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Ratu Kamlani and Andrea Sachs/New York

It may not have quite the divisiveness of the Dreyfus Affair or the O.J. Simpson trial verdict, but the Waleses’ divorce has created a passionate split in opinions

“I believe this is the beginning of the end for the House of Windsor in this country. Diana has consented to the divorce knowing that she would be stripped of her title and that people will find this the final straw in the terrible saga of bullying and oppression that now make up our royal family. With typical heavy-handedness, they’ve just behaved like morons again. But she is an English rose with thorns, and she will have her revenge. Charles’ future? Shoot him–put him out of his misery. He is Hamlet. He is a man who equates being worried with being intelligent, and of course they are not the same thing.” JULIE BURCHILL, novelist, founder of the Modern Review, a satirical journal

“I would like her [Diana] to disappear because I think she is a liability. However, as she is the mother of the future King, I suppose they will have to find a minimal–I hope–role for her. She is disastrous in every way.” HUGH TREVOR-ROPER, retired professor of history, Oxford University

“Unless Buckingham Palace decides she should be ostracized, which I’m sure they won’t do, she’ll be like an official movie star. She’s known worldwide; she seems to be extremely popular in places where she goes; and there are lots of substantive, unimportant, but symbolically quite important things she can do–open British trade fairs, promote exports–an official movie star.” HUGO YOUNG, author, political columnist, the Guardian

“I’m devastated. I think it’s absolutely a terrible tragedy. Diana was not always a pleasure to live with, but there’s absolutely no excuse for the House of Windsor’s behavior. The good that she did, the professionalism with which she carried herself in the public eye would overwhelm any trouble she may have been at home. They didn’t realize what an incredible superstar they had. To me the biggest crime was the way he allowed Camilla Parker Bowles to preside as hostess at his country estate at Highgrove early in the marriage. There’s no excuse for that kind of cruelty.” CAMILLE PAGLIA, American cultural critic

“What I’d like to see are two courts, as we did under the Prince of Wales and Caroline [in the early 1800s], with the Whigs attending on the Princess of Wales and the Tories perhaps attending on the Prince of Wales. [That’s a] way of keeping the monarchy alive. Otherwise it will lapse into boredom.” AUBERON WAUGH, novelist, editor, the Literary Review

–Reported by Ratu Kamlani and Andrea Sachs/New York

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