Allow Diana to rest in peace, say sons

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The Independent Online
PRINCES WILLIAM and Harry yesterday appealed for their mother to be allowed to rest in peace. In a statement issued two days after the first anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, her sons thanked the public for its sympathy during the past year but said that he time for public mourning was now over.

Sandy Henney, Prince Charles's press secretary, said: "Throughout the last year, since the death of their mother, Prince William and Prince Harry have been comforted enormously by the public sympathy and support they have been given; it has meant a great deal to them and they have asked me to express their thanks once again to everyone.

"They have also asked me to say that they believe their mother would want people now to move on - because she would have known that constant reminders of her death can create nothing but pain to those she left behind. They therefore hope, very much, that their mother and her memory will now finally be allowed to rest in peace."

William, 16, and Harry, 13, who enrolled at Eton yesterday, are concerned about constant references to the princess and the "Diana industry".

Ms Henney said their words were addressed not only to the media but also to commercial interests marketing Diana memorabilia and to the public who continue to mourn her.

Although the scenes of grief on the first anniversary of her death were muted compared with last year when she died in a car accident in Paris, she has continued to make headlines.

In a form of mass hysteria, immediately after her death, scores of people queuing up to sign the books of condolence claimed to have seen a vision of the Princess of Wales in a portrait of Charles 1 at St James's Palace. Earlier this week, it was claimed that a photograph taken of the funeral cortege showed the princess' face in the leaves of a tree.

Thousands of people returned to Kensington Palace last Sunday to lay flowers, but although public appetite for anything to do with Diana remains voracious, a sign that the public might be feeling "grief fatigue" came 10 days ago when a sponsored walk organised by the memorial fund was attended by only 300 people instead of the expected 15,000.

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