Princess Diana remembered on 24th anniversary of death
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Tuesday (August 31) marked 24 years to the day of Princess Diana’s tragic death in a car crash in France. But arguably the most heartbreaking images following her death were of her grief-stricken young sons Prince William and Prince Harry. The princes were aged just 15 and 12-years-old at the time and were able to mourn their mother in private at Balmoral in Scotland before returning to London for her funeral, which saw thousands of people line the streets.
Accompanied by their father Prince Charles, the devastated boys visited the outskirts of Kensington Palace where floral tributes had been left for Diana in memory of the princess.
During a BBC documentary entitled ‘Diana, 7 Days’, which was released in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death, William and Harry described their heartbreak in the days following their mother’s tragic death.
Speaking on the programme, William said: “People wanted to grab us, to touch us.
“They were shouting, wailing, literally wailing at us, throwing flowers, and yelling, sobbing, breaking down, people fainted, collapsed. It was a very alien environment.
“I couldn’t understand why everyone wanted to cry as loud as they did and show such emotion as they did when they didn’t really know our mother.
“I did feel a bit protective at times about that.
“You didn’t even know her – why and how are you so upset? Now looking back, I have learnt to understand what it was she gave the world and what she gave a lot of people.”
The two young princes were at Balmoral with Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip when they were told the devastating news their mother Diana had died in a car crash in Paris.
The Royal Family immediately rallied around the two teenagers before they returned to London, while also viewing thousands of floral tributes left in memory of Diana outside the Balmoral residence.
Harry told the programme: “Looking back now probably the last thing I wanted to do was read what other people were saying about my mother.
“Yes it was amazing, it was incredibly moving to know, but at that point, I wasn’t there. I was still in shock.”
Diana’s funeral took place nearly a week after her tragic death.
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More heartbreaking images showed William and Harry slowly walking behind their mother’s coffin in the procession to Westminster Abbey alongside Charles, Philip and their uncle Charles Spencer.
During the documentary, William admitted “it wasn’t an easy decision” for them to walk behind Diana’s coffin but both brothers described it as a “group” decision.
William recalled: “I just remember hiding behind my fringe.
“It was kind of like a little tiny bit of safely blanket.
“I know it sounds ridiculous but at the time I felt if I looked at the floor with my hair in my face no one could see me.”
Harry added: “I was just so focussed on getting it done and doing everything that was asked of me there and then and making sure that I did my mother proud.”
In July, William and Harry reunited to unveil a statue of Diana at Kensington Palace on what would have been her 60th birthday.
The statue is located in the Sunken Garden, which was reportedly one of Diana’s favourite spots.
Following the unveiling of the statue, the princes issued a joint statement in which they said they “wish she was still with us” and that they hoped it would be seen as a “symbol of her life and her legacy”.
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