News regarding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in an accident in Paris on August 31, 1997. News reports from the BBC World Service.
August 31, 2011

Paris: A little after Midnight, August 31, 1997.

When news first broke there had been an accident in Paris shortly after midnight on August 31, 1997 and it involved the former Princess Diana, it was sketchy and vague at first.

The BBC World service, in their typical cool-bordering-on-icy delivery, made it sound as if there had been a minor traffic accident and it was no big deal; just a few slight injuries all around.

But as time went by the news reports became more and more frequent, the news of the accident occupied a larger spot on the hourly news and half-hourly bulletins. And within an hour the news finally reported that Diana had in fact died.

It was still early in the morning in the UK when the news initially broke, and so the full impact wouldn't be felt for several hours in Europe. The news outlets in the States were already gearing up so by the time news did reach the British public, it was a full-on, non-stop, wall-to-wall news event and would stay that way the better part of three days.

In case you forgot (it was fourteen years ago), or have vague memories of what turned out to be a major outpouring of sympathy, here are the first reports, shortly after the Midnight news followed by a later report when it was learned she had died. All from the BBC World Service on August 31, 1997.

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