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Mourners Mark 20 Years Since Princess Diana's Death

  • VOA News

A royal fan for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, stands outside Kensington Palace to pay tribute to her in London, Aug. 31, 2017.

People gathered Thursday at Britain's Kensington Palace and a site in Paris to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.

Those paying their respects left flowers and lit candles outside the palace where Diana once lived with her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

On Wednesday, William, Harry and William's wife, Kate, toured a garden at the palace dedicated to Diana. They also met with representatives from some charities Diana supported, as well as some of the well-wishers who had come to remember the late princess.

William and Harry were expected to spend Thursday in private.

In Paris, the remembrance was focused at the Flame of Liberty statue, which is a replica of the torch on the Statue of Liberty in New York, but has become a de facto memorial for Diana. It sits atop the tunnel where she died in a car crash in 1997.

Diana died along with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul, when the car speeding away from paparazzi crashed into a pillar in the Alma Tunnel.

She became internationally known after marrying Britain's Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, in 1981, and was referred to as the "the people's princess." But their relationship soured and the couple divorced in 1996.

David Flint, the national convener of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, told VOA the reaction to Diana's death was extraordinary.

"The grief which was so public, not only in the United Kingdom but in a number of other countries, including Australia and the United States and Canada, quite remarkable reaction to her passing," Flint said.

Diana was 36 year old at the time of her death, while her sons were ages 15 and 12.

"Her beauty will be particularly remembered because she was an extraordinary beautiful woman, but also that sense of tragedy, that sense of dying still young and beautiful, which impacted on all of us," Flint said. "And that she might have been queen but never was going to be and the fact that she was in many ways seen as wronged by a large number of people, I think all of that will be her legacy. But her greatest legacy will be her two sons."

Victor Beattie in Washington contributed to this report.

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