Feature: 20 years on, Britain remembers Diana "the people's princess"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-01 01:03:23|Editor: Lu Hui
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A girl reads the message of a card laid to pay tribute to the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana in London, Britain on Aug. 31, 2017. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

LONDON, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, was remembered by fans across Britain Thursday.

Floral tributes and candles were placed outside Kensington Palace, London, where the princess had lived.

Described as the people's princess, Princess Diana died in a car crash in a Parisian underpass on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36.

Many people stood in silence outside the palace gates in solemn memory.

Anne Daley, who used to live across the road from the palace, told Xinhua that 20 years ago, when she heard Princess Diana had died in a car crash, she went straight to the palace at 6:00 a.m.

"I was one of the first people to lay flowers here...She was a wonderful princess. She was very empathetic and very sympathetic with people. She could understand their suffering and she was just very nice to people. She was always kind."

John Loughrey said, "When she met people, she treated them all the same, all walks of life. She treated everybody equally. She's our special princess."

Another visitor, Frank Julian Gelli, said: "Look around you, you see all these people gathered here 20 years after she died tragically. She has not been forgotten, and the media has been talking about her day-in-day-out...She is still in people's heart."

With no official events planned to mark the anniversary, media reports said the Princess' two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry were reflecting on their mother's memory privately at Kensington Palace.

The two princes spent some time Wednesday evening looking at the flowers left at the palace gates and the nearby Princess Diana memorial garden, ahead of their plan to stay out of the limelight on the actual anniversary.

In a formal acknowledgment, a spokesperson at Kensington Palace said the two princes were grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they had received, and thanked those who made the journey to Kensington Palace.

Mildmay Mission Aids hospital in London, where Diana was a regular visitor comforting patients with HIV, organised a remembrance in honor of the Royal who famously comforted people with AIDS.

Princess Diana married Prince Charles at St Paul's Cathedral in London in July 1981. The ceremony was watched by a global audience of 750 million people.

The royal couple divorced in 1996, just a year before her death in Paris.

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KEY WORDS: Princess Diana