The Concert For Diana
LONDON, ENGLAND Sunday July 1, 2007 – My shoes were back…parked at my hotel room door: dried, cleaned up and polished after the soaking rain during Saturday’s late afternoon West End Tour. I had successfully navigated the streets of London for several days now, and had learned my way around on the Underground with tools like the “Oyster Card “– that “Mind the Gap!” recording echoing in my head. As requested, I had avoided running into my daughter Devin and her school mates on their Coronado High School tour’s last stop, as we shared the hotel these past several days. Today, though, I had arranged a great surprise with the help of the Concierge at the Crowne Plaza. All Devin knew was that I had a special event arranged and that I had an extra ticket for that event so that a friend of hers could join us.
The newspapers and televisions had been building up the Concert for Diana for months. In December 2006 the first lot of 22,500 tickets to the event sold out in just 17 minutes. It was scheduled on what would have been The Princess of Wales’ 46th birthday, almost exactly ten years after the tragic accident that took her life in Paris August 31, 1997. Prince William and Prince Harry, representing the Trust that had been set up to continue their mother’s good works, had invited a plethora of musical stars to a fundraising concert in Wembley Stadium that night, and we were going to be there to enjoy it live! Fully 63,000 of us came out to Wembley to enjoy the concert, and for good reason. The list of entertainers was awesome, covering generations of musical taste, so I was sure that both my teenage daughter and her friend, Garland Rogers, as well as myself would find the program entertaining.
Order of Entertainers: Sir Elton John (opening with “Your Song”), Duran Duran, James Morrison, Lily Allen, Fergie, The Feeling, Pharrell, Nellie Furtado, English National Ballet (“Swan Lake”), Status Quo, Josh Stone, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp Medley), Orson, Sir Tom Jones and Joe Perry, Will Young, Natasha Beddingfield, Bryan Ferry, Anastacia, Connie Fisher and Andrea Ross (“Cats”), Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman (“Phantom of the Opera”), Donny Osmond, Jason Donovan and Leah Mead (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”), Rod Stewart, Kanye West, P. Diddy, Take That, Ricky Gervais, and the finalé by Sir Elton John (again).
We were to take the train out to the new Wembley Stadium, quite the architectural marvel I had heard. I was excited, more to spend some time with Devin than to see the concert. The idea that we would be watching this incredible production live and in person, while over 500 million other people around the world in 140 countries watched it live on television, gave me goose bumps.
Getting a chance to finally spend some time with Devin, finding out about her adventure through Europe and what her group had seen since they had been in London, was wonderful. This evening’s break in both of our schedules was quality time that I cherished. She would rejoin her group tonight when we returned from the concert, and we’d not see each other again until the morning of July 3rd, Tuesday, when her group left to return to the United States and she moved her things into my room for our two-week Father-Daughter Adventure!