Diana remembered by princes at anniversary service

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The Independent Online

Prince William and Prince Harry marked the 10th anniversary of their mother's death today with a poignant memorial service.

Exactly a decade to the day since Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a tragic car crash, her sons gathered to remember her at a special thanksgiving ceremony in the Guards' Chapel in London.

Joined by the Queen, the Prince of Wales, other members of the Royal Family, the Spencers and some 500 guests, the brothers took their seats for the commemoration they had organised.

Music played by the orchestra from the Royal Academy of Music, of which the Princess was president, sounded around the chapel.

The Duchess of Cornwall was notably absent from the royal line-up, after pulling out amid criticism that it was inappropriate for her to attend.

Diana's death in the early hours of August 31 1997 stunned the nation.

Untimely and out of the blue, the loss of the "People's Princess" led to a mass outpouring of public grief, the like of which had never been seen before.

Distraught mourners wept openly in the streets and people flocked to Kensington Palace, leaving behind a carpet of flowers in honour of the dead princess.

Diana and boyfriend Dodi Fayed were killed when the Mercedes they were travelling in hit a pillar in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris.

They were being pursued by paparazzi after leaving the Ritz Hotel.

Driver Henri Paul, who was also killed, was drunk and driving at high speed. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.





Today, both William, 25, and 22-year-old Harry were giving readings.

Those still devoted to Diana's memory returned to Kensington Palace to pin pictures, messages and poems to the black iron gates of the Princess's former home and attend an open-air service.

Dodi's father Mohamed al Fayed held a two-minute silence in honour of his son and the Princess at his Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London.

At the Guards' Chapel for the Princes' official service, Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Lord Attenborough and celebrity photographer Mario Testino - all friends of the late Princess - were among the guests, as was Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ex-PMs Tony Blair and Sir John Major.

Diana's siblings Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, who helped William and Harry with arrangements, were there with the rest of the Spencer relatives.

Lady Sarah was also giving a reading, but Earl Spencer, who delivered his controversial "blood family" eulogy at the funeral, was not.

Among more than 30 royals were the Duke of Edinburgh, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.



The hour-long service, which began at midday, was conducted by the Rev Patrick Irwin, Chaplain to the Household Division.

It included two prayers written for the occasion by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the request of William and Harry.

Diana's favourite hymn was chosen as the emotional finale. I Vow To Thee, My Country was sung at both her wedding and her funeral.

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