Local News

British-Born Americans Feel Incredible Sense of Loss

Posted September 1, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The subject of Diana's death has been on just about everyone's lips since this weekend's tragic accident. Here in the Triangle, talk of the Princess filled airwaves.

For Americans, the death of a princess has struck a chord. But for those of 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 could see her warmth," said Eileen Brown, former British subject.

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

The local chapter has prepared a condolence book for North Carolinians to sign. They're putting it in the state capitol until next Monday and then plan to send it to Buckingham Palace in the hope it will comfort Diana'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 that Britons and Americans alike will remember what happened.