A VOA Snapshot - Part of the continuing coverage in this, VOA's 60th Anniversary
The news stunned the world: on Sunday, August 31, 1997, Princess Diana of Britain was killed in a car accident. Six days later, her funeral was broadcast live on television and radio around the world, on many networks, including VOA.
The Voice of America often broadcasts events live: presidential addresses, political conventions and, sometimes, state funerals. But rarely does VOA broadcast the funeral of a foreign dignitary like Princess Diana.
"If there is one thing that the British do very well, it's ceremony. And it was really a very, very impressive and touching, touching ceremony," VOA News Director Andre DeNesnera said.
Mr. DeNesnera was the VOA correspondent in London at the time of Diana's death. He was one of a team of VOA reporters who described the funeral as it unfolded. He said covering the funeral was a special challenge.
"On the one hand, you present the solemnity of the occasion and at the same time try to express to the listener everything that led up to this funeral," he said.
"It's been an unbelievable day here in London. The outpouring of public grief was enormous as the coffin left Kensington Palace. You could hear mourners just crying, weeping, throwing flowers onto the casket…"
VOA correspondent Andre DeNesnera said he met Princess Diana just a few months before her death. He said he saw first-hand the gentle charisma that made her "the People's Princess" and led VOA managers to decide to broadcast her funeral live.
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