LONDON: Princes William and Harry paid tribute to their late mother Princess Diana on Wednesday for the 20th anniversary of her death as wellwishers left candles and flowers outside the gates of her former London residence. Handwritten notes on bouquets left in front of Kensington Palace read: “Diana, a brave princess, your sons have your courage” and “Dear Diana, our country was so very lucky to have you”. “I came 20 years ago with my mother, and my son, who is now 21,” said teaching assistant Stephanie Davinson, 52, after leaving a bouquet. “I’m doing it for her sons, they’re following in her footsteps, I think there’s a lot of her in them”.
Pictures were left of Diana, her children and grandchildren, while hardcore fans of the princess brought a cake bearing her picture.
“It doesn’t matter now or in say 100 years, it will still be the same kinds of feelings towards her, in a really good way,” said Australian tourist Clint Wilde.
William and Harry toured Diana’s memorial garden at the palace on Wednesday together with representatives from the charities she supported, including those helping Aids sufferers and children in need.
“The engagement will allow the Princes to pay tribute to the life and work of their mother the day before the 20th anniversary of her death,” said a spokeswoman for Kensington Palace where the princes now live.
“Together, they will reflect on the significant achievements of the Princess, and the legacy of her work which continues to resonate with so many today,” she said.
Diana’s untimely death two decades ago on Thursday shocked the world.
“She was this ray of light in a fairly grey world,” 35-year-old William, her eldest son and second in line to the throne, said in a new documentary for the anniversary.
The life of Diana — a shy, teenage aristocrat who suddenly became the world’s most famous woman — and her tragic death at 36 still captivates millions across the globe.
Two decades on, her sons William and Prince Harry only now feel able to talk publicly
about her death, a seismic event which continues to resonate in the monarchy and British society.
Diana died in a car crash in Paris in the early hours of August 31, 1997, along with Dodi Fayed, her wealthy Egyptian film producer boyfriend of two months, and a drink-impaired, speeding driver Henri Paul, who was trying to evade paparazzi.
No public events are planned for Thursday.