Twenty years ago arguably one of the most famous women in the world died in a car crash in Paris. Then and now the Flame of Liberty in the French capital has become a sort of shrine to Princess Diana.
Many still remember the night (Aug 31) how she died. Aged 36 Diana along with her lover Dodi al-Fayed were killed when a limousine carrying them crashed in the Alma tunnel as it sped away from paparazzi giving chase on motorbikes. The tunnel still bears the marks of a tragic episode which shook the world.
In London on the eve of the anniversary of her death, her son’s Princes William and Harry acknowledged the flowers laid at the gates of Kensington Palace in tribute. they’ve been praised for keeping her in the public
Royal well-wisher Terry Hutt is a loyal fan of the princess:
“I’m very fortunate to meet Diana when she was a youngster, before she got married. And for me, if Diana had lived today she would have made a wonderful queen to come. She modernised the royal family in a different way and when I say she’s lovely, she is what I say.”
Previous anniversaries of her death have passed with little fuss, suggesting that the “People’s Princess”, as she was dubbed by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, had perhaps lost some of her allure and relevance.
But with the popular William and Harry coming to the fore, the 20th anniversary has sparked a re-examination of the role Diana played in Britain and the royal family, from her lavish wedding in 1981 to her bitter divorce.
Diana’s passing prompted the biggest public outpouring of grief seen in Britain in recent times, and few royals since have captivated the world like she did.
Today her sons will reflect on their mother’s life in private.