Exactly 20 years ago tomorrow Princess Diana died in a car crash in a tunnel in France.

It was one of those events which surged through the news networks of the world within hours.

First it was rumours she had been killed, then it was confirmation and then it was pretty much a case of the whole monarchy sort of putting their wagons into a defensive circle and trying to fight a way out of it all.

Read more: Editorial: Ghost of Diana haunts Charles


There was much murmuring and finger pointing going on within the ranks of royalty.

The pressure had been going on heavily while the relationship between the Princess and Charles disintegrated and there were many rumours afoot.

I just felt so sorry for the kids, Harry and William, who were only 12 and 15 and starting out in what would be their own challenging highly publicised lives.

An interview with them on television in the UK recently proved to be interesting, as they paid emotional tribute to their mum ... but did not mention their dad once.

And as this anniversary day of Diana's death grew closer, Charles' popularity began to dissolve within the ranks of the British public, with polls showing that slightly less than a third would like to see him step up to the throne to become King of England.

About 80 per cent said they preferred William.

In terms of Camilla, Charles' missus, taking the title of Queen should he become King, only 14 per cent said they approved of that.

Ahh, the Royal Family ... there's always a story to be told or an issue to resolve or an opinion to be had.

Even 20 years down the track.

So tomorrow night there is the trauma of the events that led up to Diana's funeral on Prime while TV1 carries a documentary which is effectively her legacy ... Prince Harry and his charitable work in Africa.

She devoted herself to humanitarian aid causes and after a slightly wild sort of time of growing up during his 20s the now 32-year-old Harry has set himself targets to help others.

More than 10 years ago he formed a charity in Lesotho to do something for disadvantaged kids, and he is setting in place plans to spread his charitable works to four or five other African countries where life is a struggle, to say the least, for so many young people.

One glowing moment in this documentary is his meeting up again, after so many years, with one of the youngsters he encountered and got to know during his initial visit.

He's come a long way has Harry.

Basically, he's grown up.

No more crazy drink-soaked parties in Vegas or dressing as a Nazi officer for a fancy dress party and he scores good marks from the British public today.

Something his old man must be a tad envious of.

So yep, there is much royalty afoot at this time ... and hey, after the Harry doco' wraps up TV1 then screens Coronation Street.

What fine timing.

However, the passing of time seemed to have caught the TV schedule departments off guard when it came to working out that on August 16 it was 40 years since Elvis Presley died because nothing appeared (apart from a few snippets on the news) that night.

So, better late than never, I guess, as on the 20th anniversary of Diana's passing TV1 is also acknowledging the loss of Elvis, although it's not exactly happy days ... Autopsy is a documentary that looks at the build-up to his death and what sparked it.

Oh, and it screens at 11.55pm.

Prince Harry in Africa, TV1 at 8pm Thursday:

Diana: Seven Days that Shook the World, Prime at 8.30pm Thursday:


The Block NZ, TV3 at 7.30 tonight: In a land where it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people to be able to purchase their own home it is slightly unusual that we appear to have a penchant for making "reality" style shows about couples or teams, of mainly youngish people, doing up their properties.

Of course it's more to do with "developing" characters who annoy the sap out of each other and creating a reason for some snarling confrontations, so at the end of the day I just can't watch it, and I wonder why they bother.

It ain't "reality".

Diana and the Paparazzi, Prime at 8.30 tonight: But this is. The pursuit of Princess Diana was pretty well a staple part of the philosophy of a paparazzi ... one of those cash-driven lens wielders who have no conception of manners, timing, ethics or dignity.

The right shot of her (usually with someone other than Prince Charles) was what the trash-mags of Europe lusted after, and paid handsomely for.

Basically, her life was doomed to be permanently on the photographic record and in the end only losing it brought that to a close.

Well, no it didn't actually ... for here's another documentary about the Princess and the paparazzi which kind of sums up just how awkward and intrusive it all became.