Diana's legacy lives on

ALL around the country people are today remembering Princess Diana and her lasting legacy on the life of Britain before her untimely death 10 years ago.

ALL around the country people are today remembering Princess Diana and her lasting legacy on the life of Britain before her untimely death 10 years ago.

Today's focus was, of course, the memorial service at the Guards' Chapel which was being attended by members of the royal family and Diana's own family, the Spencers.

This dignified service, featuring her favourite hymns and classical music, was the perfect way to remember a woman who changed the face of the monarchy because of the public reaction to her death.

Her sons, Princes William and Harry, have had a key role in organising the service and have managed to arrange a near-perfect act of remembrance.


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It was certainly right for them to invite the Duchess of Cornwell - the woman who has brought so much happiness to their father - to the service.

But it was also right for her to decide not to attend. The fact is if she had been there, her presence would have diverted too much attention away from their mother. Camilla will be able to support the rest of her family at Clarence House before and after the service . . . in private.

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The public reaction to Diana's death 10 years ago had a profound affect on this country. The Queen and other members of her family were shocked by the strength of the public reaction and were forced to change their plans.

They had to balance their desire to protect the then teenage princes from the outpouring of emotion with the need that became clear for the royal family to be sharing in the public grief about the death.

Some people still feel the royal family were too slow in returning to London from the Scottish retreat after Diana's death - although The Queen and other members of “The Firm” have worked hard over recent years to successfully rebuild the bonds between themselves and the British people.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2002 showed that the country has not fallen out of love with the monarchy.

Of course the tragic death of Diana was not the end of the story - and some people still believe in the wilder conspiracy theories that have spun up around her death.

They are unable to accept that she died because she was being driven at high speed by a drunk-driver who was trying to avoid paparazzi photographers.

The far-fetched theories that have arisen over recent years can have done little to offer comfort to her immediate family - but seem unlikely to die down in the near future.

But today is not the day to reflect on wild fantasies. It is a day to remember Princess Diana as she was - a loving mother and a royal icon.

She may have no longer had the title Her Royal Highness in 1997, but she changed the face of the monarchy in life . . . and in death.

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