LETTER : Royal Family fails nation in its grief

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The Independent Online
Sir: You criticise the response of the Windsors to the most devastating of personal tragedies, the loss of a family member ("If only the royals could weep with the people" 3 September). How distasteful would we as a nation regard a Hollywood-style display of weeping, if we knew the intention was to engender popularity and public sympathy.

Sorrow is a deeply personal experience and the dignified silence of those most deeply affected throws into sharp relief the theatrical excesses of the public grieving competition in which we all seem to be embroiled. A response motivated in part, I suspect, by private shame at the relentless pursuit of Diana's life which may have contributed to her death.

PHILIP E JAMES

Guildford, Surrey

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