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Princess Diana’s intense paparazzi moments criticized in viral videos

Social media users have condemned Princess Diana’s treatment by paparazzi after archive footage of the royal taken during the 1990s was shared to TikTok.

During her lifetime, Diana spoke about the negative aspects of the fame that came with marrying into the royal family in 1981, and intrusion from the paparazzi was a prime example.

Viral videos uploaded to TikTok show instances where the princess was surrounded by photographers, who would follow her car as she left the gym or while she was meeting friends in London.

Posted by user murwdiana, one compilation video of Diana and the paparazzi has gained over 130,000 views and more than 15,000 likes. Two clips from this video show the princess as she arrived and left her gym in Chelsea, close to her Kensington Palace home.

The princess would regularly attend classes at the Chelsea Harbor Club gym, which would attract banks of photographers each time. In an attempt to stem the intense interest in photographs of her during such private moments, the princess often wore the same clothes on multiple days, making images from one day almost indistinguishable from the next.

Also shown in the compilation is a clip of Diana, in a pale gray suit, almost unable to reach her car because of the crowds of photographers. She was leaving an engagement at the Royal College of Nursing in London’s Cavendish Square with a friend, Catherine Soames, in 1994.

Another TikTok video, which has gone viral in recent days, shows Diana with her sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, during a visit to Rome in 1996. The clip, uploaded by user princess.diana.spencer, is captioned “The paparazzis” and shows the princess and her sister as they were leaving their hotel at the end of their visit.

As Diana and McCorquodale entered the street, over 100 photographers mixed in with curious members of the public rushed their car but were held back by the police.

As McCorquodale tried to enter the car ahead of her sister, a guard appeared to mistake her for a fan, almost holding her back. Amidst the drama, Diana waved to the crowd before closing the car door.

The post has been viewed over 400,000 times and received more than 38,000 likes.

Some comments on the videos have criticized the paparazzi’s treatment of Diana, particularly in view of their role in the circumstances leading to her death at age 36 in a 1997 Paris car crash.

“The paparazzi have a lot to answer for,” wrote one TikTok user.

“They made sure she’s gone now,” said another.

One user wrote: “They never left her in peace, of course they earned millions after millions with their photographs.”

Since her death, Princes William and Harry have spoken out about the treatment of their mother by the paparazzi as well as wider media intrusion. Speaking in the 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and LegacyWilliam spoke frankly about the harassment of his mother.

“I think looking back 20 years ago people would be appalled if they knew exactly what went on,” he said.

He went on: “I think it was an industry that lost its way quite heavily, lost its sense of decency, lost its perspective on what was appropriate. If you are the Princess of Wales and you’re a mother, I don’t believe being chased by 30 guys on motorbikes who block your path, who spit at you, who shout at you, and who react really badly to get a reaction from you and make a woman cry in public to get photographs, I don’t believe that is appropriate.

“I sadly remember most of the time she [Diana] ever cried about anything was to do with press intrusion,” William said.

“Harry and I, you know, we lived through that, and one lesson I have learned is, you never let them in too far because it’s very difficult to get them back out again. You’ve got to maintain a barrier and a boundary because if you cross it, if both sides cross it, a lot of pain and problems can come from it.”

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Social media users have condemned Princess Diana’s treatment by paparazzi after archive footage of the royal taken during the 1990s was shared to TikTok.

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