Why is Michael Jackson’s funeral being broadcast worldwide? He was not a head of state, a president, prince, king or queen. Princess Diana at her death was no longer royalty. She was divorced from Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. By the time of her death, she was only “the People’s Princess”, a title lacking in substance. Yet, her funeral was broadcast all over the world with millions watching. Is there any difference between Michael Jackson and Princess Diana.
In this country, we have a long and warped fascination with royalty. We treated President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy as the royalty we never had. We referred to them as Camelot, a reference from the legendary King Arthur days. Before President Kennedy, we were star struck by American actress, Grace Kelly who married the King of Monaco. Even before then, we were fascinated by the royal marriage of Wallis Simpson to Prince Edward. He was forced to give up his heir to the British throne by marrying an Ameircan divorcee. In recent times, we reverred Princess Diana.
Princess Diana at her death was highly loved and regarded worldwide. Yes, her funeral was broadcast worldwide on every mjaor station. She was no longer a princess. She had become an icon. People loved her for her humane acts and services. Yet, most loved her for how she made them feel. At her death, no one spoke about her tumultous marriage to Prince Charles, his adultery, her adultery, her obsession with weight, her insecurity and sometimes fragile emotional and mental state. Those topics were off limits.
This brings me back to the question. Why is Michael Jackson’s funeral being broadcast worldwide. Michael Jackson was music royalty. Music is healing for the soul. His music healed millions. He is being celebrated for the way he made us feel. In his own words, he really turned us on. The media had no choice but to air his memorial in this fashion. Just as they had no choice but to air Princess Diana’s in the same way.
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, deserved the same respect by the media afforded Princess Diana. Talk of his child molestation charges for which he was acquitted had no place in the media this week.
Michael Jackson made millions worldwide feel good about themselves through his music. He really turned us on. That’s why he has a funeral fit for a king.