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Princess-Diana.com  > Mourning  >  Queens speech for Di  >  Slideshow
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It was Sunday, 31st August 1997. The Queen. her husband Prince Philip, Charles, and the children William and Harry were spending a few days in Scotland at Balmoral Castle. During the night Charles learnt about his ex-wife's terrible accident. He stayed awake for the rest of the night to find out how Diana was. As Prince Charles was informed of the tragic death of his former wife he fell into shock and could hardly speak a word. He went at once to his mother's chambers and told her the terrible news. Queen Elizabeth was also completely at a loss. Charles returned to his bedroom. He wanted to be completely alone for one moment. Then the most difficult job of his life stood in front of him: He had to wake his sons and tell them that their beloved mother was dead. William and Harry were still half-asleep as their father told them the gruesome truth. It took quite a while until they could understand what he was talking about. Whilst he was doing this more and more lights were being turned on in the castle. The Queen's Private Secretary rang his colleagues in Buckingham Palace and got them out of bed, as much had to be organised.


Charles and his sons.The fact that the royal family drove - with the children of Charles and Diana - to the normal service seemed a little strange. Diana's name wasn't even mentioned. The children, which hadn't even really understood the death of the mother, had to bear the onlookers and the many press phtographers. Nobody can anticipate which feelings the children of the dead mother had to bear.


Flowers for Diana.In the meantime the whole world was shocked. Mourning citizens went to Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace and laid down flowers. In the course of one week until the burial the courtyards turned into true seas of flowers with over a million of them being laid there. Yes, all over the world one could see crying faces. On the television one could see live reports from the Parisian tunnel. TV and radio programmes were postponed - the world cried over Diana.


Also on the same morning Prince Charles flew to Paris with Diana's two sisters Sarah and Jane. They wanted to bring the Princess of Wales' corpse back home. Diana was laid out in the hospital, her beautiful body was covered with a simple Prince Charles the airport.silk sheet. Her hands were folden, a white rose lay on them. Two large candles brought light to the bare room. Charles, Jane and Sarah had tears in their eyes as they glanced at Diana for one last time. Then they joined hands and said a quiet prayer. An undertaker came with a heavy oak coffin, the Princess was laid on soft silk pillows. The Windsor family flag was draped over the coffin, and soldiers carried it out with great dignity.
The Princess, who was only allowed to live to be 36 years old, flew back on her very" 'last flight." 
In London the bodily remains were laid in St. James' Palace. Countless mourning people wrote messages in the books of condolence left out there.


That morning Diana's brother made a speech in which he accused the Paparazi of being guilty for the death of his sister. On the day of death, Sunday, the Queen and her husband drove to morning service - Diana's name was not mentioned once. Whilst the population openly showed their sadness over the death of Diana, the Queen, Charles and the children remained at Balmoral. That made the people feel very angry against their queen. She should also show her participation in the general mourning. The newspapers became ever more severe: "Ma'am, have you no heart?" stated the headlines. Besides this it was still completely uncertain as to how the burial would operate. The Queen didn't want to honour her former daughter-in-law with a state burial, after all, after the divorce she was no longer a member of the Royal Family. Yet as the public pressure grew ever stronger, she admitted that there would be a unique ceremony for a remarkable woman. the Queen was also under pressure from the people to lower the palace flag to half-mast, something which she reluctantly did after a few days.


On Friday, a day before the funeral, the Royal Family returned to London and viewed the sea of flowers surrounding Kensington Palace. Diana's sons appeared quite collected and also spoke to the people, exactly like their mother would have done. Yet how it looked behind the facade is anyone's guess.


On the same evening the Queen of England gave the long-awaited televised speech about the death of Diana. At this point I must mention that the Queen had wanted to keep to regulations which had been set a long, long time previously. On Saturday, 6th September 1997 a quite majestic, very dignified funeral took place, which came very close to resembling a pompous state burial.


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