By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 26, 2001 10:39 AM
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This Sunday will mark the 20th anniversary of the Royal Wedding in which Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles — or, as she mangled the order of his name during the ceremony that was televised around the world, “Philip Charles Arthur George.” As with most things involving Diana, who would have turned 40 this past July 1, this is a landmark that will not be overlooked. Some are viewing the wedding anniversary as a means to assess how the media changed in the years since Diana first attracted the attention of reporters, and, with that, how the public became more celebrity-obsessed. Bob Houston, publisher of Royalty Monthly magazine, for one, told ABCNEWS.com that Diana was the No. 1 celebrity of the ’80s, a decade in which press coverage “changed dramatically.” “Diana was the spearhead of the American invasion of Britain, the celebrity culture,” he said, calling the ’80s “the decade of Diana.” The press and public were fixated on everything Diana. On her problems. On her husband’s (and her own) infidelities. On their divorce. And, finally, on her Aug. 31, 1997, fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel. Most effected by this interest, insists Houston, was the Royal family itself. “The amazing eruption of emotion over her death got through to them that their world has had to change,” he says. No more was this a factor than “in terms of accessibility,” which resulted, he says, in their “shedding some of the more pompous aspects of formality.”