September 6, 1997. A estimated television audience of more than two billion people worldwide watch the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in London. She had died along with her partner Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul in a car accident in Paris seven days earlier. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of London to watch the coffin carrying Diana being driven from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey. Figures from many walks of life were invited to the ceremony in the Abbey, from heads of state and government such as Nelson Mandela and Juan Carlos I of Spain, to singers and actors including Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and George Michael. During the ceremony Elton John sang a specially-written cover version of his 1973 song ‘Candle in the Wind’. After the service Diana’s body was driven to the grounds of her family estate in Althorp, Northamptonshire where she was given a private burial.
Also on September 6: Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England to begin settling in North America (1628); US president William McKinley is shot and fatally wounded in New York (1901); the architect of apartheid in South Africa, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd is assassinated in Cape Town (1966); independence of Swaziland (1968).
Born on September 6: Roger Waters (1943), Jose Socrates (1957), Macy Gray (1967), Dolores O’Riordan (1971).