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Diana: Portrait of a Princess Hardcover – July 14, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (July 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684853922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684853925
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 12 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Alone among award-winning photographers, Jayne Fincher snapped some of the most private moments ever seen of the late Princess Diana. What's her secret? Perhaps it's because, as an official royal photographer, she did not provoke the fear and panic that outside photographers tragically did, and her status as the only woman in the pool of royal photographers somehow put the royal family and the Princess of Wales off their guard in her presence. Diana: Portrait of a Princess contains never-before-seen photos from the early 1980s until Diana's death in August of 1997. Fincher captures the shy, awkward Lady Spencer, the picture of innocence and bewilderment thrust onto the global stage. Later in this chronologically ordered collection we see this young woman evolve into the glamorous and sophisticated princess. Some of the most striking images reflect the raw emotion and revealing intimacy in Diana's life, such as the private moments in which you can sense her fiercely tender devotion to her sons. Many of the natural, spontaneous shots depict a deeply distressed woman, trapped in a world of conformity, while still other pictures illustrate the growing strain in her loveless marriage to Prince Charles. Royal writer Judy Wade worked with Fincher to provide the text to go with these, the best of Fincher's 30,000 candid images of Princess Di.

From Kirkus Reviews

In one of what will undoubtedly be a host of tributes on the anniversary of her death comes a collection of several hundred color photographs of ``the people's princess,'' taken by the only female photographer granted access to Diana by Buckingham Palace. Ranging front Diana's emergence on the scene in 1980 up to the extraordinary events surrounding her funeral, Fincher's workmanlike photographs serve to remind the viewer both how exhausting Diana's public schedule was and how uniquely photogenic she was. Ranging from diplomatic receptions to balls to sporting events, the chronologically arranged photos also chart Diana's emergence as a confident public figure, as well as the deterioration of her marriage (there are some memorable shots of an acutely embarrassed couple at public events, clearly anxious to be away from each other). The most memorable shots are of Diana and her sons; her love for them is almost palpable. Judy Wade, a journalist, sets down Finchers carefully diplomatic recollections of Diana and Charles. Those who were fans of the princess and pictorial icon will find this a vivid review. Others may be moved to a contemplation of the peculiar modern fixation with celebrity. (500 color photographs) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

This book is one of my favorite picture books of Diana.
Angelaustin
In this wonderful collage you see the growth of Diana as she grew from a young "Sloane Ranger" into a beautiful, loving and caring H.R.H Princess of Wales.
"ladytaffe"
I love her just the way she was -- a flawed human being who tried to do her best.
S. Taylor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MLPlayfair on May 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
About 95% of DIANA: PORTRAIT OF A PRINCESS is photos, with only minimal narrative. And almost all of the photos were taken by Fincher, who was a royal photographer. The pictures are fantastic -- a couple just take my breath away. How could this exquisite person be gone? (see page 95) Surely, Diana was one of the most photogenic persons who ever lived. Here in the photos we watch her grow up, make fashion choices (not all good!) to find her own image, and create her own life just in time to lose it. Sometimes she looked a bit like a tired, frumpy housewife. In other pictures she's just perfection. The heavy, oversize book is divided into three parts: For Love, For Loyalty, For Liberty. The printing quality of the photos is EXCELLENT. This was a beautiful gift from my beloved niece, who knows me well. I must say, it makes an excellent gift. This book is one to keep and treasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Taylor on January 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Jayne Fincher did an excellent job photographing the Princess of Wales, while also showing us how much Diana was like the rest of us. Fincher wrote that you could tell what kind of a mood the princess was in by the color of her clothes. Why are we so surprised to find out that Diana had her moody days, when she could be difficult? Aren't we all like that at different times in our life? No one is perfect, and neither was she. I love her just the way she was -- a flawed human being who tried to do her best.
Fincher's book is one of the top efforts published on Diana. It contains beautiful pictures, sad pictures, and wonderful memories. The text beside the photos was a nice touch, letting the reader know a little bit of history behind a particular shot.
A fine, fine book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "archersf" on May 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My sister and I are MAJOR Diana fans, and both agree that this is by far the best of the many, many photo books available on the late Princess. The colors practically bleed off the page, and each photograph is sharply reproduced in a pleasurably large format. The book is blessedly absent of distracting text: this author knows what we want: pictures, pictures, pictures! Buy it: you will NOT be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Liz Tompkins on March 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was a hard one to put down. It's full of vivid photographs, organized by various chapters in Princess Diana's life - at least the royal aspect of it. The only reason I gave it 4 (rather than 5) stars was the author of this book (also an "official" Royal photographer) didn't have access to shooting photos of Diana in the last (and happier) stages of her life. A more personal side of Diana seems to be lacking from this book. This is no fault of the photographer - it's clearly because Diana was in an unhappy situation.
The book's a visual feast and mesmerizing to look at. But if you're yearning for a more literal sense of Diana's humanitarian accomplisments, this is not the title with which to accomplish that quest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It has so many pictures that I hadn't seen before (and I have lots of Diana books). I was amazed at the variety of pictures. They were absolutely gorgeous. I think it gave a good chronology of her life and growth as a woman. There are some gorgeous pictures of her when she was young, and progressed through the years. This book has well over 200 pages and every page has pictures on it. It is an awesome book and a "must have" for Diana fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MS BINA RAJ on July 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
as a collector of princes di books, i have several good ones in my collection, but jayne fincher's 'portrait of a princess' is my best by far.
the book is stunning. the unusually large size of the hard-cover book, the huge collection of splendid color photographs, many of them from diana's early years, make for an awesome book. a must-buy for any diana fan!. this is the definitive pictorial tribute to princess diana.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "ladytaffe" on August 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing! The pictures are really beautiful! They show the Princess when she was just Lady Diana Spencer, young and vulnerable to the press! In this wonderful collage you see the growth of Diana as she grew from a young "Sloane Ranger" into a beautiful, loving and caring H.R.H Princess of Wales. This book is well worth buying! I have a huge collection of Diana books, so I practically have seen EVERY picture there is to see of her, but this book REALLY does have some pictures I've never even seen before; some really candid shots! One of the many other things I liked about this book was the way Jayne wrote about some of the inside things that she experienced; like going to Highgrove and doing a photo shoot with Diana helping her plug in her "gear"! The author also mentions how she grew to recognize what kind of mood Diana was in by the color of clothes she wore - pink when happy and dark clothes when sad! Diana was complex in a way, but also quite extraordinary - to keep up her engagements despite the turmoil that was going on in her life - absolutely amazing! There's a photo & story of how some children wanted to sit in her Jaquar and Princess Diana let them - in the picture you see her talking to them and watching them having fun in her car! You can see her deep love for people, the way she is in constant contact with them; whether it's a handshake or a hug or a kiss! She never standed on ceremony, like the other "royals". She reached out and touched everyone she could! She really cared for people and cared for each and every charity she was patron of! There are lots of little tidbits and stories in this book!Read more ›
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