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Dianna's Funeral

The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was the largest UK news story ever. One cuttings library later estimated that 35% of the pages put out by British Newspapers was coverage of Diana. This compares with a maximum of around 25% for other major news stories this century such as VE day and D-Day. Most newspapers were selling 25% to 50% above their normal circulations during the week from her death to the funeral. 'Hello' magazine doubled its circulation so the public were obviously keen to pay into the paparazzi pension fund.

The Evening Standard is a weekday afternoon London paper but decided to run a special on the Saturday of her funeral. Five editions were planned to very tight deadlines so people could read about events shortly after they happened. All profits from this publication went to the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund.

I was on the team of half a dozen photographers that worked a 20 hour shift throught the night and day of her funeral. My pictures were used extensively in the Standard and the next day by the Mail on Sunday (a two million circulation mid-market Sunday paper).

One advantage for photographers was by the time of the funeral everyone had run out of words so they started using pictures much larger than they would do normally. The difficlty was the tough deadlines for each edition. I got the last picture on this page (of the hearse leaving London) into the paper with only a few minutes to spare for this final edition. It was on the streets a couple of hours later as people were going home.

Reproduced courtesy the London Evening Standard and The Mail on Sunday.

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