Eulogy Earl Spencer

Eulogy by Earl Spencer: A Representation

      The eulogy by Earl Spencer (6th September 1997), while being written at a similar time as Geoffrey Robertson’s “Diana in the Dock: Does Privacy Matter?”, presents a starkly different version of Diana and her life. The eulogy was delivered at an intensely emotional time and to a very public audience, both in Britain and overseas, and powerfully represents his sister as an insecure person who felt a great sensitivity to the poor but was scandalously and cruelly treated by both the Royal Family and the paparazzi.
      Throughout, Earl Spencer litters his eulogy with highly emotive language which positions the audience to feel sympathetically towards Diana. He concludes by describing her as ‘unique’, ‘complex’, ‘extraordinary’ and ‘irreplaceable’, highlighting through this accumulation her utter beauty and wonderful nature. Earlier, he spoke of ‘cherishing’ his memories of her and of her ‘natural nobility’ while being ‘classless’. The apparent paradox is cleverly used to foreground her complexity, again encouraging responders to delve below any apparent superficial preconceptions of Diana to understand her genuine and very human self. He eloquently describes her as being the ‘very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty’, of having ‘boundless energy’ but being forced to endure ‘tearful despair’. His enormous respect is captured successfully in his tone which is consistently one of admiration.
      This focus on her humanity and her flaws is included deliberately by Spencer when he refers to her eating disorder and when he uses personal anecdotes about their childhood. She ‘mothered me as a baby and fought with me at school”. It is crucial in the context of the funeral that Spencer emphasises this very human side of Diana. In fact, he challenges any suggestion that she should be canonised and cleverly uses religious imagery while he argues that she does not need to be a saint and her memory does not...