Twenty-four years have passed since Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a Paris car crash.
The princess – the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex’s late mother – was just 36 was she was killed on August 31, 1997.
Nearly a quarter of a century on from Diana’s shock death, the statue commissioned by William and Harry – whose rift has now been long documented – was finally unveiled last month.
Well-wishers are able to view the statue at Kensington Palace today (August 31) after Historic Royal Palaces made special arrangements to allow visitors access to the Cradle Walk around the Sunken Garden between 3pm to 5pm for the anniversary.
Due to the pandemic, the area is only usually accessible to the public from Wednesdays to Sundays.
William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, are understood to be commemorating the anniversary privately.
Devoted fans of Diana make a pilgrimage to leave flowers and messages at the ornate Golden Gates of her former London home each year.
The statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace
(Image: Jonathan Brady/PA)
Nicknamed the People’s Princess for her caring, open approach, Diana was known for her devotion to William and Harry, the breakdown of her marriage to the Prince of Wales, her personal struggles, and her humanitarian charity work.
This year saw the BBC write to the royal family to apologise for the circumstances surrounding Diana’s famous Panorama interview in 1995.
The princess’ brother Earl Spencer said he “draws a line” between the bombshell television appearance and her death two years later.
An inquiry found the BBC covered up “deceitful behaviour” used by journalist Martin Bashir to secure his headline-making world exclusive and that he faked bank statements.
The programme, in which Diana said there were “three of us” in her marriage and questioned Charles’s suitability as king, prompted the Queen to urge the Waleses to divorce.
William condemned the BBC in a statement, saying the interview had fuelled his mother’s “fear, paranoia and isolation” in the final years of her life and damaged her relationship with the Prince of Wales.
Harry also hit out at the corporation, saying: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”
The princess and her lover Dodi Fayed were killed when their Mercedes crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris as they were being pursued by the paparazzi. Mr Fayed’s chauffeur Henri Paul was drunk and speeding at the time of the crash.
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