Should the Diana tapes have been aired?

A documentary about Princess Diana has caused a storm in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of her death. On Sunday Channel 4 became the first British station to air the taped conversations between Diana and her speech trainer, containing juicy details about her married life. Diana's brother and friends tried in vain to prevent the "secret tapes" from being broadcast. Other media also have their misgivings.

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Irish Examiner (IE) /

Intimate recordings are nobody else's business

The tapes don't tell us anything we don't know already but it would still be better if they hadn't been aired, the Irish Examiner finds:

“They show a beleaguered young woman in an unhappy marriage at odds with her in-laws. ...Public interest has been cited as the motivating factor behind Channel 4's documentary. Ralph Lee of Channel 4 says the subject matter of the recordings are 'a matter of public record'. But that's disingenuous. Certainly, there's public interest in Diana, even 20 years on. But that's not to say it's in the public interest for the programme to air. There's public appetite for it, but that's a different thing.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Fresh revelations won't harm the royals

Thanks to its younger members the popularity of the royal family has increased so dramatically in recent years that it won't be harmed by a bit of bad PR, according to the Guardian:

“After Princess Diana’s death, the Queen notoriously struggled to go through the motions of showing her feelings. Now the princes champion mental-health charities and hug old ladies with warmth. ...For all its embarrassment quotient, this Sunday’s Channel 4 programme, in which footage of Diana filmed by her speech coach will be aired for the first time in Britain, also means a humiliation avoided: bad now, perhaps, but much, much worse if it were aired after Prince Charles had become king. ...The real questions about monarchy go beyond PR, but by straightening out their image the royals have quelled any clamour to raise them.”