Princess Diana remembered by her sons 20 years on
William and Harry looked at messages, pictures and flowers left in remembrance of Diana, Princess of Wales, at the gates of her former home Kensington Palace.
The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death will be commemorated today and the royal brothers, with Kate, earlier honoured her memory by visiting a nearby memorial garden in the grounds of the palace created for the princess.
Charity chiefs from organisations associated with Diana met the royals and Harry told one group of campaigners about how his mother’s death was a tragedy for them as well as his family. He said: “I can imagine for a lot of you it was like ‘right here we go, now we’ve got her, we’ve got the thirst, we’ve got the attention, now let’s do something’ then suddenly she’s snapped away – if I can put it (this way) all of us lost somebody.”
The brothers had spent an hour touring the temporary memorial White Garden in the grounds of the palace with Kate before making the short journey to the gates, fast becoming a shrine to their mother.
Sheltering from the heavy rain under an umbrella William knelt down to look at some of the bouquets left in tribute to his mother then later pointed out a picture to his brother that appeared to make him laugh.
Meanwhile one of the princess’s former personal protection officers said yesterday that her legacy lives on in her sons, who are changing the face of the British monarchy just like their mother.
Former Met Police officer Ken Wharfe claimed that, at the time of Diana’s death, the monarchy was “jealous” of her popularity, but the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have followed in her footsteps including carrying on her work.
Mr Wharfe, who guarded Diana for more than five years until 1993, said: “We now know Diana did change and modernise, whether we like it or not.
“What we see now today with William and Harry, in the way that they now conduct themselves as two leading royal figures, is so different from what royalty was in the 1980s.
“They are literally cardboard cut-outs of their mother’s work, and 20 years on we are now speaking about their mother more than ever before.”
Since her death, the princes have taken on some of their mother’s charity work, from Harry raising awareness about Aids and the Halo Trust’s fight against landmines, to William championing the homeless.