Today 23 years ago, the world lost a princess – The People’s Princess. On 31st August 1997, Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris. Over the years, the paparazzi behaviour is said to have played a big part in the car crash, however in later years, it was discovered that the driver was intoxicated and under the effects of prescription drugs while driving.

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Lady Diana was 36 years old at the time, with her death leading to an outpour of sympathy and public grief across the world. Her funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on 6th September 1997. "Charles' priority was those boys. He was desperately worried about them," says biographer Penny Junor in a CNN article. At the time, Prince William and Prince Harry were just 15 and 12 years of age and “were at a very tender, difficult sort of age ... this was the most shocking and terrible and ghastly thing to happen."

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The People’s Princess

Prior to her death, Princess Diana was dubbed as ‘The People’s Princess’ as many people felt a kinship to her through her charitable work and overall welcoming nature. "People felt so emotional about Diana because she had an extraordinary connection with everybody," says Anji Hunter, Tony Blair's former adviser, in the CNN series on the royal family: ‘The Windsors.’ "People felt a kinship with her; it was like your own beloved friend, mother, sister had died."

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The Queen addressed the nation in response to her death – one of the handful of times she’s done so. She reportedly addresses her subjects as a "Queen and as a grandmother," describing her daughter-in-law as an "exceptional and gifted human being."

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As a tribute, she also went the extra mile during the funeral. "The Queen bows to nobody -- ever," notes historian Jane Ridley in the series. However, as the funeral procession went past Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II was seen outside "making a bow to her daughter-in-law."

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The installation of Lady Di’s statue

To mark her 60th birthday next year, it has been decided that a statue will be installed in the garden of Kensington Palace. The installation was delayed due to the pandemic, with the palace sharing it has been pushed to next year.

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