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Poll: Has the death of a high-profile person ever reduced you to tears?

We want to hear from you.

I WAS TEN when Princess Diana died. In fact, she is the first high-profile person whose death I vividly recall.

Tribute to Princess Diana Source: PA Archive/PA Images

My mother woke me up on the morning of August 31 1997, and told me. I still remember her gentle delivery, and how it felt like I was being informed of a death closer to the family than reality dictated.

I remember the public outpouring of grief evidenced on TV and newspapers in the days that followed her untimely passing, while footage of people openly sobbing in the streets and shakily placing bouquets of flowers outside Buckingham Palace are still etched in my mind.

At ten, I understood it was a tragic event, but I couldn’t quite relate to summoning tears for a person you had never met – a person as far removed from your own reality as you’re likely to get.

And then I watched her funeral. And then I cried.

I remember putting myself in her sons’ position – Harry being just two years older than me – and marvelling at the composure they displayed as they followed their mother’s hearse in the glare of global media spotlight.

Royal Baby Source: PA Wire/PA Images

At this stage we all know that the public response to Diana’s passing was a distinct departure from the norm, and it ultimately gave way to a more impassioned outpouring of public grief in the wake of other high-profile deaths in the years that have followed.

Social media has undoubtedly contributed to that over the last decade, with members of the public using their platform to express their grief and pay their respects, and, as such, it’s not unusual to see and hear of tears in the wake of a death in the public eye.

Indeed, in the last decade, the passing of Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, George Michael, and Prince to name but a few have born witness to public outpourings of grief.

But what about you? Have you ever shed tears upon hearing that a high-profile person has passed away?


Poll Results:

I've felt shocked and sad, but haven't actually shed a tear. (869)
I have actually cried when I've been a big fan. (739)
What? No! I don't know them. (367)



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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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