Princess Diana was adored for her kindness and humanitarian work, and she was universally loved by not only the British public but by people the world over. She was always a trailblazer, from her stunning sense of style to her activism and the kind way she interacted with everyone she met.
Diana used her influence to enact good, spending much of her time campaigning for humanitarian causes that improved the lives of others. She sat with people who were ill, helping to break the stigma of the then-new diseases HIV and AIDS. These are the reasons she became known as the “People’s Princess” — she was a shining beacon of light in the royal family.
Diana died 25 years ago on Aug. 31, 1997, from the injuries she sustained in a car crash in a tunnel in Paris, France, which caused widespread media attention and mourning from people all over the world. She was buried on Sept. 6, 1997. Her untimely death has been the topic of conversations for many years, as people have continued to do their part to help carry on the late princess’ legacy.
And while the world mourned the loss of the princess, so did her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. However, Anne, Princess Royal, said that her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, did her part to help keep William and Harry away from London so they could grieve on their own terms. The set of brothers was very young at the time of their mother’s passing, so the queen thought it would be best to keep them at Balmoral, where they could cope with their heartbreaking loss.
For the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in 2017, many of her favorite flowers were featured in the Sunken Garden — a project started two seasons before the display was unveiled when over 12,000 bulbs were initially planted. The flowers on display included white lilies, white roses, forget-me-nots, tulips, cosmo daisies and narcissi. Royal Central reported that the palace’s website said the tribute was “inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.”
Over the years since Diana’s passing, many royal family members have shared heartfelt words about missing the late princess. Her eldest son, William, opened up about the moments his mom missed out on. “I would like to have had her advice,” he told British GQ in 2017. “I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”
According to PEOPLE, William’s wife, Kate Middleton, was given Diana’s sapphire ring as her engagement ring, keeping it in the family line.
For their wedding in 2018, Harry and Meghan Markle hand-picked forget-me-nots, Diana’s favorite flower, from the Kensington Palace garden to include in the “Suits” actress’ bouquet for her marriage to the Duke of Sussex. In 2020, the couple planted forget-me-nots while visiting a preschool in Los Angeles, California, according to CBS News.
Harry and Meghan welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor in June 2021. In a statement, the parents wrote, “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.”
On July 1, 2021, William and Harry came together at Kensington Palace to commemorate and unveil a statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday. The late princess was also honored in other ways to coincide with what would have been her milestone 60th birthday in July 2021. Her iconic wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, was put on display at Kensington Palace, as per BBC News. The dress was only one part of a larger exhibition featuring royal heirlooms and artifacts but had been given prominence as the exhibition’s central piece.
While Diana’s loved ones have continued to share her message and legacy with the world, her influence has also left its mark on pop culture. In July 2022, an opera detailing Diana’s relationship with Dodi Al Fayed opened, according to BBC News.