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NC Travelers Have Mixed Emotions on Their Way to London

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An awaiting passenger reads a special edition of Time Magazine dedicated to Princess Diana.
RALEIGH — Diana's death is still on the minds of most people here in North Carolina. Those traveling to London are unsure of what to expect once they get there.

London is a city with lots of narrow roads, many of them originally builtfor medieval oxcarts. Crowds are massive on normal days, and sure to beworse this weekend. North Carolinians headed to Britain say they'll mournfor the Princess, but try not to let her funeral overshadow their trips.

At RDU International, passengers couldn't help but think of the fallenprincess as American Airlines flight 174 began boarding for London'sGatwick Airport.

Most of the travelers had planned their trips well in advance and notbecause of the weekend's impending funeral. Still, with an estimated onemillion mourners expected in the London area Saturday, they know theservice will have an impact on their plans.

Robert McAlhany plans to steer clear of the funeral as best he can.

At the state capitol building in Raleigh, mourners lined up to sign a condolencebook set up by local members of the Daughters of the British Empire. Theyplan to send the book to Princess Diana's sons.

For many Tarheels here, putting pen to paper was an emotional experience.

"There's nobody here with her poise and grace," says Princess Dianaadmirer, Leigh Lawrence. "It'll be years, if ever, that there's somebodylike her again."

With few exceptions, the death of Princess Diana has left an emotionalmark. For those planning vacations in the United Kingdom, those markswill likely mean a somber getaway.

McAlhany wishes he could have rescheduled the trip. He doesn'tbelieve it's going to be a very pleasant and good atmosphere over therenow because of the unfortunate situation.

A local memorial for the Princess of Wales is planned for 2:00 p.m. thisSunday afternoon on the steps of the state capitol. The Daughters of theBritish Empire and the British-American Business Council have organizedit.

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