Sir Elton John has led tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales on the 20th anniversary of her death.
The 70-year-old singer posted a picture on Instagram of the pair together, with his arm around the Princess writing: ’20 years ago today, the world lost an angel. RIP.’
The star famously performed an alternative version of his poignant song Candle In The Wind in honour of Diana at her 1997 funeral, held just days after she was killed in a Paris car crash.
Prince Harry later revealed that the song touched him on the day, telling a BBC documentary: ‘Elton John’s song was incredibly emotional, that was part of this whole trigger system which nearly brought me to the point of crying in public, which I’m glad I didn’t do.’
On the 10th anniversary of Diana’s death in 2007, Sir Elton opened and closed a Wembley Stadium concert organised by the Duke of Cambridge and his brother in memory of their mother.
Leading tributes, Elton John this morning posted a picture on Instagram of him and Diana together, with his arm around the Princess writing: ’20 years ago today, the world lost an angel. RIP’
Meanwhile Elizabeth Emanuel, co-designer of Diana’s famous wedding dress, tweeted: ‘Thinking of the wonderful times we spent with Diana and the great joy she brought into our lives and all those who knew her.’ She posted a photo of the Emanuels tending to the train of Diana’s bridal gown inside St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981.
The princess’s friend Rosa Monckton has also spoken out today, describing Diana as a ‘truly extraordinary woman’ in a new interview.
‘She was everything to everybody,’ Ms Monkton said. ‘She broke down the walls. She busted the myth of being a fairytale princess.’
She told The Times: ‘I think that given the life she had, when you think what she had to overcome, and all of this in the public eye, I think she was a truly extraordinary woman. Very damaged, very flawed, as we all are, but underneath it all this incredible resilience.’
Diana’s sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, have already paid tribute to their mother, visiting the floral tributes and pictures left at the gates of her former home, Kensington Palace.
This morning, Elizabeth Emanuel, co-designer of Diana’s famous wedding dress, shared this picture from the 1981 nuptials and tweeted: ‘Thinking of the wonderful times we spent with Diana and the great joy she brought into our lives’
On Wednesday Diana’s sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, paid tribute to their mother, visiting the floral tributes and pictures left at the gates of her former home, Kensington Palace and speaking to crowds of well-wishers
The brothers toured the site on Wednesday and laid flowers on behalf of well-wishers who had gathered to see the royals.
Diana’s former head chef Darren McGrady recalled her caring side, saying: ‘When Princess Diana heard I had become a father she sent this note and flowers to the hospital,’ he tweeted. The handwritten message congratulated him on the ‘safe arrival of your little lady’.
Yesterday, William and Harry met representatives of charities their mother supported and Harry told them her death was a tragedy for them – as they were preparing to work with the princess – as well as his family.
He said: ‘I can imagine for a lot of you it was like, ‘right here we go, now we’ve got her, we’ve got the thirst, we’ve got the attention, now let’s do something’, then suddenly she’s snapped away. If I can put it (this way), all of us lost somebody.’
‘True inspiration, Diana unforgettable’: Dressed in a Union flag, a royal fan for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, stands outside Kensington Palace to pay tribute to her in London on Thursday morning. He joins hundreds of mourners paying their respects on either sides of the Channel
Floral tributes continued to mount outside the palace, with some fans holding a large Welsh flag. Yesterday the princes spent time looking at the handwritten notes and candles, even placing flowers brought by crowds of well-wishers at the gates
Paris remembers: In the French capital, a woman pays tribute to the tragic Princess above the Pont l’Alma tunnel by the Seine, where the car she was travelling in careered into a pillar, killing all but one of the passengers
At Tottenham Court Road tube station, Transport for London staff wrote on the notice board: ‘Goodbye England’s rose; may you ever grown in our hearts. You were the grace that placed itself where lives where torn apart’
Diana will also be remembered at east London’s Mildmay Mission Aids hospital, which she visited regularly when it was a hospice caring for HIV patients.
The institution will hold a remembrance service and past members of staff will share their memories of Diana as will the hospital’s patron, actress Linda Robson, and dancer Wayne Sleep, who famously performed with the princess.
Diana was a woman whose warmth, compassion and empathy for those she met earned her the description the ‘people’s princess’.
