Prince William joined a stunned group of fans outside Kensington Palace who gathered to mark the 58th birthday of the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana on Monday, July 1. He met with the group to thank them for their devotion to his late mother, who tragically died in a car accident in Paris in 1997.
The Daily Express reported that the Duke of Cambridge stunned the small group in attendance to thank them for they’re well wishes toward his beloved mother. He met with each of them and shook each of their hands, reported the outlet.
One of those fans in attendance, named John Loughrey, said to The Daily Express that the prince knew they had memorialized his mother for years, coming each year to mark her birthday at the palace. Loughrey claimed that the prince told fans he thought it was wonderful the group celebrated his mother’s life and legacy.
“I’m touched by what you do, you’ve got quite the collection,” Prince William said, noting the memorabilia that was placed on the gates of the palace.
The Duke of Cambridge then told the fans in attendance, per The Daily Express, that the family is planning to erect a statue of his beloved mother and that it would be ready soon, claiming it was “important to get it right.”
Prince Harry will also mark his mother’s birthday by participating in the Diana Award national youth mentoring summit, which honors the Princess of Wales’ work with young people through mentorship in a way to break down barriers and allow young people in difficult circumstances the same opportunities as those who have more opportunity.
Princess Diana was born July 1, 1961, near Sandringham, England. She became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, reported Biography. Diana was known for her kindness toward others from the time she was a small child. She used that character trait throughout her life as she grew older and realized that she wanted to work with children, first as a nanny and then as an assistant at Young England Kindergarten, the job she held when she first began dating her soon-to-be husband, Prince Charles.
On February 6, 1981, Princess Charles proposed to a 19-year-old Diana with an 18-karat white gold ring topped with a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds. The couple married in what was known as the “wedding of the century” in July of that same year.
The couple welcomed their first son Prince William in 1982 and their second son Prince Harry in 1984. Prince Charles and Princess Diana experienced marriage difficulties throughout their union and a life lived in the public eye. They formally separated in 1992, and their divorce was finalized in 1996.
Princess Diana would die tragically in a car accident in France alongside her friend Dodi Fayed after paparazzi chased their car into a tunnel. The driver of the car, Henri Paul, died as well. The princess was only 36-years-old at the time of her death.