Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Was the Concert for Diana about Diana?

On Sunday July 1st I sat, almost, rivited to the TV, watching the Concert for Diana. It looked like a great and wonderful event. But after a while I started to wonder.

What exactly is this concert about?

  • Is it about celebrating the life of Diana? Yes.

  • Is it about great music from people I've never heard of? Yes indeed.

  • Is it about raising money for the charities chosen by Prince William and Prince Harry. Yes, and good for them.

  • Is it about the chance for me to yell at my TV as the commentators got the royals mixed up? I always enjoy that but no.

  • Listening to the commentators after a while, I got the impression that, on the face of it, the first three were the main points. But one issue seemed to consume the reporters after a while. And that was the attendance of Kate Middleton. Despite the break-up, Kate put on a brave face and seemed to enjoy the show. Sometimes the camera caught her animatedly talking with her brother, sometimes it caught her looking serious as she watched people that, maybe she'd never heard about either. The important point was, she was there. What did it mean?

    Unlike Chelsy, who had pride of place beside Prince Harry, Kate did not sit with William, she sat about two or three rows back from him. This seating arrangement was poured over by reporters, who tried to imbue this with significance. How else to fill their time between sets? Every wistful or affectionate glance at the back of William's head. Every non-glance from William. Did they make eye-contact? Did they talk to each other? Why is she sitting so far from him? Are they back together? If so, is this just a ruse on their part to fool us? Unqualified to speculate and lucky to get anyone's name right, the CTV commentator managed to corrall the ubiquitous Ingrid Seward for help. A big fish to catch on his part. If anything, wouldn't she know something? Alas she could not shed any light on the meaning or lack of meaning of this turn of events. One wonders what they would have done had Kate not been there? Maybe that would have been significant to them too.

    Personally I was surprised to see her there. I was also surprised to see where she was seated. Her spot beside William filled by a far less attractive male friend. But there was no royal pecking order here. Sitting just behind a group of unfamiliar, homely girls - who must have won a contest in order to be there - yet in front of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Kate looked like she'd been left out in the cold. Sure she had her family with her, no doubt for moral support, but still. Couldn't William have made some sort of show of it. Perhaps a consolation prize placement, down the row, beside Peter Philips? Either way people would have talked, but Kate might have looked less forlorn. Everytime the camera focused on her, I felt for her, I truly did.

    So what do we make of this? What should we make of this? In the grand scheme of things does it really matter? So many rhetorical questions. But one real question comes to mind.

    Was the Concert for Diana about Diana? Yes, I guess it was about that too.

    © Marilyn Braun 2007

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    Anonymous said...

    I must confess that I kept wondering why Chelsy and Harry were sitting so far apart much of the time. William and Harry seemed so isolated somehow. But I suppose that's part of being a prince in the public eye.

    About the girls winning a contest to be there -- I heard a commentator say that the princes' friends pulled names out of the hat to see who would get tickets. Don't know if that's true, but maybe they really were winners.

    Marilyn Braun said...

    Hmmm..I saw a photo in Hello Magaine, with more detail. It looks like the girls sitting directly behind them are accompanied by Lady Jane Fellowes. I take it those are her daughters! Oooops! :o)

    I still think that Kate should have been sitting in the same row as William. Yes people would have talked but they're talking now too. It's kind of interesting to me, the openess of the princes with their girlfriends. At one point Prince's were not supposed to be photographed or seen with their girlfriends, lest people start talking or speculating wildly? who knows! but it's rather refreshing to see that things have changed in that respect.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree that she should have been sitting with William. She has a lot of star power and I don't think she's going to fade from the public eye easily, no matter what William does or doesn't do. So there's no point in pretending to ignore her in public!

    Marilyn Braun said...

    Yes, I agree. The media seems incredibly fascinated with her. I don't know whether this was the case with some of Prince Charles former girlfriends. Prince Andrew's ex-girlfriend Koo Stark seemed to get a lot of attention - for a different reason, mind you. But Kate really seems to have something special about her. Hopefully she'll be able to parlay that to her advantage.

    Anonymous said...

    She sat behind William because William & Kate didn't want too much attention on them, that was Diana's day. They did the right thing. If they had officially announced that they are together before the concert then they would have sat together. Hello Magazine has just said that are going to do that at a Polo match soon. We just have to wait until that happens.

    Marilyn Braun said...

    Yes, it was Diana's day - a wonderful tribute to her and I think she would be extremely proud of her sons.

    I think Kate's attendance was a distraction to people. Would commentators have mentioned it if she hadn't shown up? Hard to say, but if they are back together, there's really no point in seating her away from William. People talked, that was inevitable. But with Chelsy sitting beside Harry there wasn't nearly the same amount of speculation - as a matter of fact, other than hearing that they were cuddling from time to time, I didn't hear much of anything about Harry and Chelsy. So maybe, sitting beside each other, William and Kate might have caused less of a commotion. Who knows?