Diana Did Not Need An Ivy League Degree to be a Kind Princess


I am shocked that The Crimson would allow a piece, specifically Nanaho Sawano's commentary "A Modern Princess," (Oct. 19) into its newspaper under the guise of an editorial when it is in fact a thinly-veiled piece of Diana-bashing stemming from Sawano's personal grudge against the princess rather than from anything substantive.

First, Sawano slips into the since-I-go-to-Harvard-I-must-be-better-than-you condescension which is always obnoxious. She sneers at the princess for being a "giggly high school dropout" and compares Diana to her personal favorites, Japan's Princess Masako '85, who graduated from fair Harvard, and Jordan's Queen Noor who has a pretty Princeton degree in her cache. One does not need an Ivy League diploma to have compassion, nor does having compassion come with being a student of the Ivy League. But then again, Sawano proved the latter condition with her article.

Second, Sawano dismissingly declares that Princess Diana's "major accomplishment was to have two children--not much of an accomplishment considering that she was female." Oh really? Sawano undermines the responsibilities of motherhood by stating that it involves nothing more than being female and going into labor. Sawano would have us all be a breeder of cows.

Thirdly, Sawano weakly concludes that the fact that Diana "could never seem to keep close friends or loyal servants" is "evidence" against her "humanity." Try having loyal servants and close friends when everyone around to you is writing a book or selling details of your daily life to the highest bidder.

Finally, Sawano consistently holds Diana up to the archaic model of "duty and sacrifice" which she claimed that Diana lacked but which Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne exemplify. Duty to whom? The royal family, entrenched in their notions of duty, have successfully isolated themselves from the British public, to whom their duty ostensibly lies. This fact is as true today it was during World War II. Of course, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne do the requisite charities. But do they touch people, both physically and emotionally the way that Diana did? Unlike her royal counterparts, Diana touched people with leprosy and AIDS, and was instrumental in changing public perceptions of these diseases. Her ability to connect with people, especially those who were suffering, proves that she was not merely performing a "duty." She did not look at patients as subjects, but as people. Sawano claims that Diana should have followed the model set by the royals. Yes, Queen Elizabeth shakes people's hands. But she never takes off her gloves. --Leticia M. Sanchez '98