Sir Elton John has honoured the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, describing how 20 years ago “the world lost an angel” as fans of the royal gathered yesterday at her former home in tribute.
The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death was also marked by her friend Rosa Monckton, who described the princess as a “truly extraordinary woman”. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Emanuel, co-designer of Diana’s wedding dress, tweeted how the princess brought joy to all who knew her.
Hundreds made the pilgrimage to the gates of Kensington Palace where flowers, messages and pictures had been left in memory of Diana, who was killed on 31 August, 1997 in a car crash in Paris.
Diana’s die-hard fans vowed to “keep her memory alive” and brought a large floral display spelling out her name to the gates and a huge cake decorated with an image of the princess.
The tributes have grown since the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the site on Wednesday to see the outpouring of love and admiration for their mother.
Sir Elton, 70, a close friend of the princess, posted a picture on Instagram with his arm around her and wrote: “20 years ago today, the world lost an angel. #RIP.”
The star famously performed a version of his song Candle In The Wind in honour of the princess at her funeral.
In an interview yesterday, Ms Monckton paid tribute to her late friend, saying: “She was everything to everybody. She broke down the walls. She busted the myth of being a fairytale princess.
“I think that given the life she had, when you think what she had to overcome, and all of this in the public eye, I think she was a truly extraordinary woman. Very damaged, very flawed, as we all are, but underneath it all this incredible resilience.”
Wayne Sleep remembered Diana, his friend and one-time dance partner, during a service of celebration and remembrance staged by east London’s Mildmay Mission Aids hospital, which she visited regularly when it was a hospice caring for HIV patients.
He told the invited guests: “I never realised how close I was to her until she died, and I kept thinking I should have done more for her.”