Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

How Diana became known as ‘the people’s princess’

18 min read

(CNN)In 1995, two years before Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris, she said in a TV interview that she’d like to be a queen. But she wasn’t talking about the British monarchy into which she’d married. She wanted to be a queen of people’s hearts.

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacy

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyPrincess Diana remains a beloved figure more than 20 years after her untimely death. See more photos of the British icon and the legacy she left behind.Hide Caption 1 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana, seen here on her first birthday, was born Diana Frances Spencer on July 1, 1961. She was born into a noble family in Sandringham, England. Her father, John, was Viscount Althorp before becoming the 8th Earl Spencer in 1975.Hide Caption 2 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana circa 1965. Growing up, she attended private schools in England and Switzerland.Hide Caption 3 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana poses with her brother, Charles, in 1968. She also had two sisters, Sarah and Jane.Hide Caption 4 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana, far right, is photographed with her father, John, and her three siblings circa 1970. Sarah is on the far left and Jane is next to Diana. When Diana was 7 years old, her parents divorced and her father was given custody of the children.Hide Caption 5 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyA teenage Diana receives a “kiss” from her pony, Scuffle, in 1974. A year later, she became Lady Diana after her grandfather died and her father became the 8th Earl Spencer.Hide Caption 6 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyAfter finishing school, Diana worked various jobs, including cook, nanny and kindergarten teacher. Here she is in 1980 with two children she looked after as a nanny.Hide Caption 7 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and Camilla Parker-Bowles visit the Ludlow racecourse in October 1980, where Prince Charles was competing as a jockey. Diana and Charles would be engaged just a few months later. Prince Charles admitted in 1994 to a relationship with Parker-Bowles while still married to Diana; Charles and Camilla wed in 2005.Hide Caption 8 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana looks startled after stalling her new car outside her London apartment in November 1980.Hide Caption 9 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana is surrounded by photographers shortly before it was announced that she was engaged to Prince Charles.Hide Caption 10 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and Charles pose at Buckingham Palace after the announcement of their engagement on February 24, 1981.Hide Caption 11 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and Charles arrive at Goldsmith Hall in London for a charity recital in March 1981.Hide Caption 12 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyThe couple poses with Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in March 1981.Hide Caption 13 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyThe royal wedding was held July 29, 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It was estimated that more than 700 million people watched the ceremony on television.Hide Caption 14 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyCharles and Diana kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony after being married.Hide Caption 15 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDuring their honeymoon, Charles and Diana leave Gibraltar on the royal yacht Britannia.Hide Caption 16 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyThe couple spends part of their honeymoon in Scotland.Hide Caption 17 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyCharles and Diana attend the Grand National horse race in April 1982.Hide Caption 18 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyIn June 1982, Diana gave birth to her first child, William.Hide Caption 19 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana greets a child while visiting Wrexham, Wales, in November 1982.Hide Caption 20 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyCharles, William and Diana pose for a photo at Kensington Palace in February 1983.Hide Caption 21 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana gave birth to a second son, Harry, in September 1984.Hide Caption 22 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyCharles kisses his wife after a polo match in Cirencester, England, in June 1985.Hide Caption 23 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana watches her boys play at the piano in Kensington Palace in October 1985.Hide Caption 24 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana helps William with a puzzle in October 1985.Hide Caption 25 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana attends a polo match that her husband played in Palm Beach, Florida, in November 1985.Hide Caption 26 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana dances with actor John Travolta at the White House in November 1985. Dancing behind Travolta are US President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan. A few years ago, Diana’s blue velvet dress — nicknamed the “Travolta dress” — was auctioned for 240,000 British pounds ($362,424 US).Hide Caption 27 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana holds up Harry in the garden of Highgrove House, a royal residence in Gloucestershire, England, in July 1986.Hide Caption 28 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyWilliam rides a miniature pony at Highgrove House.Hide Caption 29 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyPrince Harry shows a bit of his personality on the Buckingham Palace balcony in June 1988.Hide Caption 30 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and her two boys walk outside the Wetherby School in London in April 1990.Hide Caption 31 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and her sons go skiing in Lech, Austria, in April 1991.Hide Caption 32 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and Charles sit together during a royal tour of Toronto in October 1991.Hide Caption 33 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana visits Egypt in May 1992.Hide Caption 34 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyCharles and Diana attend a memorial service during a tour of South Korea in November 1992. A month later, it was announced that they had formally separated.Hide Caption 35 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana and her sons visit Thorpe Park, a theme park in Surrey, England, in April 1993.Hide Caption 36 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana arrives at the Serpentine Gallery in London in June 1994.Hide Caption 37 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyA police officer holds back a photographer as Diana walks by in July 1996. It had just been announced that Diana and Charles had divorced.Hide Caption 38 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana talks to amputees in Angola, where she traveled in January 1997 to bring attention to the anti-land mine campaign of the International Red Cross. Sitting on her lap is Sandra Thijica, a 13-year-old who lost her left leg to a land mine.Hide Caption 39 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana wears protective gear as she visits minefields in Angola in January 1997.Hide Caption 40 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana visits Cape Town, South Africa, and meets with South African President Nelson Mandela in March 1997.Hide Caption 41 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana holds hands with Mother Teresa after they met in New York in June 1997.Hide Caption 42 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyThis photo, taken from surveillance video, shows Diana arriving at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on August 30, 1997. It is one of the last photos of her alive.Hide Caption 43 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana is seen in a Ritz Hotel elevator with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. After leaving the hotel, the couple was killed in a high-speed car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.Hide Caption 44 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyWreckage is lifted away after the car Diana was in crashed into a pillar on August 31, 1997. Fayed and driver Henri Paul died at the scene. Diana died at a Paris hospital a few hours later. A French investigation concluded that Paul was legally drunk at the time and responsible for the accident. In 2008, a British coroner’s jury found that Diana and Fayed were unlawfully killed because of the actions of Paul and pursuing paparazzi.Hide Caption 45 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyOn the eve of Diana’s funeral, the Queen and Prince Philip look at floral tributes left outside Buckingham Palace. More than 1 million bouquets of flowers were left at Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace in the wake of Diana’s death.Hide Caption 46 of 47

