Friends learn of Princess Diana's death in real-time in historic viral video

Friends learn of Princess Diana's death in real-time in historic viral video
Friends shocked to learn Princess Diana is dead (Historic 1997 video)

It's 26 years to the day since Diana, Princess of Wales, died following a car crash in Paris, France along with her partner Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul.

Diana was arguably the most famous woman in the world at the time and the level of devotion to her by the public will possibly never be seen again for a member of the Royal family.

The outpouring of grief in the weeks that followed her death was unlike anything the UK has ever seen and the response was similar elsewhere around the world.

One particular clip which sums this up is a now-viral video filmed by Alan Light who was playing cards with his friends in Iowa City, Iowa on that fateful night in 1997.

Light was testing out his new camcorder and while everyone is in a good mood at the start of the video one of the friends does mention that Diana had been gravely injured because of the crash.

They continue to play cards with CNN's coverage playing in the background.

However, the atmosphere soon changes a few minutes into the video when CNN announces that Diana has passed away causing them to be utterly shellshocked by the news.

Friends shocked to learn Princess Diana is dead (Historic 1997 video)

The rest of the near 7-minute video plays out with the friends quietly watching the coverage of the event on CNN.

The video has been viewed more than 10 million times on YouTube alone and is considered to be one of the first ever reaction videos, even though the men involved at the time weren't aware of that.

Since sharing the video in 2021, Light has been inundated with questions about why he was filming at that exact moment. He recently answered those queries in the comments section of the video.

He wrote: "I recorded this home video in 1997 the night Diana died and it sat in a box for many years. Why was I recording? I was trying out a new camcorder by recording friends playing the card game UNO. When my mom called me to say that Diana was in a car crash I turned on the TV, on silent, and we kept playing the game while monitoring the text on the bottom of the TV screen.

"When the screen text changed to "Diana dead" the true reality of the situation hit like a ton of bricks and we stopped playing UNO of course, and rushed over to the TV. This was recorded in America, in the state of Iowa. All of the guys in the video are still alive today (as of today, June 6, 2022).

"The guy who screams when he learns Diana has died is my friend Ken who still lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is his genuine reaction to the news of Diana's death. Some people call it a "Wilhelm scream." (Apparently that's a movie term). The guy who stifles a smile after Ken's scream is Scott (his brief smile was a reaction to Ken's loud silly scream, NOT to Diana's death).

"When CNN announced that Diana had died I didn't turn the camera back to the TV because my instinct was that it would be more interesting to capture my friends' reactions. Some people call this video the first of what are now called "reaction" videos, a term that didn't exist in 1997 (and neither did YouTube, which began in 2005)."

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