July 14, 2006

British princes lash out over Diana death photos

By Peter Graff

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's princes William and Harry
lashed out on Friday at an Italian magazine that published
taboo photographs of their mother Princess Diana dying in the
wreckage of a Paris car crash.

"We feel deeply saddened that such a low has been reached,"
the two princes said in a rare statement.

"Despite the support shown to us and our mother's memory by
so many people over the last eight years, we feel that, as her
sons, we would be failing in our duty to her now if we did not
protect her, as she once did us.

"Therefore, we appeal to all forms of media throughout the
world to appreciate fully that publishing such material causes
great hurt to us, our father, our mother's family and all those
who so loved and respected her."

Milan-based magazine Chi defended its decision to run the
photo, which showed Diana slumped and dying in the mangled
Mercedes moments after it slammed into a tunnel at high speed,
killing her, her lover and their driver.

A spokesman for the magazine said: "There is nothing
voyeuristic or disrespectful in all this. It is just an attempt
to get closer to the truth of a drama that is still wrapped in
too much mystery and too many lies."

British tabloids, which once revelled in covering every
twist in Diana's tortured lovelife, had refrained from
publishing pictures of her death, maintaining that taboo
throughout the nearly nine years since the crash.

They united on Friday in condemning Chi.

"Shame On You" thundered The Sun, Britain's best-selling
daily newspaper, which reprinted the photo in Chi but blanked
out the image of Diana. "Outrage at Picture of Dying Diana in
Magazine," declared the Daily Express.

The fury of the tabloids was ironic to some.

"There is no doubting the double standards of the British
media," leading publicist Max Clifford told Reuters. "There is
a huge public interest and if they are not horrendous images, I
cannot get myself as stirred up as they seem to be."

(Additional reporting by Stephen Brown in Rome and Paul
Majendie in London)