Photos: Princess Diana: Her life and legacyDiana’s coffin is carried into London’s Westminster Cathedral in September 1997. Watching at the bottom, from left, is Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Charles Spencer, Prince William and Prince Philip.Hide Caption 47 of 47

In the 23 years since her death on August 31, 1997, it’s become clear how well she fulfilled that hope. Every August, tributes pour in to celebrate her life and legacy — one that valued authenticity over protocol, and humanity over prestige.

    She used her celebrity to raise awareness for a number of causes, from leprosy to domestic violence to mental health. She made headlines in 1987 when she intentionally shook hands with an AIDS patient, working to dispel the myth that HIV/AIDS could be spread through touch. And in the months before she died, she took her media spotlight and placed it squarely on the dangers of landmines in Angola. She was, in the words of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, “the people’s princess.”

    ‘People felt a kinship with her’

    Read MoreWhen Blair used that phrase in a speech following Diana’s death, he was searching for words to help a nation grieve a shockingly sudden loss. The Princess of Wales had finalized her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996, but intense media scrutiny still trailed her as she went on vacation the following summer with boyfriend Dodi Fayed. Just after midnight on August 31, a Mercedes carrying Diana and Fayed crashed in a tunnel not far from Paris’ Eiffel Tower. The accident killed Diana, Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul. The news reached the royal family while they were away in Scotland at Balmoral Castle. Within hours, Charles flew to Paris to retrieve Diana’s body before returning to Balmoral to be with his and Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. “The immediate reaction of the royal family was to say, ‘We must hunker down and protect the children; there will be formalities that will followed but that’s what we do,” says author Jonathan Dimbleby in CNN’s Original Series on the royal family, “The Windsors.”

