Nation bids farewell to Diana
Brother delivers scathing attack on media
September 6, 1997
Web posted at: 7:56 a.m. EDT (1156 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- Princess Diana's brother made a scathing attack on the media in his eulogy at her funeral Saturday at Westminster Abbey, where the royal and Spencer families gathered as millions worldwide watched on television.
Diana's younger brother Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, condemned the media and the paparazzi that trailed her until the last night of her life, and pledged to protect her sons from such intrusion.
"I don't think she ever understood why her genuinely good
intentions were sneered at by the media, why there appeared to be a permanent quest on their behalf to bring her down. It is baffling," Spencer said with evident bitterness.
A L S O :
Text of funeral oration by 9th Earl Spencer
Princess Diana's coffin is taken to family estate
Mourning Princess Diana: A Photo Gallery
Britain grieves as procession passes
The Funeral Procession of Princess Diana: A Photo Gallery
"My own and only explanation is that genuine goodness is
threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.
"It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about
Diana, perhaps the greatest was this: a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age," he said.
His comments drew long and loud applause inside the venerable Abbey as well as outside, where hundreds of thousands of people listened to the service and watched on huge screens.
The service began as the coffin entered the Abbey through the Great West Door. The congregation sang the national anthem, popularly known as "God Save the Queen."
The coffin, draped in the Royal Standard, was carried up the center aisle, and a program of hymns, prayers and readings followed. The service combined Anglican traditionalism and British modernity, in an attempt to honor Diana's personality and outlook.
The service included readings by the princess's eldest sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and elder sister Lady Jane Fellowes. British Prime Minister Tony Blair read 1 Corinthians 13, a chapter of the New Testament about the qualities of unselfish love.
Elton John performed a special arrangement of his song "Candle In The Wind." The lyrics were reworked to honor Diana, referring to her as "England's rose."
The hour-long program ended with a national moment of silence. The cortege then left the Abbey to the sound of half-muffled bells, beginning a public procession to the Spencer family estate in Northamptonshire for private interment.
That Diana's funeral was held at Westminster Abbey, the site for centuries of royal coronations, weddings and funerals, was a significant gesture by the royal family. It acknowledged her importance to Britain as the mother of the future heir to the throne, Prince William.
The services were televised live, and people in London were able to watch on large screens set up expressly for the day in the centrally located Hyde Park and Regent's Park. Members of the crowds, some clutching flowers and tissues, wiped away tears as they listened, standing in the sun.
Buckingham Palace invited 2,000 guests. Because Diana was not being given a state funeral, the list did not include official delegations but did include friends, members of her personal staff and representatives of some of her favorite charities.
Among those in attendance were entertainers including Sting, Tom Hanks, Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross, Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman, and director Steven Spielberg.
Dignitaries attending included U.S. first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Also in attendance were Mohamed Al Fayed and his wife, the parents of Dodi Fayed, Diana's new love who was killed with her in the car crash in Paris last weekend.