September 1997: A Sad Farewell

September 6th 1997 saw the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. It is hard to believe that it was 14 years ago that over 1 million people gathered along the London route as the funeral cortege slowly made its way from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey and then onto her final resting place at the Spencer family home in Nottinghamshire.

The entire UK was in silence as Diana's brother, Lord Spencer described Diana as the “very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty” he also took the opportunity to openly blame the media for her death and then pledged to protect her sons William and Harry from suffering a similar fate, both Diana’s sisters also read tributes followed by Elton John performing a re-worked version of Candle in the Wind.

The mystery of Diana's death still continues as the only survivor of the crash, Mr Trevor Rees Jones sustained head injuries that wiped his memory of the accident. There have been many conspiracy theories over the years including assassination claims due to Diana’s connection to the Al Fayed family as she dated Dodi Fayed. It is however known that the car they were travelling in was being driven at a speed of 120 mph (196 km/h) after being chased by paparazzi through the streets of Paris. Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed still claims that the paparazzi killed his son and Diana but has now refrained from further campaigns for the sake of Diana's children.

Mohamed Al Fayed earlier expressed his anger by publicly removing the Royal crests of the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Queen Mother, from Harrods; his famous London store and burning them in a television documentary about the death of his son and the Princess of Wales. As the coat of arms burned, Mohamed Al Fayed claimed he was destroying them as a tribute to his son that he claimed was unlawfully killed and asked the question of why nobody had been arrested, in the film he also branded the Duke of Edinburgh a “Nazi” this was never shown in Britain due to being too libellous.

Diana was fondly known as “the Queen of hearts “and will always be remembered as the loving and caring mother of Prince William and Prince Harry along with her endless charity work especially her public hands on campaign against landmines and calling for an international ban on their use, this campaign won the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year that she died. Diana was also the patron of NAT, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society's response to HIV. Diana is largely responsible for reducing the fear of “catching” HIV by publicly embracing a terminally ill HIV sufferer.

Diana's involvement s also includes:

-      Honorary colonel of the Royal Hampshire Regiment

-      President of the British marital advice organisations

-      Awarded the "Prize for Humanity" by the Society for Brain Research in New York.

-      Received a gold medal for a humanitarian mission in 1996

-      President of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Details of campaigns that continue in the Princess of Wales memory can be found at the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund website.

A comprehensive multilingual website about the life of Diana Princess of Wales can be found here

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