At a New York luncheon with a New Yorker magazine reporter in 1997, Diana Spencer said she would have formed “the best team in the world” with Prince Charles if they had kept their marriage and she was still part of the royal family.
“I could spend all day shaking hands. And Charles would know how to make serious speeches. But it wasn’t meant to be”, would have said the woman who became known around the world as Princess Diana or Lady Di.
Weeks later, on August 31, Diana would die at age 36. Twenty-five years later, Charles is now married to Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, and has yet to become king, a position he will only hold when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, dies.
The tributes that Diana received this Wednesday (31) on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of her death indicate that, even though she is absent, she still somehow maintains the charisma that made her, in life, a figure admired not only by the British.
In Paris, residents and tourists remembered the date by placing flowers and leaving messages on the bridge over the underpass where she died in a car accident. Flowers and photos of Diana adorned the Flame of Liberty, a replica of the Statue of Liberty’s torch on the Pont de L’Alma that became her unofficial memorial in the French capital.
“Forever in our hearts,” read a card with a picture of Diana left on the bridge in Paris. “25 years already,” said another. People also left flowers outside London’s Kensington Palace, Diana’s former home.
The princess was just 36 years old when the limousine carrying her and her then-partner, Dodi al-Fayed, crashed in the tunnel below the bridge as the car pulled away from photographers chasing her on motorcycles.
In addition, millions of people in many countries remembered the death of the “people’s princess”, as then British Prime Minister Tony Blair described Diana, in 1997. She was one of the most recognized and photographed women in the world and a leading advocate of humanitarian causes, including children’s charities and landmine clearance.
Mother of Princes William and Harry, her death plunged the British monarchy into crisis, given that it came on the heels of the disintegration of her marriage to the heir to the throne, Prince Charles — engulfed in quarrels and adultery — and the revelation of the miserable state in which she was born. she felt in her role in royalty.
Five years ago, her children attended a series of public commemorations of her life and spoke of the effect Diana’s death had on them. But this year they are not participating in any official act, setting the date privately with their families, according to their spokespersons.
Diana is still remembered in the UK as a fashion icon and for breaking the strict conventions of royalty. Diana’s continued fascination with her life was illustrated on Saturday, when a black Ford Escort she drove in the 1980s was sold at auction in England for more than £4m.