Princess Diana Death: William And Harry Plan 20-Year Memorial

Princess Diana’s death in a Paris car accident nearly 20 years ago shocked the world and her many fans. Diana’s tragic death happened suddenly and unexpectedly and left her bereft young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, heartbroken and feeling “intense sadness,” according to the Daily Mail.

Now, William and Harry have to make some decisions about how they will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death. William and Harry learned a lot from the fundraising concert commemoration they organized 10 years ago when the brothers were barely into their 20s.

William and Harry at 2007 commemoration of Princess Diana's death
Prince William and Prince Harry at memorial concert for Princess Diana in 2007 {Image by Getty Images/Getty Images]

At that time, Prince Charles’ long-time companion, Camilla Parker-Bowles, had only recently married the prince. The marriage made for a lot of awkwardness when it came time to remember Princess Diana.

Diana often referred to Camilla as the “third person” in her marriage, and many of Diana’s devoted fans didn’t want Camilla to be part of the memorial.

Diana’s rival ended up withdrawing at the last minute, and no one wants to put Prince Charles in the “difficult position” of having to placate Camilla and Diana’s followers in a repeat of the ten-year anniversary of the tragedy.

This time around, the Princes are planning to keep things low key, according to the Express. They want to commemorate Princess Diana’s death with a focus on her charitable works instead of with a big event to mark the tragedy.

“The princes have made clear that this will not be a ‘Royal Family’ event. They are very much in charge of everything as her sons and everyone, including their father, agrees that this is as it should be.”

Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, “are determined to lead any tributes” to Diana. They won’t let the event “be taken over by the royal family,” with all the protocol problems that could bring.

Diana’s sons want to remember her by using “public interest in the anniversary to highlight their mother’s work” instead of her tragic royal life. The Times writes that Diana’s interest in fighting HIV/AIDS is just one of the possible causes William and Harry will choose.

The royal brothers understand that Diana is still a beloved figure, and they know that “many around the world are keen to mark the occasion” of her death, but they also want people to see that “it is a much more personal landmark for them.”

The boys lost their mother but were so much in the public eye that they never properly grieved Diana’s death. Harry, 32, was only 12-years-old when Diana died, and he recently admitted publicly that he “never really dealt with” the effects of his mother’s tragic early death at the age of 36.

“It was a lot of buried emotion.”

William covers his eyes at funeral for Princess Diana's mother and William and Harry's grandmother
William and Harry at funeral of Princess Diana's mother, Frances Shand Kydd's [Image by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

Now, William and Harry want to make sure that they are able to remember Diana in a way that feels loving and respectful, instead of in a big event filled with security and protocol issues.

A royal insider said that “there will be nothing on the scale of the memorial concert they held” in 2007, although there’s no announcement yet as to what exactly William and Harry are planning.

What is clear is that the 10-year anniversary of Diana’s death was a “stepping out moment” for the royal brothers. It was their first big event, and the two weren’t as sure of themselves as they now are.

William is now married to Kate Middleton, and the couple have two children. William and his brother are in their mid-30s with responsible careers and a lot of experience representing the Queen.

They are confident in their decision to stay less formal for this year’s remembrance of Diana’s death and feel strongly that it’s important to “help people in what they are doing” to continue Diana’s legacy of caring.

“There is a whole generation now that were very young when she died and may not know about what she managed to achieve in such a short life.”

[Featured Image by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]