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Old 31.08.2017, 09:19
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Where were you when you heard the news?

20 years ago today (31 August 1997) Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul died in a car accident in the early hours of the morning.

I had a summer job in the West End of London working nights in a 24hr mini cab office. My shift was 10pm to 10am and I vividly remember a number of drivers chattering on the radio about some big news in Paris. Later in the morning a regular customer called and asked me if I had heard the news about Di (around 5am)? What I remember most was at the end of my shift walking towards Marble Arch, usually a hive of activity even on a Sunday. It was completely dead, hardly anyone was out and those that were looked completely numb and shell shocked.

The only time I felt anything similar was after 9/11, again in central London coming home from University in the evening. You could literally hear a pin drop on the concourse of Waterloo Station during rush hour, it was as surreal.
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:24
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I heard it first thing early in the morning at home on the radio (BBC Radio 5 Live) before going to work at the supermarket. It was a Sunday. I remember speaking to colleagues about it, as they had already heard as well.
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:27
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

At my parent's place I was nursing a hangover when my mum said, "Can you let the dog out and Princess Diana's been killed..." all kind of rolled together in the same sentence then she broke down and blamed it on the toast she'd just burnt.

My grandmother was inconsolable.

The rest of the day was, as you say Castro, weirdly quiet and unsettled.
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:33
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I came downstairs on the Sunday morning back home in the UK and put the TV on. I thought at first I was simply looking at a documentary about Diana, I remember the clip of Diana and the princes on the ride at a fun fair.
When it hit me that Diana was dead I was in a state of shock.
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:44
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

Odd. Had I already been away from Britain too long?
I remember our headmistress at school telling us that King George VI had died. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when both John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were shot. I recall the first reports of World Trade centre and the massacre at the Münich Olympics clearly too. But the accident with Princess Diana? Not a clue.
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:45
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I was on my way home from a night out in a taxi. The driver informed me that Diana was dead in France....I told him to pee off as it wasn't funny as so many theories of conspiracy were already floating around, plus there was no way I could deal with my mum with the monster hangover I was facing the next day. I woke up to BBC on loop, my mum acting like her best friend had died and complete shock that she had really passed.


I am not a big royalist but I always felt that Diana was dealt a bad hand and always felt sorry for her. Those poor boys.....
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:54
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I heard it on the radio in bed in our house in Belgium but as it was in French I thought I had misunderstood and went downstairs to tell hubby what I thought I'd heard.
We turned the TV on to the BBC and found out it was true. It was a weird kind of a Sunday after that.
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Old 31.08.2017, 09:54
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I was on holiday abroad. When I got back to England I thought the whole country had gone mad.

I don't think it ever recovered.
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Old 31.08.2017, 10:02
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

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I was doing when both John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were shot.
So do I. I was at an open window of a building near a grassy knoll in Dallas. But , hey, what's that black heli#####krkrkrkrkr
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Old 31.08.2017, 10:02
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

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I was on holiday abroad. When I got back to England I thought the whole country had gone mad.

I don't think it ever recovered.
The whole country has always been mad. It's what makes us British.
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Old 31.08.2017, 10:33
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I was in bed watching the grand prix..!

Maybe I'm heartless .. But I didn't know the woman, i didn't feel the least bit of grief. Just as i wouldn't feel grief for any other stranger who died.
I'm sure it was terrible for those who cared about her but not for me. I just did not and still don't understand the public displays of emotion.. It was like something you see in North Korea.

Was it an accident?
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Old 31.08.2017, 10:35
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

Passing through Paris in my white Fiat Uno.
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Old 31.08.2017, 10:41
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I was camping with friends and our parents were staying down the road in a B&B. They woke us up that morning, sticking their head into the tent ..."Morning, time to get-up, oh and Princess Di is dead".
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Old 31.08.2017, 10:44
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I was playing in a rugby 7s tournament in Bern when the news started to filter through. Had my mind on other things to be honest.
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Old 31.08.2017, 11:03
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

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I was in bed watching the grand prix..!

Maybe I'm heartless .. But I didn't know the woman, i didn't feel the least bit of grief. Just as i wouldn't feel grief for any other stranger who died.
I'm sure it was terrible for those who cared about her but not for me. I just did not and still don't understand the public displays of emotion.. It was like something you see in North Korea.

Was it an accident?
Well, I am heartless too then

Was living in London at the time and I couldn't get over the madness after she died. People's lives put on hold, holidays cancelled as more and more people flocked to London to cry. I was flabbergasted by the whole thing. I remember heartlessly thinking that the London florists had done extremely well as surely they must've sold out of flowers going by the amount laid at those gates.

Yes, sad thing for sure, a lamb to the slaughter her marriage into the Royal family etc. and I am sure she was a lovely lady and all that.. but..

Brilliant article here from Hilary Mantel 'The Princess Myth'
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Old 31.08.2017, 11:27
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

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Odd. Had I already been away from Britain too long?
I remember our headmistress at school telling us that King George VI had died. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when both John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were shot. I recall the first reports of World Trade centre and the massacre at the Münich Olympics clearly too. But the accident with Princess Diana? Not a clue.
I remember an exciteable English teacher coming into the classroom and telling us that the Berlin Wall had just fallen, and it was a wonderful day for Europe which we should all treasure.

As an 11 year old I do recall being pretty unimpressed with this news
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Old 31.08.2017, 11:32
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

As we are going off topic, I was on holiday in Torquay with my parents and sisters when man first landed on the moon.
All the guests in the hotel crowded around the TV in the hotel lounge to watch.
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Old 31.08.2017, 11:43
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

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As we are going off topic, I was on holiday in Torquay with my parents and sisters when man first landed on the moon.
All the guests in the hotel crowded around the TV in the hotel lounge to watch.
Its all 'on-topic', the title is 'Where were you when you heard the news'
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Old 31.08.2017, 11:50
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

Now, just who gives a flying fart. Why don't you Brits lay off the archaic, incestrual caste system for a minute and stop celebrating people who were born into royalty like they're someone special?
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Old 31.08.2017, 11:55
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Re: Where were you when you heard the news?

I was home in London making a hangover coffee for me and my ex wife when I turned the kitchen TV on. Even though I'm not an ardent royalist I remember feeling shocked and a bit sad, then angry as the news came in that the crash was caused as they were trying to escape the press.

I was glued to the TV and after about 2 hours my wife phoned me (we had a 3 story town house) and yelled at me "where's that bleedin' coffee!"

Years before I was a teenager doing my Sunday morning paper round and I saw the headlines "The King is Dead" I remember thinking that we don't have a king, so who died? I had never even heard of Elvis Presley.

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Now, just who gives a flying fart. Why don't you Brits lay off the archaic, incestrual caste system for a minute and stop celebrating people who were born into royalty like they're someone special?
To be fair, the biggest part of her appeal, and the grief from Joe public, came because she wasn't.
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