry — everything that goes to the true power of myth.
Yet amid all these retellings, one inexorable truth will be ignored: Diana actively created her own mythology.
Not since Jackie Kennedy’s masterful post-assassination theater — from deplaning in her blood-spattered pink Chanel to staging her husband’s funeral to demanding that her “Camelot” anecdote, which was a total lie, end the interview she granted to Life magazine days later — had a post-modern public figure so assiduously…