People Are Sharing Stories Of Where They Were When They Learned Of Princess Diana's Death
It’s hard to believe that today marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. Many still remember exactly where they were when the news of the car crash in that Paris tunnel broke — and as all the people tweeting about where they were when they heard Diana had died can attest, her impact is still felt profoundly all over the world today.
Like many, I also vividly remember where I was when I heard the news. I was 12 years old, and my family and I had been watching a movie; when we turned off the movie — a DVD, I believe; we got our first DVD player around that time — the TV was full of reports of Diana’s death on practically every channel. It didn’t quite seem real; Diana and Prince Charles had gotten married about four years before I was born, so they’d been a fixture of the cultural landscape for my entire life. Although they’d announced their initial separation when I was 7 and divorced several years later, I still couldn’t wrap my brain around the idea of a world where Lady Di didn’t exist.
At the time, I didn’t quite realize the enormity of the event, largely because I wasn’t yet in tune with how beloved Diana had been by so many people. It’s true that she wasn’t perfect; she did, however, do a huge amount of good, and she gave a lot of hope to a lot of people. She was relatable — a real-life Cinderella — and even after the end of her marriage to Charles, she continued the work she had been doing, as well as taking control of her own narrative.
That’s what all of these stories of where people were when they heard she had passed had in common: They each reflect exactly how much impact one person can have on another, even if they’ve never met. And they reflect how that impact can continue after someone is no longer with us — perhaps reminding us of the lessons we can learn from them long after they’re gone.
Where were you when you heard the news?
I woke up to some somber music on the radio and thought this is strange and then it was announced never will forget— #joanne ❤️💙 (@jojoembleton) August 31, 2017
A lot of stories involve the radio; many people were in their cars or getting ready for the day when they heard the news.
I'd just got off a flight from US & turned on the car radio & was completely confused as to why they were talking about Diana in past tense— Peter Everett (@pne1204) August 31, 2017
The confusion is understandable.
3Stuck In Traffic
I was stuck on the Golden Gate Bridge in a huge traffic jam. Heading from San Francisco to Sonoma county. I heard it on radio. Devastated.— Moneca Neary (@Moneca_Neary) August 31, 2017
4The Start Of The School Year
Twenty years ago I remember finding out about Princess Diana's death. Was about to start 6th form then; seems like a long time ago now— Votey🇬🇧McVoteleave (@mcvoteleave) August 31, 2017
Kids were just as struck by the news as adults were.
I was in my room sneaking & watching MTV. This was the video playing when the alert about Diana popped up. https://t.co/tsX3nSS8Kq— Paige Lavender (@paigelav) August 31, 2017
The details can be unforgettable.
6During A Trip
I was in a hotel in with my girlfriend, she told me Diana had died. I remember it like it happened a week ago. A tragic loss. #Diana20— Guido (@PourMyWine) August 31, 2017
For many, the memories are still fresh.
I was a hungover student. I thought it was a satirical news show when I put the TV on. Couldn't get my head around it at all #Diana20— Babs (@babshobbs) August 31, 2017
I wasn't the only one stuck in the mindset that it couldn't possibly be real; it was a common reaction.
8When It Hits Close To Home
I was in Toronto midnight when I heard the news, I phoned my family in UK we were crying I just wanted to go home 🇬🇧— Diana (@dianadb747) August 31, 2017
One of the bittersweet aspects of tragedies is how they bring people together, even when they're at a distance.
9On The Phone
I watched all of this sobbing on the phone with my mom. Was at a friends house. Senior year in high school. https://t.co/GW9NiL4kr3— Amanda Barren (@amandabarren) August 31, 2017
Sometimes, you just need your mom.
10Change The Channel
I remember watching Nickelodeon and being told to change to the news. Didn't expect to hear Princess Diana has died #PrincessDiana— Mimi 🖤 (@MinaDtweets) August 31, 2017
Childhood memories can prove to be lasting.
11A Call From The Boss
I'd been out on the town and my boss called me saying Diana had been in a car crash - I thought he was joking— nathanking (@nathanking) August 31, 2017
It's interesting to me how, when something happens that we can't quite process, our impulse much of the time is to think it's a joke.
12Up All Night
I was home watching a SNL rerun when NBC broke in with the news about Diana. I stayed up until about 2-3am when the announcement was made.— Jennings Starcher (@Zeke7998) August 31, 2017
I think this may have been what a lot of adults did that night, depending on the time zones they were in.
13An Old Flame
we were up all night watching the coverage and I’m certain that event is the only reason I remember his apartment in such detail to this day— John Anthony (@chocobohomo) August 31, 2017
Shocking news can inspire strange memories.
14At A Game
I was at a #BoiseState football game, when it was announced that Princess Diana had died.— Dave #25A (@desertdave2012) August 31, 2017
That must have had quite an affect on the crowd.
15Only A Child
She didn't believe me until she saw it for herself. Probably because I was 5 years old and it was so sudden and unexpected. #Diana20— Nicola ☾ (@platinumbl0ndie) August 31, 2017
This Twitter user was only 5 years old when it happened, but she remembers vividly where she was. Her full thread starts here.
16When The Sadness Travels With You
Yes I remember clearly. It was the day we immigrated to Australia. I cried all the way across the world. 😢— ❣ Jane Maynowski ⚖ (@JustJane59) August 31, 2017
I learned of Diana's death in a hotel in Denver. We were both 36; I was in shock. Watched tv all nite despite 2 kids sleeping in same room.— Laura (@PaulKerseyFan) August 31, 2017
Some things are too important to miss.
My ex rang me at 3am & told me to put tv on. I rang my Mum in tears & said "Diana's dead". My Mum said "Diana who"? We were both in shock— Michelle Bennett (@shellbennett) August 31, 2017
When your brain just can't fathom what just happened.
19In Boot Camp
I was in Marine Corps boot camp when this took place. 20 yrs. ago. Hard to believe it's been that long.— Matthew D. Adkins (@madkins79) August 31, 2017
Hard to believe, indeed.