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A spontaneous three-mile procession solemnly walked from San Francisco’s Castro District to the British Consulate’s Sansome Street offices on the evening of September 5, 1997 to honor Princess Diana.

The memorial had been organized initially by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and grew to include 14-thousand mourners as the march moved down Market Street in the direction of the Ferry Building. The memorial was headed by a truck laden with floral arrangements and a large photograph of the late princess of Wales.

The thousands of mourners crowded into Sansome Street to hear British Vice Consul Kevin Cook say that the memorial “testified to the deep affection with which the princess was held. We are extremely grateful for the warmth of your response. It has stunned us all. It is a comfort to know that our grief is shared.”

The world, and San Francisco, shared the grief of the British people as news of her death was broadcast on radio and television. Most watched on television, but some listened to the breaking news directly from London by BBC World Service, heard clearly along with West Coast of the United States during the evening hours. Those broadcasts were monitored by the Museum.

This is an 11-minute RealAudio (RA) recording of the BBC World Service at 0700 GMT (RA), August 31, 1997, shortly after the announcement of the death of Princess Diana. It is how much of the world learned of her death. The presenter is John Stone of the BBC’s World Service.

This bulletin of world news was immediately followed by a live 28-minute special broadcast (RA) about the death of Princess Diana compared, or hosted, by Robin Lustig.

The bulletin of BBC World Service news reflects the initial shock of the events in Paris, and the growing realization of the enormity of the death of Princess Diana. These BBC broadcasts are now history, as transmitted from Bush House, London.

The Queen also contributed to broadcast history with her address, September 5, (RA) to the people of the Empire about the death of Princess Diana. The address was broadcast from Buckingham Palace. Behind the Queen could be heard the throngs of mourners near the palace gates.

Here is the text of the Queen’s remarks, as issued by Buckingham Palace:

“Since last Sunday’s dreadful news we have seen, throughout Britain and around the world, an overwhelming expression of sadness at Diana’s death.

“We have all been trying in our different ways to cope. It is not easy to express a sense of loss, since the initial shock is often succeeded by a mixture of other feelings: disbelief, incomprehension, anger –and concern for those who remain. We have all felt those emotions in these last few days. So what I say to you now, as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart.

“First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her – for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys. This week at Balmoral, we have all been trying to help William and Harry come to terms with the loss that they and the rest of us have suffered.

“No one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never even met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determination to cherish her memory.

“This is also an opportunity for me, on behalf of my family, and especially Prince Charles and William and Harry, to thank all of you who have paid your respects in so many ways to a remarkable person. These have been a huge source of help and comfort.

“Our thoughts are also with Diana’s family and the families of those who died with her. I know that they too have drawn strength from what has happened since last weekend, as they seek to heal their sorrow and then to face the future without a loved one.

“I hope that tomorrow we can all, wherever we are, join in expressing our grief at Diana’s loss, and gratitude for her all-too-short life. It is a chance to show to the world the British nation united in grief and respect. May those who died rest in peace and may we, each and every one of us, thank God for someone who made many, many people happy.”

Saturday morning, the funeral procession left Kensington Palace, as heard on BBC World Service, (RA) for services at Westminster Abbey. The cortege passed through the almost silent streets of central London and on to Buckingham Palace, where the Queen, Princess Margaret, Anne the Princess Royal, and other members of the Royal Family assembled on the street to watch the cortege pass. A few minutes later, the Prince of Wales, and princes William and Harry, the duke of Edinburgh, and the Earl Spencer fell in, and walked behind the the gun carriage. Jane Garvey of the BBC described the scene. (RA)

The gun carriage carrying the coffin of Diana, princess of Wales, arrived at Westminster Abbey, was carried inside and placed upon a catafalque (RA) as services began. RealAudio is required to hear these broadcasts, and please note that there may be some static and shortwave fade during playback.

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