Kate Middleton and Prince William attended a birthday ceremony yesterday at the grave site of Princess Diana to mark what would have been her 56th birthday. Kate and William’s children, 3-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte, were in attendance as well as were Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, and William’s younger brother, Prince Harry. This year also marks the 20-year anniversary of her death.
At the time of their mother’s death following a car accident in Paris, William was 15-years-old, and Harry was 12-years-old. They both have spoken recently about that time in their lives and their journey to work through it. As reported by Daily Mirror, William has said that he is just now able to speak about it openly. Harry recently spoke about a particular memory of her funeral that he feels strongly was wrong.
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that. I don’t think it would happen today.”
Diana’s funeral was one of the most watched events in television history. Pop Sugar describes the streets of London lined with millions as her body was taken from Kensington Palace, along Hyde Park to St. James Palace, then past Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey where a service was held. A private ceremony was held before she was laid to rest at the Spencer estate in Althorp, the location of Saturday’s birthday ceremony. Earl Spencer kept her buried at this private location, in part, so that William and Harry could visit her more easily without being under the public eye. It is said that William brought Kate to Diana’s grave before they married. They laid flowers on her grave together.
Also in attendance yesterday were Diana’s sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Baroness Fellowes. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles did not attend.
Princes William and Harry will commemorate their mother later this year with a statue made in her image. It will be placed in the gardens of Kensington Palace, where she lived as a royal.
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, the Diana Award celebrates her compassion, kindness, and service for an entire year. The charity was established to promote the positive power of young people, something in which William and Harry’s mother believed in strongly.
[Featured Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]