This morning, fans of Princess Diana gathered at dawn at the gates of Kensington Palace to celebrate the life of a woman who reshaped Britain and its royal family when she died 20 years ago.
In a poignant echo of the days following Diana’s death 20 years ago, the gates of Kensington Palace were decked in cards, letters, balloons and flowers from royal fans. Pictured: A royal fan dressed in Union flag leggings looks at tributes
Wrapped in a flag, one Diana fan pays his respects at the gates of the Princess’s former London home. In the foreground, flowered lettering spelling out her name has been laid on the ground in he memory
A royal fan forms candles in the shape of the name ‘Diana’ to remember her, Princess of Wales, outside Kensington Palace. Her death at the age of 36 prompted the biggest outpouring of grief seen in Britain in recent times
Laying flickering candles in the dark, supporters met where tens of thousands had flocked in 1997 to mark the death of one of the most famous women in the world in a Paris car crash.
And 200 miles away in the French capital, mourners gathered on the banks of the Seine just metres from the scene of the crash to lay candles and flowers in the Princess’s memory.
Diana’s death at the age of 36 prompted the biggest outpouring of grief seen in Britain in recent times and is regarded as a key turning point in how the royal family relates to the public.
With traditional restraint giving way to expressions of emotion, Diana’s sons William and Harry have led the way by speaking openly about the trauma they suffered when they lost their mother, as part of a wider campaign of talking about mental health issues.
Brits showed the Princess of Wales was gone but not forgotten as they tied pictures of her to the Palace gates. Yesterday, Prince Harry smiled at the sight of a large balloon lying among the flowers, while William pointed out a childhood photograph of him and his mother in sunglasses
The Palace gates were turned into a sea of colour after hundreds of mourners left tributes. On Wednesday, the princes took an impromptu walkabout in front of several hundred well-wishers before taking a few minutes to read the cards and banners
Flowers and tributes continue to pour in on Thursday morning, including a note from ‘Terry the Union Jack Man’ (right), 82-year-old pensioner Terry Hutt who told reporters: ‘You can think of it as happiness and you can think of it as sadness. Today is sadness, but yesterday William and Harry were here and that brought a lot of happiness’
Union flags are pinned to fences outside Kensington Palace. As tributes poured in today, the princess’s friend Rosa Monckton has spoken out, describing Diana as a ‘truly extraordinary woman’ in a new interview with The Times
The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death has prompted a renewed fascination with a woman who made headlines around the world when she married heir-to-the-throne Charles in a fairytale wedding in 1981 before the couple divorced in bitter circumstances in 1996.
‘We’ve been doing this for 20 years,’ 41-year-old Nicky Surridge told Reuters. ‘I used to follow her when she was alive, my house is still a shrine to her. She was just a really lovely lady. She was a princess but very normal and caring.
‘I stayed here for a week (20 years ago). It was very sad then, but now we come and celebrate her life.’
Yesterday, William and Harry returned to their mother’s former Kensington Palace home to view floral tributes to the late Princess Diana ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death.
Tributes in Paris: The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death has prompted a renewed fascination with a woman who made headlines around the world when she married Prince Charles in a fairytale wedding in 1981 before the couple divorced
Diana tributes lined the streets surrounding the Pont l’Alma tunnel this morning. Across the channel, Diana super fans described the anniversary of the Princess of Wales’s death today as one of both ‘happiness and sadness’
The entrance to the Paris tunnel where the car was travelling in crashed into a pillar. Her sons recently took part in a series of candid interviews about their traumatic loss – with Harry revealing he went through two years of ‘total chaos’ after her death
Photographs and flowers are placed by people in memory of the late Princess Diana above the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris on Thursday. One person left a handmade card adorned with hearts and flowers around Diana’s face
In France, people had gone to the trouble of leaving bunches of colourful roses, along with candles and framed photographs of the tragic Princess as friend of Diana spoke of the ‘truly remarkable woman’ on the anniversary of her death
Taking an impromptu walkabout in front of several hundred well-wishers, they waved and smiled before taking a few minutes to read the cards and banners.
Prince Harry smiled at the sight of a large balloon lying among the flowers, while William pointed out a childhood photograph of him and his mother in sunglasses.
