Do you remember where you were this day in 1997?

Born Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961, Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons and later divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash after trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris ………

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I am not sure if other people remember historic moments and where they were and what they were doing.

Kennith and I were up in Bloemfontein for a dog show.  Dog shows normally start at 08h00, which means you are up before 06h00, to pack, walk the dog, and get to the ground before 07h00.

I was walking our Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Willy (Int Ch and SA Ch Timanlee Wicked Willy of Anfield) on this grass patch.  It was cold, not freezing, and Willy had just taken off to run after birds.  The fact that he is a white dog, and running through mud was not lost on me.

I was sprinting — I am sure it looked like running in slow motion, but to me it felt like I was travelling at the speed of light — I heard Kennith calling me from the guest house — I could not hear him, but based on his volume I took it the entire guest house was now awake.

He ran out to tell me that they had just reported on the news that Diana, Princess of Wales had died.  We sat and watched the footage on Sunday morning, 31 August 1997.

Our friend, who we were sharing the room with, Tim, woke up and saw the news.  Tim being Tim commented that he was deeply saddened as he always felt he had a chance with Diana.

I guess we all cope with sadness in different ways.

The day at the dog show was busy as they are — but people were still talking about Princess Diana and her death.  Initially there was not a lot of information, but tons of speculation.

We returned to Cape Town later the same day and the week that followed could only be described as the collective world crying.

I recall watching it on television and basically sitting there sobbing — not the pretty kind where a tear falls out of the edge of your eye and runs down your cheek in a designer line.  No, mine was more snot bubbles and retching with tears.  Your nose red and raw ….. your eye looking much like sheep’s vaginas.  You know that look.

Every day it got worse, as I still was not finished crying from the day before —- and it seemed everyone was crying.  Life just came to a stand still — you were either talking about her, her death, her boys and the flowers outside the palace or you were crying in unison.

There was telephonic coverage across Sky, the BBC and CNN 24 hours a day -and it just did not stop being sad.

The funeral on the 6 September 1997 was a full day of crying.   Her brother’s eulogy made everyone cry the little bit of salt and liquid they may have held in their body.  Elton John’s tribute was literally the final straw ….. if you were not already hysterical with the pain of it all, then that sent you off into the oblivion.

No matter what you may think of feel about her actions – she was a mother, and she left her two children without her love and protection.  I still find thinking about her and how she died left an almost permanent impression on me.

It is hard to grasp that was 18 years ago.

And this woman touched us all in such a profound manner.

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8 Comments

  1. Alexandra

     /  September 2, 2015

    I was camping out with friends. On the Sunday morning we were joined by some friends for a day hike. At first I thought they were playing a sick joke on us. I could not comprehend that she could be dead. I think the reality only sunk in once I saw the newspapers. Only got to a television much later.

    P.S. oy vey sheep’s vaginas!!!

    Reply
  2. Diana visited Zimbabwe when my son was a couple of months old. She was on a walkabout and stopped when she saw him and gently touched his head and said ‘What an angel” when she was told that he hadn’t cried in the 2 hours that we had waited to see her. Such a beautiful soul gone too soon! When she died we were watching a gardening show on SABC. It felt like I had lost a very close friend. I sobbed for days!

    Reply
  3. Mischelle

     /  August 31, 2015

    Will never forget. I was still flying for SAA as a hostie. We had flown into Paris the previous evening. Next thing my flying partner burst into room, waking me and switched on telly. I sobbed my heart out. Paris felt very odd that day and returning back to aircraft that evening we had to detour the tunnel. It was a very somber flight home.

    Reply
  4. I remember! A friend reminded me the other day that she was only 37. So sad.

    Reply
  5. Lara

     /  August 31, 2015

    My daughter was born a few days before it happened. I was in private room in the hospital (they had no rooms left so they gave me this one at the same rate) and as it had a tv the nurses and staff kept popping in to watch the news. Everyone was in a state of shock.

    Reply
  6. lol, next time I have to have a good snot and trane about something (sad movie/wine finished/husband pissed me off)..all I’m going to be able to think about is a sheeps vagina. How bizarre.

    Back to the topic- I remember the day clearly- I still get a lump at the tragedy and sadness of it all.

    First comment but avid fan!🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Shirley —- I have no idea what sheep’s vaginas look like, but I always seem to tag them to things red, swollen and sore …. I am sure there is a therapy session in there somewhere.

      Reply

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