Today marks 20 years since Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed following a car crash in Paris, the French Capital. Fans have been leaving floral tributes, balloons and messages on gates of Kensington Palace since this week. Yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry paid tribute to her at her former home. They are not expected to take part in official engagement today, the 20th anniversary of her death but royal fans have gathered in Paris and London to pay their respects with elaborate floral tributes.
Sir Elton John posted a picture on Instagram of himself and the Princess together, with his arm around her with the caption; “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 1997 funeral, held just days after she was killed in a Paris car crash.
The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death has prompted a renewed fascination with a woman who made headlines around the world when she married heir-to-the-throne, Charles, in a fairytale wedding in 1981 before the couple divorced in bitter circumstances in 1996. Princess Diana’s sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, have already paid tribute to their mother, visiting the floral tributes and pictures left at the gates of her former home, Kensington Palace. The brothers toured the site on Wednesday and laid flowers on behalf of well-wishers who had gathered to see the Royals.
Diana was a woman whose warmth, compassion and empathy for those she met earned her the description the ‘People’s Princess’. This morning, fans of Princess Diana gathered at dawn at the gates of Kensington Palace to celebrate the life of a woman who reshaped Britain and its Royal family when she died 20 years ago. Laying flickering candles in the dark, supporters met where tens of thousands had flocked in 1997 to mark the death of one of the most famous women in the world. Even in Paris, France, mourners gathered on the banks of the Seine just metres from the scene of the crash to lay candles and flowers in the Princess’s memory.
William and Harry recently took part in a series of candid interviews about their traumatic loss – with Harry revealing he went through two years of ‘total chaos’ as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death before eventually seeking counseling at his brother’s suggestion.
Neither William nor Harry is expected to take part in any official engagements on the anniversary of their mother’s death today. It is also understood Prince Charles, who was seen driving himself to church earlier this week, will not take part in any engagements as he continues his annual break at Birkhall, his home in the Scottish Highlands. The Queen and other royals are holidaying at nearby Balmoral, where the family were told of Diana’s death on August 31, 1997.