One Year On: Replacements Who is to rule our hearts now that Diana has gone?

The loss of the Princess of Wales has left a gap in fields as diverse as fundraising, fashion, and popular psychological analysis. Few can come close to Diana's particular mix of glamour, self-promotion, charm, histrionics and selflessness. It is hard to reproduce.

Why do we want another Diana? "Social icons have all sorts of functions," says Dr Margaret Mitchell, of Glasgow Caledonian University's department of psychology. "Diana was a particularly complex example. She was seen as an ordinary girl with ordinary problems, but at the same time, she was on a pedestal."

So who are the figures that have found themselves filling the breach? The anti-landmine baton has been handed on jointly to footballer David Ginola and Queen Noor of Jordan. The elegant, American-born Queen Noor has the requisite royal glamour but she also boasts a Princeton education very far removed from Diana's populism. Tottenham Hotspur star Ginola also possesses glamour and is less averse to taking up the Diana mantle. "I cannot take her place ... but I can carry on her message," he has said. And, like Diana, he has been touched by the whiff of scandal. The tabloids exposed his extra-marital canoodling with Guinness advertisement actress Vicky Lee.

Anthea Turner's perky blondeness has similarly been tainted by her relationship with businessman Grant Bovey. But she has cited Diana as the catalyst that inspired her to take the plunge into scarlet womanhood. "The Princess of Wales's death really affected me," she explained at the time of her marriage break-up. "It struck me that you really do have to live every day as if it is your last because you just don't know what is going to happen to you."

A sterner new model is Cherie Blair, who was compared to Diana earlier this year when she was photographed kneeling by the bedside of a child with cancer. Observers have praised the radical improvement of her image over the past 12 months. However, she is unlikely to throw herself into Diana-type occupations.

Someone for whom hospital visiting is high on the agenda is Jemima Khan, nee Goldsmith. Beautiful and classy, she is an active supporter of the Shukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, founded by her husband Imran Khan. However, she is rather out of the loop, having decamped to Lahore, and, sadly, Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman feels she just doesn't come up to scratch any more in the glamour stakes. "[She] let the side down badly when she became Jemima Khan and turned her talents to making the salwar-kameez look sexy and converting us all to the joys of extended family life," she wrote recently.

Jemima Khan looks like a latter-day Jackie Kennedy, though, compared to Sally Becker, the self-styled Angel of Mostar. A freelance distributor of humanitarian aid, she has alarmed more orthodox helpers in eastern European war-zones by her recklessness, her courting of publicity and her habit of refusing to eat in order to make a point. Sounds familiar? More likely to be seen in battle fatigues than ball gown, though.

There are even less likely candidates for Diana's crown. Her brother, Charles Spencer, has been spotted visiting orphanages in Cape Town. Although at first he insisted he wanted to keep his good works secret, he allowed local journalists to accompany him. "I prefer to be thought of as doing what I can to improve the lives of others," he said modestly.

For a substitute that comes anywhere close it's necessary to look nearer to home. Royal-watchers have noticed a change in Prince Charles over the past year. He is displaying a new taste for comforting the sick and dying and going out of his way to meet drug addicts. His stock is rising, but not as high as that of William, the pin-up Prince, who, at 16, is already turning heads. "There beside Prince Charles stood a tall, blushing teenager, a show-stealer," noted the Daily Mail of last spring's hugely successful royal trip to Canada. "That same tilted head. The same flashing eyes. The same shy smile. The screaming crowds. And so it all begins again. Not Diana-mania, but Will-mania." Hester Lacey

News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
peopleBurt Reynolds, once among the most bankable actors in Hollywood, is set to auction his memorabilia
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

    £40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

    Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

    £30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

    Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

    £35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

    Opilio Recruitment: Sales Manager

    £60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game