Royal Souvenirs

JACQUELINE ARZT/AP

Diana, Princess of Wales, pictured on her 36th birthday

People's princess and petulant self-promoter, devoted mom and lost soul, calculating, mesmerizing: once again we have occasion to consider the endless contradictions that transformed Diana, Princess of Wales, from nonentity to icon during her brief life and hideous death. In the imposing, high-domed Court 1 at London's Old Bailey last week, her faithful butler Paul Burrell — the man she called "my rock" — was on trial for theft. But Diana was the hovering presence.

Last year, police found in Burrell's house in Cheshire a trove of Dianiana — more than 300 items in all — stuffed into...

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