This gesture caused goosebumps on the day she died
When the body of Princess Diana arrived in London 24 years ago, the mourners experienced a special moment.
It is August 31, 1997. People all over the world are stunned and deeply sad: Diana, Princess of Wales, died after a car accident at the age of 36 in the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière in Paris. Paul Burrell is someone who immediately sets off for the Seine by plane from London after receiving this message. He is Diana’s co-worker and close confidante. At this point in time, he had already worked for the royal family for 21 years, ten of them specifically for Diana.
The princess is dead
On arrival at the destination, the butler is received by the British ambassador. Together they drive to the hospital, where Burrell is allowed to see the lifeless Diana. A moment that he can hardly bear. Although she was a “dismayed sight”, he wanted to hug her, he writes in his book “In the service of my queen”. In the afternoon, Prince Charles and Diana’s sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale arrive. The women fall into Burrell’s arms, cry. The Prince of Wales is also visibly affected. “He came up to me and the grief we both felt needed no words,” says Paul Burrell, describing the situation.
That same day at 6 p.m., Queen Elizabeth’s former lackey boarded a special British Airways flight with Charles and the Spencer sisters to take the deceased home. The plane lands at Northolt Air Force Base. From there, the coffin with the body is taken to a funeral home in the capital, 111 kilometers away. Something touching happens on the journey.
Drivers pay homage to Princess Diana
“The three cars of our funeral procession left the airport and drove onto the four-lane A40, which was supposed to bring us into central London,” notes Burrell in his book of the journey and says: “A truly stunning sight tore me from my gloomy brooding As we continued our journey, other cars braked and stopped. All drivers in both directions stopped on one of the busiest access roads into the capital, turned off the engines, got out and stood with their heads bowed next to their vehicles. People lined up Pedestrian crossings and throwing flowers on the pavement. “
A sight that Paul Burrell will not forget for the rest of his life.
Source used: “In the service of my queen” by Paul Burrell, published in 2004 by Knaur Taschenbuch Verlag