Royal News

Princess Diana fans leave tributes outside Palace on anniversary of death

Well-wishers have gathered at Kensington Palace to remember and honour Princess Diana on the anniversary of her death.

It has been 23 years since Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, leaving behind her sons Prince William and Harry.

To mark the day, fans have put banners and floral tributes on the gates of Kensington Palace, where she had an apartment at the time of her death.

There are also a number of old photos of the princess and Union Flags.

One of the banners reads “your good work continues through your sons”, while another black and white photo is accompanied by the message “Princess Diana, always loved, never forgotten, forever missed”.

Kensington Palace is where Diana and Prince Charles raised Harry and William, and the Cambridge family now call it home.

The group of loyal fans pay tribute to Diana every year, and in 2019 Prince William left many of them in tears when he went out to say thank you.

The outing was not planned or publicised, and he discreetly emerged while accompanied by a small security team.

He told the small group he thought it was ‘wonderful’ that they were celebrating her life and legacy.

John Loughrey, from south-west London, was left shaking with emotion as the duke made a beeline for him. The pair shook hands ‘three times’, which gave the 59-year-old a ‘beautiful feeling in his body’.

He told the Daily Mail: “William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother.

“I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional.

“He said ‘I’m touched by what you do, you’ve got quite the collection.’ I told him that I pray for his mother every Sunday at Westminster Abbey and he seemed really touched.”

Mr Loughrey said the prince admired the badges of Diana on his hat.

The anniversary comes days after Harry and William released a rare joint statement in which they announced the unveiling date for a new statue of their mum.

The new piece of art, which will sit in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, was announced in 2017 but has been delayed several times.

It will be unveiled on July 1 next year, on what should have been Diana’s 60th birthday.

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In their joint statement, the royal brothers said they “hope that the statue will help those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and legacy.”

Speaking when the statue was first announced, a source close to the Palace said: “Prince William and Prince Harry have dreamed of doing this for a long time.

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“They were both just boys when their mother passed away, but are both now fully grown men and want to honour her in the best way possible.

“It has taken 20 years for this to finally come to ­fruition so they are determined it will be a lasting and fitting legacy in what is their official London residence and a place special to them both.”

Diana’s sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale joined Harry and William on a committee, along with three others, to pick a sculptor for the piece.

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