As others see it: Tawdry

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NO TELEVISION soap opera scriptwriter would dare put forward a storyline as outrageous, squalid and, it must be said, compulsively interest-grabbing as that of the Princess of Wales, her estranged husband and other British royals . . . Mr Hewitt has his small place in the annals of our time as one of the more contemptible human beings. Buckingham Palace's description of the novel-confession he wrote with a collaborator as 'tawdry', while strong for the palace, seems quite mild.

It is suggested that these grubby goings-on will weaken, perhaps mortally, the monarchy in Britain and hasten an Australian republic. Perhaps. Time will tell. But the millions who have followed this saga and been at once engrossed and appalled probably could not give a fig about the constitutional implications or consequences. The feeling now is something akin to pity and compassion.

Whatever their personalities, here are two people put through what has become a fairly commonplace ordeal of the late 20th century, the collapse of a marriage with children. But they have been almost uniquely exposed. Prince and Princess alike have been tortured as surely and painfully as if stretched on the rack.

Editorial in 'The Advertiser', Adelaide daily.