NEW YORK – As the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death approaches, a FOX News poll finds that most Americans remember where they were when they first heard the news about the tragedy. In addition, views are somewhat divided on whether foul play was involved or if her death was purely an accident.
Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from August 21 to August 22. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
Overall, a 60 percent majority says they remember where they were when they learned Princess Diana had been killed. By a 17 percentage point margin, women (68 percent) are more likely than men (51 percent) to remember the moment. Diana died August 31, 1997, following a car crash in Paris.
• Click here to view full results of the poll. (pdf)
Even though the British police conducted an investigation in 2006 and concluded no foul play was involved, 31 percent of Americans think there was. Half think Diana’s death was purely an accident.
If Princess Diana had lived, many Americans think she would have been a serious spokesperson on important issues (57 percent), while others think it is more likely she would have been a fun-loving socialite (20 percent). Nearly two-thirds of women (64 percent) think Diana would have been a serious spokesperson compared to just under half of men (49 percent).
There will be an event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, and some people think it would be inappropriate for Prince Charles’s current wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, to attend. Half of Americans (51 percent) think it is appropriate for Camilla to go, while 30 percent disagree.
Among Britons, the sentiments are essentially reversed: 39 percent think it is appropriate for Camilla to attend and a 54 percent majority thinks it would be wrong, according to a poll conducted by ICM Research for The Daily Mail (August 1-3, 2007 among 1,001 British adults).
And even though Prince Charles is first in line to succeed the Queen, Britons give preference to his eldest son, Prince William (53 percent) over his dad (40 percent) as the one they would rather see as the next king. Americans are more evenly divided: 39 percent think the crown should pass to Prince Charles and 38 percent Prince William, with 19 percent unsure.
"It seems clear that Britons—for whom it matters more—are somewhat less forgiving," says Opinion Dynamics CEO John Gorman. "They are more likely to find Camilla’s participation inappropriate and more likely to prefer Diana’s son on the throne than Elizabeth’s."
Fortunately for the Queen, she won’t be forced to choose. According to British constitutional law, Prince Charles is the legal heir to the throne.