Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Goodbye England’s Rose

Goodbye England's Rose

Goodbye England's Rose

Title: Candle in the Wind
Artist: Elton John

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Goodbye England’s rose, may you ever grow in our hearts; you were the grace that placed itself, where lives were torn apart.

– taken from the first four lines of the lyrics to the song Candle in the Wind 1997 by Elton John, performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. Although Elton John continued to play the 1973 version (dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, as signified by the first line ‘Goodbye Norma Jean‘, the real name of the late actress/model), even in the subsequent memorial services for the princess. He vowed never to play the 1997 version again unless spefically requested by her two sons.

I could still remember it was a night spent at my dad’s best friend’s house – I’ll refer to him as M. I can still vividly recall the scene where M’s kids, my brother and I were crowding around the tiny TV set on the staircase landing on the second floor, bedazzled by the Malaysian Independence Day celebration parade and the fireworks display.

Mom hastily ran up the floor. M shouted from the kitchen below. Switch to CNN! Now!

Gone were the extravagant display of Malaysian enthusiasm. One of the first few images I remembered seeing on CNN was the entrance of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel where the fatal accident took place. Flashing lights screaming in the darkness of the night, ambulance sirens wailing in the distance. A crowd gathered. Then CNN cut to the camera closest to Diana’s wreckage. A mangled piece of metal. I don’t remember seeing any badly mangled body.

The angry red news ticket at the bottom of the screen striked a strong contrast with the piano black wreckage of the car. The reporter spoke hastily into the microphone, close to hyperventilating. Then came a slurry of switching back and forth between the news anchor and the reporters – I wondered why didn’t they have picture in picture back then.

Then came the bomb. Princess Diana is dead.

Fast forwarding to the mornings after the accident, her news dominated the frontpages of our national papers. Her smiles, her philantrophic acts, her fashion sense, her companion, her relationship with Prince Charles, conspiracy theories, all mashed up and miserably squeezed into the limit spaces of the crumpled daily.

I remembered an angry article criticizing the lack of compassion shown by the royals – the Royal Standard was not flown at half-mast. They said it was some absurd royal protocol that they had to follow. That ticked off the 7-year-old me. Screw protocols, I bickered.

Later in the years I grew up, I began reading more about Diana and her past – more importantly, her acts of philantrophy and love, soldered that loving smile of hers into everyone’s heart. Even up till today – 12 years after her unfortunate death – that I still remember her as a fine lady. A people’s queen.

Goodbye, England’s rose.

p/s: Regarding the design of the poster, I will cover that on another day. In short, it’s a grid-based design.

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