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince Charles

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles poses for an official portrait in November 2008.Hide Caption 1 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace in London on November 14, 1948. His mother was Princess Elizabeth at the time.Hide Caption 2 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrincess Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, sit on a lawn with their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne in August 1951.Hide Caption 3 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles attends his mother’s coronation in 1953 with his grandmother, left, and his aunt Margaret.Hide Caption 4 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles, right, shakes hands with Sir Gerald Creasy, the governor of Malta, as he and the rest of the royal family visit Malta in May 1954.Hide Caption 5 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles rides with his mother and grandmother as they travel to Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Princess Margaret in May 1960.Hide Caption 6 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles prepares for takeoff during a flying lesson in 1968. In 1971, he earned his wings as a jet pilot and joined the Royal Navy.Hide Caption 7 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesQueen Elizabeth II presents Prince Charles to the people of Wales after his investiture as the Prince of Wales in July 1969.Hide Caption 8 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles walks at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1970. He was the first royal heir to earn a university degree.Hide Caption 9 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles, left, rides go-carts with his brother Prince Edward and his sister, Princess Anne, circa 1969.Hide Caption 10 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles meets US President Richard Nixon during a private visit to Washington in July 1970.Hide Caption 11 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles attends a conference with his father in November 1970.Hide Caption 12 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles goes on a safari in Kenya in February 1971.Hide Caption 13 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles prepares to fire a bazooka while visiting military barracks in West Berlin in October 1972.Hide Caption 14 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles fishes with a wooden spear circa 1975.Hide Caption 15 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles poses for sculptor David McFall in December 1975.Hide Caption 16 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles smokes a peace pipe during a visit to Canada in July 1977.Hide Caption 17 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles rides a horse during an equestrian event in Cirencester, England, in April 1978.Hide Caption 18 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles, as colonel-in-chief, visits the Cheshire Regiment in Canterbury, England, in November 1978. He served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976, and in 2012 his mother appointed him honorary five-star ranks in the navy, army and air force.Hide Caption 19 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles are seen together circa 1979. They dated in the 70s and would eventually marry in 2005. It was the second marriage for both. Their first marriages ended in divorce.Hide Caption 20 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles poses outside the Taj Mahal in India in 1980.Hide Caption 21 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles kisses his first wife, Lady Diana Spencer, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in July 1981. Their wedding ceremony was televised.Hide Caption 22 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles and Princess Diana leave a London hospital with their first child, William, in July 1982.Hide Caption 23 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesCharles and Diana dance together at a formal event.Hide Caption 24 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles shares a playful pie in the face while visiting a community center in Manchester, England, in December 1983.Hide Caption 25 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles walks with natives on a visit to Papua New Guinea in 1984. Hide Caption 26 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesCharles and Diana sit together in Toronto during a royal tour in October 1991. A year later, they were separated. Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles became public in 1993.Hide Caption 27 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesCharles, Diana and their two sons, William and Harry, gather for V-J Day commemorations in London in August 1995. The couple divorced one year later.Hide Caption 28 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles visits a mosque in London in March 1996.Hide Caption 29 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesSouth African President Nelson Mandela talks with Prince Charles in London in July 1996.Hide Caption 30 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles poses with the Spice Girls in 1997.Hide Caption 31 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles and his sons spend time together at the Balmoral Castle estate in Balmoral, Scotland, in August 1997.Hide Caption 32 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles, second from right, and Princess Diana’s two sisters meet in Paris after Diana was killed in a car crash there in August 1997. She was 36 years old.Hide Caption 33 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles and his sons follow Diana’s hearse in London in September 1997.Hide Caption 34 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles stands beside his grandmother’s coffin while it lies in state at Westminster Hall in London in April 2002.Hide Caption 35 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles carries a specially painted football through the streets of Ashbourne, England, in March 2003.Hide Caption 36 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles watches a parachute regiment during a D-Day re-enactment in Ranville, France, in June 2004.Hide Caption 37 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles in April 2005.Hide Caption 38 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesQueen Elizabeth II presents Prince Charles with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Victoria Medal of Honor during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May 2009.Hide Caption 39 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesCharles and Camilla were on their way to a performance at the London Palladium when their car was attacked by angry student protesters in December 2010. The students were protesting a hike in tuition fees.Hide Caption 40 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II were among those on the Buckingham Palace balcony after Prince William wed Kate Middleton in April 2011.Hide Caption 41 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles reads the weather while touring BBC Scotland’s headquarters in May 2012.Hide Caption 42 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles meets with US President Barack Obama in the White House Oval Office in March 2015.Hide Caption 43 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesCharles and Camilla react as Zephyr, the bald-eagle mascot of the Army Air Corps, flaps his wings at the Sandringham Flower Show in July 2015.Hide Caption 44 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesMembers of the royal family pose for a photo at Buckingham Palace in December 2016. From left are Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles; Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip; Prince William; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.Hide Caption 45 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles visits the Italian town of Amatrice in April 2017, after an earthquake had hit. Hide Caption 46 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesCharles and Camilla ride on a raft while visiting the island of Borneo in November 2017.Hide Caption 47 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles leads three cheers for his mother as the Queen celebrated her 92nd birthday at a London concert in April 2018.Hide Caption 48 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesFrom left, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Duchess Camilla and Queen Elizabeth II watch a Royal Air Force flyover in July 2018.Hide Caption 49 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles accompanies his future daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle, as she is married to Prince Harry in May 2018.Hide Caption 50 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles lays a wreath at the Cenotaph in London to commemorate Remembrance Day in November 2018. It was also the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.Hide Caption 51 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles poses with family members for an official portrait to mark his 70th birthday. He’s holding his grandson Prince George as Camilla sits next to his granddaughter, Princess Charlotte. In the back row, from left, are his grandson Prince Louis; his daughter-in-law Catherine; his son Prince William; his son Prince Harry; and his daughter-in-law Meghan.Hide Caption 52 of 53

