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February 26, 2016

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PAGE 8 . . . . .' / POST-GAZE'I-rE, FEBRUARY 26, 2016 THOUGHTS BY DAN ABOUT THIS & THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso Queen Elizabeth 11 and Princess Diana: A Tale of Tragedy and Mystery The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981. Queen Elizabeth II has had her share of trying moments ever since she took the crown in 1952, but the death of Princess Diana, for which the world mourned in August of 1997, was the first to strike emotive chords with a global public. What the world didn't like about her response was that there wasn't very much of one, and her relationship with her deceased daughter-in-law continues to be a subject of tense debate. Her message, delivered on September 5, 1997, from Buck- ingham Palace, seemed to share in the world's grief over the loss of the Princess of Wales. ~She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I ad- mired and respected her ... for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys," she said. "No one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remem- ber her. I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordi- nary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determi- nation to cherish her memory." But what kept her away from London upon hearing the news of the tragedy? As a new book by Ingrid Seward points out, the relationship between the Queen and the Princess was a strange and often turbulent one. Queen Elizabeth II first met Diana when the 19-year-old accompanied her future hus- band Prince Charles to the Royal Family's summer resi- dence in Balmoral. "She is one of us. I am very fond of all three of the Spencer girls," was the Queen's initial reaction. From there, however, the re- lationship became complicated and somewhat enigmatic. Diana often seemed ill-at-ease with the ways of life under the Royal Family, especially so after mar- The Princess and the Queen, a complicated relationship closed to the outside world. Known for her love of pri- vacy, it's difficult to understand the Queen's ostensibly aloof disposition during Diana and Charles's wedding. Perhaps she was uncomfortable with the media attention or maybe she indeed had reservations about Diana. Be that as it may, the Queen soon after began drawing attention to her doings rather than her son and his wife. Her Christmas broadcast, for instance, focused more on a Palace garden party and the christening of their first child, Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis, became more of a cel- ebration for the Queen's 82nd birthday. In hindsight it seemed inevi- table to the world, but within the confines of Buckingham Palace, the marriage of Prince Charles must have seemed doomed early on and when the Prince and Princess separated in 1992, there was little hope for reconciliation. Seward describes this turbu- lent time, "Like her own mother, the Queen has always coped with troublesome emotions by keeping the various difficulties of her reign in airtight compart- ments and never confronting the unpalatable. But the mar- riage breakdown could not be ignored forever." In 1996, the couple officially divorced, and in August of the following year the world cried for a woman known for her charity and compassion. Once tears began to dry, however, the world began to ask why Balmoral until the fifth of Sep- tember with her two grandsons William and Harry? "She was castigated for stay- ing up at Balmoral with the two little boys," remarked the Queen's cousin Marga- ret Rhodes. "She was being a proper granny. What was the point of bringing the boys down to sit in London with nothing to do but sit there feeling sad about Mum. Personally, I think I would have behaved in exactly the same way." Not surprisingly, Queen Eliza- beth's own mother, Lady Eliza- beth Angela (also known as the Queen Mum), came to her defense stating, "The Queen was criticized for two things. One was taking the boys to church. But they wanted to go to church. If you are a Chris- tian and your mother has been killed, it is a comfort going to church, The other thing was that people expected the Queen to abandon her two grandsons ... whose mother had just been killed ... and go to London to mourn with people who had never even met the Princess. If you stand back and think about it, it is an extraordinarily selfish attitude. Lady Elizabeth was hugely upset by the criticism of her daughter because she has always admired her so much. It was such a cruel criticism and it was unfair." What is more surprising about Lady Angela's defense was the following statement, "There was a very close bond between Queen Elizabeth II and the Princess of Wales. She was of a generation that felt that anything that went on in a marriage was private between the couple. So it is certainly fair to say that she would have been deeply shocked when pri- vate feelings and thoughts were broadcast worldwide." What was in the heart of the Queen? The death of Princess Diana has created too much speculation, too much anger, and too much emotive discus- sion for the matter to be finally settled and Queen Elizabeth's relative