updated 07/13/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Revelations about the troubled marriage of Charles and Diana (PEOPLE, June 22) brought a near unanimous outpouring of sympathy for the Princess of Wales. Correspondents condemned Charles for being "insensitive and self-indulgent."

For 11 years I have looked up to Diana as a role model, a fairy-tale Princess who appeared to have a magical life that we could only dream of having. What we forgot is she is only human, and that life even for a Princess is not guaranteed happiness. I will still look up to her, but now I respect her as a person, not just as a Princess.
ALISA HILDE, Fargo, N.Dak.

Diana, if I had your money and looks, and was royal to boot, I would tell old Charlie to wiggle up a rope! Forget about Dumbo Ears and find some outside entertainment.
DEBRA M. GROSS, Huntington Beach, Calif.

I am throwing out all my English royalty books, and the memorabilia may be next. I think Prince Charles is a first-class louse, and I will not buy or collect anything to do with him. Diana, take the kids and run! Your health is more important than the child who would be King!
EDNA R. BASELICE, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Poor Diana, trapped in her own fractured fairy tale. She kissed a prince and got a toad.
CINDY ERICKSON, Balboa, Calif.

Why doesn't the media just leave Diana alone. Her problems are not making her life miserable, you are. Give the girl a break!
ANONYMOUS, Lawndale, Calif.

It's all so sad! I'm shocked that Prince Charles married Diana while still having a relationship with another woman. He seems to be the most selfish, uncaring, arrogant man in the world. My heart aches for Diana. She has been sentenced to a lifetime of hurt and unhappiness. I say the monarchy be damned.
ELEANOR FOX, Fort Myers, Fla.

The fact that Prince Charles keeps company with a woman who refers to his wife as "that ridiculous creature" says something rather unbecoming about Charles.
TENLEY M. ROVER, Portland, Oreg.

So Charles would rather have a piece of dingy glass from Woolworth's (Parker Bowles) than a brilliant diamond from Tiffany's (Diana). What a bonehead!
COLEEN DEON, Dover Plains, N.Y.

Enough of Diana already! Who really cares?
MARILYN WILHELM, Whitefish, Mont.

See above.—ED.

I don't think Wendy Kaminer understands self-help groups at all. Kaminer makes the outrageous claim that self-help programs cater to the middle class and not to the poor (whose drug problems are more "serious"). First of all, thousands of people—middle class, rich and poor—have had their lives devastated by drugs and alcohol. Twelve-step groups help all classes of people. Contrary to Kaminer's belief, these groups do embrace the idea that life never gets easy, as demonstrated by the philosophy of acceptance. Kaminer's opinions reinforce the simple truth that the 12-step movement cannot be understood by outside observers who have no addictions of their own.
SUSAN E. OHLANDT, Wilmington, Del.

I must say, Wendy Kaminer is missing the point. Having survived a sexually abusive, alcoholic, dysfunctional family, I have spent years battling chronic depression, eating disorders and low self-esteem. I can assure you that recovery is not about telling people that "they are incapable of controlling their own behavior." Anyone who has found their way to a 12-step program has already faced that reality. My recovery is about regaining my personal power, my self-esteem and my ability to reach out to others. It is not about blame; it is about acceptance, healing and moving on. I tried denial for years. It didn't work for me.
NAME WITHHELD, Salinas, Calif.

Wendy Kaminer hit the nail on the head. I am so tired of hearing that word dysfunctional—especially at work. It's just a total cop-out for people who cannot think for themselves or enjoy acting like lemmings. If these "dysfunctional" people think that life is supposed to be perfect, then they belong in Disneyland.

Supporting Ross Perot is like agreeing to go on a four-year blind date. But perhaps that's better than going out with either of the ugly stepsisters.
BERNARD C. SHINE, Encino, Calif.

At the time that Sherri Chessen Finkbine went through her terrible ordeal, I was a 19-year-old college student living in Phoenix. I remember how she was crucified by the local newspapers and lost her job. To me, Mrs. Finkbine will always be a hero—and her courageous act crystallized my feelings about a woman's right to choose. Thanks to this brave lady, I am now a pro-choice activist. I will always believe she did the right thing.

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