    Photos: The heir apparent: Britain's Prince CharlesPrince Charles speaks at an event in London in March 2020. Later that month, it was announced that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. A statement on March 25 said that Charles was “displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.”Hide Caption 53 of 53

    “Charles’ priority was those boys. He was desperately worried about them,” adds biographer Penny Junor. At 15 and 12 years old, William and Harry “were at a very tender, difficult sort of age … this was the most shocking and terrible and ghastly thing to happen.”As TV broadcasts began to report on the deadly accident, the royal family released a short statement that they were “deeply shocked and distressed” by the news. But “to this grieving population, it seemed like nothing,” recalls historian Kate Williams in “The Windsors.” As the hours ticked by, with notoriously reserved Brits in open mourning, all eyes were on Buckingham Palace to make a larger gesture or statement — to make a connection, in the way Diana had always been able to do. “People felt so emotional about Diana because she had an extraordinary connection with everybody,” says Anji Hunter, Blair’s former adviser, in the CNN series. “People felt a kinship with her; it was like your own beloved friend, mother, sister had died.” And from the public’s perspective, the Queen and her Firm were being far too silent. “I think the public were waiting for the Queen to lead the morning,” says Junor. “And she didn’t.”

    Capturing a country’s grief

    Into this growing criticism stepped Prime Minister Blair, himself just four months into the job. In his autobiography, he recalls being well aware of the grief and anger that were beginning to radiate from the public. The Palace’s response “was all very by the book but it took no account of the fact that people couldn’t give a damn about the book,” he wrote, according to the BBC. Blair said his role was “to protect the monarchy, channel the anger before it became rage, and generally have the whole business emerge in a positive and unifying way rather than be a source of tension, division and bitterness.” Blair jotted down notes for his now famous address on the back of an envelope, with guidance from his communications lead Alastair Campbell.

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Diana Frances Spencer in 1962 on her first birthday at Park House on the royal Sandringham estate, where she grew up.Hide Caption 1 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Diana on her 2nd birthday at Park House.Hide Caption 2 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Diana at about four years old Hide Caption 3 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Diana with her younger brother Charles Spencer in 1968, a year after their parents’ divorce.Hide Caption 4 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal A barefoot Diana poses with a croquet mallet while on holiday in Itchenor, West Sussex, in the summer of 1970. Hide Caption 5 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Diana during a summer holiday in 1971. She would become Lady Diana Spencer in 1975 at age 14 after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer.Hide Caption 6 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal This personal photo of Lady Diana is from her childhood friend, Dr. James Colthurst, featured in CNN’s “Diana: Chasing A Fairytale.” Hide Caption 7 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Lady Diana, 18, on a ski trip in the French Alps with friends, including Colthurst — who provided this photo — featured in CNN’s “Diana: Chasing A Fairytale.” Hide Caption 8 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal “She was just fun to have in the group,” Colthurst recalled in CNN’s “Diana: Chasing A Fairytale.” Hide Caption 9 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Another photo of Lady Diana from the 1979 ski trip with Colthurst, featured in CNN’s “Diana: Chasing A Fairytale.” Hide Caption 10 of 11

    Photos: Princess Diana: Before she was a royal Before marrrying Prince Charles, Diana worked as a nanny. Here she is seen with two of her charges in 1980, the year before she married. Hide Caption 11 of 11

    Once Blair reached the microphone, he shared the emotion the public was searching for. “I feel like everyone else in this country today, utterly devastated,” he said of Diana’s death. “She was a wonderful, and a warm, human being. Though her own life was often sadly touched by tragedy, she touched the lives of so many others, in Britain (and) throughout the world, with joy and with comfort … She was the people’s princess, and that’s how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and in our memories, forever.”Reflecting on the phrase “the people’s princess” in his book, Blair said it “seems like something from another age, corny and over the top.”Yet it is hard to argue with how well it captured Diana’s legacy, particularly in that moment, journalist Richard Kay says in “The Windsors.””He coined this wonderful phrase about the people’s princess and it struck a chord,” says Kay. “It seemed to sum up the feelings of a country in a paralysis of grief and shock in a way that the Queen did not do.”

    The Queen responds

    Ahead of Diana’s funeral, Queen Elizabeth II did respond to a public demanding that the royal family somehow show that they cared.

      On live TV, she addressed her subjects as a “Queen and as a grandmother,” remarking on Diana as an “exceptional and gifted human being.” And at the funeral, the Queen took an additional step to pay tribute. “The Queen bows to nobody — ever,” says historian Jane Ridley in the CNN series. And yet, as the funeral procession rode past Buckingham Palace, the Queen was seen out front, “making a bow to her daughter-in-law.”

      Source: edition.cnn.com

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