Funeral procession watched in Egypt

Dodi's Homeland Mourns Diana

The funeral of Princess Diana was closely followed in Egypt, where there has been a special interest in the tragedy because of Dodi Fayed's Egyptian roots.

Hundreds of ordinary Egyptians had queued at the British embassy in Cairo to pay their respects and sign a book of condolences.

Unusually, Egyptian television cleared its schedules and carried live coverage of the funeral which was attended by Egypt's First Lady, President Mubarak's wife, Suzanne.

Although it was a normal work day in Egypt, many ordinary people took time off and clustered around television sets to watch the ceremonies. Many Egyptians said they would have been deeply moved by the death of the Princess even without her connection to Egypt through Dodi Fayed.

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Princess Diana had visited Egypt twice in the past. Her career was closely followed by many people there who were as touched as were so many millions of others around the globe by her good works on behalf of the less fortunate, especially in the Third World.

The mood of many Egyptians was reflected in the press, which dubbed Diana 'Cinderella of the Century.'

"It was clear that she was happy for the first time in years with Egyptian Emad Al Fayed who was destined to give up his life to be her last companion. This is a Greek tragedy," said a weekly newspaper.

Many Egyptian newspapers focused on how the press hounded Diana in life and how they might have played a role in her death.

"Let the painful death of Diana be the start of the return of the press to its actual mission. Before her death, the princess was terrified of getting her picture taken, she was a prisoner of her fame," said one newspaper.

The main daily, Al-Ahram daily ran a caricature depicting Diana and Dodi as angels, complete with haloes and wings - embracing in the sky above her funeral cortege.

"Thank God, Dodi...we've escaped the media by a miracle," read the caption.