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The alternative fairy story: Diana and the sexual dissidents

Valentine, Gill; Butler, Ruth


Gill Valentine

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Dr Ruth Butler
Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Research


By drawing on feminist and queer theory this paper explores the nature of Diana, Princess of Wales' changing relationship with the gay comnunity, and gay politics. We argue that from her wedding to her funeral, Diana's life and death epitomised a series of powerful paradoxes. She began her married life as the embodiment of heterosexuality, at the heart of a royalist landscape characterised by hierarchy, deference, patriarchy and class privilege. She was a symbol of the 'centre', the establishment, that was supposed to represent unity yet ironically marked division; she was in a powerful position yet powerless. But we go on to argue that at her death, she had become the embodiment of radicalism and a powerful survivor.


Valentine, G., & Butler, R. (1999). The alternative fairy story: Diana and the sexual dissidents. Journal of gender studies, 8(3), 295-302.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Aug 3, 2010
Publication Date 1999-11
Print ISSN 0958-9236
Electronic ISSN 1465-3869
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3
Pages 295-302
Keywords Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Gender Studies
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