LONDON: Well-wishers left flowers and other tributes on Wednesday at princess Diana’s former London home and above the Paris road tunnel where she lost her life, to mark the 25th anniversary of her death.

The former Lady Diana Spencer, whose fairytale marriage to Prince Charles captivated the world until it publicly unravelled with revelations of infidelity and divorce, died in a car crash in the French capital on Aug 31, 1997. A trickle of well-wishers laid flowers, flags and photographs for the self-styled “queen of people’s hearts” at the gates of Kensington Palace, and at the Place Diana, above the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.

At the Spencer family home, Althorp House, where Diana is buried in a lead-lined coffin on a secluded island on the estate, her brother Charles Spencer lowered the Union Jack to half mast. “She was a global celebrity,” retired camera operator Claue Gautier, 79, who came to pay his respects at the makeshift memorial in Paris, said.

“She was classy, sporty, elegant. Everyone’s sad today. My flowers for her are on the inside,” he said, touching the badge of his England football shirt.

“The flowers here will wilt but mine will never die.”

“We’re really missing someone like her today. If you look around the world, there’s no one like her,” added German tourist Ulrike Plank, 64, from Munich.

In London, well-wisher Julie Cein also said it was important to keep her positive memory and legacy alive. “She showed empathy, kindness, consideration to all people, regardless of their class in society,” she added.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2022

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