Immediately after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the television companies rushed to suppress anything in the schedules which could be even faintly interpreted as being in bad taste. Unfortunately, such a concern for tastefulness has not percolated as far as the manufacturers of all manner of exploitative Di memorabilia.

Perhaps one of the worst offenders on the taste count, this book strives to touch as many bases of sentimentality as possible, roping in the “People’s Princess”, little children, and the Lord Jesus. As the title indicates, it is a collection of scrawled missives to the Almighty from the pencils of one north London primary school. The blurb would have us believe that the letters represent a spontaneous outpouring of grief, in spite of the fact that they are clearly a compulsory class project carried out during that chillingly Stalinist week of enforced mourning. The tedious reiteration of such clichés as “Queen of all our Hearts” indicates nothing so much as the Pavlovian influence of the media on these impressionable young minds, with the guiding hand of the teacher pervading this collection of supposedly heartfelt prayers.

Admittedly, all royalties from this book go to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, but would-be philanthropists should note that it is perfectly possible to donate to charity without having to get a mawkish, macabre memento of the fact. Indeed, they might like to try giving to one of the many worthy causes whose takings have suffered greatly as a result of Di hysteria.

First published in the Press & Journal, Saturday 8 November 1997.

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