Harry spoke to Gracie Oxby, eight, and her sister Maisy, ten, from Langdon Hill, Essex, who were given flowers to lay down by an unknown lady in the crowd who had to leave.
Gracie said ‘He took the flowers and asked us who we were and where we had come from and asked us where we wanted to him to lay the flowers. I’m shaking with excitement still.’
As they walked away, one woman shouted: ‘I’ve come from Australia. I love you, your mother, and your [the Duke’s] children.’
Keeping the memory alive: A woman wipes morning dew from a picture of Diana that has been left outside the gates of the Palace she called home until her untimely death. Yesterday, William and Harry spent time looking at the cards and messages
A painstakingly-decorated cake is topped with an image of the Princess (left); and thousands of photographs paying homage to Diana, and her grandchildren George and Charlotte, have been pinned to the Palace gates
Handwritten messages left by royal super fans turned Kensington Palace into a makeshift shrine this morning. One reads: ‘A heart of gold stopped beating. God broke our hearts to prove to us he only takes the best’
All week, well-wishers have been visiting Kensington Palace to leave flags, flowers and photographs in homage to Princess Diana. Her eldest son, William, has previously admitted at feeling bemused by the outpouring of grief following her death
Committed: Royal superfan Terry Hutt (left) has described the anniversary of the Princess of Wales’s death as one of both ‘happiness and sadness’. The 82-year-old has been camped outside Kensington Palace since midday on Wednesday
My rose: A handpainted sign hangs from the palace gates as crowds of well-wishers, Diana fans and media gather outside Kensington Palace gates to pay tribute on the 20th anniversary of the death of the princess
A woman leaves a single red rose among the tributes of flowers, candles and photographs left outside one of the gates of Kensington Palace in London. Fans held a dawn vigil for the Princess as the royal family mourned in private today
One woman pauses for a moment of reflection in front of the palace gates which are now barely visible beneath the mountains of flowers, candles and photographs left in memory of the Princess on the 20th anniversary of her death
As mourners in London (pictured) and Paris pay their respects, the Queen and other royals are believed to be holidaying at Balmoral, where the family were told of Diana’s death on August 31, 1997
Earlier, William and Harry said they were ‘thrilled’ with a memorial garden designed in their mother’s memory, as they recalled visiting it as small boys.
The princes recently took part in a series of candid interviews about their traumatic loss – with Harry revealing he went through two years of ‘total chaos’ as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death before eventually seeking counselling at his brother’s suggestion.
Neither William nor Harry are expected to take part in any official engagements on the anniversary of their mother’s death on Thursday.
It is also understood Prince Charles, who was seen driving himself to church yesterday, will not take part in any engagements as he continues his annual break at Birkhall, his home in the Scottish Highlands.
The Queen and other royals are holidaying at nearby Balmoral, where the family were told of Diana’s death on August 31, 1997.
‘Happiness and sadness’ for royal superfan, 82
Royal superfan Terry Hutt has described the anniversary of the Princess of Wales’s death as one of both ‘happiness and sadness’. The 82-year-old has been camped outside Kensington Palace since midday on Wednesday.
Mr Hutt – who celebrated his 80th birthday outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital waiting for the announcement of Princess Charlotte’s birth – has visited the palace on August 31 every year for the past 20 years.
‘You can think of it as happiness and you can think of it as sadness. Today is sadness, but yesterday William and Harry were here and that brought a lot of happiness.
Terry Hutt who celebrated his 80th birthday outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital waiting for the announcement of Princess Charlotte’s birth – has visited the palace on August 31 every year for the past 20 years
‘They were pleased with what they saw on the gate and they gave us a wave. It was pouring down with rain so they trotted off. Diana was someone special – she modernised the Royal Family. She did a lot of good.
‘She’s got a couple of good sons and one of them will become king – that will be a real burst of happiness, and if Diana was here she would be really proud of her family.’
Recalling the moment he heard the news of the Princess’s death, he said: ‘I was in bed; my wife woke me up to tell me Diana had died – like everybody, I couldn’t believe it at the time.
‘The first thing I did was to jump out of bed, jump on the Tube as early as I could, and within a couple of hours I was here.
‘I was here for a whole week – I was rearranging flowers and getting rid of the dead ones. There was sadness and there were tears and there were a lot of flowers.’