This piece is Written by Val Fish another of our very talented prize-winning authors.
This was written for a challenge to imagine yourself at a famous event in history.
In my case, I didn’t need to imagine, I was there…
I woke up around six am, after for the first time in my life sleeping on the pavement.
It was the 6th September 2007, the day etched in history when the whole world said a sad goodbye to Princess Diana.
A friend and I had come down the night before and as we walked down the Mall that evening I remember the sweet fragrance permeating from the thousands of flowers laid along the route.
We’d managed to nab a prime spot right in front of the railings. As the clock ticked on that morning, the mood amongst the crowd began to change, I think we were all still in disbelief as to what we were about to witness.
The realisation hit us when we heard the sound of approaching horses’ hooves, that’s when the wailing started.
The sight of that cortege will stay with me forever, the bouquet of lilies on the coffin, the boys with their heads bowed. I remember thinking ‘We shouldn’t be there, this should be private, that’s their mother.’
It was impossible not to cry…
The service was relayed on a loud speaker; the crying now was more subdued, and as the choir began to sing ‘Libera Me’ from Verdi’s Requiem, I thought it was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.
And then it was over and once again the cortege passed us, this time the coffin in a car, and everybody was throwing flowers.
And then she was gone…
I felt almost honoured to have been there that day; I was one in a million.
I was part of history.