Where was I when I first found out?
At my mum's house, in Hitchin, Herts. I'd gone there for the weekend to help her with the garden, but the news from Paris put paid to that. By 11am the following morning I was at my desk in the Commons helping my paper, the Newcastle Journal, put together its Diana coverage. I ended up writing a piece about how the marriage turned sour, though I'm not sure what qualified me, as political editor, to do that one.
What was my initial reaction?
I'm afraid to say my very first reaction was that MI5 must have bumped her off. Diana had become increasingly outspoken over the previous 12 months and was on the verge of becoming a political embarrassment. Of course only Richard Desmond and Mohammed al-Fayed still think this way today, but it seemed to me a logical conclusion to draw at the time.
Was it really Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell's finest hour?
Even as a Campbell-hater, I have to admit the man was awesome that week. He appeared in complete charge of the situation, to the point where he almost gave us lobby correspondents the impression that he had personally drawn up the funeral arrangements. A tour-de-force.
Did I think the Monarchy would be overthrown?
A lot of very influential people - notably Will Hutton, then the editor of the Observer - were trying to push that line, and the initial reporting of Charles Spencer's speech has to be seen in that light. But I always took the view that Diana was held in such public affection more because of her royal status than in spite of it.
Did Britain fall victim to an outbreak of mass hysteria?
It was more the case that public displays of grief became socially acceptable for the first time, though that must have seemed like hysteria to more conservative types.