cultural capital

Tina Brown Does Not Want Her Daughter to Be Like Di


Brown and Hoge last night.Photo: Tim Murphy

Tina Brown does not want her 16-year-old daughter, Izzy, marrying at 19, the tender age of Diana Spencer when she wed Prince Charles in 1981. At the Strand Bookstore last night, before a good-size audience of slightly weird, very white, middle-aged Anglophiles, Brown, 53, chatted with former New York Times London bureau chief Warren Hoge about The Diana Chronicles, her account of the late princess’ life that’s currently No. 1 on the Times nonfiction best-seller list. Looking typically sleek in a black dress and heels before several stacks of the fat book, Brown was on from the get-go, discoursing nearly nonstop in perfect magazine prose — this ain’t the first stop on Tina’s book tour — about Diana’s role as “a prism of British social revolution” and her death as “a festival of national mourning.” In the first few minutes alone, she managed to use nearly every hot buzzword of the past year or so, calling the young Charles a “toxic bachelor” and Diana a Fleet Street dream girl who could “move product.”

Then, noting that Diana married at the absurdly naïve age of 19 because that’s how young the royals had to go to find a “Saran Wrapped virgin,” Brown said she’d be dismayed if that were the age of betrothal for Izzy, 16, her adorable daughter, who sat up front at the Strand in leopard-print heels beholding the relentless Mom-a-logue with what looked like rapt devotion. After the chat, while Brown busily signed books for the nerdy, starstruck Anglophiles — shortly after telling us curtly of this magazine’s recent profile of her, “I liked it. Very good” — we asked Izzy: Would she ever marry that young? Yes, she said, “if a Prince Charming came along and swept me off my feet, and if my mother approved.” Then she took back that last part: “Well, she can’t talk, because she married a guy 25 years older than her.” (That would be Brown’s husband of 26 years and Izzy’s dad, publishing legend Sir Harry Evans, who just turned 79.) Is there discord brewing in the House of Brown? —Tim Murphy

Tina Brown Does Not Want Her Daughter to Be Like Di