LONDON – Saturday would have marked the 56th birthday of Britain’s Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in Paris in August 1997.
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Her two sons, Britain’s princes William and Harry, marked the date with a private service at her grave on the Althorp estate in Northampton, central England.
The commemoration comes two months before the 20th anniversary of her death, on August 31.
Diana remained a major figure in British public life, but her private memory still looms large in the lives of her sons.
Earlier this month, Harry said his grief at her death still haunts him. He said his charity work was inspired by her famous dedication to humanitarian causes: “I intuitively know what my mother would like me to do and want to progress with work she couldn’t complete,” he told Newsweek.
“We use our time wisely,” he added of his and William’s charity work. “We don’t want to turn up, shake hands but not get involved.”
The memorial fund set up to honor Diana’s life similarly focuses on her humanitarianism.
“The Princess is remembered by everyone she met for her warmth and genuine interest in their situation and difficulties,” the fund’s website says, “She threw herself into her charity work in a very personal way, spending countless hours listening to the individual stories and problems of the people she visited.”
Born Diana Spencer on July 1 1961, the Princess of Wales was a professor of classics and Dean of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham.
She was married to Charles, Prince of Wales in 1981. The pair divorced in 1996.
The ‘Queen of Hearts’ died in a car accident in Paris, France on August 31, 1997.