Mourners flock to Diana's home on anniversary of death

Diana: We’ll never forget


MOURNERS from across the globe flocked to Princess Diana’s former home yesterday on the ninth anniversary of her death.

The gates and railings of Kensington Palace in London were festooned with hundreds of floral and poetry tributes.

Many people had travelled hundreds of miles to make the annual pilgrimage to mark the day when Diana’s life was cruelly taken.

And they joined calls for a special memorial service to be held next year to mark the 10th anniversary of the moment on August 31, 1997, when the People’s Princess and her lover Dodi Fayed were killed in a Paris car crash.

Australian Kathy Martin said a service should be held at either St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey to allow the public to remember Diana.

She said: "She was an inspiration to so many people around the world and I only think it’s fair that we should have a special ceremony for her.

"She was the light of so many people’s lives. I’ve been coming here since the tragic day she died – I camped for three nights when she passed away – and we all remember her here.

"But I think some people don’t want us to keep on remembering her."

Margaret Funnell, founder of the Diana Circle, said the group was planning a special tribute next year.

She said: "We would like to see Prince Charles attend along with the two young Princes, but certainly not with the Duchess."

Other mourners branded the Diana Memorial Fountain a "moat" which does little to pay suitable respect to her memory. Hugh Carroll, from Glasgow, said: "I want a proper memorial for Diana. I was devastated when she died. I was crying, I’m not ashamed, a lot of blokes were."

Many people laid bouquets of roses along with personal notes, pictures and posters. One message captured the mood of the day by simply saying: "Our love for you will never die, you will live in our hearts for ever."

Another tribute was from "Sophie aged 6 and Holly age 4". It said: "You are a beautiful Princess and now I think you have turned into an even more beautiful angel in heaven."

Another thanked the Daily Express for our coverage of the continuing mystery over Diana’s death. At 11am Father Frank Gelli, the former curate of nearby St Mary Abbots Church, held a memorial service with mourners circled around him. He said: "Her presence is still with us, otherwise we would not be here today. People still love and think of her as a wonderful humanitarian."

A large group had travelled from Germany to pay tribute. Evelyn Marie Seidel, who runs a Diana supporters group in Hamlin, had visited Diana’s family estate at Althorp, Northants, with five of her friends. She said: "We love Diana in Germany. She gave so much hope to so many and we come every year to remember her."

Princes William and Harry remembered their mother in private yesterday. William, 24, is on his summer break from Sandhurst, while Harry is continuing his Army training at Bovington in Dorset. Charles was at Birkhall in Scotland with Camilla.

Diana, 36, and Dodi, 42, were killed when their Mercedes crashed in the Pont d’Alma tunnel in Paris. A new witness emerged last night to confirm that Diana had planned to marry Dodi Fayed.

Former BBC royal reporter Michael Cole claimed that the couple had fallen in love and spoken of spending the rest of their lives together.

Mr Cole, who worked for Dodi’s father, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, said they would probably have set up home in California.

He wrote in a new column for a Suffolk newspaper: "The last time I saw the Princess, she was in high spirits. I would never have asked her, but she gave me every impression of being a woman in love and very happy. People with their own agendas seek to deny what I saw.

"Dodi was in love with Diana. He told me so and said they were planning a life together. They would go to Hong Kong in November. Then they would have a holiday in the Hawaii islands before flying to California. He wanted to show her the house in Malibu he had just bought. It had been the home of Julie Andrews, right on the beach and even had a dance studio for the Princess to work out." (external - login to view)
Dodi was a lazy mooch and we were all embarrassed that Diana took up with the slug. It's all behind us now but we, if not Diana, deserved better.
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