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British-Born Americans Feel Incredible Sense of Loss

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RALEIGH — The subject of Diana's death has been on just about everyone's lips sincethis weekend's tragic accident. Here in the Triangle, talk of the Princessfilled airwaves.

For Americans, the death of a princess has struck a chord. But for thoseof British birth, it has roused an entire symphony of emotion.

"She was so young and beautiful and a natural person," said Angela Lewis,former British subject.

"She bridged the gap between the royalty and the commoner, and you couldsee her warmth," said Eileen Brown, former British subject.

Though they've lived in America more than 20 years, news of Diana's deathcame as a shock to Lewis and Brown. Both are members of the Daughters ofthe British Empire, a national service organization of more than 5000Britons now living in the states who have close ties to their homeland.

The local chapter has prepared a condolence book for North Caroliniansto sign. They're putting it in the state capitol until next Monday andthen plan to send it to Buckingham Palace in the hope it will comfortDiana's family, especially her sons.

"It is like losing a relative," said Eric Platt, former British subject. "In that sense, Diana, when she became a royal, became part of the family."

Platt's wife is the group's national president.

Brown and Lewis said they were shocked when they heard the news, and thatBritons and Americans alike will remember what happened.

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