I was 12, yo! And I was tidying my room with my dad. My cousin who was living with us at the time, rushed in and went: "The princess is dead!" We thought he was joking, but turned on the TV in curiosity, and there were lots of images outside the French Hospital and Kensington Palace of people laying flowers.
Even back then I was a bit obsessed with history and the Royal family. But I wasn't in the least bit sad. Even aged 12 I didn't do many emotions. I thought it was bad for her sons.
Nobody seems to remember the amount of bad press she was having in the UK at the time, for her string of men. But I totally remember it because it was around this time that I'd started reading the newspapers religiously. The UK tabloids are cruel at the best of times, and they were all over her, slating her frolicking on the beach with a Muslim (which at the time was pretty shocking stuff even if it was only 11 years ago!) and for stealing Will Carling from his wife.
On the day she died I remember reading the Sunday Mirror. It came with a free magazine which had been published the week before in anticipation for its Sunday release. Of course it wouldn't have known she was going to die on Sunday, so it was full of catty comments and pictures of her on a boat with Dodi AlFayed. One was even having a go at her weight!!!
I think our newsagent should have taken it out of the paper when the news broke that she had died. I imagine the people at the Sunday Mirror would have demanded it, they probably did, as nobody else seems to have seen this magazine released on the day she was killed! But our newsagent either forget or didn't care, because there it was, left in the centre of the newspaper, completely contrasting with verything the newspaper said that day. Criticising her life had turned into lamenting her death in the blink of an eye. The same thing hapenned the second Jade Goody fell sick. So Diana's death was probably my first realisation of how fickle the British press and therefore the British people can be.
About 2 days after she died, my dad took us to lay flowers at Kensington Palace. It was crazy. Mostly full of Americans, crying. I've never seen so many flowers in all my life. They were about 200 deep, and 10 foot high. I watched the funeral on TV with my nan. She cried a bit. I'd never seen her cry before or since, and I honestly thought "Seriously!? You didn't know her! WHY are you crying?" London was insane that day. I don't think it has been so busy since, yo!