Friday, 31 August 2007

Aug 31st in London 10 Years Ago

It was 3am on Aug 31st 1997 in London when the office-cum-house(at 31 Chapel Side Moscow Road Bayswater, London W2 4LL) phone rang and at the other end was Sdr Farush Khan of New Straits Times, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, alerting me that Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed.

Farush apologised for waking me up but he said he had to do it on instruction from higher up. He knew how it like to be called in that hours as he, too, had served in the same office several years before my posting.

I was told to follow up the story but could not do it immediately as it was 3am and that the accident happened in Paris. In the morning, Sdr Karim Sulaiman of Berita Harian, who lived a floor above me, and I went to the Princess of Wales' Palace in Hyde Park, about five minutes walk from Bayswater.

Only about a dozen of flowers were placed at the iron grill of the gates at that time. Later in the evening, I returned to the Hyde Park, this time the flowers were almost covering the compound. In days to come before and after the funeral, there were sea of flowers everywhere. Such was the feelings of the people to Princess Diana on her passing.

Diana, The People's Princess, married Prince Charles in 1981. They had two sons, William and Harry. They divorced in 1996 after admissions of adultery on both sides. Prince Charles is now married with his former sweetheart Camilla.

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