AFP, published on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 2:48 p.m.
In London as in Paris, admirers of “Lady Di” paid tribute to her on Wednesday, 25 years after her death which shook the British monarchy, but no official ceremony was organized by her two sons William and Harry, with relations strained.
Diana, whose fairy-tale wedding and then shattering divorce from Prince Charles had fascinated the world, died in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, chased by paparazzi.
His two sons William and Harry, then aged 15 and 12, moved millions as they walked side by side behind his coffin.
In the cold, the two princes marked the event this time in private and thousands of kilometers apart.
Even without an official ceremony, a few dozen admirers of the princess gathered outside Kensington Palace in London on Wednesday to pay tribute to the Princess of Wales, decorating the gates of the palace with flags and photos.
“Whether you’re a king, a queen or a homeless person, it didn’t change anything for the princess,” said Julie Cein, a 59-year-old Englishwoman who made the trip from Newcastle, in the north of England, as every year. England.
“What mattered to her was showing empathy, kindness and consideration regardless of social class. I think that’s why she won the hearts of a lot of people.”
“She was adored because she was both a princess and a normal person. You could identify with her,” adds Patrick O’Neill, 32, who came specially from Belfast, citing Diana’s commitment for the fight against AIDS or anti-personnel mines, humanitarian causes with which it is always associated.
In Paris too, admirers gathered near the tunnel where the princess died. “She was a world personality, an exceptional person. She was classy, sporty, elegant,” said Claude Gautier, a 79-year-old retiree, to AFP.
“I get goosebumps thinking she died right there under us,” said Ulrike Plank, a 64-year-old German tourist. “I miss someone like her today.”
– Legacy –
Five years ago, for the 20th anniversary of his death, William and Harry took part in public commemorations. Nothing will happen this year.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the two brothers “have decided to draw a line under their public commemorations”, the spokespersons for the two princes confirming that they will each mark the event in private.
William, 40, lives with his wife Kate and their three children in Windsor, west of the capital and where Queen Elizabeth II also resides.
His younger brother Harry, 37, is in California with his wife Meghan and their two children after the couple decided to leave the royal family in 2020.
Even despite the family estrangement, Diana’s legacy is visible in the less formal way William and Harry behave today, who show “more emotion” than the rest of the royal family, says Joe Little, from Majesty Magazine.
– Quarrel –
In 2021, the two brothers in the cold had met to unveil a statue of their mother in London but they had barely spoken to each other.
And during celebrations for Elizabeth II’s 70th reign in June, Harry and William sat far apart during a church service.
Harry and Meghan have accused the royal family of racism, saying they were asked about their unborn child’s skin color as Meghan is of mixed race. What William denied in front of the cameras.
Any reconciliation is suspended on the content of a book of confidences that Harry must publish by the end of the year, eagerly awaited by the press which speculates on possible settling of accounts and revelations.
Harry and Meghan are expected back in September in the UK. They are to stay in Windsor, on the estate of Queen Elizabeth II, near William’s new home. But, according to the British press, the two brothers have not planned to see each other.