Lingerie Ad Features Princess Diana Playing Cello In Her Underwear

Here is an ad for a Chinese lingerie brand in which the late Princess Di appears to play a cello in her skivvies. Makes quite a change from the commemorative teaspoons and Franklin Mint kitsch her estate has previously tolerated!

The billboards featuring Princess Diana's likeness and the tagline "Feel The Romance Of British Royalty" were photographed at the airport in Shenzhen on the 13th anniversary of Princess Di's death.

The rights to Princess Diana's image are held by the Diana Memorial Fund, which is supposed to direct the proceeds from licensed memorabilia sales to various charities, including those Diana herself favored, like landmine clearing and AIDS research. But the fund has struggled to crack down on the unauthorized use of her image; when the Franklin Mint sold an unauthorized Diana doll, the fund sued, but after six years of legal wrangling, the fund ended up having to pay the Franklin Mint some £13.5 million due to an obscure loophole in Californian intellectual-property law. This resulted in various charity groups (all beneficiaries of the Diana Memoral Fund) having their assets temporarily frozen.

This ad campaign is almost certainly unauthorized, but whether the Diana Memorial Fund will be able to do anything about it is moot. The Daily Mail seems to be savoring this opportunity for outrage, intersecting as it does with the tabloid's hobbyhorses of royalty, populism, and sex.

Diana lingerie is a brand of Jealousy International, a Chinese lingerie manufacturer. Jealousy's portal at Taobao.com, a Chinese online mega-retailer, is worth checking out if only for its many pictures of horrendously-styled models in knickers and bad wigs. Jealousy's own homepage has an entire Diana section, though strangely, the new campaign doesn't appear. Perhaps Jealousy is already reconsidering.

Photo by Tim Stewart

Diana Lingerie Outrage: Chinese Company Depicts Princess In Bra And Knickers [Daily Mail]