How Creepy Is Princess Diana's Ghost on the Cover of Newsweek?

Critics can't decide whether the Lady Di tribute is too indulgent or too horrifying

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The image of Princess Diana walking alongside Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in the shadow of the Newsweek logo is an attention-getter. Surely, that was the intention of Newsweek's editor Tina Brown, who's penned the latest issue's cover story on what Diana would be like if she'd lived to see her 50th birthday on Friday. But the Photoshopped, looking-you-straight-in-the-eye picture of Diana at 50 seems about half as controversial as the entire cover package which includes not only Tina's brief article, the obvious side-by-side slideshow of Diana and Kate's fashion sense, an update on Diana's causes, a fake Facebook page for Diana, and one doctored photograph of Diana clutching a white iPhone. It's all alarmingly difficult to look away from, bloggers agree.

Tina Brown sure loves princesses, says Daniel D'Addario at the New York Observer. Glazing over the cover image, D'Addario quantifies Tina's love for Kate Middleton--she's been on four out of the 15 covers since Brown took over as editor--and calls Newsweek's latest indulgent round-up of princess news "this week's installment of Ms. Brown's beautiful, dark, regal fantasy." About that fantasy, though, D'Addario noticed something funny:

A follow-up to our item on Newsweek's creepy alive-Diana cover: the “plot” of Ms. Brown’s article, in which an aging Diana gets Botox and moves to New York, is like-but-unlike the plot of Monica Ali’s new novel, Untold Story, in which an aging Diana dyes her hair and moves to the Midwest. It’s been getting a lot of press, including the cover of this week’sNew York Times Book Review–perhaps Ms. Brown had heard of it before the writing process began.

Tina Brown's version of Princess Diana at 50 sounds kind of shallow, says Joe Coscarelli at The Village Voice. Furthermore, isn't it a little indulgent of Brown to frame the whole thing in the context of a socialite magazine editor's glamorous life hanging out in "the London über-swirl of fashion and society and media?"

First of all, if she were turning 50 this month, Diana would still be "great-looking." That is literally the first piece of information in the cover story of this weekly news magazine, after a description of a party that the editor-in-chief of said magazine attended. Diana might've worn J.Crew and Galliano, Brown imagines, like Michelle Obama, and might've moved to New York, married a "super-rich hedge-fund" guy who would buy her "toys" and blah blah, France, charity, blah, Kate Middleton. Did you know Tina Brown wrote a book about Diana? We'll be watching for a sales spike.

Is the cover image creepy? Let the readers decide! The Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post ran brief posts and corresponding reader polls on the "jarring" cover image. Nearly half of the L.A. Times readers polled find the image "horribly offensive," and 60 percent of HuffPost readers think it's "a bit too much!" Twitter, the 21st-century polling device seems to agree. The top trending tweet comes from Janice Turner, a columnist for The Times of London. She tweeted, "Astonishing. Why didn't Newsweek just row to Althrop island, exhume & snap Diana's rotted corpse?"

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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