Many media types and consumers have been finding a lot not to like about Newsweek’s controversial, computer-generated depiction of Princess Diana as she might look at 50 had she not perished in that Parisian automobile accident 14 years ago. But producer Linda Yellen asks, “Why shouldn’t people be allowed to play out their fantasies? It’s sort of bold and makes you think.”
Yellen is deep into editing of her Aug. 27-debuting Hallmark Channel Original Movie “William & Catherine: A Royal Romance,” which she has described as a tribute of sorts to the woman known as The People’s Princess, as well as to the royal newlyweds. Having created the highly successful “The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana” in 1982 and met Diana several times, Yellen is amongst the unofficial keepers of the flame of her memory. She tells us she was intrigued by Tina Brown’s essay on what Diana would be doing today, and agrees she might well have moved to The States. “She had no excess baggage here.”
As far as THAT picture, Yellen laughs and says, “We all have our own projections of what she would be like. She was her own iconic person. I don’t think she would have worn the hat. ..She was striving so hard to simplify her life.” And the computer image doesn’t “capture her luminosity, her inner glow” in Yellen’s view.
Of her “Royal Romance” (starring Jane Alexander as Queen Elizabeth, Victor Garber and Jean Smart as Charles and Camilla, and newcomers Dan Amboyer and Alice St. Clair as Prince William and Kate Middleton), Yellen says she feels fortunate that it will debut months after “all the craziness of the wedding…now that people have had some time to reflect…Diana’s presence loomed large at that wedding, thanks to her son. Perhaps even larger than Prince Charles’.”