Remembering Princess Diana 20 years later
Twenty years ago, one of the world’s best-known child activists, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in France. She was 36 years old. One of the most-adorned members of the British royal family, tributes have continued to pour in from all over the world for a woman that was globally loved.
Born on July 1, 1961 at Park House in Sandringham, she became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons together, Prince William and Prince Harry. The marriage, however, crashed as they were divorced in 1996.
Growing up in Norfolk and Northamptonshire, she was well known in the communities where she lived, also serving as a strong supporter of many charities and worked to help the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS as well as children in need.
She died on August 31, 1997, from the injuries she sustained in a car crash in Paris with her partner, Dodi Fayed while visiting Paris. Fayed and the driver, Henri Paul were pronounced dead at the scene, while bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.
According to witnesses, the crash occurred as the duo was trying to evade the paparazzi following them. She is fondly remembered as the “People’s Princess” because of her widespread popularity and global humanitarian efforts.
Tributes to Princess Diana have started pouring into Kensington Palace on the 20th anniversary of her death ahead of a remembrance service being planned. Flowers are being left by the public at the gates of the royal estate, outside her family home, Althorp, and her final resting place.
Several notable celebrities have taken to social media to pay tribute, amongst them, Sir Elton John, who posted a picture on Instagram of them together, with his arm around her. He wrote, “20 years ago today, the world lost an angel. RIP.” The star famously performed an alternative version of his poignant song, Candle In The Wind, in honour of Diana at her funeral.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis also wrote a lengthy post on Instagram in which she recalled how she narrowly missed meeting Princess Diana as she paid a visit to Pinewood Studios near London while shooting was taking place for her 1997 movie, Fierce Creatures.
Royal superfan, Terry Hutt, has described the anniversary of Diana’s death as one of both happiness and sadness. The 82-year-old has been camped outside Kensington Palace since midday on Wednesday. Hutt, who celebrated his 80th birthday outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital waiting for the announcement of Princess Charlotte’s birth, has visited the palace on August 31 every year for the past 20 years.
Another self confessed Diana “super fan” splashed £3,000 travelling from Australia to lay flowers at her former home. An emotional Trish Hoskin, 56, said how she desperately wanted to attend the funeral in 1997, but couldn’t due to work commitments. The software developer said when she realised the 20th anniversary was approaching; she arranged flights from Adelaide as she ‘had to be in London to pay tribute’.
Prince William and Harry honoured their mother by visiting a memorial garden at Kensington Palace. At the Sunken Garden, the young royals, including William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, honoured Diana’s work with charities.
William and Harry have spoken candidly about their mother in the run up to the anniversary, describing the anguish they experienced and the grief they still feel.
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