Oh, Diana. Will you ever be allowed to rest in peace?
On the 13th anniversary of the Princess of Wales’ death, a Chinese lingerie company launched a new line of ... wait for it ... “Diana underwear.” The slogan for the splashy ads, which portray Princess Diana playing a cello to a little boy while wearing a bra, panties and diamond-studded tiara, is, “Feel the romance of British royalty.”
The giant Diana billboards are on display in bustling city centers and airports across China. Sam Chambers, a British journalist who is based in China, said he was stunned when he noticed the ad in an airport.
“I was just going to collect my baggage from the carousel when I saw it flash up on a rolling advertising screen and couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing,” Chambers said, according to the British newspaper the Daily Mail. “I thought, surely not, because it was rolling quite quickly. So I waited to check when it came up again and, sure enough, there was an image of Diana.
“It’s all the more striking because today is the anniversary of her death.”
Diana died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997. Also killed in the accident were her boyfriend, Dodi al-Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul.
On the anniversary of the notorious accident, fans of the princess left flowers and other remembrances for her outside Kensington Palace in London. They also shared their displeasure over the lingerie ads.
“Sorry but I find this sick, and in extremely bad taste,” posted one commenter on the Daily Mail’s website.
“This is extremely unfair on Diana’s sons and family,” wrote another. “It’s distasteful ... downright sordid. She doesn’t deserve this.”
Alan Berry, co-founder of the Diana Appreciation Society, described the ad as “blatant exploitation of a dead lady’s name,” according to the First Post in London. The First Post said a spokesman for Prince Charles, Princess Diana’s ex-husband, declined to comment on the ads.
The Diana lingerie line is made by a company called Jealousy International in China’s Guangdong province. A representative of the company reportedly told China Radio that the Diana product line was meant to honor the princess’s taste in underwear.