Death of a princess: the press, the public and the powerful in changing times
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She was young, widely admired, and considered a breath of fresh air in an increasingly unpopular British monarchy. Her sudden death at a time when she appeared to be moving into a new phase of her life prompted an outpouring of public grief and a frenzy of media coverage. Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales died in November 1817, and the description above fits her as closely as it does Diana, Princess of Wales, who died almost two centuries later. This paper compares The Times of London's coverage of these deaths and examines the changing role that the press has had in dealing with the elite of the day. It finds a number of similar themes in the coverage of and public reaction to both deaths and uncovers changes in attitudes to death and grieving. It also shows the major change in the role of The Times from that of mouthpiece of the establishment to voice of the people.
JEA Conference 2005: Proceedings of the 2005 Journalism Education Association Conference