silence further seals the matter. Surely, her emotions were complicated ones and con- tinue to be almost 20 years after the deadly car crash in Paris. In 1997, however, newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Blair may have saved her reputation by persuading her to return to Lon- don and speaking to the moum- ing crowds beforehand. But how much of the Queen's speech was genuine? Maybe it mat- The Cabot Presents MS. LISA FISCHER & GRAND BATON "Ms. Fischer, with her band Grand Baton, is a mischievous free spirit unencumbered by the responsibilities, in- cluding the glamorous image-making that go with pop stardom. In re- splendent vocal shape at 56, she brought down the house in the single best show I've seen in the many years I've visited Birdland." --Stephen Holden, New York Times, April 2015 Star of Twenty Feet from Stardom and leg- endary strutting Rolling Stones backup singer, the incredible Ms. Lisa Fischer & her band Grand Baton are com- ing to The Cabot in Beverly on Saturday, April 2nd. Ms. Lisa Fischer has stepped into the spotlight at last with her pliable four-octave range and a whirlwind of vocal techniques that include singing through two microphones at once. After four decades of singing background for icons like the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan and Nine Inch Nails, Lisa has perfected her trade and she now offers her own humble, heartfelt song, accompanied by her inventive new band Grand Baton. The past 18 months have been a whirlwind, with performances at the New- port and Monterey Jazz Festivals, at the Hollywood Bowl and in major cities all over the world. Lisa's band is led by the unique and fearless French Guadeloupean guitarist J.C. Maillard, who also sings backup, plays keyboards and SaxBass, an eight-stringed electroacoustic instrument inspired by the Turkish baglama. The one-of-a-kind band includes the powerful thunder of Thi- erry Arpino on drums and percussion and the bottomless Aidan Carroll on bass and backing vocals. Together they are a power- house[ The unexpected success of the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013) altered the course of Lisa's musical journey. The film told her story, complete with clips of her 1991 Grammya-winning R&B hit "How Can I Ease the Pain," live footage of her legendary duets with Mick Jagger on "Gimme Shelter," and glowing testimonials from famous colleagues like Sting, Patti Austin, and Chris Botti. It showcased her virtuosity and vulnerability, opened a window on her sometimes lonely life on the road, earned her a second Grammy award, and left audi- ences eager to see and hear more. Lisa set out on her first tour with no recordings or video to help book and promote shows, headlining first in small clubs, moving quickly to festivals and concert halls. Lisa has found ideal co-conspirators in Grand Baton. The band's organic fusion of African, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean rhythms, psychedelic soul, and progressive rock awakens and ignites Lisa's flexibility and freedom of expression. "Collectively they bring amaz- ing musicianship, hearts and souls and, most importantly, a sense of playfulness," she says. "It's a dream to be sonically surrounded with this kind of sensitivity and care." The band has helped her realize her lifelong desire to make music that heals, but still rocks the house. In performance, she draws from an eclectic palette of influences, whether putting her stamp on Led Zeppelin and Little Willie John or recasting rock anthems from her tours with the Stones and Tina Turner. Lisa emerged from New York's fervent studio scene in the early- 1980s. She paid her dues as a member of the Marvelettes before legendary vocalist Luther Vandross invited her to sing background with his touring band. He became her mentor and friend, nurtur- ing her talent over a 20-year period until his untimely passing in 2005. During Lisa's two decades working with Luther, her voice also powered albums by a constellation of music legends, includ- ing Aretha Franklin, Bobby McFerrin, George Benson, Diana Ross, Laurie Anderson, Teddy Pendergrass, Dionne Warwick, Grover Washington, Billy Ocean, Melba Moore, A1 Jarreau and Patti LaBelle. tying the Prince in 1981. the Queen had remained in ters less than we think, for few Ms. Lisa Fischer is on a creative journey, destination unknown. disagreed with her words about "Inspiration is all around," said Lisa in a recent interview with New Princess Diana, "She was an York's Daily News. "My heart is wide open and I'm in love with the exceptional and gifted humanthought of singing to anyone who wishes to listen." Mott60 GOIIo being. In good times and bad, she never lst her capacity t I j@ 1 smile and laugh, nor to inspire + Appraisals others with her warmth and kindness. I admired her and Sales & Rentals respected her ... especially for k_ her devotion to her two boys." {"- DIAMONDS USTINEYANDLE R- Es L"te+"" / ROLEX l [ ESTATE JEWELRY l / PHOTOGRAPHY [ 376 North Street--Boston, MA 02113 [ Bought a Sold | / 781.589.7347 JUSTINE.YANDLE@GMAIL.COM / (617) 523-2100 Fax (617) 523-3530 Jewelers Exch. Bldg. ]/ WWWJUSTINEYANDLEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM / Jim (617) 263-7766 J J