After Diana: She made people aware of the conspiracy

`Poor darling. You can't fight the establishment, but she just dared to speak out'
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The Independent Culture
Jibby Beane, artist

I didn't know Diana, but I went to her brother's wedding. The poor darling was a victim of the establishment. I feel that she realised shortly after her marriage that she was there just to have babies. You can't fight the establishment, but she was a very strong character. The way she fought back made the public more aware of her situation.

I think this continual mourning is too much now, but Diana certainly made people really aware of the conspiracy that went on.

I think she was a compassionate young girl, and I think she's just highlighted a lot of the ugliness around her. Then there was that dreadful hypocrisy by the monarchy and the Church at the funeral, and she created public awareness of it.

Her effect on people is that they have wised up. She just dared to speak. She wasn't going to be put down and why should she? She was trapped. It was tragic and awful.

Bob Houston, Editor, `Royalty' magazine

There was an overwhelming reaction to Diana's death and it was totally unpredictable and unexpected. It was across all classes and international. Many people will look back and be very surprised at how they reacted last year.

Now it's the first anniversary, people will commemorate in their own way. It will be a private occasion and I don't think there will be a great flood of public feeling. I think we changed only in the short term. We were a nation of sentimental idiots for a couple of weeks. What's interesting, though, is that there are no precedents to the Memorial Fund so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Justin Williams, 23, trainee accountant, Edinburgh

I think the British people have had to change. I think Diana's death highlighted the greed in our society. In a way she represented very old- fashioned values: kindness, charity, generosity, modesty. I think there is this terrible need in the Nineties to have a goddess figure. People are sick of machismo and greed and corruption. They want someone who can make everything better. Already there have been reports of people seeing Diana in visions. I remember reading that one woman said that the night after her little boy died, she saw him holding hands with Diana at the bottom of the bed. She's becoming a saint.

Valerie Howarth, chief executive, ChildLine

I met Diana a few times at charity functions. She had that sort of charisma exceptional in some people.

I was absolutely shocked, like everybody was, when she died. It was not long before we had launched our 10th anniversary appeal and she was due to do other things for us. It's a great loss when you don't have anyone like her pressing your cause.

As to whether we are a more caring society, direct donations by individuals have gone down substantially, but corporate donations, where individuals give to their employer, have gone up. I think people pledge money to the Memorial Fund as an emotional response, rather than to the causes. People haven't given enough thought to that.

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