Thursday, September 20, 2012

Royalty and the Press

Some reflections from author and historian Gareth Russell.
When she was first confronted with evidence of the libelles, the precursors to both pornography magazines and the lower-end tabloids, Marie-Antoinette simply refused to take them seriously. As far as she was concerned, they were nothing but trash written by trash; she failed to realise, until it was too late, the awful damage that these lies had done. That sublime royal self-confidence, and the refusal to acknowledge tawdry and seedy reality, has flowed inexorably from the mirrored halls of Versailles right the way down to the current incumbents of Buckingham Palace. To acknowledge something gives it credibility; therefore the best thing to do is to ignore it. The problem is, though, that it won't go away just because you want it to and, as Marie-Antoinette learned in 1789, when mud is flung, it usually leaves a stain - however undeserved. Whilst you can certainly over-egg the comparisons between Marie-Antoinette and Princess Diana, it's hard not to conclude that one thing they had in common was that they were both harried to their premature deaths by bad publicity. (Read entire post.)

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